Mixing Formal with Casual Looks for New Trends
Grenson’s owner Tim Little put it aptly, “Many people now only wear formal clothing to weddings and funerals”. A strictly formal outfit will, therefore, leave you looking old hat.
Men’s wardrobe has always tilted towards the “street” for trend-setting inspiration; with that, the lines between the casual and formal outfits are blurring. This certainly does not mean that chinos can be worn with chappals i.e., flip-flops or sweatshirts worn over sweat pants for office wear. This just means that the formal attires now are more versatile than ever.
In this new relaxed world, suits can be worn over t-shirts, monochromes over disparate footwear, and blazers over washed denim jeans. However, times like this where fashion isn’t so absolute anymore call for smart guides for readers to wade through. For you to gain an insightful view of the Dos and Don’ts of contemporary formal looks, we’ve enumerated 10 classy formal attires below. These formal looks, with the perfect amount of casual, will take your casual Friday traditionalism well into the dapper weekend!
10 Formal Looks for Men
Attire 1: White Striped Formal Spread Shirt+ Brown Formal Shoes+ Grey Trouser
The first attire on the list is for your utmost comfort. This simple yet remarkable look is ideal for when you do not want to wear a suit or any utterly formal attire. The super slim striped shirt, by Louis Philippe, will not also radiate a sophisticated look but also be as comfortable as it gets. The well-tailored grey trousers, also by Louis Philippe, are both smart and comfortable to move around in.
Regardless of its simplicity, this outfit is very versatile. Want to look a bit more formal? Just layer it up with a grey blazer. You can also opt for a classy brown leather belt that matches the color of your shoes. These robust brown shoes, from the house of Hush Puppies, feature a polished appeal with a touch of sophistication in its style.
If formal shoes aren’t your cup of tea, match the attire with white sneakers for a cool look!
You can buy this shirt at Rs 1,049 from www.flipkart.com.
You can buy these jeans at Rs 2,598 from www.flipkart.com.
You can buy these shoes at Rs 3,999 from www.bata.in
Attire 2: Navy Trousers + White Shirt + Black Dress Shoes
You’ve probably heard it before that navy and white can never go wrong. This timeless attire will never go out of trend which is why it deserves a place in your wardrobe. Also, whenever you are in doubt about what to wear, you can trust on this navy and white combination to save the day. This lightweight tailored fit formal shirt, by Invictus, has a classic spread collar, long sleeves with button cuffs, and curved hem in crisp white color. The slim fit formal trouser, also by Invictus, is in classic navy color with as many as five pockets, a zip fly with a button closure, and a waistband with belt loops.
If you want to dress up with this outfit, you can match it with a navy blazer or a trendy grey blazer. The versatility of this attire enables you to match it with shoes ranging from white sneakers to sophisticated black dress shoes. This particular pair of pointy-toed black formal Oxfords incorporates central lace-ups with a textured detail.
You can buy this shirt at Rs 879 from www.myntra.com
You can buy these trousers at Rs 1,079 from www.myntra.com
You can buy these shoes at Rs 1,749 from www.myntra.com
Attire 3: Turquoise Shirt + Khaki Jeans + Tan Loafers
This one is an impeccable Friday attire. This is the look you go for when you’re planning on hanging out with your friends after work. The Venete classic fit turquoise shirt, by Zodiac, incorporates lightweight fabric crafted using fine cotton imported from the world's finest mills.
The khaki jean provides a balance between formal and casual. Furthermore, it sends a bit more calming feel than the customary black slacks. The khaki jeans selected, by brooklyn fit jeans, are concentrated in stretchable khaki twill with clean, 5-pocket styling.
To make this attire more formal you can opt for a nice brown leather belt that matches the color of your shoes. These Krimston tan loafers have Spanish rebound sole foam for extra comfort of the user. They are also hand burnished for an impeccable two tone effect.
For jeans, you should pick the material based on the season. Pick cotton jeans for summers and woolen jeans for winters.
You can buy this shirt at Rs 2,899 from www.zodiaconline.com
You can buy these jeans at Rs 1,379 from www.indianterrain.com
You can buy these shoes at Rs 4,799 from thehouseofrare.com
Attire 4: Blue Printed Shirt+ Dark Grey Trouser+ Brown Dress Shoes
This one’s not only perfect for your day to day average wear but also ideal for your first date. You would not want to overdress or undress when you’re meeting a lady for the very first time. Therefore, this outfit is a fine balance between both looks.
