We know, dear Doers and Growth-getters, you guys are busy hustling and not style. But in this fast-forward era, we are here to sort that corporate deal for you!
The corporate world is expanding daily, and style speaks volumes. Business casual outfits came into being especially to relax the uptight look of the work environment and to make the employees look more friendly and approachable to the customers.
Have you ever noticed your CEO wearing flashy colors or oversized picks? A big no will roar aloud while you read this. Men in corporates are focused on keeping it simple, minimal, and significant. They prefer core color over buzzing ones and high quality over quick fixes. Carrying this attitude in the corporate world always makes you a leader.
Certainly, each workspace has its own dress code and culture, so it is always good to look around and observe your co-workers’ dressing styles before jumping into the clothes-purchasing process.
In this article, let us look at a few styling methods to rock on day-to-day men’s business casual attire!
- What is Business Casual for Men?
- Consider This as a Casual Business Guide for Men!
- 1. The Timeless Neutrals:
- 2. Stellar Suits:
- 3. Jeans:
- 4. Button-ups and Button Down Shirts:
- 5. Oxford Shirts:
- 6. Patterned Shirts:
- 7. Polos:
- 8. T-shirts:
- 9. Business Casual Blazers
- 10. Jackets:
- 11. Sports Coat:
- 12. Knits and Sweaters:
- 13. Crewnecks and V-necks:
- 14. Business Casual Pants
- 15. Tailored Trousers:
- 16. Joggers:
- 17. Pant Breaks:
- 18. Chinos:
- 19. Loafers:
- 20. Sneakers:
- 21. Oxford:
- 22. Derby:
- 23. Sandals and slippers:
- 24. Ties, anyone?
- 25. Minimal Bags:
- 26. Belts
- 27. Pocket Squares:
- 28. Watches:
- 29. Fedoras and Caps:
- 30. Socks:
- 31. Business Casual Shirt
- 32. Business Casual Shoes
- 33. Neckties
- 34. Cufflink
What is Business Casual for Men?
Before we start with the list, let’s first understand what business casual means. Business casual attire for men refers to a dress code consisting of polished and sleek outfits appropriate for the workplace. As its name suggests, the business casual dress code is between formal business wear and casual, relaxed attire.
However, this dress code isn’t strict or fixed, which means it can vary according to an individual’s style or the office culture/industry in which you’re working. So, in short, business casual attire should appear polished and put-together without even wearing a suit.
Do you still have a few doubts about it?
To clear up your confusion, I have broken down the key clothing essentials considered crucial in business casual attire. So, keep reading till the end.
Consider This as a Casual Business Guide for Men!
1. The Timeless Neutrals:
Neutral-colored clothing pieces are absolute wardrobe essentials for business clothing. A good assortment of neutral-colored shirts will let you pair them in many variations to form your unique Business casual outfits. Keep in mind that, Even among the neutral colors, the degree of casualness varies. A pink-colored shirt is seen as more casual than a white-colored one, and a light blue shirt is more men’s business casual than a dark blue-colored one.
2. Stellar Suits:
While leaning towards the business side of business casual dressing, tailored suits can be worn, except the tie can be left behind to make it a bit simple.
Although Jeans are through and through casual wear, they can work well as a Business casual when paired with a neutral shirt. However, make sure that the Jeans are dark-colored. Light-colored Jeans are a complete No-No for Business environments!
4. Button-ups and Button Down Shirts:
Many buy shirts without considering whether they are button-ups or Button-down shirts. Button-up shirts provide a much more polished look and are considered more formal than button-down shirts. A button-up shirt, a jacket, a button-down shirt, and a Blazer can also be worn together to produce business casual wear for men.
5. Oxford Shirts:
Oxford shirts are the shirt alternative for an unstructured blazer. You can always wear an oxford shirt paired with chinos when in doubt and get ready to face the day. This is a good pick for your dates and upcoming Christmas parties!
