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Even if you're not in court, your office may have a suit-and-tie dress code. These are recipes for blandness; basically, you've got three possible colors of suit, unless you want to get into plaids, stripes, and windowpanes (which you should).
In the absence of awesome suit patterns, though, there are some cheap and easy ways to add a little bit of flair, color, and personality to an otherwise suffocating "Mad Men"-esque dress code. Here are five fashionable suggestions:
Socks are like a secret pizzazz that only you know about. Others might even be able to see them when you sit down. You can add some levity to your wardrobe through novelty socks or ones with neat colors on them. Places like Happy Socks will sell you some nice-looking socks for $12 per pair, or you can get three pairs of Ben Sherman striped socks for $12 on Amazon.
Both men and women can use a splash of metal on their hands and faces to stand out. Everyone can wear rings, watches, and to some degree, bracelets. When it comes to earrings, though, watch out for where you live: In the Bay Area, men wear earrings all the time, but in other parts of the country, people may look at you cross-eyed. Also, as with ties, infra, there's a line between fashionable and ostentatious.
There's no rule that ties have to be drab; however, because they're more visible than socks, you'll have to rein in the ugly ties. Stick with colorful patterns that say, "Hey, I may be one of hundreds of associates in a giant corporate law firm ... but I'm no robot!" If you get sick of the ties you have, consider joining FreshNeck, a tie subscription service -- I kid you not -- that bills itself as "Netflix for ties."
You know you've arrived when you're wearing shirts that require cufflinks. Do you have to stick to ordinary silver ones? Not at all. Let your personality shine through, if only a little bit, with some wine cufflinks, crayon cufflinks, or these hip Batman cufflinks. Like socks, cufflinks only appear when you want them to, so don't be afraid to let your personality show through.
5. Pocket Squares.
Though they're somewhat passe, the pocket square is still a necessary component of the male wardrobe. What do you think that little pocket on the front of your jacket is for? The pocket square shouldn't be the same color or pattern as your tie, or your shirt. It should instead complement the color (and no dueling patterns, please). The pocket square, along with the tie, adds a little bit of color to an otherwise monochromatic ensemble.