Spring is here! Fashionably speaking, it is time to put away the heavy winter coats, woolen gloves, and scarves. But how exactly does one dress for spring? And, more importantly, how do attorneys dress for spring? As the stores fill up with varying shades of mauve, periwinkle, and pastels, what should you wear? Have no fear, here are a few tips to help you transition without a hiccup, inter alia. Part 1 will focus on men’s fashion; ladies, we’ll get to you in Part 2.
1) Hat (optional)
For those looking to express their inner Don Draper (strictly from a fashion perspective),spring is a great chance to experiment in the hat category. First thing: unless you are going to a baseball game or doing yard work, that old baseball cap from college shall remain at home. Think straw fedora or a boat hat. Stay far away from the Buffalo/Mountie hat that showed up at this year’s Grammys — unless you are Pharrell Williams, the answer is “No.”
As the weather starts to warm up, you can slowly start to transition out of your wool suits and into lighter cotton suits. For beginners, start with a light grey color and also a navy. For those a little more fashion-forward, dust off that khaki suit. Bonus tip: Get a white pocket square and stuff that little sucker in. If you’re feeling bold, play with lighter colors in a subtle plaid suit incorporating a pastel stripe. In Seattle or online, Suit Supply is an excellent choice for reasonably priced and fashionable suiting.
Stick with something that is fitted, but not so much that you can’t breathe. For beginners, stay with the traditional white and light blue. Express yourself with your tie and have at it! For the advanced, look for a plaid or gingham and counter the pattern with a tasteful tie. An easy rule of thumb is to match a color from your shirt with a color in your tie. While the colors don’t have to be 100 percent the same, imagine what would the “reasonable man” do if you are utterly stuck. (Think Harrison from Scandal.) If you don’t know what that previous sentence means, just stick with white or light blue. Be the gladiator that you are. Bonus tip: Get a tie bar and clip it to your shirt and tie, either between buttons 2 and 3 or 3 and 4, counting from your neck.
We have seen a proliferation of sock liberality in our profession and it is awesome! Remember, if you are taking a chance with your socks (e.g., neons, stripes, paisley patterns), don’t overdo it with your underpinnings and pocket square. Pick one statement piece and run with that. If it is your socks, so be it, but think “lawyer,” not “circus clown.”
Beginners, shine them and make sure they fit. Advanced shoppers, pick saddle shoes in a color other than the black-and-white numbers your parents had you wear when you were a kid.
The Washington Young Lawyers Committee (WYLC) is the vehicle for new attorneys and law students to get involved with the Washington State Bar Association.
4 thoughts on “The Sartorial Lawyer — Part 1: Tips for Men”
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Part 3 should really hit on the mistake of dry cleaning more than twice a year and to not use a shoulder strap while wearing a suit jacket.
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