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  • Words by Mr Mansel Fletcher, Features Editor, MR PORTER

There remains professional advantage in dressing up for work. In a misguided bid to merge their off- and on-duty wardrobes, your colleagues may have abandoned their ties and dress shoes, but we believe that looking sharp is one of the ways to get ahead. However, unless you own the company save the peacocking and dandyish flourishes for the weekend; this is about looking purposeful, switched on and energetic.

With this in mind September's post-holiday return to the rhythm of office life is a good time for a full wardrobe appraisal. The hardest part of assessing the clothes you already own is to trust your eyes, rather than allowing them to be tricked by your brain. Try, for instance, getting your oldest work suit out of the wardrobe. Look past the mental image you have from when the suit was new, and instead see what a stranger would notice if you wore it to a meeting. Be harsh in your scrutiny, because generally the only people we don't judge by appearance are ourselves.

If a clear-eyed assessment does reveal the need for some shopping the good news is that with this season's formal styles it's possible to banish sartorial boredom from the boardroom. Click through the slides, above, to see how.

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