Cracking the Dress Code

Cracking the Dress Code

Black Tie Optional? Have you ever recieved an invitation and been perplexed by the dress code? It is simpler than you think, keep this page as a reference point because here are a few solutions to some winter dress code conundrums. Better yet, visit us in store and we will work through the details with you in person.

White tie & Morning Attire:The ‘penguin suit’ is usually reserved for only the most formal evening occasions such as visiting royalty or diplomatic events and commonwealth state dinners. The daywear equivalent is 'Morning attire' typically for formal day weddings or at Royal Ascot. Chances are you'll never need to own either White Tie or Morning suits so you'll usually hire one of these, alternatively you can have one tailor made. White Tie involves a black tailcoat jacket, full white waistcoat, wing-tipped collared dress shirt, self-tied white bow tie and patent leather ceremonials. Pictured below is our Morning Suit,the more frequently worn choice and involves a similar black coat, mismatching grey tone waistcoat, striped trousers, black tie or bow tie and black leather toe-caps.


·The classic tailcoat has notched lapels and six buttons and is trimmed in finest satin.

·Trousers should be made from the same fabric as the tailcoat for White tie and striped fabric for morning attire. They should be cut with a high waistline, to allow for the high rise of the tailcoat.

·The White Tie bow tie should be made from the same fabric as the waistcoat.

Black tie: Still the standard for formal wear, the mainstay for awards ceremonies, ballrooms and formal evening parties. Typically the most formal attire you'll ever need to have in your wardrobe. Black tie requires a dinner suit, potentially with an evening waistcoat, a dinner shirt, bow tie and plain-toe black patent shoes, also known as ‘ceremonial’ shoes.


·Consider a velvet dinner jacket with silk lapel and black trousers. It’s smoking jacket cool.

·Select a peak or shawl lapel, but never a notch lapel. Choose the peak if you want to look more athletic – it accentuates the shoulders.

·A midnight blue jacket is a way to twist the tuxedo rules for extra cut-through.

·Your dinner shirt should always have a turn-down collar, never a wing collar.

·Tying a bow tie is no more difficult than tying your shoelaces. We’ll show you how.

Cocktail: Born in the Gatsby days, cocktail dressing means tailoring, but never a tuxedo. It involves a sleek suit (but not a business pinstripe) or cocktail jacket/pants combo, a solid colour shirt (although low-level patterns are acceptable), a creative tie, pocket square (optional) and a nice belt. Finish the look with oxfords or loafers. It is an outfit to have fun in while you tell crap jokes to your friends and colleagues.


- A velvet jacket (without silk lapels) comes in to its element in a cocktail environment.

· Coloured or patterned socks are an opportunity for self-expression.

· Unless you're wearing a white shirt, pocket squares shouldn’t match your shirt or tie exactly. That’s altogether too twee.

· Go for high shine on the shoes. Double the usual spit and polish.

· If your shirt is simple, choose a bolder tie in a complementary colour. Bow ties are a no in this instance, unless you’re an architect. They can do what they want.

· A black shirt with no tie can be a striking look.

· Suits are dark, but don’t have to be black or plain. Consider a small dot and/or a flattering shade of blue.

Business Formal/Business Casual: You know the first one well. A plain or patterend suit, simple shirt and tie with black or dark brown leather lace up shoes. Business casual can be interpreted as a suit or structured blazer trouser combination (of the tidiest kind) without the tie. Easy as that. 
-Be over-dressed rather than under-dressed if you're unsure of a Business dress code. You can always whip your tie off

Garden Attire: Not for planting your parsnips. This sometimes turns up on outdoor parties and weddings. Opt for lighter natural colours over dark black tones and don't wear a suit, your armor is a wool or cotton jacket with complementary trousers. Pair with a single cuff  patterned shirt with brown brogues or monk strap shoes. A pocket square without the tie works just fine.

-A knitted tie is an ideal accessory to dress the wedding attire. It formalises the look just enough.

Black Tie Optional: Sometimes you'll get an invitation with 'Black tie optional' on it. This means your hosts will be wearing Black Tie but don't expect all of their guests  to go to the same effort. In this case try for a dinner suit but if you're short of time, substitute a plain black suit, dinner shirt, bow tie and pocket square. 

This entry was posted in on Mar, 25 2015

The Matterhorn

The Matterhorn

The scene of many a Working Style after-work dinner or drinks, Wellington institution the Matterhorn, has opened up in Freemans Bay in Auckland.

For Aucklanders, the Matterhorn is part bar, part live venue and part restaurant. So expect to visit for multiple occasions whether it be drinks, live music or a meal out with friends 

It first opened in 1963 off Cuba St orignially as a Swiss coffeehouse and is now an intimate, wooden, candle-lit space named after the iconic Swiss peak of the same name. Perfect for late night supper or telling highly embellished stories to your mates.