6. Patterned Shirts:
Always remember that the more trendy it gets, the more casual it is. Hence when it comes to wearing patterned shirts, try to stick with the minimalistic striped or gingham shirts that give an unstructured yet professional look. The perfect business casual guide for Men.
On the days you would like to lean more towards the casual business side for work, you can wear a long-sleeved polo paired with a jacket, or a blazer, making for a good Business casual outfit for men.
T-shirts can also be worn, as long as the balance is maintained not to make the outfit too casual. Plain T-shirts can pair with blazers and chinos to create a smart business casual look. Avoid pairing t-shirts with jackets or denim pants.
9. Business Casual Blazers
Let’s start with the basic garment, a blazer. Instead of wearing a full suit, go for an unstructured or semi-structured blazer. Pick a well-fitted blazer in dark or neutral colors like black, blue, beige, or gray for a perfect formal look. Always go with solid colors and never with bold patterns or excessive detailing. Make sure that your blazer has been tailored to your body. Make sure the shoulders are aligned perfectly, and the sleeve length should be just above the wrist.
A more business casual option for men is a Blazer or a jacket. Again, a dark-colored Jacket needs to be worn, and not to make the outfit too simple, make sure to wear formal clothing underneath, such as a button-up shirt or a chino.
11. Sports Coat:
Wearing a sports coat will also make for a good business casual look for men. A sports coat paired with a polo shirt and dress pants can be considered a go-to combination when in doubt!
12. Knits and Sweaters:
During colder days, jackets and blazers can be replaced with knits and sweaters. A cardigan turtleneck or a shawl-collared sweater over your shirt will give you a smart Business Casual look.
13. Crewnecks and V-necks:
While opting for sweaters, Crewnecks and V-necks can also adorn your shirt to stay warm and look Business casual. However, ensure that you wear a thin sweater, not a thick one, or you might sweat through your shirt.
14. Business Casual Pants
Selecting appropriate business casual pants for men isn’t a math problem; it is as simple as making a smoothie. Start with buying high-quality dress pants in solid colors like navy blue, beige, and dark gray. These colors and subtle patterns, like checks, subtle stripes, or minimal texture, give a versatile formal appearance. If your office allows, you can wear chinos for a relaxed look. But never wear distressed jeans, sweatpants, or cargo pants.
Also, remember the fitting, as your pants should sit at your waist and the length should be just above your shoes. Prioritize comfort and freedom of movement, so you can focus on what matters instead of your clothes.”
15. Tailored Trousers:
While wearing a T-shirt or a jacket, tailored trousers will help to balance the Business casual look. However, ensure that they are thick enough and shiny.
Joggers can be worn in a business casual setting as long as they are more like trousers with a tailored waistband. Whether or not to wear joggers to the workplace greatly depends on the company’s dress code, and only wear them if you are sure it is okay.
17. Pant Breaks:
Pant’ breaks’ refer to where your pants meet your shoe. Quarter breaks or Half breaks are recommended over full breaks or no breaks as they give a much cleaner and effortless look.
Opt for chinos to accompany your business attire if you want to mix it up. Khaki-colored chino will be a good addition to your wardrobe, which you can wear, whenever you want to get away from neutral-colored business casual men’s outfits.
Your shoes tell you about your attire in any given situation. And for business situations, a pair of loafers is a must-have wardrobe essential. Loafers go well with all kinds of outfits, from suits to denim.
Sneakers can also be worn if leaning more toward the casual side. Any branded sneakers, such as Nike or Adidas, will give off a classy and casual vibe, which will be perfect in a business casual setting.
Oxford shoes can be chosen when choosing dress shoes. They are classic and give a versatile feel that will complete you and your men’s business casual look.
Derby is also similar to Oxford. However, the difference is that Derby has open lacing, while Oxford has closed lacing. However, both are equal when it comes to versatility.
