Business Casual Outfits For Men: Starting off as a crazy advertising tactic by a Hawaiian company to increase sales and profit, business casual became a trend in the 1960s. The main idea was to make people wear a different outfit on Fridays like a Hawaiian shirt. Soon the trend caught on and spread in America like wildfire because people were tired of wearing the same stuffy dresses day in and out.
Various brands like Levis, J.Crew etc jumped with their products to give this trend a boost and in today’s world, this separate category of business attire is now a real thing. Men have initially been very confused as to what comes in the category of business casual. This will differ according to the industry you belong to and the nature of your office.
How To Wear Business Casual for Men
The three main variants that most men are employed in are White Collar Jobs, Service industry and Startups and New Setups.
- Only the startups and new setups allow their employees to dress really casually, so avoid wearing jeans and sneakers into your workplace and keep it nice and decent.
- When confused, try to keep to the formal dress code.
- Observe your co-workers as they are the key to your dress choices.
Here we will provide a detailed guide so you can select the most appropriate and dynamic outfit for your casual days.
↓ 18. Caution for Navy Blazers
It is the rule of the thumb that navy blazers are donned in the formal settings, albeit with full protocol. For the casual business outfit, you get to play with your navy blazer. Avoid the double-breasted golden buttoned or fancy buttoned blazers because they are worn in more formal settings and instead go for simple and elegantly fitted navy blazers which will give you a smart casual look. A navy blazer doesn’t only gives you a classic look but goes well with a multitude of colors and patterns of shirts and pants. Blue blazers will greatly complement your white pants and give a very suave and safe look for strict dress code settings. Here are 20 Ways to Wear Blue Suits with Brown Shoes Ideas for Men.
↓ 17. Light Colored Blazers
In informal and casual settings, it is best that plain navy colored blazers are avoided since they kill the purpose of wearing the informal or casual outfit and rather different colored blazers are used. Depending on your work setting and environment, you can opt for different shades of grey or brown. For more strict work settings try to choose darker shades and for relatively easy going work settings, you can choose to wear light colored blazers like the one displayed in the image below.
↓ 16. White Casual Look
Even though casual means ditching the similar shades pants and blazer, however, you can bring in the spirit of casual even by wearing the same shades. This can be done by experimenting with new and non-traditional colors. This could lead towards innovative but muted colored suits such as grey and white and would be the perfect look for the summer season. You can pair it with bright colored and patterned ties and pocket squares to make the overall look stand out and be different from others. You can shop this look at Lookastic.
↓ 15. Casual Ties with Suits
To add a spin to your casual business outfit, you can use various style, pattern, and color of ties. You can use striped or printed ties and if the work dress code allows, even flaunt bright colored ties. Bright colored ties are best used with a white shirt or light colored pantsuit. You can choose various fabrics for ties like one very brilliant fabric for ties is grenadine. Knitted ties are also very in these days and can be employed. If your office setting is not as strict, you can possibly also ditch neck wear altogether and go without it. Don’t miss out these 25 Ideas on How to Wear Double-Breasted Suits for Men.
↓ 14. Contemporary Casual Look
Contemporary casual look dictates that short length blazers and unstructured coats are used instead of longer length blazers. You can always opt for shorter unstructured blazers if your dress code policy is relaxed and not too conservative. Shorter length blazers also give you a more refined and taller look. Shop the look from Topman.
↓ 13. How to Style Jackets
Often jackets are widely permissible by all or most dress code standards. Opt for a formal jacket and ditch the blazer. Go for a jacket that is similar in tone to pants for more formal dress code policy in offices. You can try various styles in jackets ranging from structured and formal jackets to more informal ones.
↓ 12. The Classic Winter Look
Winter season means that warm and practical clothing should be an essential part of your wardrobe. For a classic winter look that comes in the title of business casual, you can wear a dress shirt with cardigans and sweaters that are not too bold color or print wise and have the ability to keep you warm. In case the weather gets harsher, you can always wear various options with layering which we will later explain. Shop this classic look at Zara Men.
↓ 11. Casual Summer Wear
The arrival of summer means a drastic change in the casual business outfit selection. It is best to sport a summer coat or a sports coat specifically designed with the idea of warm weather in mind. Sports coat are similar to normal coats or blazer however they vary on the basis of fabric, weave, and stitching. Even though you have to keep in mind that the coat is not heavy weight wise, yet if it is too light you will compromise on the styling since the fall of the coat will not be great and it will leave a bad impression as it will also get creases easily. Unlined coats are better than lined coats since they will be easier to carry and will not suffocate you in harsh weather conditions.
↓ 10. Patterned Trousers with Blazers
Casual business attire provides you the breathing space to wear patterned pants and trousers, however, it is not an easy feat to decide upon the right fit of patterned trousers for different work settings. For offices that are strict about their dress code, you have to keep towards unpatterned or very small patterned pants. One such amazingly classic print is that of houndstooth which can go well with the crisp white shirt and you can easily ditch the blazer. Here are 30 Amazing Men’s Suits Combinations to Get Sharp Look.
