Having spent the last few weeks wearing shorts, T-shirts and a much-loved pair of Sperry boat shoes, the end of August marks the return to work and something resembling a normal (read: kid free) routine.
So, with September in our sights, and back-to-school on our minds, it only seems fair that we sharpen up in some new workwear. I’ve picked five pieces that are both light enough to wear now and ideal for layering up later. Whether you’re heading for a promotion, a job interview or just want to show you’re ready for business, remember that it’s all about investment.
After all, if the boss can sense you understand the value of a well-executed outfit, chances are they’ll have more confidence in that spreadsheet you’ve put your back into, too.
Boglioli virgin wool suit
This Italian family business has always cut its tailoring lightweight and relaxed, as embodied by this nifty grey worsted suit. Crafted in Brescia from pure virgin wool, it has a slim silhouette but thanks to its soft construction doesn’t feel restrictive. The grey will pair well across your work wardrobe with crisp white shirts, as well as dark wool rollnecks. This two-piece can be dressed up when required with leather monk strap shoes and a shirt and tie, or for less formal meetings and work trips dress it down with a pair of cream trainers and a knitted polo top. A great investment suit at a competitive price.
£660, shop now
Gitman Vintage shirt
Not all offices require white shirts and ties, and if the current trend continues office dress will become less and less corporate. This vintage blue Oxford shirt does a great job in balancing smart with casual. Gitman Vintage is a division of Gitman Brothers and is committed to traditional American garment making. Essentially, it delves into its archive (dating back to 1930s) and reinterprets classic preppy pieces season by season. True to form, this button-down is synonymous with the golden age of preppy style. It’s a great wearable staple and works with tailored blazers, with the top button undone, or dressed up with small knotted silk tie and suit. Add to the preppiness by teaming with white trainers or keep it formal with chunky sole brogues.
£145, shop now
Crockett & Jones ‘Grasmere’ Derby shoes
Whatever the season, buying new shoes is a lesson in contradiction. They have to be comfortable, yet stylish. They need to look sturdy, but also be lightweight. And they definitely can’t be boring. This sturdy pair of Crockett & Jones Derby shoes addresses all of the above. They have excellent grip (especially on rainy days) with their Dainite rubber soles, and the scotch grain leather with its distinctive raised pebble texture adds an element of interest. We suggest teaming these with navy wool trousers or one of this season’s chunky corduroy chinos. An investment in quality, British- made footwear, these’ll keep your feet well shod for years to come.
£395, shop now
Presidents roll-neck sweater
It’s never too early in the season to invest in a decent wool rollneck, to keep off the chill of the advancing autumnal mornings, right through to the depths of winter. This refined example by Italian brand Presidents is a winner. Crafted in their workshop in Tuscany, the ribbed neck, hem and cuffs keep the shape neat instead of loose, while the orange topstitching – an element resurrected from the label’s archives – on the hem adds a point of detail. Wear yours with a lightweight wool blazer and full-pleated trousers on work days, and team with denim and ankle boots off-duty.
£185, shop now
Drake’s wool-jacquard tie
The wearing of ties may seem a little passé, given the continued trend for ever-more louche tailoring, but you can’t beat the special feeling of a great tie when you need to look the part. I love lots of the vintage inspired patterns seen across the Drake’s tie range. Made in the heart of East London, this wool jacquard example comes in a classic 8cm blade width, with a subtle vintage print. We suggest you pair it with a mid-blue shirt, like our Gitman Vintage button-down, above, and a double-breasted navy blazer. Or, alternatively, go with the tie’s brown silk and pair with a brown wool suit. Brown is big news this season, so expect this tie to get repeated wears over the coming months.
£135, shop now