From time to time, every guy has to put together a business casual outfit. There’s just one problem: What the heck is business casual, and how has it changed over the last few years?
Today, let’s take a look at what the new business casual style for men is and explore some example clothing items so you can throw together the perfect business casual ensemble in no time.
Business Casual in a Nutshell
For many, it might be easier to break down what doesn’t count as business casual instead of waxing on about what it really is. Put simply, business casual means no:
- Suits, because those are too formal
- Shorts, obviously
- Jeans or denim trousers
- Polo shirts in most cases
- T-shirts, obviously
- Casual boots or other shoes like sneakers and sandals
Furthermore, most business casual dress codes say that ties are optional but not required. Beyond this, you’ll want to wear shirts you can tuck in comfortably. Many business casual wardrobes make ample use of blazers or sports coats as well.
Open Collar Shirts
When it comes to upper wear, tuckable and open-collar shirts are the way to go. Generally, button-down shirts are better than not, as these allow you to add a tie to the mix (which is never a bad idea).
Open collar shirts should be white or, alternatively, in a dark and masculine shade like gray or navy. You should never wear an open-collar shirt to a business casual event in a brighter color, as this leans more into the semi-casual or casual side of things.
Believe it or not, some men are getting away with using denim shirts for their business casual wardrobes. Of course, not just any denim will do. You should go with dark-washed denim that looks as close to dark navy or black as possible.
It should also go without saying that you can’t pair any denim shirts or jackets with jeans. But since jeans are automatically barred from business casual wardrobes, you have nothing to worry about if you want to lean more into the casual side of this admittedly gray style category.
Corduroy Trousers (Tailored, of Course)
What about legwear?
Corduroy trousers are back in style and better than ever, especially if you pick up tailored trousers from Berle. Our 8 Wale Luxury Italian corduroy trousers are designed for comfort and flexibility from start to finish and offer phenomenal performance no matter the color you choose.
Corduroy trousers are great for business casual environments since they’re a bit more formal than something like khakis without being quite as rigid or inflexible as other trouser types. Plus, they feel great to the touch and offer plenty of room in the seat (which makes them ideal for sitting for long business meetings).
Alternatively, Wool Trousers
If corduroy trousers aren’t your style for one reason or another, wool trousers can fit the bill as well. These may even be preferable during the cold winter months. Wool is renowned for its weight and warmth, plus its overall durability.
To max out your business casual style, be sure to choose wool trousers in gray, navy, or similar masculine and neutral shades depending on the color of your jacket or shirt. Berle has a great selection of wool flannel trousers in several of these shades.
The Right Coat Changes Everything
The right coat can supercharge your business casual ensemble. Wool topcoats, suede bombers, and similar outerwear can make you look amazing and professional in equal measure.
Of course, be sure to choose the right coat color and style for your event. In general, your coat should match your trousers at least in broad color if not in exact shade.
Loafers or Oxfords
Last but not least are shoes and other accessories. When it comes to business casual, black or gray loafers or oxfords are the way to go. These shoes are perfect for showing up to a meeting with your boss, commuting to and from work, and even for attending after-work social functions if necessary. Plus, they can be comfortable with the right cushions and support! Throw in a tie and/or a watch and you'll be set to go to any business casual occasion.
As you can see, the new business casual style for men hasn’t reinvented the wheel. It has just refined it. Make sure you have the right legwear for your business casual setup by checking out Berle’s collection of tailored trousers today!