Similarly, for less strict dress codes you can go for larger yet subtle colored patterns. This calls for the stripped or checks print blazers and trousers in various shades of grey, brown and white.
↓ 9. Business Casual Polo
Whether polo shirt falls in an accepted spectrum for business casual dress code is debatable, but not altogether a wrong choice. It would be wise to first check and look for how acceptable polo shirts are at your office and amongst your colleagues. Full sleeves or half sleeves polo shirts are accepted at certain office settings and can be the best choice for summer wear. Polo shirts can also be worn with blazers, jackets, and coats to make them a more acceptable choice. In winters, knitted polo shirts with full sleeves can be added to your outfit.
↓ 8. Layering it Up Professionally
One of the biggest dilemmas for business casual outfit selection is how to layer up in winters and yet not look inappropriate in a particular business setting. The best option for a conservative dress code policy would be to stick to a white shirt paired with a grey v-neck sweater, donned with a navy blazer and then topped with a perfectly stitched cashmere charcoal colored top coat which protects you from the freezing wind and extremely cold weather. Choose a simple navy tie to go with this outfit. Find a similar option from J.Crew.
However, in a more relaxed office setting, you can replace the white shirt with a pastel or check print shirt and go for a jacket and a top coat with various color options ranging from more formal blue to grey, white and black.
↓ 7. Business Casual Dress Shirt
Dress shirts are a very important part of your overall outfit and will have to be carefully worn according to the policy of the company. For more conservative companies, ditch the neckwear and use various shades of white as shown below. Button-down oxford shirts are preferable to dress shirts.
However, if you can, go with various pastel shades or play along with printed dress shirt with your pants like lighter shades of pink, purple, peach and mint green etc. Printed shirts that are stripped or have small delicate prints can also be worn in relatively less conservative places. You don’t have to button up the shirt all the way up, rather keep first two buttons undone to carry that effortless casual look.
↓ 6. How to Style Crewneck Shirt for Business Wear
Crewneck shirts, cardigans, sweaters, and undershirts are often worn below blazers but certain rules apply. While wearing crewneck shirts and undershirts, it is advisable to not show off the shirt as it takes away from that elegant business casual look you are going for, instead, hide the shirt under your blazer. However, with crewneck sweaters and cardigans, no such rule applies.
↓ 5. Corduroy Pants
Corduroy pants are excellent for keeping you warm while providing another easy choice in the pants section. It is better to ditch the blazer or jacket while wearing corduroy pants as part of a casual wear and instead go with just the shirt or crewneck sweater. Here are 17 Ways to Wear Sweaters Fashionably.
↓ 4. Playing it Safe with Khaki Pants
Dread the khaki? Well not anymore. Khakis have been put to good use by the fashion designers and have been quite impressively improved with time. Khaki can be worn casually and formally and can be paired with various tops. Being a style staple for summer, khaki can be worn in winters as well. Khaki can be worn with button-down shirts in summers and for colder weather, you can wear them with sweater and blazers. If you are going for casual wear, try to wear a contrasting khaki and blazer/jacket combo, to escape that schoolboy vibe and to appear sophisticatedly causal.
Khakis are available in various colors so you have a wide variety to pick from. It is best to go with darker shades.
↓ 3. Going Casual with Chino
Chinos and khakis have been in competition since ever but this has led to a great improvement and various styles options for men today. For a business casual look, wear your chinos with oxford shirts in either white or pastels and with a different or contrasting shade of sweater, cardigan or blazer. Dark colored chinos will be great for winter and light colored ones for summers. Chinos provide you with a great fit, sleek look and its stretchability gives you easy movement and comfort.
↓ 2. Accessorizing for Optimal Effect
The accessories you use along with your dress will enhance your overall look. For shoes, we recommend comfortable formal shoes like loafers or boots like monk strap boots, leather boots etc. Avoid the formal Derbies and Oxford shoes that you carry in your usual formal business wear.
You can go for casual socks with small prints. Avoid using trainers and sneakers until you are sure they will meet the approved dress code because it is not wise to use them in conservative environments. Always go for smart and sleek shoes for business casual.
Scarves can be worn in colder weather but stick to darker shades and small prints. Silk scarves look elegant and will go well with your outfit.
Boutonniere and lapel pins can be used to create a nice touch but that depends on your surrounding and if you feel doubtful, ditch them.
Watches and cufflinks are add-ons that give you that particular gentleman charm. Choose metal strap watches over leather strap watches as they will complement all your various outfit choices.
↓ 1. Business Casual Accessories
It is best if you choose the right bag because it could bring your whole personality together. Avoid the backpacks and instead, go with decent leather bags or canvas bags.