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Men's Business Casual 101

Updated on July 22, 2016

"Dressing well is a form of good manners"

-Tom Ford

Why Business Casual is Important?

From an assistant manager at retail to a CEO, anyone can expect to have to wear business casual attire at an event or on regular basis. Although, the definition of business casual varies from country to country and even inside the same country, I try to give some basic guidelines that would be applicable in most places. Let me know in the comments if you disagree on something or want to add.

Starting From The Bottom

Either dress shoes or dress boots, period. Please don't try anything fancy here. No white sneakers, no boat shoes and no flip flops.Try to stick with black or brown dress shoes. If you really want to play with colors, dark blue is as far as I would recommend. Shoes can make or break any look, so make sure to wear the right shoes. Try to avoid the cheap and invest in the best quality dress shoes that you can. They would serve you well and for long time.



Chinos. The most versatile pant in the history of mankind serve you well here as well. This is where I recommend playing with colors according to your taste. Just avoid bright colors that would make you look like a preppy college student from 1950's unless you are a preppy college student from 1950's. The dark denim is also slowly making its way into business casual but I, personally, still don't think dark jeans is formal enough to make it into business casual. So it's a no from me for dark denim. Avoid skinny and instead go for slim fit in your chinos.


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The chances are that you aren't going to be wearing blazer in a business casual (although you totally can), therefore belts are important because they are going to be visible. Yes, you have to wear a belt, don't even think about skipping it unless you're wearing suspenders. Invest in a high quality leather belt and make sure it matches your shoes, Always!



Dress shirt tucked in. You can always go with classic white or light blue solids but I personally like dark colors solids or even with some patterns. Avoid bright colors but don't be afraid to try dark green, dark blue, or dark brown etc. Never wear shirt and pant with exactly same color. Make sure to iron your shirt properly before wearing it every time.


Sports Coat or Blazer

This is optional but you can complete your whole look by adding a sports coat or a blazer. The sports coat is usually recognized by some pattern or texture while blazers are solids. Both of them are not supposed to be worn with a formal suit so they are designed to be used in a little more casual attire like business casual. When it comes to color, make sure that it complements other items of the outfit and not ruin it.



A nice leather or metal watch can help you take your outfit to the next level so I totally recommend investing in one. If you choose to go for a leather watch, try to match the color of your leather with your belt and shoes. This is not something you have to do but a lot of stylish gentlemen recommend it. A tie serves the same purpose as watch. Avoid funny patterns while choosing a tie. Go for a simple pattern and a color that goes well with your shirt.



Make sure you hairs are in their place and don't look like as you came straight out of the bed. Shave to give a neat and fresh look. If you're a bearded man, make sure your beard is properly shaped and trimmed. Put on your favorite deodorant or cologne and you have just completed your business casual attire. Congratulations!

Final Words

Business Casual, in my opinion, is the most flexible (as much as it gets) and fun dress code in men's category. This article provides basic guidelines but you can always make some changes here and there according to your taste. Remember that clothes are a great way to express yourself and your individual taste so don't forget to incorporate your own style in them.



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