Business Casual Attire For Men & Dress Code Explained with Lookbook Outfits

Business Casual Attire For Men & Dress Code Explained with Lookbook Outfits


Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette! In today’s video, we discuss the business
casual dress code. We explain what it is, what it’s not, and
of course we talk about history. Initially, there was daywear and eveningwear. People would wear a formal lounge suit to
the office. If you want to learn more about these dress
codes and what they mean, please check out our in-depth dress code primer here. So how do we get from suit, dress shirt and
tie to a very relaxed dress code with khakis and Polo shirts? Well, it all started with Aloha Fridays. It was basically to show your support for
the island, Hawaii and so people would start wearing these Hawaiian shirts on fridays. This trend became quite popular in Hawaii
and was eventually adopted on the mainland. Subsequently, people were familiar with it
and wore it more often. Then came the khakis. Even though khakis have an Indian background,
they came to the US through the British and if you want to learn more about chinos and
khakis, stay tuned for a video. Basically, Levis marketed the hell out of
their new dockers brand and all of a sudden, those khaki or chino pants became somewhat
acceptable in an office environment. At the same time, TV shows like save the bell
and movies showed a more preppy style as well as chinos in a context so people saw it more
and found it more acceptable to wear even in a more formal office environment. Eventually, brands like Brooks Brothers, Ralph
Lauren and J. Crew caught on the trend and advertised Polo shirts that would work with
the Khakis, as well as khakis themselves and eventually, that’s what people wore to the
office. So what does business casual mean in a nutshell? Basically, it means no suit but also no jeans. Obviously, there’s a lot in between and what
exactly business casual means really depends on your company and the culture. Because business casual can mean different
things to different people in different companies, we created three different profiles. 1. White collar business casual – Bank, law firm,
accounting firm 2. Service business casual or more relaxed office
environments 3. Startup Business casual Based on these three types, you should be
able to figure out where your company fits in and what business casual means in that
context. Alright, let’s get started with the white
collar business casual dress code. The core piece in your wardrobe would be the
dark navy blazer. it’s a more traditional environment, it’s best to skip shiny, gold,
or metal buttons, they’re too naval inspired. Stick with just dark horn buttons. Stick with a single breasted and notched lapel
look for a very normal appearance. If you want something more powerful, go with
peak lapels and double breasted. If your office is business casual, of course
you can always wear a blazer but you can also go with other kinds of sport coats that are
patterned, for example, what I’m wearing here right now would be a little too bright for
these environments, go with something darker. When it comes to dress shirts, you should
invest in some oxford shirts. They have a nice 2-tone appearance to them
which makes them more casual and perfectly suited for business casual. Popular colors start with white and light
blue, you can also go with other shades of pastel. Of course, you can also go with small checks. If you want, especially when you have a solid
blue blazer, you can either wear a shirt unbuttoned at the top but make sure to have two buttons
max, open or you can have casual ties such as this knit tie from Fort Belvedere which
gives it a casual look but still more formal than having it unbuttoned. Other good options for neckwear include grenadine
or stripes. If you gow ithout any neckwear, make sure
that your undershirt is never visible because it has a very cheap appearance. A lot of people make that mistake. When it comes to pants you can either wear
chinos or khakis or dress pants in grey, light grey, mid-grey, not blue, especially if you
have a navy blazer because it’s too close but not the same. Basically, you want to have a certain amount
of contrast so you can have a small pattern like light grain, charcoal houndstooth, for
example, or very small checks, or some twill texture. During the winter time, corduroys are okay
too especially if there’s enough contrast. When it’s cold outside, you may want to add
a sweater vest or a regular vest, that’s okay too. It can be contrasting but make sure it’s not
too bold. As far as accessories go, I’d suggest you
skip the boutonniere but you can have a pocket square, you can go with a dressy watch or
maybe with a naval strap to mix it up and make it more casual, depends on your specific
office. When in doubt, always go a little more formal. cufflinks are okay, rings are okay, even a
collar pin is okay. With wristbands, I’d be more careful because
