People forget average work wardrobe, as soon as they forget a PowerPoint slide. If you want to stand out of the crowd and not wear the stereo corporate formals every day, upgrade yourself to smart business casuals.
Gone are the days when office wears were ironed full suits, stiffened with starch and coupled with shiny black lace-up shoes. New age corporate office goers are no doubt thankful for that.
Well, many people find business casuals to be a metaphor! But, instead of wearing distressed jeans, teaming up right casuals can make a better impression.
The Tricky Affair
For most men, business casual is a pair of beige chinos over a polo shirt, with boat shoes. Well, this look may be ideal on the golf course, but at all not a good idea for the office.
As per Joseph Rosenfeld, a brand consultant from Silicon Valley, “Men don’t always think about what their clothes communicate. Business casual allows you to exude your brand, personality, and style, and that’s why it’s so risky”
Business casuals are no doubt a risky affair. What you consider to be “chill and in charge” can be “sloppy and slackerish” to any of your colleagues.
Business Casual Tips For Men To Enhance The Style
Shed The Tie
Suit jackets and neck tie have been together for a long time now, like Lennon and McCartney. Like the notorious duo, these two cloth pieces also need to separate ways for a better styling. Off course, neck ties are not obsolete and are an important part of formal wears.
Ties can also be used to create semi-casual looks. Nonetheless, if you like it without the necktie, just ditch it for a free look! You can try a scarf with the shirt and blazer, considering the weather around.
The key to achieve the versatile business casual look is the mix-and-match approach. Try something out of your regular look.
Flaunt a button up below the blazer, off course without the tie, for an incredible sleek look. You can try a bold look by buttoning your shirt all the way. Leave the first few undone, to sport a masculine chest.
Alternatively, you can wear a thin sweater, if you are shy to leave your buttons open.
Stop hanging on to same jackets and old suit pants. Celebrity stylist Ashley Weston has his support on breaking the old heavy suits in to separates. Thus, one can have more options.
Try your old suit coat with a pair of jeans. Or, you may even try a trouser below a sweater. Choose neutral colors like navy and gray. These colors are versatile and when worn on good textures, give you an elegant look.
Do not wear anything that is thin or has a silky sheen. Such clothes look tacky and spoil the office look.
If you want to go somewhat more casual, you can wear a cool crewneck or V-neck t-shirt along with your blazer. Make sure, the corporate environment you are in is not too strict too allow this invigoration. Be more cautious when donning this look, as you will be left wearing the tee only if you need to put off your blazer anytime of the day. It’s better to wear a solid color tee to obtain the semi-formal look in the absence of the blazer.
Business Casual Shirts
You have to kibosh your shapeless over sized office shirts and move on to fresh colors in your office shirts.
- Solid colors are easiest to match with anything. So, focus on white, pale pink or light blue than any other color.
- You can also try brighter colors like navy blue, brown, baby pink etc. with bolder patterns.
- Always remember, your office outfit will be more business than being casual. Choose shirts that can stand up even without a neck tie. Go for stiffs, than limps.
Recommended Read: Men’s Guide to Perfect Pant Shirt Combination
Business Casual Shoes: Choose them wisely
Well, if you are considering wearing business casuals, instead of the regular stereo type corporate attires, you must pay attention to the selection of your shoes. A basic black corporate shoe is not the one you should wear with your business casuals. When you are all set to dress down your threads, go for a unique shade of shoe.
A brown hue shoe or navy blue may be sober choices to wear with almost all clothes. Considering your style, you can go for oxford, loafer, brogue or derby.
If the weather is correct, you may try a dress boot, which is absolutely cool and casual.
Wearing square-toe shoes with business casuals is a big NO!
This reminds me of Steven Alan, a New York designer and store owner, who once said, “I don’t think square-toe shoes ever had a good moment. They’re like PT cruisers.” So our idea of donning a business casual will be to be a Porsche and not a PT cruiser. If not a Porsche, then at least a Mercedes!
Many offices are lenient towards the dress code of its employees. Your office may allow you to get rid of your wingtips, but think again if you are really ready to replace them with casual Air Jordans.
Go for sneakers with combined style of good quality materials and simple designs like crocodile-embossed leather or suede.
Rosenfeld had once commented about picking up the correct shoe,
“The right shoe will communicate that you’re an active, friendly, approachable guy.”
Smart Outerwear for Business Casual
Office goers have a fancy towards blazers! For unknown reasons, they still stick to their blazers even if it is getting worn out.
Choose a jacket that speaks volume, as you work hard in the office. Three patterns of jackets are really necessary for your wardrobe: a tweed sport coat, a navy blazer, and a cardigan.
1. A corduroy jacket might seem old school, but if you go for well fitted with corduroy jacket, it will look cool and catchy.
2. A tweed jacket looks classic, especially in autumn.
3. A navy blazer with pockets saves from looking too corporate and adds an Italian vibe to the appearance.
As an alternate, one can try a button-up shirt and wear a cardigan over it. You can even team it up with a tie.
Style Tips to wear Jackets/Cardigans/Sweaters for Business Casual
An oversized thick cardigan appears classy when left unbuttoned and donned with a button-up shirt.
A tie worn underneath or a tee looks fabulous and elegant. You can even try a crewneck sweater to achieve the elegant corporate look in a casual way.
Wear a thin cardigan which has low-placed buttons. This will showcase your tie. Wear this look in case you are comfortable wearing buttoned up.
Avoid wearing sweaters knit by your aunt that have crazy patterns. The sweater should be of solid colors. It should be slim fit along with belt line length. Leave the two bottoms undone and wear a tie, if you want to try the cardigan route.
For a change, you can try wearing a short sport coat over your collar shirts. Try to keep the fabric color to be light and neutral. This can be a very good getaway from your regular office wardrobe.
Recommended Read: Best Winter Jackets/Sweaters handpicked for Men
Get The Perfect Fit
If you really have love for what you wear, please purchase clothes that fit you. Nothing ruins an outfit more than its ill fit. There is no alternate of perfectly fitted office clothes. Your suits look more powerful when they are well-tailored and fit your body shape. A well fitted suit or blazer adds sophistication to your look. Oversized clothes make you look disheveled and heavy. If you are wearing something that is too small, it seems that you have last shopped during your college, or may be in a denial about the extra pounds you have gained.
Recommended Read: 15 Common Mistakes Men make in wearing Suits
Quintessential Pants for Perfect Business Casual Look
Pants play an important role, while donning business casuals. You can try pants of different colors and fabric. It could be khakis, slacks or jeans. Nonetheless, jeans may not be appraised office appropriate at many workplaces. If you still wish to wear jeans, wear solid denims which are dark wash.
Tips to choose right colour and combinations for your pant
Chinos are a very good choice for semi-dressy workplace wear. Stick with basic colors like camel or navy. Select slim fits rather than extremely skinny.
If your workplace is glower on jeans, you can instead try a pair of slim khaki pants. Khakis come in a wide array of styles and colors and are great to be worn during summers or springs.
Recommended Read: Why Khaki Pant is essential for Men’s Capsule Wardrobe?
During warmer months, you can wear thin cotton pants of basic colors.
Try wool pants for cooler months. It provides warmth along with texture and style.
Corduroy can also be a great choice for cooler months. The thick fabric texture protects you from cold and is available in many colors.
NOTE: No shorts please!
Recommended Read: 6 Essential Coloured Pants Every Man Should Own
Accessorize Your Casual Look For Office
Try different accessories and make the little things count for you.
Accessories convey your detailing in getting dressed up. Try a pocket square or a tie bar to elevate your business casual look. These accessories catch the attention of people towards your wrists and feet.
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