What to wear for dinner, drinks ... and dealmaking

Deals aren't always sealed in the boardroom or during office hours. Client dinners, work drinks and weekend events are par for the course in business.

You'll need to ditch the corporate suit of armour after 5pm and project a stronger sense of your personal style. It's the perfect opportunity to be a little more adventurous with your wardrobe, says David Jones' men's career and luxury clothing buyer Glenn Elliott.

"Ensuring that you are meeting the dress requirement, create a look that says relaxed and out to have fun," Elliott says. "Lose the tie, add a pocket square or keep the tie but change to a bolder statement colour, replace the suit jacket with a soft blazer."

Take your cue from the latest release in menswear ahead of spring, and make sure your look is always on point, even when you're off the clock.

Fit and fitted

While office dress codes tend to favour more traditional fits, social scenarios give you the chance to take a risk or two with the cut of your garb.

Slim-fitting suits offer a leaner silhouette, and add a touch of sharpness that's perfect for an evening on the town.

Choose a minimalist style such as Uberstone's 'Jack' suit in a bold cobalt teamed with a crisp white shirt, and you'll guarantee a memorable impression.

A smarter casual

Sometimes changing just one or two details all it takes to create a winning weekend look. Head image consultant at A Good Man, Thomas Rolland, says that the simplest changes to your outfit can often have the most impact.

"Simplicity is key when choosing something for the evening or after work," Rolland tells 51698009. "The best outfits have little details ... that are different from the rest rather than outfits that are completely ludicrous and in your face."

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Juxtaposing casual elements with classic tailoring is a great way to shake up the conservative aesthetic of a suit. Ditch the business shirt in favour for a polo like Tiger of Sweden's 'Ecole' in soft pink and create the right balance between smart and casual.

Raise the tone

Blazers and chinos are a staple combination and effortlessly traverse the shift from office to off-duty. Glenn Elliott suggests that they're a great way to play with texture and tone. "Depending on the event or function, the separate jacket in checks or text plains is a key element for dressing up the slim chino or jean, be it for lunch or dinner."

Rather than choosing contrasting pieces, opt for subtle monotonal styling in this season's navy for a more nuanced layered effect and sophisticated style. A patterned blazer in the same hue as your tee and pants, such as those from Danish label Sand or Tiger of Sweden's 'Hoyt' seersucker jacket are great options that can lift the look of any outfit.

From the ground up

Any man worth his wardrobe knows that shoes make or break an outfit. Tap into one of this season's biggest trends by swapping the brogues in favour for crisp white sneakers such as PS Paul Smith's 'Dune' range.

Alternatively, Ted Baker's lace-up derby boots in black will give your gear a more rugged and ready-to-rumble look.

For a European summer feel, Elliott recommends following in the footsteps of the Italians and ditching the socks while wearing a pair of suede loafers such as Florsheim's Corona drivers in navy.

Bag trade

Whether it's for your gym kit, personal tech or a stylish carry-on for that last minute business trip, every bloke needs the perfect bag to compliment his look.

New York label Kenneth Cole's crumpled leather duffle bag is as functional as it is stylish, and ideal for transporting your daily gear or slinging over your shoulder for a weekend away.

For a more streamlined, day-to-day solution, Cole's Flapover messenger bag will keep all your belongings in one fashionable place.

Finishing touches

Bracelets, necklaces, rings were sported in large numbers at this year's Pitti Uomo menswear showcase in Italy.

For men who prefer to keep things simple, Kenneth Cole's leather woven leather bracelet will keep your timepiece good company without overshadowing it.

If jewellery isn't your thing, ties or a pocket-square from British label Thomas Pink or Tiger of Sweden can add a daring dash of colour or a contrasting pattern, giving a final boost to your outfit.

Look your best, feel your best

Putting your best-dressed self forward is a practice that has serious long-term pay-offs. Not only does it project an image of self-confidence but it also shows that you're determined to make a meaningful impression.

"You never know who you will meet or what situation you may find yourself in, so why not look your best at all times," says Rolland.

"Wanting to look good and feel great shouldn't have to be a chore. It should be thoroughly enjoyed. I promise you're life will be better for it."

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