Such attires can be ranked as smart outfits. This is formal enough to pull off at your workplace and casual enough to keep you comfortable on a date. The blue shirt, by Van Heusen, will ensure you radiate class as well as enjoy comfort with regular fit and cotton fabric respectively. The solid grey trouser, presented by Byford, with cotton fabric and ankle length will ensure the same. To make this attire more formal, you can unfold the sleeves of the shirt and wear classic cufflinks.
For shoes, opt for these Brown Hobbs Leather Derby Shoes. They come with a sophisticated leather upper, cushioned footbed, and textured outsole with a stacked heel.
You can buy this shirt at Rs 1,225 from paytmmall.com
You can buy these trousers at Rs 750 from www.pantaloons.com
You can buy these shoes at Rs 2,999 from www.myntra.com
Attire 5: White Striped Shirt+ Navy Trouser+ Tan Dress Boots
This one’s another remarkable attire when you do not want to dress up too formally. White and navy is, without doubt, a contrast that never runs out of style. The crisp white shirt, by the well-known Peter England, is a regular fit striped shirt constructed of 100% cotton to provide the utmost comfort. The navy trouser by Urban Ranger, is one constructed of cotton for comfort coupled with the classic solid pattern. With this outfit, you will have to be a bit careful about the fit of your shirt as well as jeans; you shouldn’t opt for skinny tight jeans or a tight shirt.
You can also add a sophisticated watch or a cool leather bracelet to notch things up. Make sure that it contrasts well with the tab dress shoes that you opt for. This Tilden cap shoe selected is of the dark tan leather color to give a sophisticated feel to your formal wear.
You can buy this shirt at Rs 880 from www.peterengland.com
You can buy this trouser at Rs 900 from www.pantaloons.com
You can buy these shoes at Rs 2,499 from www.clarks.in
Attire 6: White Crisp Shirt+ Navy Blazer+ Washed Denim+ Tan Dress Shoes
Here’s yet another twist on the classic white and navy attire formula. This attire leans more towards casual than formal. However, it is more than formal for some professionals such as artists, designers, bloggers, architects, etc. This well fitted white crisp shirt, by Peter England, will always make you look sharp.
Whenever you feel like wearing a blazer but without the extremely formal dress pants, switch your uncomfortable pants with a cool washed jean to achieve the ultimate look.
Zara’s medium faded comfortable fit jeans will help you achieve just the trendy look. Hang Up’s navy blue solid single breasted casual blazer, on the other hand, will do miracles for you with its sleek polyester fabric. If you’re wearing this outfit in winters, you can also layer it up with a camel overcoat. The camel color goes well with the white and navy contrast!
Finally, for shoes, opt for Bampton Walk’s smartest men shoes: British tan leather. These first-rate shoes come in tan leather with polished details on the toes.
You can buy this shirt at Rs 825 from www.peterengland.com
You can buy these jeans at Rs 2,790 from www.zara.com
You can buy these shoes at Rs 4,999 from www.clarks.in
You can buy this blazer at Rs 2,758 from www.limeroad.com
Attire 7: Grey Suit+ White Shirt+ Black Formal Shoes
This one’s an outlook for all the achievers out there. If you want to walk in your office with the look of a leader instead of a follower, opt for classic grey attire. It’s also a splendid choice for when you have to lead a team meeting.
Hats off to Zara for delivering all essentials for this remarkable office look. The tailored comfort chintz suit consists of a blazer with detachable pin details, a chest welt pocket, and front button fastening as well as a slim fit trouser with front pockets, rear jetted pockets and zip fly.
A basic stretch t-shirt with short sleeves and a round neckline ought to be more than perfect to wear underneath this suit. To make things more formal, you can substitute the t-shirt with a black or white collar shirt. For shoes, go for the prominent faux patent leather Oxford shoes. Much like the rest of the outfit, these shoes give a smart feel with features such as a subtle golden welt detail on the heel.
You can buy this suit at Rs 8,280 from www.zara.com
You can buy this shirt at Rs 990 from www.zara.com
You can buy these shoes at Rs 4,990 from www.zara.com
Attire 8: Grey Wool Overcoat + Black Turtleneck Sweater + Black Jeans+ White Trainers
This is a nearly monochrome outfit. If you’re opting for a closely-monochrome or monochrome outfit, keep in mind a few tricks:
1. Do not match your shoes with the attire.
2. The fabric of all clothing items should be different. You can work around with the texture.
3. Try to be creative.
4. If you want to top the outfit with a belt, its colour should also be different than that of the outfit.
Mango’s classy grey overcoat comes with Nova Fides Italic wool fabric, lapel collar, two side welt pockets, one inner pocket, and button fastening on the front. The black turtleneck sweater, giving a smart Steve Jobs look, comes in the Merino wool fabric. H&M’s black jeans of cotton and elastane fabric come with a regular waist, zip fly, and slim legs. Notice how each clothing item’s fabric differs from the other!
