Dress code basics for men: a career in law

For most of us, learning how to dress ourselves started around preschool age, where we would become infatuated with the idea of wearing a certain garment or pair of shoes all day every day. Next, we’d learn to tie our own shoelaces. There was no stopping us after that. Henceforth, we were dedicated followers of fashion, albeit a certain type of misguided self-chosen style of peculiar fashion, but choices were made nevertheless. School clothes were largely taken care of by school uniform requirements, and our adolescent ‘jeans and tee-shirt’ phase was basically down to a choice of colour. But what happens when we get into the world of work? There’s no training for this. Everyone is just expected to know what to wear. And what about if you have gone into a career in law, where presentability is not just expected but is demanded. What then? Today, we’re going to look at what men can wear for a career in law.

 

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Why your dad’s old suit won’t do

OK. So, you’ve landed your first major position working at a law firm. Whether you’re the new face around the offices in a debt litigation company in London, or whether you’re carving your new career as a car accident lawyer from New Orleans, there’s a universal truth about your look that will go with you from role to role in the legal arena: you need to look sharp. If you’ve turned up in a borrowed suit that’s one size too big or small, you will be noticed for the wrong reasons. How you look says something about how seriously you want people to take you. If you look like a bag of rags has sprouted arms, legs, and an apologetic smile, you aren’t going to create the impression your employer needs you to create when meeting clients. This is a problem. Presentability can pave the way for trustworthiness, and that can mean the difference between clients seeing their business through with your firm or taking their money elsewhere.

What to wear?

For men, the law firm dress code is simple. A fitted suit in black, grey, or brown, with a simple white shirt (or light pastel coloured shirt), a block colour necktie that hangs to the belt buckle, and polished shoes in black or brown that look new. You can also get away with a minimalist V-neck jumper or sweater in colder weather. Keeping tattoos covered and jewellery to the maximum of the rule of three (watch, ring, and one earring if desired) can also bring about a clean-cut appearance.

 

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