The business casual dress code is a difficult code to decipher, and we’re all likely to have made a sartorial faux pas at one time or another when trying to make sense of it. Business casual is a look that’s deceptively simple, but surprisingly difficult to achieve. You want to be more comfortable and relaxed, without losing the respect of your clients or colleagues. So we’ve put together a few simple hints and tips on how best to achieve this style conundrum.
Many quality shirt makers now produce lines especially aimed at the business casual look, and that’s a great help to you, so look out for them. Such shirts remain smart, are made chiefly of natural fabrics and tend to be designed to be worn without a tie. They’ll still have a collar and cuffs, but the former may be a button down style.
Your summer suit
You can still wear a suit, but stick to a lighter colour made from an appropriate summer fabric such as linen or cotton. The heavier the fabric, the better it will fall, the more it will flatter your silhouette and the less it will tend to crease. Pair with a collared shirt; no tie and the top button left undone.
Blazers are another great business casual staple. Moreover, they’re a versatile piece to add to your wardrobe and well worth investing in. Choose a navy blazer for a style essential; you’ll wear time and again. Don it with a long sleeved, cotton, collared shirt as before and again don’t wear a tie. White or pale blue fabrics will work well with a blazer.
Don’t leave yourself in a tight spot when it comes to your trousers. Choose chinos or similar summer weight trousers that will coordinate well with your other summer staples. In a business context, ensure they fit well, don’t allow them to be too loose or baggy, or you could cross the line to the wrong side of casual. Dickies slim fitting trousers fit the bill, in their choice of classic colours such as dark navy, khaki and more, they are classic, comfortable and stylish to the core.
Jeans may be appropriate, but only if they are dark, smart and well fitted. Worn or distressed denim that’s faded, uneven in colour, with rips, holes or fraying won’t pass muster in a business casual context. Baggy styles or jeans that fall down around your waist won’t do either. Keep them plain, dark and neat – so your jeans are not the first thing people notice about you – understated and smart is best.
Generally speaking, when it comes to shoes brown leather is best for achieving a business casual look in the summer. If you’re wearing shoes in an oxford style, then do wear socks that match your trousers that don’t leave you with an unsightly gap. However, brown shoes in a more casual style such as loafers or boat shoes are best worn sock-less.
So there you have it, a few easy steps to achieve the business casual look which will take you from late summer to early autumn.