it may seem out of place. For shoes and boots, you can basically wear
anything in the color brown, reddish brown, or dark brown, maybe even tan. I suggest you go with derby shoes or loafers,
maybe even full brogue oxfords and if you want to learn more about these shoes, check
out our full guide, here. During the winter, boots are fine as well. Since you’re at the office, you should always
bring a bag. Avoid backpack because they make you look
like a little school boy. A proper gentleman always carries a bag. It could be made of leather, of canvas, or
a mix of the two but leave the backpack at home and only use it when you go hiking. Next up let’s talk about the business casual
dress code in a more relaxed environment such as the service industry. If you have client contact, chances are you
are required to wear a jacket, sportscoat, blazer, at all times. If you’re not, maybe you can get away with
just wearing a dress shirt or a polo shirt. If you wear a jacket you could be a little
bolder. The one I’m wearing here right now would be
ideal because it’s lighter, a little more casual, wearing a boutonniere with a pocket
square but no neckwear. If you feel a sportcoat would be too formal,
you can also try just to go with a vest because it’s dressier than just a dress shirt but
less formal than a jacket. For shirts, button down collars are good as
well as long sleeved polo shirts. Neckties are entirely optional, if you choose
to wear one, you can have something a little more brighter or something with more texture
such as knit ties ir grenadine. Of course, shantungs or stripes are fine as
well. At this level, denim or jeans are still not
okay to wear unless you’re in a very casual environment, otherwise, I suggest chinos or
khakis are your go-to pair of pants because they work with everything, you can wear jackets
or not, and you’re always appropriately dressed. During the colder months of the year, sweaters
of all kinds are great, you can either have them with a tie or without. Alternatively, have a cardigan or a sweater
vest. Simply an ideal look for this environment
because it’s dressier than just having a shirt. As far as shoes go, you should skip the tennis
shoes, you can have maybe a leather sneaker. I personally would suggest you go with classic
shoes such as derbys, monk straps, loafers in brown because they work with everything
and are just the perfect business look. Of course, the bag you should have can be
a little more relaxed so it can be canvas, could be more weathered but, you should still
have a bag and not a backpack. Of course, a vintage leather patina bag is
always appropriate and looks phenomenal. If you work at a startup or an extremely casual
environment, bascially, anything goes. Most people will never ever wear a jacket,
some will come in tshirts and cargo shorts and flip flops. While that may be acceptable, it’s certainly
not business casual. That aside, appearances matter and people
will always judge you even subconsciously based on the way you look. It’s always to your advantage to put your
best foot forward and that means, dressing up a bit more. So rather than having a tshirt, you should
wear a polo shirt even if it’s short sleeved. Rather than wearing shorts when it’s warm
consider maybe a pair of seersucker pants. Instead of crocs or flip-flops, switch over
to boat shoes, you can also go with driving mocs and a sockless look. Spice up your wardrobe, use some unusual light
blue or baby blue colors, maybe some nantucket red and have some fun accessories such as
wristbands, chains, or some other kind of jewelry that works for you. Just like with clothes, anything goes when
it comes to bags so you can have hypermodern things in camo, as well as leather, or canvas,
it simply depends on what you like and what’s appropriate in your office. That being said, when it’s cold outside, you
can’t just go to the office with just your blazer so ideal companions would be a trench
coat in between seasons and you can learn more about that garment here. When it gets much colder, you can get something
like a peacoat which is shorter but it covers your jacket and it’s very warm. If you want something lightweight that’s more
fun, you can think about something like a quilted jacket because you can travel with
it, keeps you well put-together, warm and it’s lightweight and comfortable. To learn more about that, click here. If you work in a traditional white collar
environment, having a scarf and gloves not only keeps you warm but also makes you look
dapper. Overall for business casual, always bear in
mind dressing up matters and when in doubt, always be more formal than more casual. When you have a board meeting and you meet
clients, anything out of the ordinary, always take it a notch up or two and your customers
and superiors will thank you for it. If you enjoyed this video, please subscribe
to our channel and you’ll get more videos of this nature right to your inbox.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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