Your Work Wardrobe Refresh Checklist



The heat of the summer is finally over and we can get back to thinking about clothes that aren’t just ‘whatever is the least-sweltering thing to wear’.


During the heat of mid-summer, it can hard to look good, or at least put-together. Shorts and a loose t-shirt are a necessity but don’t always fit the occasion. Thankfully, the season is cooling off and we can get back to looking a little sharper.


Before I go on, I know I’m no model, nor an expert in fashion. I’m just a Dad who is trying to combine everyday function with being able to be proud of how I look when I’m in the office.


I prefer a shirt with which I can roll up the sleeves. When politicians and public figures do it, it’s said to show that they’re still well-dressed but are ready to get into some hard work. It also gives you the flexibility of keeping one shirt for cooler or warmer weather.


Your shoes are a huge part of the complete look too. Running shoes with jeans or work-pants don’t look good. In fact, you look a little like Seinfeld. It’s not the 80s, so move on. Get some comfy, but well-made brown leather boots. Nothing too chunky, but ones that will be cool enough for the end of summer and will last you through the winter. Keep them coated with leather-care or beeswax at the start of each season and they’ll last for years.


Whether you’re heading back to school and need a few long-lasting and good-looking staples to get you through the season, or need a new pair of pants (trousers – sorry, I’m still English!) and a few work shirts, you’re going to find what you need at your local Mark’s. Here’s a store locator [HERE].



Let’s go through both scenarios.

Here’s your back-to-school checklist:


  • Black pants
  • Dark green pants (green is the ‘in’ colour this year, apparently)
  • Socks & undies
  • Jeans
  • White shirt (better get 2)
  • Colour long-sleeved shirts
  • A few polos
  • Black shoes
  • Wool sweaters (nothing baggy)
  • Pair of brown leather boots (these go with everything, and if you treat them right, will last for years through snow and sun)



Need a work-wardrobe refresh?


The list is pretty similar, but you can sharpen it up a little:


  • Black pants
  • Tan or green pants (depending on how formal your office is
  • A tie (if you wear ties)
  • White long-sleeve shirt (get a few)
  • Some check-pattern shirts (long-sleeve)
  • A few pairs of new socks
  • Undies (if yours have holes in them, they should be retired. Seriously!)
  • Sweaters
  • Brown or black leather shoes or boots
  • Rain jacket (upgrade to a winter/snow jacket if you’re in a snowy region)



My office is a little more casual than some, but it’s important to look like you’ve put some effort into what you’re wearing. You never know when you’re going to have to do an impromptu presentation or your boss has someone he/she’d like you to meet.



Back to school, back to work

Disclaimer: Not a model, just a Dad

I popped down to my local Marks store and picked up a pair of Denver Hays ‘Everyday Chino Pants’ in Olive Green ($49.99) and a Windriver ‘Basic Flannel Shirt Modern Fit’ in Dark Red ($34.99).



Having the very important first coffee of the day

For more formal occasions, I picked up a new wardrobe staple, a Denver Hays ‘Slim Fit Solid Dress Shirt’ in white ($50) and a pair of ‘Perfectly Pressed Flat Front Modern Fit Pants’ in black ($69.99). Everyone should own a pair of black pants and a white shirt. They’re universally appropriate for all sorts of formal occasions, or just going to work and looking like you’re meant to be there.



There. You’re ready to face whatever the day brings, knowing that you’re looking sharp.


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Disclaimer: Thanks to Mark’s Canada for keeping me looking sharp, no matter the season. They supported this article, although the choices in clothes were my own, as are the opinions. It’s actually awesome working with Mark’s because I don’t feel intimidated when I go in, like some other men’s clothing stores, and I know they have pieces that look good and are well-made.




  1. Milena

    August 19, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Really nice warderobe! I like basic shirts that you can actually match with everything. But I’m also thankfull that I don’t need to follow any dresscode as I work for myself 🙂 Great post!

    1. jamesrcsmith

      August 20, 2017 at 6:28 am

      Yeah same here. My office is pretty casual but I feel more confident when I have thought about what I’m going to wear. I know people take me more seriously when I’m dressed up, even just a little.

  2. Matthew Tully

    August 20, 2017 at 5:58 am

    If I’m to be completely honest, I’ve not shopped Mark’s in years. I used to all the time, and can’t even tell you why I stopped. The quality of their clothing was always spot on, the customer service almost second to none and the store impeccable at all times. The only thing I can attribute it to is that it is a stand alone store out of the way, but I must make it a point to drop in as it’s been far too long.

    1. jamesrcsmith

      August 20, 2017 at 6:27 am

      I always thought that Marks was just fluorescent jackets and scrubs but there’s so much more. I’m looking forward to getting some new jeans and winter boots that can really deal with the weather.

  3. Justin

    August 20, 2017 at 6:15 am

    Awesome style tips! My wardrobe needs big help and fast.

    1. jamesrcsmith

      August 20, 2017 at 6:25 am

      Thanks! What are the staples you’ll pick up?

  4. Pammy

    August 20, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Such a great post! These are very useful tips, thanks!

  5. saidat

    August 21, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    The green trousers look good on you. I will adapt these items to that of women so I can organise my wardrobe.

  6. Anuj Agarwal

    August 23, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    Hi James,

    My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.

    I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 100 Father Blogs on the web.

    I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 100 Father Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!

    Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.


  7. Gloria Harvley

    August 29, 2017 at 9:20 am

    “It’s not the 80’s. So move on.” I was holding my sides, trying not to laugh at that. This list is great! Rolled up sleeves will ALWAYS look good in my opinion.

  8. Pooja Krishna

    August 29, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    A much needed post on building a wardrobe that is contemporary but not necessarily over large or tedious to put together.

    1. jamesrcsmith

      August 29, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      Thanks. Like most things, if it’s not easy, it probably won’t get done. This list of wardrobe staples will last for years and is varied enough to stay in style no matter what you’re doing.

  9. Priyanka singh

    August 30, 2017 at 4:53 am

    Good post for males as they are most of them are fashion conscious but generally would not like to manage their wardrobe.

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