20 Excellent Back-To-Work Items That Will Get You That Promotion

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20 Excellent Back-To-Work Items That Will Get You That Promotion

Words by The MR PORTER Team

29 August 2023

Back-to-work season is a bit of a silly concept. We’re no longer schoolchildren, and so most adults don’t get the whole summer off. So, the idea of going “back” is, well, a figment of our collective imaginations. (Although notably some countries have perhaps a healthier approach to this.) However, there is something sweet in the notion of having a designated time – the autumn – to review our working wardrobes and give them a little refresh. And, as temperatures begin to drop, we must pack away our warm-weather bits in favour of some stylish layers and seasonally appropriate accessories. Need a little inspiration? See below.


The classic Gabriela Hearst bomber

There is simply nothing more timeless than a navy, suede bomber jacket. It’s the ideal version of an autumn jacket because it is cosy when the wind starts to blow but still light enough that you won’t be sweating on your commute (unless you commute, as we do, on the always-sweltering London Underground). This one is from Gabriela Hearst, so you know it will last a lifetime, committed as Hearst is to quality craft and materials.


The trademark Bottega Veneta work pouch

Bottega Veneta’s Intrecciato leather goods are the definition of low-key luxury. So, if you’re looking to upgrade your work look without drawing too many eyes to your late-summer buying blowout, this portfolio, which is designed to fit a large tablet, is your best bet. 2023 should be the year that you treat yourself to a grown-up organiser, you won’t regret it.


The Ghiaia Cashmere luxury white tee

It’s not unlikely that you already own at least five white T-shirts. But do you own one that is interwoven with cashmere and silk from the aptly named Ghiaia Cashmere? A cashmere tee is something to be experienced to be believed, and though it may not be obvious to the naked eye, it will provide you with the knowledge that you’re wearing the best of the best, even down to your skivvies.


The SAINT LAURENT retro card holder

“What?” You might be saying to yourself. “I thought SAINT LAURENT dropped the ‘Yves’ years ago.” Pat yourself on the back, you’re right. But the brand has brought back the original logo for this leather-trimmed cardholder. It has quite the nostalgic feel to it and is perfect for slipping your work ID, a credit card, and maybe a picture of your lover into.


The timeless Gucci horsebit loafers

Finished with metallic hardware that references the brand’s equestrian heritage, Gucci’s horsebit loafer is a bona-fide design icon and a coveted status symbol. This version replaces the horsebit detail with a polished Cuban-link chain fastened in the centre with the brand’s interlocking G symbol. It’s a subtle point of difference that won’t look out of place in the office – and it’s versatile enough to wear at the weekend with denim, too.


The sharp Canali suit

For all that we might rabbit on about the reinvention of tailoring, there will always be a place in our wardrobes (and our hearts) for a classic two-button, single-breasted navy suit. It remains the quintessential business suit, and you really can’t go wrong with Canali’s version. Coming in a versatile colour and a slim-but-not too-slim fit, this is sure to become your go-to suit for work, weddings and everything in between.


The directional Berluti briefcase

Berluti’s trademark Venezia leather is the star of this 2 Jour briefcase. Inscribed with the brand’s Scritto print and burnished by hand to achieve that distinctive patina, it’s an eye-catching accessory that’s sure to draw admiring glances in the boardroom, but it’s practical, too, with ample space and internal pockets for keeping your laptop and other accessories organised.


The signature Burberry scarf

You might not need one now, but, come winter, you’ll be glad of a scarf to wrap around your neck. We’ve opted for Burberry’s version, which combines the softness of cashmere with the inimitable style of one of Britain’s most iconic brands. It’s reversible, too, so if the famous house check pattern feels like too much of a statement, just flip it over and use the monochrome logo pattern on the other side.


The sumptuous Dunhill coat

Back-to-work season also coincides with coat season, and this unstructured style from Dunhill is perfect for both. The classic herringbone pattern and tonal-grey hue mean it will go great with everything you wear underneath, while the insulating wool and lined sleeves will keep you toasty on your commute to and from the office.


