The Man With A Plan

Words by: Andrew Williams


Retailers everywhere have begun their annual summer sales. A means of reducing stock in readiness for the new season offerings, it’s also a great opportunity for those fresh out of University and about to join the world of work.

Although it has been nearly 15 years since I left university, I still remember just how sartorially unprepared I was. This was of course to be expected, late afternoon lectures at King’s had an informal dress code. By the time I left, though equipped with an impressive overdraft and enviable collection of street works signs, I had to my name just one serviceable suit and three formal shirts of indifferent to poor quality.

The subsequent 15 years have taught me three basic truths:

-people are more likely to remember your strengths than your weaknesses;

-always buy the best you can afford, this is particularly true in the case of shoes and shirts; and finally

-dress for the job you want not the job you’ve got.

With these rules in mind, sale time for the new to work aspirant male is an ideal opportunity to pick up some high quality items for the working wardrobe, providing a step change improvement on items already in the inventory. For example, if you normally buy 4 for £100 TM Lewin or Tyrwhitt shirts then use the sale to upgrade to Ede & Ravencroft, or whichever brand applies to your locality. And don’t be afraid to trade quantity for quality.

If you already have a serviceable suit, then invest in good shoes and shirts. A good quality, well fitting suit will be immeasurably cheapened by pairing it with cheap poorly made shoes and shirts. The reverse is also true. An indifferent suit is remarkably improved by beautiful shoes and well made shirts. Should you be in the unenviable position of having none of these things the same rules still apply.

In the long run, once you have a few nice pieces it’s financially more manageable to add more each month. Whether we are talking suits, shirts or shoes the aim is to slowly rotate out the poorer quality items. Work in this way and before you know it you’ll have an enviable wardrobe that sets you apart from your less strategic rivals.

To make the most of the sales, be the man with a plan.