Upgrade your workwear

During the festive season, you can express yourself with subtle little fashion touches that make you stand out in the party season. In recent weeks we've talked about how to accessorise by wearing hats, combining socks and shoes, and buying unique watches. But, now that it's back to work and the new year how can you add the same flair to your workwear? Here are a few ways to stylishly upgrade your workwear and make 2018 your best dressed year yet.


We aren't recommending that you continue wearing your festive tie into late February, but that doesn't mean a return to a bland look. Patterned ties can make the plainest of looks unique, plus they are surprisingly versatile. With paisley making more and more of a comeback you can combine a multitude of colours with a single tone jacket. Even in winter, a brightly coloured tie can make its way from wardrobe to workplace seamlessly, and without compromising your professionalism.

Pocket Square

While your tie may be a must, adding a pocket square gives you a fashionable edge. You may even have been gifted one during the holidays, however folding a pocket square is a delicate art form. If you are unsure how to incorporate it, start with a basic fold and follow these steps:

  • Set the pocket square on a flat surface and fold it in half.
  • Now fold one side up and then slide it into your top pocket.
  • You want about 1/4 inch to be visible.
  • For deeper pockets adjust your fold accordingly.

Does a pocket square have to match a tie?

No, the colours should complement each other, not directly match. At weddings and some formal events, there may be an agreed colour for cravats, ties and pocket squares, but the groom/best man will be responsible for this. Combine blue, red and yellow across your outfit in a triadic colour scheme, or orange, purple and green.

A neutral suit will allow for any colour of pocket square, allowing you to catch the eye with daring tones.

Patterned pocket squares can be worn with patterned ties, again an exact match is not the aim here. Instead, a similar block colour will work even if the secondary colour is not the same.


Belts can be a great way of expressing yourself and stylishly setting your workwear apart. The smarter the workwear, the closer the bond between a good belt and a good outfit.

Should your belt match your shoes?

Yes. Basically, in this piece we are looking at formal workwear so matching the two is essential. We are sure you won't be laughed out of the office if they aren't an exact match, and in more casual situations the rule can be excused entirely.

The best advice we can give when matching a shoe and belt is this; bring your shoes with you to shop on the high street, or brand match. If you decide to add to your belt collection, bag your boots and bring them to shops, as matching from memory won't work. You also can't account for different lighting as you go from store to store, so the belt you buy may prove a shade or two out by the time you get home.

What better way to ensure your shoes match your belt than to buy the same leather?

Barker are one company who as well as high-quality shoes, make exceptional belts. Not only can the matching brand replicate the tone of the shoe, it can also allow you to combine patterns. Have a look at the genuine leather, paisley Barker belt and equivalent shoe here.

For a fashionable start to 2018, be sure to accessorise and keep an eye on trends. Come back to our fashion journal to create and maintain your smart look throughout the year. Happy New Year, from Robinson's.