Publishing Trendsetter is a production of Market Partners International and Publishing Trends.

Dress for Publishing Success: Men’s Edition

Editor’s note: This is the second post in our two-part series of what to wear at your publishing job. Here’s the ladies edition.

I have the kind of parents who insisted I always, always wear a dress shirt, slacks, and nice shoes for everything. School pictures, choir performances, church, family gatherings—you name the occasion and I was most likely over dressed. But while I wasn’t always a fan of button-down shirts and dress pants—mostly because I was certain I looked like the biggest nerd possible—I’m rather glad my parents forced me to “dress up” so often because it’s given me a better sense of how and when to don a nicer outfit, because sometimes my Loch Ness monster T-shirt and Converse sneakers just don’t cut it.

Now, I’m not a fashion expert, but I can say that from my own personal experience the publishing industry is rather casual and there doesn’t seem to be a uniform dress code, which is great because really, who wants to throw on a suit every day? I sure don’t, but that doesn’t mean you should be lazy with your outfit choices. You’ve probably heard the whole “dress for the career you want” spiel, which is pretty sound advice. Always look your best. For me, that means a slim-fit solid colored dress shirt from H&M or Topshop, paired with slim-fit black or gray dress pants/chinos, and, most importantly, a vest. I am a sucker for a great vest and I encourage more guys to wear them. They particularly look great with jeans, which are also acceptable in the bookish office environment, especially dark washes. I always make sure to match my belt to my shoes, and sometimes I’ll throw a skinny tie on for good measure.

You might have noticed I mentioned “slim-fit” a few times, and this next bit is the most important style tip I can share: know your fit. Most men wear shirts that are too big for them or pants that bunch too much at the ankle/shoe. A clean fit will not only help you feel more comfortable in your clothes, but it’ll also make you look more comfortable, confident, and put-together. It pays off to spend a little extra to go to the tailor. And if you’re like me and buy clothes from lower-end places, the tailoring cost will seem like nothing.

It’s also important your style reflects who you are as a person. Don’t be afraid to be creative, especially since we work in an industry built on creativity. I’ve been trying to branch out into wearing more prints, which, so far, includes polka-dotted shirts and one floral-ish shirt. Who knows, maybe I’ll try stripes next! *GASP*

Last, but not least, simply know when to dress nicer and when it’s okay to be more casual. For instance, I tend to dress more formally in the beginning of the week because we have most of our meetings then, and by the end of the week, I’m in my skinny jeans (I refuse to believe they’re on their way out…). It really comes down to common sense. You’re not going to wear jeans and an untucked shirt to a company-wide meeting are you? Nope! (I hope you wouldn’t do that…)

In short, be comfortable, be smart, and be professional. And don’t wear shorts.


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