Most guys don’t have to dress up in full suit and tie for the office nowadays. However, that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to come in with jeans and a tee. You have to meet somewhere in the middle. Enter the business casual look. Some guys have a hard time navigating business casual. Too many options leads to confusion, and ain’t nobody got time for that. So if you’re looking for a little cheat sheet on how to dress office appropriate without looking like you’re trying too hard, we’ve got you covered.
First off: the shoes. A great pair of leather shoes is the foundation to the business casual look. Sneakers, flip-flops, or sandals of any kind are never appropriate in the office, so leave them at home. Instead, try a leather shoe that doesn’t scream formal, like a nice pair of loafers or a pair of chukka boots. Of course, you can never go wrong with a pair of oxfords, but variety is the spice of life… so change it up every once and awhile.
To further up your accessories game, get a great matching belt and a nice, conservative watch. Leave the cloth-band sports watch at home with the flip-flops. You’re not timing your mile here.
Now that you have the leather goods ready, it’s time to actually get dressed. Let’s break it down:
Clean button downs may seem boring, but they’re really a great foundation for several looks. Plus, they’re always office appropriate. A fresh pressed collar says “professional” while you can express your own personal style with different patterns and colors.
When it comes to business casual, pants are the one piece that allow for the most versatility. Some businesses even allow jeans in the workplace. However, our favorite go-to bottoms are the classic chino. Less dad-like than slacks, but classier than dungarees, the chino is both comfortable and stylish. Start out with single-color neutrals, but if you start to feel adventurous, don’t be afraid to go for a cool pair in an offbeat color… just as long as you keep the rest of your outfit simple.
With the shoes, accessories, shirt, and pants you’re definitely dressed. But you don’t really have an outfit until you put that final layer on. Adding a sweater elevates your look while keeping you warm. A tailored blazer lends a look of “I definitely know what I’m doing here.” It’s as simple as throwing it on in the morning, but the right outerwear really pulls together the business casual look.