Of all dress codes, business casual attire is certainly the most difficult to define, and yet the most common in workplace. Practically absent from the professional world until the mid-1960s, “casual business attire” has evolved to become the norm in many societies.
Yet there is no clear definition of what casual business attire is or should be.
Here are 10 tips on Business casual attire for men to help you enter the dress code and go to work in the best elegant way possible.
Watch and Learn
One of the main indicators of how you should dress in a workplace that requires casual business attire is the way the majority of the employees at your level or above dress. The first couple days are the time to test the ground; it is better to be careful and choose more conservative and dressy outfits. During the first two weeks, pay attention to what your colleagues and your immediate supervisor are wearing, and take notes. Combine your own style relevant to the code and experience will guide you in the right direction.
Remember: Wearing an outfit that is more formal than necessary will not offend anyone and will appeal to informed looks, while an overly casual outfit may be perceived as a lack of care or respect. If in doubt, raise the level.
As a general rule, adopting a casual business attire consists of anchoring one casual item of clothing with another, impeccable, perfectly cut and ironed. For example, in case denim is allowed, you can combine a button-down shirt and dark jeans, or even elegant pants with a polo shirt. You could also wear a jersey top or blouse with 7/8 pants, or a printed straight dress under a structured plain blazer.
Remember: Whichever combination you choose, be sure to add the right shoes to it. The shoes very often determine the overall tone of an outfit.
Be Unique and Yourself
One of the key factors in a successful brand image is consistency. The same principle that applies to big brands applies to your personal style: maintaining a uniform image at work will help you build your unique personality.
How to get there? It is simple to do. Here are 3 simple steps:
- Create a capsule wardrobe exclusively for work
- Adopt a combination of representing your style and character
- Wear a unique style of perfume, light or fresh fragrances for instance.
Remember: “Your outfit should match the level of respect and confidence you want to inspire in others. ”
- Think blazers
No matter what style you identify with, a structured and well-cut blazer is the workhorse of the professional wardrobe, as it can elevate almost any outfit and raise the level of confidence. A growing body of research on clothing cognition, focusing on the power of clothes to influence our thoughts and our perception of our abilities, suggests that wearing a blazer or a suit can boost self-esteem and productivity in both men and women.
Remember: If you are looking to impress or get promoted, it is advised to wear dark tones, such as navy, charcoal, burgundy red or forest green, as these colors evoke authority.
- Match the Level
The way you dress must be relevant and proportional to the impression you want to produce. Avoid being “too formal”. For instance, two-piece suits may be too formal for your workplace, because they often seem austere and can create an unwanted distance between you and your customers when you want to appear friendly and accessible. That said, your outfit should match the level of respect and confidence you want to inspire in others.
Avoid large logos, offensive illustrations, torn, discarded, or overly revealing clothing, as well as the athletic clothing you wear for sports.
Remember: In the phrase “business casual”, “business” comes before “casual”. That is, the main goal of your attitude and outfits is to contribute to the success of your business. Dress and Act like a businessperson.
- Wear Clean and Fit Outfits
It doesn’t matter how much your outfits cost, they will do you no good if they are not clean, pressed and properly fitted. Baggy and extremely tight clothes should be avoided. Your work clothes should always make you look polished and sharp.
At no cost, never wear torn, frayed, or smelly shoes.
Remember: wearing dirty clothes repeatedly can cause more than just social problems. It can lead to oil buildup which may result in follicular issues, acne, and other types of skin infection such as Jock itch.
- Keep Your Outfits Consistent
Consistency in your image is beneficial in establishing trust and credibility as a professional, irrespectively of field and industry. Maintain a certain standard of dressing can make a great difference in the way people treat you.
You can improve on business casual outfits but do not fall below or go out of line. For example, if you dress conservatively to work for most days of the weak, do not come in the middle of the week looking too casual. Do not dress to a point that you look unrecognizable. In short, avoid extravagance, excessive elaborateness of style.
- Check Your Calendar and Be Punctual
Always make sure you dress business casually on the day that matters the most. This includes presentation days, days scheduled for client meetings or even seminar days. You can dress a little relaxed on days you’ll spend all the time in the office.
Punctuality expresses your respect for people working for or with you. It is very important at the workplace that you’re on time. The employer or employees are expected you to be punctual.
Being constantly late, and often in a rush, can create a negative impact, let alone disrespect, in others toward you. Leave the house at least 10 minutes before your driving time. For instance, if you think it takes 30 minutes to get to work, leave the house 40 minutes in advance.
Remember: “Consistently arriving to work on time demonstrates commitment and consideration for the people you work with, and the company that employs you.”
- Pay Attention to Details
Always be sure to check out for tags and loose threads in new clothes. There should be no missing buttons, no tears, no worn-out stitching, no lint and no stains on your business casuals. Always keep these fine details in check before stepping out to work.
