Most men are familiar with wearing a formal suit. It’s easy—throw on a tie, a belt, make sure it’s a good fit, and match the colors. But, when an occasion calls for “business casual,” that’s when things get dicey. Should you wear a tie in this situation? When does casual become too casual? Is this outfit appropriate for the workplace, or not? We’ll cut through the confusion with a few of the top men’s business casual outfit ideas.
Dressing Up with Performance Dress Khakis
It’s not hard to figure out that business casual is a step below business on the “formality” scale. That means that you do have some leeway when it comes to wearing accessories like ties. You may not even have to wear a jacket, too.
So, the question becomes: what do you wear?
As a rule of thumb, we recommend that you start with two essential elements:
- Khaki trousers
- A button-down shirt
Note that a button-down shirt is technically different from a button-up. A button-down features buttons on the collar that you should keep fastened. A button-up doesn’t have these buttons and is more appropriate for a “business” setting—there’s nothing “casual” about these shirts.
As for your khaki trousers, we recommend Performance Dress Khakis. Opt for khaki or navy colors for the most versatile options, which pair well with all sorts of colors in your button-down. Match these with oxford shoes and you have a ready-made business casual outfit that will fit almost all situations.
If you’d like, you can add a blazer to the ensemble (no tie) for a business casual outfit with an added layer. If you’re not sure about wearing a tie, remember that it’s usually better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed.
Keeping It Casual with Charleston Khakis
You can “dress up” performance dress khakis or play them down. The same is true of our Charleston Khakis. A color like Charleston Brick, however, makes for some fun possibilities if you’re thinking about emphasizing the “casual” side of business casual.
In this case, you might pair the Charleston Khakis with the following items:
- A button-down shirt
- An extra layer, such as a sweater or sweater vest
- More casual shoes, such as chukka boots
When properly fitted, this outfit will keep you looking office-appropriate, even if you don’t have any meetings scheduled for the day.
How to Pick Your Own Outfits
No matter which outfit you decide to use for your next business casual occasion, there are a few more rules of thumb you can keep in mind when dressing:
- Always wear a collared shirt like a button-down. A crisp white button-down should be considered essential in any man’s wardrobe.
- Make sure you wear something better than sneakers. Oxford and chukka boots are two great options, as are Brogues.
- Consider the jacket and tie optional. These do make for great accessories if you’re unsure about just how well you’re supposed to dress. The jacket/tie will always add formality and bring the suit up to “business” standards.
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We hope you’ve enjoyed these top men’s business casual outfits. If you’re looking for more great ways to nail this look, browse all of the casual pants available here at Berle. Stock up your wardrobe now!
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