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7 Men’s Office Style Updates that Could Earn You a Promotion

Time to replace that suit you got 20 years ago.

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Raise your hemline

A “break” is the spot at the bottom of your trousers where the fabric meets your shoe. A full break with a deep crease (or even two) will “end up looking a little schleppy,” says Lauren Rothman, fashion stylist and author of Style Bible: What to Wear to Work. Tailor your pants so they have a “mid-break” that bends just a bit, or no break at all, she recommends. Read more fashion secrets from personal stylists.

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Match your shoes to your outfit

Having some texture in your shoes could work well in a creative office, but stick with more basic shoes if you work in a conservative company, says Dina Scherer, wardrobe stylist and owner of Modnitsa Styling. “If you need a clean-lined look, those shoes could stand out in a negative way,” she says. “It could look like you don’t know what you’re doing.” Be careful with color choice too. Pairing black with navy or brown doesn’t give enough contrast, so they tend not to look good together, she says.

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Switch to wrinkle-free shirts

Wrinkles make your office clothes look disheveled. “It could just be you’re not ironing it, not sending it to the dry cleaner, or not taking it out of the dryer soon enough,” says Rothman. If you know you aren’t likely to dig out the iron every day or shell out for dry cleaning, make your life easier with some wrinkle-free clothing, she says. Technology in the fabric makes them resistant to wrinkles, so you’ll look fresh at the office. Learn how to de-wrinkle clothes without an iron.

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Get custom-fitted shirts

Custom-tailored shirts are almost the same price as buying a shirt off the rack, but they’ll immediately make you look put-together. Some sites let you enter your measurements, and customize your order to your size. “That kind of wardrobe will separate you from the off-the-rack suit that doesn’t quite fit to the guy that’s impeccable and knows his stuff,” says Scherer. Check out these other surprising fixes tailors can make.

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Keep your facial hair consistent

No one is telling you to shave your beard, but any facial hair should look intentional. Leaving stubble just because you didn’t feel like shaving will make you seem lazy. “A little scruff can work and be appropriate, but it should be tamed,” says Rothman. “It’s something you’re keeping up with, not a five o’clock shadow.” Don’t miss these surprising things your beard reveals about your health.

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Add an accessory

Accessorizing isn’t just for women. Cool little extras like a funky watch, bold shoelaces, or a fun pocket square can freshen up your office clothes. “It updates your look because it makes you look more current, more modern, and like you’ve taken that time,” says Scherer. Learn more stylists’ accessorizing tricks.

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Double-check your suit’s fit

Whether it’s too baggy or too tight, an ill-fitting suit will make you look out of touch. Slip on your blazer to test the fit. “You don’t want the shoulder pads extending off the shoulder significantly,” says Rothman. Make sure the sleeves are fairly fitted. When you close the top button (or two if your jacket has three clasps), it shouldn’t feel too roomy, she says.

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.