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November 21, 2016

What to wear: Dinner with the boss

It’s a good thing to be invited to the boss’ place for dinner, but it’s also terrifying. Strike the balance between too fun and too professional with our advice, and set your career on the fast track.

  • Illustrations: Jasmin Neophytou
  • Words: Joshua Fanning and Farrin Foster


Keep it personable but not personal with an outfit that has enough charm to cover when yours deserts you.


Top – This high necked top is modest and brings some fun colour, but also draws subtle parallels between you and the madly successful (and, yes, not-very-nice, but let’s ignore that) Steve Jobs because it’s designed by Issey Miyake.

Skirt – A pencil skirt from Vanishing Elephant via Incu hits the right note between business and casual and says you’re here for fun, but a sort of professional, not over-the-top kind of fun.

Shoes – Low block heels from Salvatore Ferragamo (presumably gifted to you by a rich Aunty) show you’re taking this whole eating-near-each-other thing seriously.

Accessories – Don’t clink and clack at the dinner table. Instead of long necklaces and loud bracelets, pick up some unfussy rings and matching earrings by JamFactory alumni Courtney Jackson at Council of Objects.

What to bring – A bottle of wine is a must-have – we’d recommend something your boss might not have heard of, like a tipple from Palmetto Wines. And take a thank you to be enjoyed once you’ve left – a sophisticated homemade biscuit like Ferran Adria’s macaroons would be perfect if you have the skills. For the baking-challenged, perhaps some Haigh’s chocolate is best.


Here’s your checklist to ensure you don’t stuff up what is most certainly an unofficial interview for promotion.


Check your watch – A beautifully restored Omega from R. McMahon – and ensure your rap at the door is after the invite time. No one likes an early arriver.

Keep on checking – Flaunting ankles is fine, you rebel, especially when you spent all your money on these perfect crepe-soled suede derby shoes from Burberry via

Don’t bring a thing – They said. But that just means bring something thoughtful, like the novel you’ve just finished reading, with a nice note jotted down in the sleeve, so they know it’s theirs to keep.

Check your hairMake sure no awkward globs of wax are sticking around.

Check your top – Brush any pet hair from your made-in–Scotland double-ply, camel hair cardigan with shawl collar, which you purchased on a recent trip to Massachusetts’ from

Check your other top – Pull the sleeves of your mandarin collar shirt from Zara taught, and show off a bit of that old-school grandpa cool that makes your boss think you wise beyond your years.

Check your lower half – Hoist up the waistline of your new Fenris light cotton twill trousers from Norse Projects. The relaxed fit should look at ease-y, not sleazy!

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