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Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

Although the traditionalist nature of men's wear doesn't offer the breadth of colour options available to women, especially at the office, you can't go wrong with classic grey. If you follow the steps below, moreover, you' won't look conventional or, worse, boring. Save that monotony for your day job.

1. To keep from drowning in a head-to-toe hue (especially grey, which can skew somewhat dull), play with textures. That means opting for a sharp button-up with a tweedy grey suit or for a soft, casual knit with a crisp one, like those at Hermès's fall presentation (above left).

2. Feel free to winterize the look by wearing it with knits, but be sure to pair your suit with a fine-gauge sweater. Anything bulky under a jacket will only add volume in the worst way.

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3. Pairing pieces in the same family of tones looks the smartest and most formal. When you start mixing shades - as in a contrasting jacket and trousers - it becomes more casual. And if that happens, you might as well just wear jeans.

Styling by Corey Ng/Page One Management (www.pageonemanagement.ca); grooming by David Goveia for TRESemmé/Judy Inc. (www.judyinc.com).

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