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A Guide to Business Casual Attire & Dress Code for Men


As clothes maketh a man, we really can't blame the world for being fixated on the apparels that one dons on. In fact, appearances play some sort of a placebo effect on displaying an illusion of the characteristics of a man.

Yes, we do know better on how not to judge a book by its cover, but can we really resist a man that dresses the part? That's an indefinite no!

What is business casual?

Fashion has taken a turn of events, and there are no rules which have resulted in a rise of a bevy of various dress codes especially when it comes to office wear.

The whole ensemble of tie and suit has been restructured and replaced with a form of attire that exudes professionalism but in a laid-back manner, one that encourages approachability and yet demands respect.

Though that may not make sense for some people, by the late 60's the office goers were more forgiving and bid adieu to the formal way of dressing for work when the act of not wearing a tie was considered to be just outrageous!

It was deemed successful by most professionals who no longer had to feel that they were dressing up for a formal event every morning and thus birthed the idea of a dress code that spelled "Business Casual."

It is unrealistic though as the word feels like an oxymoron but in fact is a representation of a mash-up between dressing-up smart while emitting an aura of a relaxed attitude.

Here's the tricky part though. Most men have tried and failed the trend of business casual because it is an art to master the balance of business casual attire.

The key is minimalism, and all you have to do is to get your minimalist wardrobe list ready!

Men's business casual attire has no room for tacky clothing so you must be prepared to make room for more class. Business casual men dress code requires a certain amount of panache that comes with a set of rules, so here is the ultimate guide to a business casual men dress code.

Blaze it with a blazer

A minimalist wardrobe list would include a blazer that screams business casual. A business casual blazer is the bolder version of the humble yet boring office blazer that comes in monotones.

Business casual plaid blazer
Business casual velvet blazer

A favorite of mine is the plaid blazer which is terrific for office wear. It appears no-nonsense that gives off a vibe of a geeky professor in an English countryside. If need be, a pair of eyeglasses can never go wrong.

If you want to have a bolder look with your business casual outfit, I would suggest a velvet blazer that isn't too loud. My only tip would be for you to tone down on the other pieces of clothing and to keep it minimal so as to attract the attention to your possibly well-tailored velveteen blazer that is not synonymous with, bless his soul, Hugh Hefner.

Check out more business casual blazers at Hawes & Curtis and Turnbull & Asser.

Wear the pants

Business casual pants can range from chinos to slacks or khakis. The rule is the keep the tones of your business casual pants in the neutral zone like nude to beige.

Chinos or khakis can be paired perfectly with a tailored blazer. And if you are attempting to take it to the finish line, you may slip into a pair of brogues or white sneakers.

A great pair of business casual pants acts like the perfect canvas for a complete work of art, which in this case it's you!

Business casual pants
Business casual pants

Are jeans business casual?

The answer to that is yes!

Jeans are the favorite piece of clothing for anyone to own and wear. It is the epitome of every person's must-have in a wardrobe without which it may seem incomplete.

And it's completely fine to include jeans in your daily business casual attire if you are feeling ambitious. In order to keep your entire outfit within bounds of men's business casual dress code, it is best to wear jeans with a pair of tan oxfords or a checkered blazer.

Business casual jeans outfit
Business casual jeans outfit

So, the next time you find yourself asking, "Are jeans business casual?" you know what to do!

But remember, ripped jeans are far too informal for work. That would be a complete and utter offence to the men's business casual dress code.

Head over to SSENSE to shop for a pair of jeans.

A.P.C. Indigo Raw Petit New Standard Jeans

Be a sport

With all the running around at work, a pair of white sneakers would be the perfect business casual shoes. A pair of minimalist white sneakers gives your outfit just the right touch of elegance without looking out of place in the entire ensemble. It primarily works well with a pair of business casual khakis and a well-tailored blazer.

Business casual white sneakers
Business casual white sneakers

Another great option to pair with white sneakers would be olive chinos. It is a versatile piece of clothing and it is perfect for every occasion. This sort of outfit is the right attire for field work or if you are going for drinks with colleagues after 5 pm.

If you are not a fan of sneakers, the other alternative for business casual shoes would be a pair of tan oxford or tasseled brogues.

Check out more shoes for your business casual outfit at SSENSE.

Common Projects Achilles Low White

Burberry Brown Aleighton Brogues

Coat it with style

Come winter time, and a business casual coat is the perfect alternative to a business casual blazer.

Your options for a great business coat are plenty. Burberry is a pioneer is making trench coats a staple of every business casual wardrobe.

If trench coats are not your ideal business casual coat, the other option would be to a mid-length woolen jacket that can act as the perfect shield to the winter season.

Business casual coat
Business casual coat

V-neck sweater would be the ideal ensemble to a business casual coat which would keep you warm and toasty while looking sleek.

Check out more business casual coats and jackets at Hawes & Curtis.