Dressing like you mean business

Dressing like you mean business

It has been pretty full on for the past few weeks in the world of Politics. There hasn’t been such a shakeup in years and what was equally apparent in the weeks running up to the election was what all the Politicians were wearing. The Guardian ran a full article looking at every tiny detail of David Milliband’s suit.


The Evening Standard were discussing where they had all bought their suits, stating ‘…the power players are sharpening up their style…’

Here at Alexandra Wood, we don’t take dressing for business lightly, so are always happy to see people taking it seriously.

Some members got it very wrong, mainly one. Nigel Farrage with his bold, distracting pre-wall street crash style suit. We must thank him for knowing exactly what to avoid.

The main importance of dressing for business is that your suit doesn’t scream louder than your views. Understated, classic and elegant really is key. The top colour to opt for is always blue. If you saw the live debates and appearances, you’ll note that they almost always wore a shade of Royal blue or Navy. Ed Milliband wore black a couple of times. Don’t be fooled, this is tactical. If you’re wanting people to stand up and take notice, the blue steps to the side and black takes its place to say;  Don’t mess with me.

In general, if you’re trying to get people on side, blue is your colour. Accessories must stay muted, with details simple. Nothing to distract from the points you are trying to get across.

We dress Chuka Umunna and you will note that everything is always understated, with the emphasis on fabric and cut. Suits should be an investment and should last years.

“Chuka Umunna MP for Streatham wears only blue or grey suits, treating his working wardrobe as a uniform to ensure reliable levels of suaveness without daily dressing-room angst”. The Guardian, HM

It’s vitally important that the suit hugs your frame. Shoulders that are too tight or slightly off line will make a suit look instantly sloppy, as will sleeves and trousers lengths that are too long.

The weight of fabric and the structure of a suit are also key. I advise a half canvassed suit for business as it’s far more robust and still allows a nice shape. Fabric should be between 11-13oz if you’re wanting a solid, structured frame that will keep you looking sharp all day.

3 top things to avoid when dressing for business

Skinny lapels are a no-no. They can look a little too trendy for business. The key here is to be understated and let the fabric and the cut do the talking.

Lack of shape. A suit must sit well to show you mean business.

Bright or light colours. Anything out of the business colour palette distracts immediately.

3 top business suit colours

Navy, this is always my top choice. It’s classic and warm.

Mid grey, something with a little texture so it doesn’t look too old fashioned.

Soft blue, for casual business meetings that allow you to be more relaxed.

If you’re looking for more advice, we’re always happy to help.