A Guide to Business Casual for Men: 9 Styling Tips


It takes seven seconds to set a good first impression, so always dress to impress.

Business casual for men gives you flexibility with your outfit while looking like you’ve made the effort. Perhaps you’re unsure what business casual means and want to learn how to dress the part.

Sounds familiar? Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. Here are nine tips to help you.

1. Wear Dress Shirts

Before we dive into how to match tie with shirt, it’s important to know what business casual consists of.

Business casual attire for men is a slightly more relaxed version of what you’d wear to the office. For instance, if you don a tie during the week, then remove it and roll up your sleeves so it’s more relaxed.

Note, denim jeans aren’t usually considered business casual so avoid this. If you’re a die-hard jeans lover, then choose a well-fitted pair in a darker shade.

Dress shirts are popular especially in white and blue. In the summer, choose linen as it’s lighter and see which fit you prefer out of slim, regular, and relaxed. Both button-up and button-down styles work well for business casual outfits.

You can also don a polo as it sits in between formal and casual. These work great under a sports coat or a denim jacket as long as you choose the right color. Remember to avoid polos made from pique cotton or ones with a giant logo as it looks less smart.

2. Consider Your Pants

Unfamiliar with business casual dress for men? Then consider your pants.

Ditch khaki chinos for cotton dress pants as they’re just as comfortable but look smarter. Whichever you choose, make sure it’s a well-fitted pair and that they don’t bunch around the ankles.

3. Choose the Right Shoes

If you’re looking for business casual shoes for men, then start by chucking out sandals and sneakers. Instead, don leather or suede Oxfords, brogues, Chelsea boots, and monk straps.

Can’t let go of your sneakers? Then choose a minimal style and make sure the logo isn’t obvious.

You must also be mindful of your socks. Choose neutral colors like gray or black to stay safe. Or, if you’re feeling flamboyant, find a pair with a subtle pattern and make sure it’s the same color as your pants and shoes.

4. Try a Suit

There’s no better way to pair business casual shirts for men than with a suit. To make it less casual, leave out the tie and throw on a button-down shirt so it’s less formal.

With three-button suits, the rule is “sometimes, always, never”. This means you can occasionally fasten the top button, always secure the middle, and avoid buttoning the bottom.

You should also be mindful of the jacket. If creases appear around the sides, then it’s too tight for you.

5. Wear Sweaters and Cardigans

Knits or sweaters made from merino wool are fantastic for a business casual outfit. Match it with a smart button-down shirt and you’re good to go.

Choose beige, maroon, or navy as they’re versatile, and a crew neck if you’re not wearing a tie. Note, wool is sensitive so only wash it with warm water and avoid putting it in the dryer as it will shrink. Instead, hang it on the line so it naturally dries.

You should also have a selection of jackets such as blazers, sports coats, or a corduroy style. Again, choose neutral colors like navy or gray as it looks smart. As a general rule, hoodies are a no-no in business casual. Swap it for a tan cardigan or a quarter zip sweater so your collared shirt peeps out from underneath.

6. Add Accessories

Accessories complete an outfit so sport your favorite timepiece. Choose a watch with a plain leather strap either in black, tan, or brown so it goes with most of your outfits. Bonus points if it pairs well with your shoes.

Keep your belt minimal, a braided or plain leather style works. You can even don a pocket square when you’re wearing a jacket or blazer. It adds a splash of color to your business casual assemble especially if it matches your tie.

7. Find the Perfect Bag

Find a leather or canvas-leather bag to store your belongings. As a general rule, stick with neutral colors and a clean design. And never sport a backpack as it won’t align with the rest of your outfit.

8. Think Minimal

Remember, the more patterns or colors on an item, the more casual it is. For instance, cargo pants with a dozen pockets look more laidback than a simple pair of dress pants.

So stick to neutral-colored clothing with minimal detail as it will look more formal.

9. Create a Business Casual Capsule Wardrobe

If you hate choosing an outfit in the morning, create a capsule wardrobe so you always know what you’re going to wear. This is a collection of business casual clothes that can be worn in multiple ways for an array of occasions.

It also means you buy fewer high-quality clothing items which keep your closet clutter-free.

That’s Our Business Casual for Men Tips

Hopefully, after reading this article, you now know nine useful business casual for men tips.

Dress shirts are your best friend, along with sweaters, cardigans, and formal pants. You should also add a classic timepiece and a belt to bring the ensemble together. And don’t forget to invest in a collection of leather shoes. Good luck!

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