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Stepping Up My Style... Where to start?
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Depends on what you mean when you say "Professional"
You typically have two avenues in Menswear; Classic Menswear ( Suits, Sportcoats, Shoes, Shirts, etc) and Streetwear ( Tees, Sneakers, Denim, Casual Wear)
They can intertwine as people mix sportcoats with denim and boots, but when you say professional, I assume you are referring to the former?
If that is the case, I think a Navy blazer is always a good versatile piece to own. Try to stay away from the trendy items with skinny lapels. Make sure the shoulders fit well. If you want something really versatile, try something unstructured with no lining, as you can layer the jacket with other items and go from the office to the bar.
Also a nice charcoal grey suit is another staple piece. A white poplin cotton dress shirt, a blue oxford cloth dress shirt are always staple colors/fabrics. A navy grenadine tie or silk knit tie is also a good piece that doesn't look too formal. Make sure your suit/ sportcoat has some sort of horsehair canvas and is not fused. If you can pull the layers of fabric apart, it is not fused, which is a good sign. A fused suit is usually stiff and will end up forming bubbles over the years.
Pocket squares- you can never go wrong with solid linen, or you could always do something in a fun print to throw in your jacket even if you don't wear a tie. These can be 100% silk, Wool/Silk blends, or cotton. Go for the ones with rolled edges.
A solid pair of brown/ tan cotton trousers are also a good start- typically in cotton canvas or cotton twill.
For shoes- I started out with a pair of tan semi-brogue oxfords, which I wore with suits and denim. You can also never go wrong with a pair of chocolate suede chukka boots ( something I prefer over the chelsea and is a classic, my first pair were from Crockett & Jones) You can find cheaper variants but i've had my C&J's for almost 10 years and they look beautiful.
My advice is its better to spend the money on a few good classic items, rather than purchase cheaper clothes that you'll end up getting rid of because they are trendy or fall apart, and end up having to spend more money in the long run anyway.
hope this helps. best of luck!