Fashion Infusion: The Business Tea

The Ideal InTEArview
The Ideal InTEArview
Cool Colors, Hot Tea
Cool Colors, Hot Tea
Sophisticated and Sensible
Sophisticated and Sensible

You've done it! You've finally arranged that super important awesome business meeting of a lifetime.

Now for the venue. These days, office space is scarce as rents soar and startups scrape to get their footing. So you'll have to look outside.

Chances are that you'll be meeting between 11am and 4pm, which narrows down your options. A coffee shop won't cut it, especially not if you intend to impress. Neither will any sort of diner or pub; midday meetings don't do well in bar lightning.

A stately tea, however, is just the right touch.

After Googling the heck out of all possible locations, you light upon a venue that serves the perfect pot of Earl Grey without wiping out your bank account.


Rejoice with a cup.

Until you realize, "Holy snap, what am I going to wear?"

Never fear: you are going to wear awesome. And some accessories.

Think of your outfit like an app. Maximum performance with minimum bells and whistles. You're taking time out from your crazy schedule to sit down with a cup and focus on the task at hand — not your ability to pull off a striped corset-blazer.

Look to the stars and the Starks. Black, black, and neutral are your fail-safes for the professional palette. Quality fabric can be paired with anything, and you'll never have to fret whether winter is coming to match it. The entire spectrum of black to white is in your possession, and believe it or not, there is a brown out there that will warm your heart and complexion. (If not, then go with navy.)

Even if a subdued approach doesn't jive with your individual personality, it pays to under-do yourself. This way, you're effectively showing respect for the client or potential employer — and no true ensemble is complete without respect.

Few items generate respect more than a suit. Thus, find a really good one and make friends with it. No matter if you're a gentleman or a lady, we can all take a hint from the ladies' man himself: Tony Stark. There's a reason why Iron Man looks so good outside the iron: he wears well-fitted jackets, with clean lines, that still allow comfortable movement. Which leads to...

Comfort inspires comfort. "If it feels good, wear it!" remarks Ines de la Fressange in Parisian Chic. You'll put the other person at ease, willing to trust someone who obviously feels good in the things on their skin.

Walkable before talkable. Make sure you can walk into the venue without people talking about it. The last thing you want is to be remembered as Lady Stumblesalot in your new stilettos.

If you're an individual of the dude-identified gender: you're not off the hook. Now more than ever, people are looking at male style sensitivity. Unkempt sideburns and no deodorant will inevitably join Lady Stumblesalot — as Lord Haftashave.

Hygiene, by the way, transcends all interpretations of gender.

Keep the focus on work. Everything else is an accessory.

Speaking of accessories! This is where you avoid Corporate Drone Syndrome. Throw in little details that nod to your personal style. It's a great opportunity to wear the vintage bracelet from your mom, or cufflinks secretly shaped like the Triforce. If you keep it subtle for now, then you can wear the full Zelda armor after you've been hired.

Add in a stiff sencha for posterity, and strut into that tearoom looking as sharp as your resume.