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HOW TO LOOK YOUR BEST IN BUSINESS CASUAL ATTIRE
Business casual can swing in so many different directions nowadays - which makes it quite confusing trying to nail down what that really looks like. Typically, business casual leans more toward “business” than “casual”, but yet and still there are times when you’re allowed to play on the casual side a bit more. It really boils down to this: your job description or the type of setting you’ll be attending. Generally speaking, there are a few rules you can follow to help steer yourself in the right direction. And just in case you didn’t know, a full-on suit is never a good idea for a business casual setting. On the flipside, you don’t want to show up wearing anything too casual like athletic gear or beach wear (i.e., short sleeved shirts, shorts, or sandals). Absolutely not!
As a general rule, with the business casual dress code you'll want to keep things simple and understated. The last thing you want is to show up over-the-top and look out of place. Be sure to check out the below suggestions to help guide you on how to look your best in business casual attire.
Go with a blazer, not to be confused with a suit jacket. A blazer has a thicker fabric and often comes with metal buttons. Your blazer should always have a nice, tailored fit - meaning it should lay nicely at the collar, shoulder, midsection areas and land right around the mid to lower crotch area. I also suggest a double vent because it looks great on every body type. A single vent is ok, but a double vent is your best bet because it’s a timeless style that looks great on every man.
You’ll want to wear a nice crisp dress shirt or Oxford button down in a neutral colour or pattern in white or light blue. The best way to wear your dress shirt is on its own, or you could wear it under a blazer or sport jacket.
Wool Trousers or Dark Wash Jeans
To play up the formality you’ll want to wear a crisp pair of wool trousers. Pay attention to fabric weight, because the heft of a wool trouser adds a nice, elevated appeal. But if it’s a warmer time of year, you might want to go with a light-wool trouser or dark wash jeans which will still look great, but are more breathable.
For your shoes, loafers, lace-up dress shoes and dress boots are all great choices. You can also explore more into dress shoe sub-categories like wingtips, monk straps, brogues etc., but those can be a bit trickier to style. If you’re unsure where to start, opt for a simple sleek leather loafer or Oxford dress shoe and you’ll never go wrong.
Choose a v-neck sweater to layer over your shirt. It’s such a classy piece that uplifts the “business” in your business casual look, something that you won’t get with a crewneck because it looks too casual. If you get too warm you can always strip this layer off and still look appropriate in your dress shirt alone.
If you want to zero in on the “casual” in your business casual look, you can tone things down a bit by wearing a nice zip up jacket, smart long sleeve polo shirt, smart chinos, or dress sneakers. I’d stick with these elevated options because if you decide to step outside of these suggestions, you may run the risk of looking less than appropriate for the occasion.
Finish your look off with a nice smart watch, briefcase to carry your work and leather belt.