As well as having one of the most extensive and well-curated wine lists of any establishment, they are specialists in cocktails (try the Deers Dram, it will put hairs on your chest)

Go see them, absolutely worthwhile.

This entry was posted in on Mar, 19 2015

Urbis Design Day

Urbis Design Day

Urbus Magazine's design day is on Saturday 21st of March in Auckland.

A circuit of design installations and collaborations across all facets of art, multimedia, architecture, photography and interiors.

Go get tickets, the perfect way to entertain a creative friend for the day.

This entry was posted in on Mar, 19 2015

Giorgio Moroder

Giorgio Moroder

Giorgio Moroder, the godfather of synth disco and electronic music pioneer has announced an intimate New Zealand performance at The Studio on the 27th of March in Auckland.

Moroder started his career in the late 1960's, a period when music was dominated by the likes of the Beatles, Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stone to name a few. Well before electronic music came to any prominence.

After co-writing Donna Summer's iconic 'I Feel Love' in 1977, Moroder was then the recipient of an Academy Award for Best Original Score for the film Midnight Express. Then going on to win two more Academy Awards for Best Song for collaborating on the film Flashdance's 'What a Feeling' and Top Gun's 'Take my Breath Away' (as well as working with Kenny Loggins on 'Danger Zone')

A Grammy followed for Donna Summer's 'Carry On'.

Moroder's stellar career has seen him work with other audio heavyweights such as David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Blondie and more recently with Daft Punk and on a new album aptly titled '74 is the new 24' with the likes of Sia, Foxes and Kylie Minogue.

This entry was posted in on Mar, 11 2015

What you should know about shoe care

What you should know about shoe care

Have you ever wondered why your shoes look scruffy and the guy next to you has had his same pair of brogues looking as good as new for the past 5 years?
Leather is a skin and, just like your own skin, it needs protection and special treatment to stand the test of time. It is much easier to look after your footwear than most people think.

Here are some simple tips on shoe care. 

-Use shoe trees inside your shoes at the end of the day’s wear. Make sure they are unpolished cedar and are a snug fit. The shoe will dry out over night and return to its normal state, hardening over the form of the shoe tree. This will keep the shoe in perfect shape.

-When wet, stuff your shoes with newspaper to absorb water. Before they are completely dry, put your shoe trees back inside so the shoes return to shape.

-If you get mud on your shoes, wait for it to dry and brush it off in one piece rather than spread it around your shoe. Leather has tiny pores which will fill up with anything that fits like mud or shoe polish. The shine of a shoe is polish filling the pores and making a smoother surface.

-Spray your suede shoes with water protectant to help them dodge the rain. Brush with a suede brush before and after you spray to avoid any irregularity and also brush regularly to maintain the pile. If you get water marks, as counter-intuitive as it sounds, wash with a suede shampoo then leave to dry as instructed above.

-Give your shoes a rest for a minimum of 24 hours. You can’t wear the same pair day after day because the perspiration from your feet is absorbed by the leather and causes it to soften throughout the day’s wear. Not giving your footwear ample time to completely dry out will make the upper leather warp and fall out of shape.

-Salt from your perspiration will dry out the leather eventually. You’ll need to polish and condition the leather to keep it supple. Polish will return oils and moisture to the leather, protecting it from the elements as well as keeping it looking great.

-Put a half-sole of rubber on the bottom. A cobbler can do this for $40-$50 and it will significantly slow down the wear on the sole. Not to mention giving you valuable grip to help you avoid and embarrasing improptu landing on your backside in the rain.

Along with the above tips, simple things like using a shoe horn to prevent the heel of the shoe softening and replacing tatty laces will work wonders on the look of your shoes.

Doing the above should give your footwear extra years of life and keep them looking their best.

This entry was posted in on Mar, 05 2015

Join the Team

Join the Team

Working Style are hiring for full-time retail positions at present.

Working Style celebrates all things heritage and hand made. We value quality craftsmanship and understated luxury without the pretension. Customer service success is imperative and we go beyond the normal call of duty to deliver outstanding finished products and customer experiences.
New full time positions do not come up often, our staff tend to stay around. This is something extremely atypical of the retail industry and this gives consitency for our clients. It also means that you will learn about tailoring and made-to-measure suiting from the most experienced outfitters in the country. If you have what it takes, come be a part of our team.

Essential personal qualities include a high degree of empathy, intelligence, detail-orientation and a good sense of humour

If you can answer Yes to all 10 questions below,send your CV to

-Are you passionate about delivering outstanding customer service?
-Have you got a true interest in clothing and fashion?
-Do you thrive when meeting new people and make friends easily?
-Have you got excellent verbal and written communication skills?
-Are you presentable and clean cut?
-Do you have prior fashion or retail industry experience?
-Can you work closely with others in a team environment?
-Are you self motivated?
-Do you have flawless organisation skills?
-Are you good with money, numbers and measurements?

