When it comes to being a successful entrepreneur, or a successful person for that matter, ones appearance is key. Your appearance is the first thing that people will notice before you get the chance to say hello to a new client or even shake the hand of a potential business partner. As an entrepreneur, it’s imperative to always put your best foot forward while in the office or just during the day-to-day. Now, I’m not saying that you have to always be in a suit and tie; but if ever there were a time for a business owner to dress well, it’s now.

I have taken the liberty of putting together a list of 8 timeless pieces that every entrepreneur should have in their wardrobe. Let’s call this “The Great 8.”

These aren’t the only items you need in your wardrobe, but if you start building or revamping your wardrobe today, these pieces should definitely be the foundation of your closet.

Item 1. A Navy Suit

I know I just said that you don’t have to always wear a suit, and that point still stands, but you still need a suit in your wardrobe. If you only have one suit, a navy suit is the one to have. It’s a very versatile suit; you can dress it up with a dress shirt and tie for a meeting or dress it down with denim and a pair of Stan Smiths for an after-work happy hour. For women, the principle still applies — instead of an Oxford button up, do a stylish shirt, cuff your blazer sleeves, lose the heels and put on some flats.

Item 2. The white Oxford Shirt

Like the navy suit this, too, is a very versatile piece to have in your wardrobe. More specifically, a white dress shirt pairs well with almost everything, from a complete suit and tie outfit to denim and loafers.

Item 3. A quality watch

I don’t expect anyone to go out and cop a Rolex, but if you have it, blessings. I’m a firm believer that both men and women should always wear a watch, because it’s a very classic piece of jewelry. Gentlemen, unless you’re married and honoring the institution by wearing your wedding band, the only other jewelry that should be shown off in the workplace is a timepiece.

Item 4. A handbag or briefcase

I think this item is a no brainer, but for those who need an explanation, here it goes: You need a nice, well-kept bag to tote your work and personal items. From time to time, we all have a take-home workload. Instead of carrying it in our hands, bulking up our pockets or stuffing files under our arms, ladies — put it in a work-appropriate handbag and fellas — get a workbag. Oh, and simplicity speaks volumes in the work place; Now isn’t the time to show off your monograms or designer brand logos on your bag or briefcase.

Item 5. Dark denim jeans

If ever there is a time for business casual or a dress down day, dark denim is the way to go. I can’t stress this enough. Depending on the nature of your job, distressed jeans might not always be appropriate. So keep it simple. A slim or straight leg dark wash pair of jeans is definitely an item to have in your rotation.

Item 6. Hard bottom shoes, heels

Disclaimer: Just because I say you have to have a pair of dress shoes or heels for work doesn’t mean that they should hurt your feet. What I mean is that you should have work appropriate but functional footwear. Find a pair of dress shoes or heels that look good, but won’t have you hobbling or limping through your day-to-day and/or business meetings.

Item 7. Overcoat and umbrella

It doesn’t always rain and the weather isn’t always cold, but when it is, a good overcoat or umbrella is just the thing to get you through. Not to mention, it’s a great combo with a suit and dress shoes or denim and heels.

Item 8. Fragrances

You are only as good as the fragrance that you wear. Smelling good is just as important as any article of clothing you decide to put on. Although fragrance isn’t technically an article of clothing, you do indeed still wear it on your body. Always smell your best.

What wardrobe additions do YOU think every entrepreneur needs?


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Ini S. Ikpe is a menswear and lifestyle blogger of the self-titled ‘IniIkpe.’ He’s also the creator of the men’s style Instagram account SuitGrid. Focusing on highlighting and creating menswear flat lay looks; SuitGrid has become a go-to resource for guys interested in upgrading their style. Ini is also a style consultant working with professional athletes and host of ‘TheGentsMANual,’ an online men’s fashion segment teaching men the how tos of men’s fashion.