When we talk about business casual style, we always associate them with formality with a touch of casualness. And that’s the great thing about this particular dress code because you can have both— being formal and casual. Gone are the days when you are forced to dress up yourself with overly formal suit and tie, with a pair of super shiny black shoes. Understanding the business casual style could be simple, but could also be complicated. Thus, you need to take into account some do’s and don’ts in the workplace.
Here’s how to pull off a business casual OOTD, without looking like any other drone in the office. It’s time to shine among the crowd and let them feast over your striking fashion choices.
As always, button-downs must be included in your selection, especially the white ones. This upper clothing is one of the most formal, and of course, the safest business casual styles. The fascinating thing about the white button-down is its versatility. You can pair it with any trouser or footwear color. Aside from the conventional white, there are other acceptable button-down colors such as pink, yellow, blue, red, and even purple. Just make sure to choose the right trouser and shoes.
Polo Shirt with buttons
A more laid-back yet still refined upper clothing is the collar shirt with buttons. Yes, it should be collar shirt with buttons to fit well in the business casual spectrum. Cotton-made shirts are the appropriate choices, while silk, linen and rayon may not be that fitting. Most companies consider the collar shirt with buttons as part of the semi-formal attire. However, you should look for the right fit— not baggy nor overly fit. Formal patterns like plaid, poplin, and twill are the most acceptable. Hawaiian and other flamboyant patterns are considered to be casual, and not business casual. Be sure to tuck in your shirt and complete your look with an appropriate belt and tie (optional).
Sweater vests are somehow not that popular— loved by some, hated by many. Well, if you only know how to style this fashion essential, then for sure you’ll be needing a pair or two for your wardrobe capsule. Sweater vest is ideally paired with a fitting button-down with collar. The thinner and finely gauge vests, the more it fits in the business casual side. And to complete your look, don’t forget to layer your ensemble with a tailored suit or blazer.
The classic navy blazer is apparently one of the well-loved selections because of its color that exudes style and sophistication, all in one. Navy blazers made out of light wool are less stuffy, and is enough to flatter your build, as well as smarten up your entire look.
For casual and cool mornings, you can complete your look with a grey tweed blazer. The monochrome with a light hint of patterns helps you achieve a more relaxed look but still appears very professional. And when the heat is on, opt for light-colored blazers such as beige or light grey. These earthy tones will definitely brighten up the entire workplace aura, and will make you stand out effortlessly.
Blazers are you to-go essentials in injecting texture and class to your outfit. There are a lot of blazers on selection, but the most common choices for the business casual category are those that perfectly sit square and snug on your shoulders. The blazers should not be too loose or fitting. The style must also be cut slim through the sides, with sleeves just above the thumb, and back height just below the butt.
And over the years, the colors have not just been limited to dark and neutral tones. Many are now embracing the vivid shades in achieving posh and casualness in one setting. There is actually no limit when it comes to color choices, but please avoid camouflage. This style unfortunately feels very informal for the business casual spectrum.
Choosing the right lower ensemble can be intimidating because you need to consider your upper choices. Thus, it is ideal to know what colors will suit one another. Trousers have been the most dependable choice when it comes to portraying a business casual style. However, you should remember that trousers should extend up to the top of your footwear, or even slightly longer. There are also some who would opt for folded pants hemline. Well, it all depends on your style. Just make sure that you are wearing the right fit.
Colorful trousers can be very tricky to pull off, and may need a dash of confidence to strike up such uniqueness. So, if you’re not quite ready with the flamboyant hues, then just stick with the khaki pants. The neutral shade of these pants features formality with a touch of laid-back style.
Sometimes, the concept of sophisticated yet comfortable office attire is ambiguous, especially if there is no concrete dressing up perimeters. If you are unsure of your office dress code, then opt for dark-colored slacks. Dark tones seem to radiate a smarter and polished look, and will certainly go with any upper ensemble.
To complete your business casual style, select a pair of formal leather shoes. It is best to add socks, but is optional. You can stick with darker colors like black, grey or brown, or grey shoes. However, there’s no harm in trying vivid footwear, especially if you opt for lace-up and loafers.
The Bottom Line
Even if your workplace has gone casual, it doesn’t mean you can wear something inappropriate like over-sized shirts, simple tees, and skinny jeans. You should think about the right choices that will help you navigate the work ensemble with elegance and style. If you are unsure of the right business casual clothing, then you’ll never go wrong with the formal suit. However, there are seriously a lot of choices for your wardrobe capsule, and we hope the choices above will help you strike up a fascinating business casual OOTD.