But it doesn’t have to be this way: We spoke to Craig Langstone, a highly respected partner at New Zealand’s foremost litigation specialist Jones Fee, about making fashion fun.
Known for his quirky yet stylish and colourful suits, Langstone’s attire has long been admired.
The balance between dressing professionally and yet managing to show your personality is easily achieved,” Langstone says. “A well-fitted suit will get you anywhere (particularly when worn with a tie) so express yourself with the suit fabric.
“My favourite jacket (pictured below) is from Strangely Normal and made of velvet. It somehow changes hue in the evening lights and is as comfortable as your favourite old dressing gown. Not only that, but I have never worn it and not had people (both men and women) come up and stroke it!”
Langstone says more demure suits can also be made more interesting with just a few small accessories.
“Whilst there are many well-dressed professionals in Auckland, there is also an over-supply of plain navy suits, straight black knee length skirts and the like,” he says. “Not that there's anything wrong with that per se but surely there is more fun to be had? A navy suit with a loud striped tie for example.
“Remember, a dash of colour here and there won't kill you (although avoid lead-based paints).”
Top Five Fashion Tips
1. Never wear a plain shirt with a vividly striped suit - always wear a strongly striped shirt or if you're a real rebel, a loudly checked shirt.
2. Stripes are your friends! Striped suit, striped shirt, striped tie, striped socks and striped undies, the more the merrier – and all together – then there's a chance that something might match!
3. When submitting an offer, you want to feel bold and brave – go commando.
4. Plastic and vinyl are fabrics for the bedroom – not the office.
5. If in doubt, ask your wife. My wife thinks I don’t doubt myself often enough!
The Worst Fashion Faux Pas
1. Never, never
, no matter how intoxicated, undo your shirt buttons (or heaven forbid – remove your shirt altogether).
2. Crocs. Enough said.
Business suits and real estate agents go hand-in-hand, and open houses and office meetings can seem like a tidal wave of greys, blacks and whites.