Business casual is a dress code men are confronted with everywhere but what does it really mean? In this Business Casual Guide for men we answer this question in detail, explain DO’s and DON’Ts and provide specific advice on what you can wear so you are dressed to the T.
In a nutshell: Business Casual means, No suit, but also, no Jeans.
Obviously, that is just a general guideline but in order to nail the business casual look, you have to adapt to your specific company culture.
Also, your age is important and the older you are, the more formal your business casual outfit should be.
The blazer is an essential part of a business casual wardrobe. Avoid gold buttons and stick with dark colors. Navy is the most classic color and your best bet. Single breasted is the standard while a double breasted navy blazer can look more powerful.
Wear a cotton dress shirt in light blue or pastel colors. An Oxford dress shirt is absolutely appropriate for business casual wear and can be worn in a relaxed state by keeping the top button undone or wearing a more casual knit tie with it.
A simple white oxford shirt is the ideal shirt for business casual wear as it can be elevated to business attire for a last minute meeting with the addition of a tie kept in your desk drawer and a blazer thrown over top.
Neckwear is optional but it certainly elevates your outfit. Ideal ties include grenadine ties or knit ties because they perfectly underline the business casual character.
Bow ties certainly make a statement, and when in doubt stick with the tie.
In case you decide against neckwear, make sure that your undershirt is not visible.
A pair of solid navy, grey or even charcoal dress pants pleated or flat front are the perfect choice for business casual wear. With a dress shirt neatly tucked into it, and a blazer or sports jacket you are good to go.
A sweater vest, cardigan or turtle neck works well during the colder days in addition to your sport coat or blazer. Simply worn over a collared shirt it is only appropriate for Casual Friday. In general a knitted vest will always make a formal garment more casual.
You could also consider a more casual wrist watch with a more formal outfit or pairing a dress watch with a more casual outfit to add a touch of elegance.
This is where it gets really fun. Rather than sticking with the classic oxford and derby, you can get creative with unique colors like oxblood or wearing more casual dress shoes and boots like monk straps, loafers or chukka boots, Chelsea boots or balmoral boots.