Personal style should never be underestimated, and our workwear clothing is certainly no exception. Clothing defines us as people and not just as workers. It is only natural for gentlemen to want to wear office attire right, no matter the degree of formality. We typically acknowledge the need to dress well in a formal sense for the office, particularly with our culture’s love of tailored suits. But what about business casual looks? This dress code shouldn’t be overlooked, but rather celebrated for its mix of formal and casual wear. The dress code, after all, provides excellent opportunities to showcase personal style. From shoes to shirt choices, we’ve compiled a no-fuss style guide for owning business casual.
What is Business Casual for Men?
Business casual is one of those dress codes that doesn’t have a strict definition. It can be loosely defined as an office dress code that is distinguished as more casual than typical corporate wear, yet not casual enough for everyday wear. All in all, it is attire which is neat and presentable enough for a professional work look but is not too full on when it comes to formality. This dress code’s ambiguity should thus be met with enthusiasm. It’s up to you how you want to interpret it, but embrace this dress code with the same eagerness that you would with any of your formal, corporate or casual looks. That’s the key to perfecting this workplace style of attire – make it youthful and tailor it to flatter your features and build. We’re just putting it out there – business casual is no excuse for careless and certainly not dull dressing.
Business Casual Attire for Men
Business Casual Shirts
Classically coloured button-downs are traditional and work well when tailored to skim the body. These shirts are failsafe, but there are other ways to harness business casual without looking like everyone else in the office. Our advice for finding great shirts for business casual? Switch things up, and opt for vivid patterns and fabrics to introduce more texture and colour to your office looks. Remember that you still want to maintain a classic aesthetic so don’t go too crazy with prints or overtly bright colours.
If you want to keep things more conservative, opt for patterns with a neutral or classic colour scheme. This will tie your looks together more and will prove useful for versatility. Mixing differently textured shirts with chinos or tailored pants will also switch your looks up. Shirts are really the focal point of business casual looks, so ensure they fit well are not baggy. Also, omitting a tie from your business casual looks is a good idea, and will lend to a more relaxed aesthetic.
Business Casual Chinos
Chinos are great because they boost the appeal of casual looks, but they are still quite laid-back. The usual materials of chinos also make them quite adaptable for the workplace. You will want chinos in all the classic colours for maximum versatility. Black, navy, khaki and beige are recommended. These colours are super adaptable and will also be great investments even for your personal wardrobe choices. They also register quite professional for the office, so you won’t feel totally underdressed. You can dress them up and also dress them down. Also, make sure your chinos are a slimmer fit and aren’t too long or too short. Once you find a style or brand that works well for you, invest in several pairs and colours so you can ensure all your looks are consistently polished and fit appropriately.
Business Casual Shoes for Men
The great thing about adapting your personal style into business casual is the fact that you can use much of what already exists in your wardrobe. Brogues, monk-straps, loafers and oxfords are good shoe choices but think about changing the types of materials you go for. Suedes and matte leathers are adaptable and will lend more of a relaxed vibe to your look. Also, ensure you are opting for conservative colours. You shouldn’t forget that there should always be a professionalism to your business casual looks. Black is classic and works well with crisp white shirts, but use business casual as a way of introducing more colour to your looks. Dusty brown is recommended as it works well alongside other neutral tones like beiges and tans and also complements navies, emerald greens and rich burgundies.
Business Casual Blazers
Blazers for business casual shouldn’t be too formal, yet should still have a dressed up element to them. Opt for blazers without to much structure as this will read professional but not overly conservative. The fit is important, and you do not want something baggy or that overwhelms your look. Keep in mind that blazers in staple colours will ground your looks and lend a classic edge to your clothing choices. Remember to uphold a youthful look when it comes to choosing a blazer as it will register stylish.
Business Casual Cardigans and Sweaters
The greatest tip for perfecting business casual lies with great sweaters and cardigans. These clothing pieces work well because they bring a relaxed element to your office looks without looking too underdressed. Most importantly, be conscious about the type of knitwear you want to go for. Opt for round neck cable knit sweaters for a clean, classic aesthetic that reads Americana and preppy but still sophisticated. For cardigans, shawl neck versions should be in every man’s wardrobe and not only for business casual attire. Ensure these cardigans fit well and are of good quality because they can be worn countlessly. On top of that, they’re super comfy. If you want something more relaxed, opt for grandpa-style cardigans which are minimal but still work well for your office looks.
Business Casual Jeans
While chinos make an excellent choice for business casual wear, jeans can also be a good option. Although they are inherently casual, the right pair of jeans worn in the right way can look entirely in place in an office setting. To rock business casual jeans, choose a design that appears sophisticated and neat. A straight-leg style in black or a dark blue hue makes a particularly suitable choice. Just make sure that they have no rips and aren’t too faded to ensure you appear polished instead of sloppy. When it comes to styling jeans for the office, be sure to complete your outfit with sophisticated pieces. Not only will wearing smart items, such as an oxford shirt and derby shoes, look great, but it’ll also elevate your look to an appropriate level.
Business Casual Jackets
For days when a blazer is too formal and a sweater too preppy, there are a variety of other business casual jackets that can make excellent alternatives. In particular, a stylish bomber jacket can make a great option. Just make sure that you pick one in a dark colour or neutral hue to ensure it appears polished. Likewise, chore jackets and dark denim jackets can also be appropriate for the office, so long as you pair them with a smart outfit. For a stylish look try pairing a business casual jacket with a pair of chinos, derby shoes and an oxford shirt. If you still feel a little underdressed, consider adding a tie to your look.
Business Casual Attire for Men
- To dress business casual, choose an outfit that is professional without seeming overly formal.
- When it comes to shirts, select a classically coloured button-down option or one with a with a pattern.
- Chinos are the ideal pants for a business casual outfit.
- When selecting shoes, consider brogues, monk-straps, loafers and oxfords in suede or matte leather.
- Complete your look with a casual blazer, cardigan or sweater.
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