Additional competencies and skills that may help send you to the front of the queue could include those in areas such as leadership, IT, sales and fluency in Mandarin, Cantonese or other languages.
Also valuable is retail experience with suiting, tailoring, bespoke or made-to-measure garments.

Successful applicants will have a world-class wardrobe, be rewarded handsomely for their hard work and can have opportunities to extend themselves or move to various areas of the business such as management, product design, marketing or finance.

Welcome aboard.

This entry was posted in on Mar, 03 2015

Dan Barrett

Dan Barrett

Wellington's visual effects wizard Dan Barrett was on the red carpet earlier this week. Dan and his colleagues' outstanding work, bringing Caesar and friends to life on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, landed them a nomination for Best Visual Effects.

Congratulations to Dan for the nomination, an amazing film and looking so damn good in our peak lapel dinner suit.

This entry was posted in on Feb, 27 2015

Best Dressed Men at the Oscars

Best Dressed Men at the Oscars

Our pick for Best Dressed goes to Chris Pratt for how well the wide shawl lapels suit his newly acquired physique and how impeccably the garments fit. Take notes if you are an athletic build. 

2.  John Legend -  Winner of Best Original Song for Glory from the film Selma. Note how the matte black velvet lapel cloth makes the rest of the suit look much lighter.

3. Chris Pine shows us how double-breasted suits don't have to be boxy or shapeless in this double breasted dinner suit that fits like a glove.  In the opposite effect to John Legend's suit, the shine from the lapels make the cloth on the body of the jacket look darker.

4.Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything star won Best Actor and wore a striking french blue dinner suit. How to dress if you are slim.

5. Adam Levine wearing this simple shawl lapel dinner suit. Why is he there? Because he looks this good.

This entry was posted in on Feb, 23 2015

NZ Polo Open

NZ Polo Open

The Polo is on in Clevedon this Sunday.

What is not to like about 8 men on ponies battling it out for your entertainment?

There is still time to get your outfit sorted.  We can get you looking your best with our new range and in house tailors.

-Dress in light weight, natural fibre clothing to ward off the heat. 
-Keep your look simple. Focus on an elegant sunglasses, shoes and belt for your accessories.  Sunglasses are a must - a classic tortoishell wayfarer is our pick.  Always opt for a brown leather for any casual lawn function involving stomping on a few divots at half time.  
-No tie, go open collar shirt or polo shirt (of course). 
-Instead of a suit, we recommend tailored separates for your main items- a tailored casual look that Working Style has championed for many years.

This entry was posted in on Feb, 19 2015

Year of the Goat

Year of the Goat

Happy Chinese New Year.

It is the year of the goat. Fortuitus timing indeed as our new Autumn/Winter season collection has started arriving today and is full of Cashmere, coming from the Cashmere Goat. 

Acknowleding the origin, hours and journey of your goods is extremely important when looking at a price tag, always remind yourself of the effort that goes in to producing your clothing.

It starts with a blade of grass in the dim sunlight on the steppes of inner Mongolia. Winter passes and the goat's coat is hand combed in the spring time. Unlike sheep's wool, only a small fraction of the coat is combed out - the valuable ultra-smooth winter cashmere fibre mainly from the underside of the animal. Only the longest fibres are kept.

When each farmer has enough suitable fibre it is bundled, washed and exported to a fabric mill in Europe or the UK who have been designing patterns and colours well in advance. The raw fibre is spun into a workable yarn and dyed to suit the cloth it will eventually be woven in to. A fine flannel cashmere cloth is the finished product for the mill, but that isn't where it ends. The cloth is just one piece to a larger puzzle.

Designers spend many hours creating the style and look of the garment and tailors then typically take a number of weeks to finish a jacket to the required standard due to the hands-on nature of the work. Pattern making, internal canvas, shoulder pad construction, lining and finishing details are some of the fiddly processes the tailors tackle during this time.  

Most entry-level vehicles take just a matter of hours in a factory production line to put together.

Cashmere is smooth because of it's highly uniform scale arrangement on each of the long fine fibres hand picked from the fleece. It is noticeable only with a microscope, it makes many other fibres look decidedly rough, including the coarser 'hair within the goat's fleece.. This then leads to the unique lustre of a finished cloth.

One example of our cashmere in store is pictured below. Our 100% Cashmere sportscoat (JDN01 - $2190). Extremely compelling at that price, it comes in Navy or Tan and is the most comfortable jacket you will ever own.

A post about goats. How about that?

This entry was posted in on Feb, 19 2015