Business casual attire is one of the best styles any gentleman can wear. It’s sophisticated, intelligent, but at the same time not overbearing. It shows that you’re classy, confident, and take pride in your image. There are a few different pieces of apparel you’ll need to pull off a business casual look. Once you have them in your wardrobe you will be an unstoppable fashion machine.
Business Casual Attire For Men
Nothing says business casual more than a blazer. The beauty of them is that they can be layered with a variety of clothing making them extremely versatile. Navy, gray, and black are great colours to start with since they blend in with other tones easily. Regarding material, a wool blazer is ideal for the fall and winter to combat the weather. For spring and summer, linen or cotton blazers are more lightweight thus you’ll find them more wearable.
Under a blazer you could practically wear anything and it’ll work, especially for mens business casual attire. Since we’re not aiming for a strict formal appearance, consider looks like:
A white v-neck t-shirt under a navy blazer is simple and classic. You could sport this with jeans, chinos, or even shorts for a country-club look.
A dark navy turtleneck sweater under a gray blazer is perfect for the fall or winter. It utilizes colours that are perfect for the colder months, provides warmth, and looks timeless.
This style utilizes a blue linen blazer with a white dress shirt. To make it even more casual, leave a couple of buttons undone on the shirt. Put on your favourite pair of loafers and khaki chinos to finish this outfit.
These are going to be an integral part of your business casual ensembles. Every gentleman is built differently so you will need to understand what to look for in jeans. The different types that are made include:
- Skinny fitting: Very popular among younger gentlemen and those with slimmer builds. They fit tighter on the hip all the way to the hem. Normally they are made with a zippler fly with a low or mid rise.
- Slim fitting: A great middle ground that most gentlemen can enjoy. They aren’t too skinny nor are they too baggy. They usually have a mid rise while being straight through the hip, slim in the thigh, and narrow in the hem.
- Regular fit: These are your traditional straight legged jeans with a mid rise.
- Relaxed fit: Looser than a regular fit with a relaxed fitting in the waist, leg, and hem. These are not going to hug any part of your body.
If you are wondering what the “rise” is on jeans, it is simply the distance between the crotch to the waistband. Here are some examples:
- High rise jeans: Ideal for the bigger gentleman as they are normally worn on or above the belly button.
- Mid rise jeans: The waistband falls slightly under the belly button and is good for those that enjoy tucking in their shirts.
- Low rise jeans: A more casual appearance as they are worn much more below the belly button.
When purchasing jeans consider these ideas:
- The weight of the denim. Is it light? Is it heavy? Lighter denim jeans will keep you cool during the warmer months. Heavier denim of course is fantastic for the fall and winter.
- The wash. Washes are treatments performed on jeans to give them a specific appearance. This includes stone wash, acid wash, and the staple blue wash.
- The versatility. A light or dark pair of blue jeans is king. They will match with literally everything you put on for business casual outfits. Gray, black, and white jeans have their place in menswear but always get the staple pieces first.
Streamlined style defines low-rise jeans cut with a lean fit and dyed in a clean indigo wash.
Modern skinny jeans crafted in America from clean black denim offer a sharp, work-ready look that easily transitions from day to night.
Chino is a twill fabric that is most commonly made into pants. Originally chino pants were worn primarily by the military in the mid nineteenth century. Eventually they become more available to citizens and evolved into the classic menswear piece they are today. While they are created in endless colours, khaki is the most popular and known as the go-to office pants. They can have a bit of slack in their fitting but most will find a slim fit ideal.
A simple outfit you should try consists of brown loafers, khaki chinos, and a white dress shirt that’s tucked in. Assure that you always match the colour of your shoes to your belt for added detail. Chinos could also be sported with oxfords and a t-shirt under a blazer.
Simple, clean tailoring refines stretch-cotton chinos made for the office, the bistro and all the stops between.
