Blue, brown and grey with a touch of cream.
Chester Barrie for Ralph Lauren Purple Label hopsack blazer, Belisario pin-striped MTM shirt, Marinella silk neat tie, Turnbull & Asser cream silk PS and Edward Green Dovers in dark oak.
CBD or Conservative Business Dress is what you should wear for those important job interviews, keynotes, difficult negotiations, fancy meetings or if you are the CEO of a multi-million dollar company. CBD is all about an muted and conservative colour palette (think navy or dark grey), classic proportions and a total lack of affectations. In fact, to push the CBD outfit into Ultra-Conservative Business Dress (UCBD) one usually removes pocket squares and fancy (i.e. expensive) watches.
I was performing a few official functions at work today and hence needed a rather conservative outfit and ended up with what is pictured above. Not exactly CBD as the tie may be a little too colourful to be truly CBD and the PS is silk rather than linen. Also, the choice of a three-piece over a two piece suit isn’t really considered strict CBD today, even if it was so thirty, forty years ago. Still, being at a university I don’t need to adhere to the strict CBD code and this is pretty much as formal as I ever dress up at work.
Don’t fear the high-waisted trousers
One of the most common mistakes many men do today is wearing a suit with trousers that are cut with too low of a raise. The low rise means that the trousers are won on the hip (like you normally wear jeans) and it has the unfortunate consequence that you often see both shirt and tie poking out below the buttoning point of the jacket. This is an especially serious faux pas if you are wearing a three-piece suit, because then the waistcoat should ALWAYS cover the waistband of the trousers.
The solution is really simple - get trousers that have a higher rise, so you end up wearing them on your natural waist. Unfortunately the trend today on most RTW suits is low-rise trousers. Nevertheless, if you can acquire trousers that are supposed to be worn at you natural waist this will ensure that there is no risk of flashing shirt or tie through the quarters of the jacket. Furthermore, the effect of a higher rise trouser is that it gives the wearer a more flattering silhouette. To find you natural waist, just place your fingers at the sides of your hips and slide them up over the hip bones. That indent on top of the hips is your natural waist.
Finally, don’t worry that the high-waisted trousers may look a tad bit unusual without the jacket - you shouldn’t really take you jacket off anyway, unless you sitting at your desk working.