Finally, a pair of cool white trainers, with the classic leather composition, will exotically complete the entire look.
You can buy this overcoat at Rs 16,990 from shop.mango.com
You can buy this sweater at Rs 4,590 from shop.mango.com
You can buy these jeans at Rs 1,499 from www2.hm.com
You can buy these trainers at Rs 4,499 from www2.hm.com
Attire 9: Beige Jacket+ Beige Trouser+ Tassel Loafers+ White Crisp Shirt
If you’re tired of wearing the same navy and black suits then this beige colored suit is the smartest choice. This attire works best for entrepreneurs or artists who need to dress up in a distinct tone.
You can get the beige trousers, linen blend beige jacket, and white crisp shirt from H&M. The stretchable trouser comes with a zip fly, side pockets, and welt back pockets. The classic single breasted jacket, on the other hand, comes in linen and cotton weave with top notch lapels, a chest pocket, a welt front pocket, and an inner pocket.
The linen blend regular fit shirt, in the color white, incorporates a classic front and an open chest pocket. However, the beige color is utterly versatile which means that you can match it a shirt of any color underneath.
With a tassle on the top, Alberto Torresi’s willian tasseled slip-ons, is an elegant leather pair that can go from day to night. You can opt for any other kind of slip ons, loafers or dress shoes.
You can buy this jacket at Rs 3,999 from www2.hm.com
You can but these trousers at Rs 919 from www2.hm.com
You can buy this shirt at Rs 1,999 from www2.hm.com
You can buy these shoes at Rs 1,799 from www.albertotorresi.com
Attire 10: Navy Blazer + Crisp White Shirt + Navy Trousers + White Sneakers
This color contrast of white and navy deserves another spot on the list for it is the safest outfit combination of all.
Truth be told, one can simply not go wrong with this attire. Also, this attire works for almost all situations. From a team briefing meeting to a casual meet with friends, this attire will never fail you. The Navy trouser, by Classio fashion, incorporates a solid pattern for a flawless look. Gold Stitch’s textured as well as slim fit blazer will perfectly complement it.
The distinct touch of Sportstar’s white sneakers under this attire will radiate both a cool and trendy feel. Even though going sock-less with this attire is the ideal choice, you can wear socks of a darker shade that match the color of the trouser i.e., navy if you really have to.
Shafesbury London’s crisp white shirt, constructed of cotton, will fit perfectly beneath the blazer. If you are not a fan of white shirts, you can substitute it with light shades of pink and blue and this attire will still impress everyone.
You can buy this jacket at Rs 2,199 from www.amazon.in
You can but these trousers at Rs 495 from www.amazon.in
You can buy this shirt at Rs 699 from www.amazon.in
You can buy these shoes at Rs 499 from www.amazon.in
3 Conventional Footwear You Can Match With Most Formal Attires
Men Brown Formal Oxford Shoes
A pair of brown colored shoes is one of the must-haves. Brown shoes go impeccably with dark green, olive green, light grey, brown, tan suits for the ultimate formal look. Oxford shoes have been the classiest choice for men since the beginning of time. This pair of square-toed shoes, by the brand Invictus, comes with central lace-ups. It incorporates a comfortable foot bed, synthetic upper and textured TPR outsole with a stacked heel.
You can buy them at Rs 1,259 from www.myntra.com
Red Tape Men Black Brogues Formal Shoes
A pair of black colored shoes should inevitably be your initial go-to when you’re planning your business wardrobe. You can wear your black shoes with charcoal, gray, and black suits for an impeccable formal look. Brogues have gained the reputation of one of the classiest shoes in the past few years. This pair of round toe shaped shoes, by the brand Red Tape, comes with central lace-ups. It incorporates a leather composition for utter durability.
You can buy them at Rs 1,499 from paytmmall.com
Krimston - Navy Loafers
Loafers are, without doubt, the most comfortable formal footwear for all. Also, loafers will always work with suits. A tip here will be to make sure that your trouser length is at the ankle. This classy Krimston loafer is hand polished for a flawless two tone effect. It incorporates a Spanish rebound insole form for additional comfort. For heel cushioning, the loafer has a special oval shaped latex foam.
You can buy this at Rs 4,799 from thehouseofrare.com
Choose Accessories Carefully
The era of traditional office formal wear is gone. The trend is now changing, with a flavour of casual in the formal looks. Choose your accessories carefully. Avoid wearing or carrying items that might leave a snag or mark on your ensemble. Where you store your formal wear is equally as important. Choose a place that is cool, well-ventilated and free from natural and artificial light.