Men’s fashion can be a daunting endeavor to understand; after all, the unfashionable man is something of a joke nowadays. Formal fashion is easy. You just wear a suit. But casual fashion? It’s a lawless land, and that can be a boon or a bane to your outfit design. For some, the lack of rules sounds great. For others, it means there are no trends to fall back on.
Well, we’re here to help, because even if men’s relaxed fashion has no hard and fast rules, there are outfit styles and clothing pieces that you can fall back on. Men’s relaxed outfits don’t have to be scary; you should feel as comfortable and confident in a casual outfit as you do in a well-tailored suit.
When beginning your delve into relaxed men’s fashion, look at what other men are wearing when you’re out on the town. You may notice a lot of jeans and untucked shirts. While this outfit is fine—it's popular for a reason, after all—you probably want to stand out. So, how can we take the idea of jeans and a shirt (comfortable pants and top) but make it more unique?
What is Relaxed Fashion?
Relaxed fashion is any kind of outfit that you can wear out and about daily. Good relaxed fashion should be easily modulated to fit errands and nightlife with only minimal adjustments. For men, relaxed fashion is comfortable but well-fitting, and it should make you feel confident and attractive but not overdressed.
What is the Relaxed Dress Code?
That’s the thing—there isn’t one! This is part of why relaxed fashion is so daunting to many men because there are no real rules to fall back on. The key is falling into a spectrum of clothes that aren’t under or overdressed. Thankfully, that’s a very wide spectrum.
Picking Your Outfit Centerpiece/Motif
The best men’s relaxed outfits have a specific stylistic motif or centerpiece item that the outfit is built around. The motif can be as simple as a color; the centerpiece item can be as loud as a fun pair of pants. The key thing to remember is to have something tie the outfit together.
If you have a bright button-up shirt you never get to wear, then figure out a good pair of jeans or chinos that could go with it, as well as some classy but understated sneakers. There’s a common idea of “vanity points” among outfit designs. Imagine that you have a budget of ten vanity points for every outfit, and each piece in the outfit is worth a certain amount of vanity points. That bright button-up shirt is maybe a six or a seven, so you want a one or two-point pair of paints (like some nice chinos) and a one or two pair of sneakers.
Your motif can also be complementary colors. If you decide you want to wear a certain shirt, just look up the complementary colors for it. If it’s green, go with some reds or browns. If it’s white, wear something darker or beige. Complementary colors are a very easy way to figure out basic outfits.
Best Clothing Pieces for Men’s Relaxed Style
Besides the general advice above, there are also some key clothing pieces that you can keep in your wardrobe to ensure you always have good options for your casual fashion. Most of these pieces work for men’s relaxed outfits and relaxed business attire. Men have a lot of options; you just have to know about them.
Yes, T-shirts are acceptable (and even encouraged) in modern men’s fashion. Now, you shouldn’t be wearing your middle school “I’m a Gamer” graphic tee, but there are plenty of styles of T-shirts that can work with myriad outfits.
First, you want to know what kind of neckline you prefer. A V-neck is going to look very different from a crew neck and evoke a different style. If you prefer one over the other, consider how those T-shirts will look with certain pants and shoes as compared to other necklines.
Second, you want good T-shirts. A well-fitted T-shirt is a game-changer because fitting you nicely is what takes a T-shirt from fine to fashionable. Perk’s Feel Good Tee, for example, softens and fits better with each wash and is built to stretch in all the places it needs to fit you well.
A good T-shirt rests on the chest well and accentuates the arms—and that doesn’t mean you need to be built to wear them well! That’s the magic of good T-shirts: they work with any body type. You just need ones that fit you well.
Ah, chinos. Chinos are the perfect pants for men’s relaxed outfits because they fit into almost any style. They’re essentially just sexy khakis; they fit as well as jeans while looking as clean as khakis, and have better color variety than either jeans or khakis. A good pair (or five) of chinos will revolutionize your wardrobe and your relaxed clothing style. Men look great in chinos, and chinos are easy to fit into any outfit.
Great chinos will work in practically any setting, from athleisure to formal settings, and they especially fit into casual styles. Perk’s Feel Good Chinos are the perfect chinos for any situation, as they’re stretchy enough to be active pants while being comfortable and stylish enough to work with any casual, business casual, or even professional outfit.
Chinos are a great one-pant-fits-all option for your casual fashion, so be sure to pick a few pairs up! And, if you’re interested in their athleisure aspect, we wrote an entire article on that.
Jeans are another great choice for casual fashion; however, they can be a bit basic. You want a pair or two of well-fitting jeans to make some good outfits with denim, but you also don’t want too many jeans to where you’re constantly wearing denim. Like any clothing piece, jeans are best in moderation.
Finally, no good outfit is complete without some good shoes. For casual fashion, you’re probably going to be favoring sneakers. Tennis shoes are a little too athletic and dress shoes are too formal. You can also use loafers and boat shoes to great effect in certain flavors of casual fashion, but we’re going to focus on sneakers.
You’re going to want a pair of nice, understated white sneakers. These will go with almost anything. You can just have one or two pairs of white sneakers and call it a day, but there are more options if you wish to pursue them. White sneakers are universally great for almost any casual outfit.
Hopefully, these tips work well for you. Remember, men’s casual fashion has no real rules; so long as you abide by general fashion guidelines, like complementary colors and vanity points, and you like and feel comfortable in your clothes, you’ve got a good casual outfit.
If you want more fashion tips, feel free to check out the rest of our blog!