Buying a suit is easy. Any idiot can do it. Wait, hear me out. With a suit comes a tailor who, in theory, should stop you going home with something you’ll come to regret. At the very least it should fit. But there is no such luxury when you’re in House of Fraser contemplating a pair of candy-striped espadrilles. And no matter how great your suit is, nobody will notice it if it is drowned out by hideous accessories.
A simple rule of thumb is to pay attention to trends. Last season you could have your accessories in any colour you liked as long as it was black. Wallets, briefcases, gloves, iPad cases – you name it, they came in black. But the weather has kindly come out in favour of most designers’ spring/summer collections and injected a bit of colour into our lives.
Classic is still the style – when won’t a pair of Ray Ban aviators feature in a summer must-have list? – but this season your accessories should be geared towards adding a touch of light relief to your work-wear. To play it safe, chose one colour and run with it – this isn’t the 80s, remember.
Brown leather is a winner, as the sumptuous Ralph Lauren tote bag below demonstrates. We have also featured a blue stingray leather wallet from Oliver Sweeney – a remarkably durable alternative to cowhide. Blues and turquoises are great for adding a splash of colour to your outfit without making you look like a walking Andy Warhol painting. Items you often carry but can easily discard – think umbrellas: it would be unwise to bank on the good weather lasting too long – are a perfect way to adopt some colour.
Silver is, as ever, the perfect compliment to a sharp navy or grey suit. You can splash out on a pair of ultra-luxury cuff links, like those below from William & Son, safe in the knowledge you’ll still be wearing them long after you retire.
Ties are a more transient creature – patterns are creeping back after a long stint where block colour was the only design in town. Wider “power ties” are also making something of a comeback (see Stephen Meyer’s look on page 30).
Fluted Mother of Pearl cufflinks £3,400
William & Son at williamandson.com
Leather tote bag £780
Polo Ralph Lauren at houseoffraser.co.uk
Stingray leather wallet £125
Oliver Sweeney at oliversweeney.com
Blue gingham umbrella £500
London Undercover at londonundercover.co.uk
Tie bar £110
Dunhill at www.dunhill.com
Classic braces £49
Thomas Pink at thomaspink.com
Blue spotted pocket square £85
Ralph Lauren at mrporter.com
Large metal aviators £67
Ray-Ban at ray-ban.com