Business Casual Shoes
For our footwear we can have a bit more fun than usual. Traditional formal footwear consists of shoes like cap toe oxfords or derbys. While these work perfectly fine for a business casual outfit, we can also mix in some more fashion-forward choices.
The first is the very popular monkstrap shoe. These were originally created for monks(Hence the name) when working outdoors centuries ago in Europe. They have a sturdy and snug construction with an overlying piece of leather fastened by straps and buckles. Over time this style of shoe become an iconic item in menswear. Since they are not overly formal, they pair incredibly with mens business casual attire.
They come in single, double, and even triple strap styles. The double monk is definitely the most popular and stylish which is what we recommend. A pair composed of a high quality calfskin will develop its look over time and will last you for years to come. Suede can also be worn but will require higher levels of maintenance. Here are some outfit ideas for monkstrap shoes:
A blue blazer, blue jeans, and a pair of black single monkstrap shoes. You could wear a t-shirt or dress shirt underneath the blazer.
A blue turtleneck sweater on top of beige chino pants and brown monkstraps is comfortable and classy. You can throw on a blazer over this to add an extra layer if desired.
One of the most loved dress shoes across the world, loafers come in a variety of styles that you’ll effortlessly look good wearing. They are characterized by a slip-on construction without laces or closure. Some loafers will feature tassels or an extra piece of leather on top with a diamond cut-out(Known as penny loafers). Calfskin or full grain leather are wise choices but suede loafers also look very elegant. We suggest the colour brown as you will match it with everything else with ease.
The typical business casual pants includes jeans, chinos, and shorts. These all just so happen to look wonderful with loafers in any way you style them. Loafers. cotton shorts, and a polo shirt is a simple look you can wear during the spring or summer. Swap the shorts for khaki chinos and the polo for a tucked-in dress shirt to create a dapper loafer ensemble.
No loafer is more prestigious than this pair. A sleek Gancio bit tops a handsome Italian loafer formed from calfskin leather.
Charming tassels top off a rich loafer shaped from lustrous leather for a bit of eye-catching shine.
We’ve mentioned the use of dress shirts in a few outfits previously. They are both a staple in formal and business casual menswear.
One of the biggest factors to consider is the fitting. Too loose and you may look like a balloon but too small and you’ll look like the Incredible Hulk. The key is to get a snug fit that doesn’t restrict any movement you’d do throughout the day. The sleeve should end just on or slightly past the wristbone to show under your suit jacket. The overall shirt should make you look slimmer and be easy to tuck in.
White is the most common dress shirt colour as it creates a simple base for you to work off of. A light blue will be your next best choice and has a similar effect. It compliments most gentlemen’s complexions and doesn’t scream for attention. Don’t be afraid to mix in maroon, gray, purple, yellow, and other colours if they match the outfit.
You can also wear dress shirts that have patterns such as stripes or checkers. Assure that you don’t wear too much of a single pattern in your outfit as it is overwhelming.
In a business casual sense, here are some styling ideas:
- On their own with jeans, chinos, or shorts.
- Under a sweater for a smart look.
- Layered with blazers.
- With a cardigan over top, buttoned or unbuttoned.
- Sleeves rolled up.
Recommended Dress Shirts
Contrast lining at the collar and cuffs, along with ribbon trim at the inside placket, add polish to a trim-fitting sport shirt cut from classic oxford-woven cotton.
An extra-slender button-down woven from light oxford cloth downplays sharp style when worn casually unbuttoned at the neck.
These are the main components of a business casual wardrobe. Focus on chinos, jeans, and shorts for pants. T-shirts, dress shirts, sweaters, and cardigans will be your go-to tops. Loafers, monkstraps, oxfords, and even sneakers are smart footwear to choose from. Leave out the ties, vests, and other attire that is very formal. A chronograph or dress watch should be on your wrist with a business casual outfit. Focus on nailing a good combination of colours with proper fitting and you’ll never look better.