Tips for Choosing Business Casual Wear for Men
What is Business Casual for Men
In comparison to the conventional office attire, business casual wear isn’t quite that formal. Still, it has been designed to present a professional and businesslike impression, nonetheless, which also leaves a lot of room for interpretation! For men, an appropriate form of business casual attire includes Chinos or Dress Slack, a button-down shirt, dark-coloured socks and dress shoes.
Until recent times, this form of dress code didn’t exist; it was either day wear or evening wear with a Stroller coat in the morning and a tailcoat for evening events. The max the casual attire would stretch to would perhaps be a tweed suit. Business suits became standard daywear towards the turn of the century and then around 1996, casual Friday paved the way for business casuals. In most work environments today, a business casual attire is said to include a Sports Coat or Blazer, a long-sleeved Dress Shirt, optional neckwear that has ties, knit tie or grenadine tie, Dress Pants, Chinos or Khakhis, Cardigans/Vest or Sweaters, Accessories and Shoes or Boots.
What Not to Wear for Business Casual?
Even though it has casual in it, your attire is still in the realm of business wear. So wearing ripped jeans, flip flops, ratty sneakers or stained tees is an absolute no! Business Casuals don’t mean Comfy Home Clothes. Avoid clothes with offensive graphics, words or logos. If you’re lost for inspiration, look at someone senior to you at work and follow their example.
Business Casual doesn’t mean Sports Wear either and should be ideally suited to your work environment.
Some key Don’t’s in the business casual domain include – avoiding overly fancy suit jackets, polo tees or shirts, baggy sweaters, an absolute no to shorts, casual or street style jeans or athletic pants, bright colours, busy or loud patterns that call for attention, informal sneakers, slip ons, sandals or other overly casual footwear.
Business Casuals in Different Industries
You are donning a business casual attire warrants following an expected principle of style and elegance, where a stiff business dressing sense is now substituted with a slightly more graded office styling. The business casuals may vary industry to industry. Still, there are similarities in plenty across the board, and once you have the basics down, you can tone down your dressing or enhance it with the use of accessories without going overboard.
For instance, when dressing for a Job Interview, if the work environment you’re pitching your skills for boasts of a smart casual dress code, you should still go with a more formal look than a business casual as you need to dress to impress and come across as professional.
You can wear a suit jacket with slacks, a shirt and a tie or opt for a sweater with a button-down shirt. In the manufacturing industry, your office attire should be crisp and ironed, avoid clothes with offensive writes or images and opt for clothes with the company logo as in polo or a cardigan.
Business Casual Apparel for Men
Charcoal Grey Checked Slim Fit Single-breasted Smart Casual Blazer
The business casual dress code in most organizations remains quite an elusive thought with no set limits or rules. A smart blazer is one of the first wear that comes to mind in the realm of business casuals. Tight and tailored, it needs to flaunt a slim cut, lapel that stops just above the hip, a square fit on the shoulders and sleeves just uptil the shirt cuff. With a variety of materials and styles to choose from, the best option is to get a single breast light wool blazer in a classic style with notch or peak lapels. This would be comfortable in any season and would work wonderfully in a dark neutral colour.
For instance, this Charcoal Grey smart casual blazer from Blackberrys come in a checked single-breasted style with notched lapels, long sleeves, 5 pockets, a button closure, attached lining and double vented hem. Made in polyester with the same fabric in the lining, the blazer has been tailored for a perfect slim fit and is best worn with a crisp shirt and pair of trousers. The Charcoal Grey Checked Slim Fit Single-breasted Smart Casual Blazer is priced at Rs.3,497.
White Slim Fit Printed Business Casual Shirt
A stylish button-down shirt underneath a classy blazer is what will rock your business casual look with two straight seams in the back that cling to the shoulders and frame tightly, in colours like light shades of blue, pink or white. You’d then move onto exploring different patterns, brighter colours to matching changing trends once you become comfortable. However, if you prefer a no blazer looks then opt for a collared shirt, paired with a tie if you are planning to wear a cardigan. The slim printed Business Casual Shirt in White from Simon Carter London exudes style along with comfort and has been made in 100% cotton fabric. Combined with a pair of trousers and Oxford Shoes, you’ll be making a style statement of your own in the business circle. Priced at Rs.1,534.
Solid Flat Front Trousers
Since straight suit pants are no longer imperative, you can explore different varieties of business casuals looking for both sharp and sophisticated options. Neat and tight-fitting trousers though work well on this front, should not be too tight as too suffocate.
For instance, a pair of mid-weight cotton chinos with a neutral appeal and flat front will look very smart, while premium-quality types of denim should be a preferred choice over casual types of denim. This Slim Fit Trouser from Colour Plus has been designed with a flat front construct in full length with button closure and is mid-rise. Apt for business casual attire, this pair of trousers come in Cotton Lycra fabric in a slim fit with two slant pockets and 2 buttoned double welts, available in sizes 30-42 and is priced at Rs.1,839.
Slim Fit Smart Casual Jeans
For smart business casuals, a pair of dark and raw types of denim in a regular or slim cut with a smart blazer is acceptable and is best donned for casual Fridays or certain meetings. For instance, this U.S. Polo Assn. Slim-Fit Stretch Jeans is 5-pocket mid-rise denim with a distressed clean look and light fade. With a button and zip closure, it comes in a slim fit, stretchable fabric in a dark shade and regular length. Available in sizes 28-38, the Blue Slim Fit Mid-Rise Clean Look Stretchable Jeans from U.S. Polo Assn. is priced at Rs.2,719 and available online on Myntra.