Remember: too much attention to details sometimes hamper progress. Use moderation in everything.
- Keep Hair Properly Groomed
You are an entrepreneur, always make sure your hair is properly cut and well-groomed. You must also find out if your industry conforms to wearing facial hair and make sure your beard is properly groomed.
Regardless how difficult you may be, you’ll find formal and classy hairstyles to adopt for office and around town. Here are the top 5 hairstyles for workplace:
- Ivy League haircut
- medium-length haircut
- Classic Comb Over Hairstyle
- Quiff Business Casual Hairstyle
- Short Wavy Hairstyle with Scruff.
- Smell Good but Avoid Strong Perfume
While it important to smell good, you must not necessarily wear designer fragrances that have strong projection and or sillage. You can use natural, long-lasting and light fragrances while avoiding wearing too much and visible talcum.
Here are some good perfumes for men to wear at workplace:
- Terre d’Hermès
- Yves Saint Laurent L’Homme
- Hugo BOSS Bottled
- Montblanc Individuel
- Guerlain Habit Rouge
- Montblanc Explorer
- Prada l’Homme
- Issey Miyake l’Eau d’Issey
- Frederic Malle Eau De Magnolia EDP
- Creed Original Santal EDP.
- What About Ties?
Ties can be casual too, it depends… There are many types of ties that fit a casual look. Wearing a nice tie can greatly complement your outfit. For example, pair your outfit with a knit or grenadine tie with a blazer on.
Wearing a tie can bring more elegance to your business casual look. In fact, in terms of business, it is not recommended to just wear a shirt and tie. Make sure to wear a blazer on to complete the casual outfit.
- Go for Classic Shoes
When it comes to men’s business casual it is recommended to avoid sneakers and tennis shoes, except in certain circumstances, casual Friday for instance. Certain business events may allow for a minimal, such as wearing a clean-cut sneaker.
Classic shoes are always better and the come in various materials such as leather, suede, and fabric. They are safest and more casual when it comes to footwear. Oxfords, Loafers, Derbies, brogues and monk straps will make you look more dapper at the office.
Remember: “For quality, leather is always better, sticking to black, brown, oxblood and tan when choosing a color. In summer, experiment with color and even suede.” This guide – how to wear colored dress shoes – will help.
- Wear Dress Pants and Shirt
There are men’s casual pants in many different styles, brands, front and Fit types. Regardless of your taste you will surely find pants that match your personality.
You cannot be wrong with dress pants. They are formal or semi-formal wear, often made of either wool or polyester. With a matching suit jacket, they look great.
Corduroy pants will never get out of style, they say. They can be worn during regular business or in lieu of chinos during cold seasons.
You can choose to stay in the middle by wearing Chino pants. They are not dress pants but a middle ground between casual and formal and not recommended to be worn for anything above a business casual event. Chinos are also appropriate in many different casual work environments. To look unique, just be a little versatile. For instance, you can pair your Chino Pants with a contrasting blazer to elevate their casual appearance.
When it comes to shirts, wearing a cotton dress shirt in light blue, white or pastel colors, is very common among successful entrepreneurs. An Oxford dress shirt is perfect for business casual wear; a simple white oxford shirt is the ideal. Keep the top button undone or wear a more casual knit tie with it to look less formal or more relaxed.
Remember: “Be careful with jeans: they’re on the more casual side of business clothes, but may not fit well in many circumstances.”
- Choose Your Bag and Accessories
Forget about wearing backpacks with your business casual outfits. It may make you look like a school boy instead of a mature entrepreneur. The ideal choice is a leather bag in brown or black color that that matches your business outfit.
Business leather bags come in various ranges and functionalities. Some have Combination Lock and Anti-Theft functionalities. Whether you like classic, functional or sleek, clean or modern business bags, you can find hundreds of leather bags in various price ranges.
Accessories are a great way to create your uniqueness and distinguish yourself from the rest. To start, you may need a more casual wristwatch or dress watch to add a touch of elegance to your look. In addition, you may consider a knit tie or pocket square for your blazer pocket. These simple steps only will make you look more dapper.
- Ask Questions When Necessary
Business casuals might vary by industry but there are general rules to follow which every professional should know. Once you have these basic knowledges, you can easily adapt to whatever environment you find yourself in.
Most people do not know all rules and requirements with respect to dress code; don’t be afraid to ask questions. Certain organizations have a specific way you are expected to appear at work. You could ask the manager or other employers for exemplary dress codes.
Along with the Business casual tips above, remember to wear clothing that is clean and unwrinkled. Your clothes should not be too tight, baggy, or revealing. Before you leave your house, make sure that seams are finished, stray threads are clipped, and shoes are shined.
If you have other business casual tips, kindly comment below to share them with our readers.