Every day I see a lot of men dressed poorly at the office. Although business is going more casual with many wearing jeans everyday, I believe that dressing up and looking good at the office makes one look respectable and serious about his work.

I work in an industry notorious for poorly dressed individuals so I have compiled a list of tips that should be a good starting point for the Filipino gentleman who wants to look better at the office.

This list is a mix of generally accepted principles and personal rules I have developed over time. I’m a firm believer in knowing the rules first before breaking them so this should be a good starting point.

This is meant for someone who typically wears a dress shirt with or without a tie and dress pants to work.


1. Wear clothes that fit right. They should not be tight nor loose.

2. Wear appropriate dress socks. They should be in the same color as your dress pants. They should cover your ankles. The length should be between the knee and your ankles.

3. Your dress pants should rest on top of your shoes or about an inch and a half from the top of the heel.

4. Avoid wearing polo shirts with a company logo. You don’t want to look like you work at a coffee shop.

5. Wear long-sleeved dress shirts. They will give you an air of business formality typically not accorded to short-sleeved shirts.

6. Dress shirts should never be dark and dress pants should never be shiny. Those are meant to be used as evening wear.

7. Tuck shirts in. It looks neat and will provide some waist control in tandem with your belt and the waistband of your pants.

8. Do not use shirts meant for casual wear or evening wear. Casual shirts easily wrinkle and look untidy. Shirts meant for the club tend to look flashy and should never be used.

9. Avoid wearing ‘polo barongs.’ Dress shirts, dress pants, and ties allow a person to better express themselves and give a better shape to the body.

10. Wear chinos on Thursdays. Pair it with an olive green, light blue or light grey shirt.

11. Wear jeans on Fridays. Jeans should be dark (not washed or faded). They should not have any fancy designs on them.

12. Wear v-neck underwear t-shirts. Do not wear a crew neck t-shirt or tank top as underwear. Buy t-shirts meant to be used as underwear as they have a shorter sleeve and hug the body. Crew neck shirts peek out when the top two buttons of a dress shirt are unbuttoned. Tank tops look hideous underneath a dress shirt.

13. Avoid rolling up your shirt sleeves while inside the office. It looks sloppy.

14. Use a slim not skinny tie. Skinny ties are meant to be worn on a night out.

15. Do not wear outerwear meant for sporting activities or casual wear. Leave those track jackets at home.


16. Use classic-looking shoes. Do not use square-toed shoes that are over 2 inches wide at the tip. Do not use extremely pointed shoes either.

17. Use lace-ups as they are more dressy than slip-ons.

18. Don’t buy shoes with velcro.

19. Avoid wearing sneakers to the office even on a Friday. Save them for the weekend.

20. Take good care of your shoes by cleaning and shining them. Wear them only twice a week so they last longer.


21. Don’t use shoe bags, toiletry bags and backpacks to carry your stuff. They are all inappropriate for business use. Backpacks make your back sweat.

22. Use a briefcase.

23. Wear a slim belt. Don’t use a wide belt or one with a large buckle in front.

24. Wear the right looking glasses. Preferably they are not designed by sports brands with huge logos, do not look funky or have too much colors.

25. Wear the right looking sunglasses. Go for classic frameshapes such as aviators or other square-shaped lenses such as those used by Don Draper in Mad Men. Huge lenses that hug your face don’t look good at all. Do not wear sunglasses meant to be used in sporting activities.

26. Don’t use a mobile phone belt holster.

27. Wear a watch.

28. Don’t use necklaces and bracelets.


29. Shave properly and cleanly. You should not go beyond two days without a shave.

30. Get a proper haircut and ditch the long, fuzzy hair you’ve had since high school or college.