Business Casual Cardigan
Donning a cardigan instead of a blazer is one of the easiest and more straightforward ways of transforming your office attire into a business casual look. Albeit a cardigan is a stylish fashion piece because of its changeability and ability to match up to a wide range of looks, it can also make for an excellent business casual wear for a formal and sophisticated look. A cashmere cardigan brings lightweight warmth to any setting. This V-Neck Cardigan from Everlane is a slim fit business casual don made of Cashmere from Mongolia and crafted with reinforced ribbing at the neck and cuffs. Available in sizes XS-XXL and colours black, charcoal, grey or dark navy, the Cashmere V-Neck is priced at Rs.10,140.
Business Casual Accessories for Men
Corporate Casual Footwear
In the wide-ranging dress code considerations of business casuals for Men, there’s a choice of acceptable footwear as well, with quality and style common criteria. On that front, sticking with monk straps, polished loafers or Oxfords is the best. Opt for leather footwear in shades of dark red, tan or chocolate and if you’d like to experiment, then go in for a decent pair of Chukkas or suede ankle boots, only if your office allows for it! This pair of Corporate Casuals from Woodlands is made of genuine Nubuck leather with rubber soles and slip-on closure. With a textured pattern and available in sizes 6-10, this pair is available in colours black, snaype or brown. Priced at Rs.2,913.
White & Black Striped Bow Tie
Men’s business casual attire typically avoids the conventional necktie, however other accessories like a bow tie or pocket square are optional from the perspective of adding an exciting element to the outfit without taking too much space in one’s closet! It does not hurt wearing a tie if you are into a lot of client-facing work and in the world of ties, patterns and combinations are limitless. A solid neutral like a dark grey or navy tie or a striped one with a dot or jacquard pattern is good to go for business casuals, while a knit tie should be the last option to consider as its too conventional. Tossido’s White and Black Striped Bow Tie is made in Polyester measuring 4.5” x 2.5” and is best worn with a white shirt, with or without a cardigan. Priced at Rs.454.
Japanese Quartz Business Casual Wristwatch
A watch not only serves a functional purpose but also makes a style statement and enhances your personality. Irrespective of whether its metal, black leather, nylon or brown leather, there are different styles of watches out there that will add a touch of class to your business casuals. This Genuine Leather Chronograph Wristwatch for business casual wear is made of hard mineral glass with a scratch-resistant key, a stainless steel case back with compressive and abrasion resistance as well.
An imported round watch with a black gold dial and multi-functional dials, moon phase, a luminous pointer, chronograph, the Japanese Quartz Wristwatch comes with an analogue display and is water-resistant to 30m. Priced at Rs.1,699, the Japanese Quartz Genuine Leather Chronograph Waterproof Business and Casual Watch from Lige features a backlight and measures 28mm in bandwidth with a band length of 9.5” and has a buckle clasp.
Business Casual Laptop Briefcase
The key to success entails dressing for the part as well, and that includes everything from your attire to the way you groom yourself and the accessories you don. Just like your company’s brand image, financials and market reputation, clients and investors pay attention to how you present yourself as well, right down to the briefcase or bag you carry with you! Aside from the conventional briefcases, portfolios or padfolios are the in thing these days.
For instance, the Lenovo Laptop Casual Top Loader T210 is an ideal option for your modern and business casual needs. Measuring 39.62cms, it comes in a water-repellent fabric with a restructured design, a series of internal pockets to house your key essentials, a spacious compartment for books and other items. Its casually stylish design also highlights its durability and premium quality. With convenient compartments and pockets and an integrated luggage strap, Lenovo Laptop Casual Top Loader T210 is priced at Rs.770.
Business Casual Belt or Suspender
Whether you opt for a Dress belt or a Casual Belt, it’s better for your pants to look neat rather than sloppy! When it comes to belts, the rules for men vary and are quite confusing. You cannot wear your casual or rugged belts to work, and although you can wear your dress belt with your types of denim, it isn’t really appropriate. As an alternative, you can wear suspenders for smart casuals, especially if you’re short and have a broader frame, as it will draw the watcher’s eye upwards and add height to your built. While leather’s most appropriate for dress belt and looks great in black or brown, for a smart casual look, you’d explore an Oxblood, Gray, White, Tan or Navy. Be sure to match your leather with your metals.
Autograph’s Italian Leather Belt is apt for business casuals with a polished finish and measures 30mm in length. With contrast stitching details and a silver-tone buckle, it has been crafted from smooth Italian leather. Available in waist sizes 30-44, and in colours Dark Navy or Mocha, the Italian leather belt is priced at Rs.1,999.
Bonus Tips: Some Key Essentials to your Business Casual Attire
Business casual attire isn’t really dressing up a casual outfit but dressing down a business attire. It isn’t a casual look but a business look with a casual tone, which continues to be neat and well-groomed, yet relaxing and comfortable in the same breath. Some essential rules to business casual wear for men include:
- Clean ironed and formal elements incorporated with collars or lapels.
- Proper Fittings to avoid looking sloppy and end up hurting your professional prospects.
- Observe others around you, consider your office style in its entirety and get an average feel.
- When in Doubt, check with your HR or Seniors!
- When wearing Denims as Business Casuals, opt for dark color, well-fitting jeans rather than the casual ripped jeans.
- More means More casual. The more a piece of clothing, more details, more colors or more designs, the more casual it is.
- Donning neutral color for shirts and trousers in sync with fashion and easy combinations & permutations. ul>
Now You Can Join the Business Casual Men who Get the Right Thing!
You know now what business casual means for men, and how to make things work for you. So don't be the guy who emphasises Casual when you have to wear business casual. Be the guy that gets it right. Even if the rest of the people in your office are wearing jeans, you just hold yourself to a higher standard. Take it one step up. Be the guy that looks professional, even if you’re the only one. You’ll stand out in the right way. The people who matter will notice.