The luxe Brunello Cucinelli sneakers

Everyone needs a pair of versatile sneakers that can easily take them from the Tube to the boardroom to after-work drinks with ease, and this suede-trimmed pair from Brunello Cucinelli fits the bill. Crafted from full-grain leather with white-on-white stitching, the minimalist design will complement everything from smart tailoring to dressed-down looks.


The Giorgio Armani pleated trousers

If you’ve developed the same nine-to-five look that you wear four days a week (thank God for WFH Fridays), we don’t blame you. But we’ll say that you should add these black pleated trousers by Giorgio Armani to your rotation. They’re cut from soft wool-flannel in a relaxed silhouette that you can wear day in, day out.


The practical LOEWE messenger bag

If you find your pockets bulging with more than your phone, wallet and keys, then it’s time to invest in a bag. If you opt for LOEWE’s iconic Puzzle messenger bag, then you’ll get a carrier that’s equally stylish and functional. It’s made from supple calf leather, with a herringbone-lined interior that’s spacious enough to hold a tablet as well as all your workweek essentials.


The OG to the Loro Piana baseball cap

Shop the look

Loro Piana was officially founded in 1924, although the family had been trading in wool long before. Having cornered the market in luxury fabrics, in 1994, the company made the logical step into itself making luxury clothing. Which is to say that the brand had well and truly bedded in way before Succession first aired in 2018. So, rather than channelling the Roys, with this cashmere baseball cap, you’ll be tapping into a dynasty that’s been around a lot longer. And, unlike certain media scions with grandiose ambitions of CEO flight jackets, this piece of headgear should remain firmly on top.


The rugged Montblanc chronograph watch

In watchmaking, there’s a lot of focus on timepieces that can withstand the pressures of deep-sea diving. But what of adventurers with more lofty concerns? Mountaineers need to tell the time, too. Alpine conditions are similarly punishing, and oxygen at a premium, as the name of this model suggests. Housed in a stainless-steel case robust enough to take on even the most challenging landscapes on Earth, this chronograph by experts Montblanc can handle even the highest floors of your office building.


The Indian summer Mr P. sunglasses

Sunglasses? In the office? Take advantage of the sun while it’s still here, we say, and take your meeting to the roof terrace. Or, you know, hide any overindulgence, lack of sleep or just use them as an emotional shield now your summer vacation is over. We hear you. And we can also see you in these rather fetching retro tortoiseshell frames by our own Mr P.


The cut-above Rubinacci tie

The tie is dead, long live the tie. True, as workplace dress codes have loosened, so too have our neckties, meaning you don’t see as many hanging about the place as you once did. But then, even back in the day, you rarely saw one as elegant as this Jacquard silk example by Rubinacci. So, while wearing it you might feel you’re going out on a limb, you’re not exactly sticking your neck out.


The Row’s essential shirt

Switch up your shirt rotation with The Row’s Julio style – the black and beige pinstripes are basically undetectable from afar, making a welcome alternative to classic white styles. Pair it with pleated trousers or style it out with jeans on dress-down Fridays.


The Smythson engraved pen

Smythson’s rollerball pen is sure to turn you into the most stylish man in the boardroom. It’s been handmade from silver and engraved with fine ridges for extra texture. Store yours in the accompanying leather sleeve while on the move.


The Thom Browne casual Fridays cardigan

Whether you’re going to the office on a Friday or working from home, this Thom Browne cardigan will see you through work, weekend antics and beyond. It’s knitted from virgin wool and detailed with the brand’s signature stripes on a sleeve.


The timeless ZEGNA belt

This suede belt by ZEGNA is a smart investment that’ll work double time in your rotation – its versatile navy colourway and 3cm profile will complement most trousers nicely. The glazed silver buckle adds a touch of low-key refinement to any outfit without catching too much attention.