23. Sandals and slippers:
Sandals and slippers are an absolute no-no in business casuals. Usually, in the corporates, they call it style, but when it comes to closing a sales or next-gen business pitch, it’s a big-time NO from the client’s end.
24. Ties, anyone?
Are ties even included in men’s business casual wears? Of course, why not! Ties can be a great look enhancer, and the right tie can easily shift the outfit to the next level! There are various colors and patterns of ties; however, a neutral-colored tie with a striped or dotted pattern is recommended.
25. Minimal Bags:
After you have achieved the perfect business casual outfit, it is also important that you keep it with your other accessories, especially your bag. A backpack is usually seen as a go-to option. However, it could go better with your professional look and tends to crack your outfit. A leather briefcase can be opted for in these situations as they merge well with the men’s business casual outfit and contribute to the look.
To create a sleek and sophisticated look, wear belts with your trousers. Investing in good leather belts in colors like brown, tan, or black is always best. These three colors are basic and work with almost every pair of trousers or dress pants. A belt not only gives a perfect fit of trousers at your waist but also adds a cohesive element to your overall appearance.
27. Pocket Squares:
If you are going for a blazer, you might as well go for a pocket square to get that polished and classy look. A good pocket square contrasting the color of your blazer will enhance the look of your business casual for men.
Adding a stylish and elegant watch to your business casual wardrobe is always a wise move. A watch can make an impactful first appearance. So, pick a watch with a solid or stripe strap that compliments your belt and shoes.
29. Fedoras and Caps:
Fedoras are not recommended as they are no longer relevant. Avoid caps as well, as they are too casual.
While selecting your socks, remember you’re buying them to look well-dressed, not stylish. So, go with solid colors and patterns that match your dress shoes, and that’s it!!
31. Business Casual Shirt
A shirt can literally make or break any business casual outfit!
Business casual shirts for men are basic yet crucial clothing essentials because they act as the foundation. This is why it is always advised to pick your dress shirt wisely.
Go for a crisp, well-fitting button-down shirt in natural fabrics like cotton, linen, or silk. Colors should be solid or neutral and in subtle patterns. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you must wear a traditional white collared shirt. For example, you can wear classic blue, light lavender, and baby pink colors for summer and dark gray, chocolate browns, or bottle-green for winter.
Never wear graphic tees or T-shirts to a formal event or meeting. These clothing pieces that look highly informal or casual are not appropriate for such occasions. However, in a few settings, you can also wear polo shirts. Also, you can roll up your sleeves for a laid-back vibe, but be mindful of your office culture.
32. Business Casual Shoes
While getting dressed, we always wear our shoes at the end, but that shouldn’t be the last thing on our minds when we think about business casual attire.
Shoes are a very important element in our outfit, and we should always consider the type and style of shoes for business casual events.
So, what are the right footwear types for business casual for men?
There are various options for business casual shoes for men. Dress shoes are a great option as they create a perfect formal look, but you can also opt for loafers, boat shoes, loafers, derbies, or brogues, but get them in classic colors like brown or black. These types of shoes create a balance between formality and casualness.
Your shoes should always be polished, well-maintained and complement the rest of your outfit. Never wear sneakers, sandals, or flip-flops, as these footwear are considered overly casual.
Neckties aren’t mandatory, but they can elevate your outfit to a significant level. You can look at the ties mentioned below. Select materials like silk or knit in solid colors or with a minimal pattern that goes well with your blazer.
From small metal cufflinks to something custom-made, you can choose cufflinks based on your office policy. You can also get your cufflinks in sterling silver, gold, metal, or other precious stones or gems.
These are some of the hand-picked recommendations for choosing your right business casual outfit. You can mix and match among these 30 dressing styles and their combinations based on what will suit your physical build.
Remember that dress codes change from workplace to workplace, so it is important to read the air at your workplace before styling your outfit. It is always better to be overdressed rather than underdressed. Hence if you are unsure whether an outfit is business casual enough, always wear it one step more formally, just in case.