Most offices operate on a business casual dress code - but, unless there are specific examples written in the employee handbook, you might be curious as to what business casual means.
Business casual means dressing down from traditional business attire. Your goal is to look sharp, stylish, and put together, but relaxed and comfortable at the same time. Office wear for men typically means no jeans, sneakers, shorts, or t-shirts. Depending on your office, your men’s office fashion might entail a dress shirt with slacks or perhaps a suit with an optional tie.
Keep reading to find out the stylish outfits for men that you can choose from when heading into the office.
What is Business Casual Attire?
Business casual does not mean simply ‘dressing up’ a casual outfit. Instead, it’s office attire for men that puts across a professional vibe while remaining laid-back and, well, casual. You want to seem relaxed, but not too relaxed - you don’t want to accidentally seem sloppy.
Professional attire for men in a business casual setting includes:
- Dress shirts
- Blazers/sports jackets
- Dress pants
- Accessories like ties, pocket squares, and/or watches
Rules to Follow
Men’s casual office outfits should always follow these rules:
- Your clothes should be clean, without wrinkles, and have at least a few formal elements. At the very least, your men’s office shirt should have a collar.
- The fit of your clothes is important. Well-dressed men don’t wear clothes that are too tight or too loose.
- If you’re just starting out on your journey with professional attire for men, stick with neutral colors until you get more comfortable with the territory. Neutrals never go out of style and they’re easy to mix and match with each other.
Now that you have a good grip on men’s office fashion, here are a few staples you must have in order to build your business casual wardrobe.
Dress shirts are the number-one choice for business casual looks. Every outfit typically involves one, so make sure to stock up on well-made shirts that fit you well. While Perk’s tops fit the bill of high-quality and flattering, much like your dress shirt should, they don’t quite fit the bill for business casual. Instead, use them to layer under your dress shirt. The pima cotton that they’re made of won’t irritate your skin or make you itch, and they last forever.
Starting your wardrobe with dress shirts in white and light blue is a safe bet. You might even try light pink, mint green, and lavender - especially in the spring. If you enjoy patterns, you can opt for unobtrusive choices like subtle gingham or pinstripes, but make sure to avoid brash, bold patterns with your business casual looks.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to tuck your dress shirt in, as this is how you achieve stylish dress for men. It also creates a sleeker, more professional look - you do not want to have your shirt untucked at the office, we promise.
You can leave the first two buttons of your dress shirt undone, or maybe just the top button if two shows too much chest hair. Unless you’re sporting a tie, then you should button all the way up.
And don’t forget to pay attention to fit. The three most common dress shirt fits are slim, regular, and relaxed, and it might take a few try-on sessions to figure out which one best suits your frame. Once you find it, though, run with it!
Men’s casual office outfits involve either dress pants of business casual chinos. We’re really hammering this point home, but you’ve got to make sure that your pants fit properly before wearing them into the office. They shouldn’t crease too much around the ankles, or fit too snug or too baggy.
Perk’s chinos are perfect to wear into the office. They come in a variety of neutral colors, meaning they’ll match with almost everything, and they are known for their superior fit.
Stylish outfits for men in the workplace don’t involve sneakers or flip-flops, but you still have plenty of options. Those options include:
- Monk straps
- Chelsea boots
- Dress boots
- Suede or leather loafers
Choosing dress shoes in black or brown allows you to wear them with a myriad of different men’s dress outfits, no matter the color palette of the pants or shirt.
Socks are an important detail, too. Make sure to invest in some neutral colors like black, brown, gray, and beige - or, if you’re feeling adventurous, find socks with patterns that include colors that complement your pants and shirt.
Understanding Business Casual
At Perk, we know how to make office wear for men look stylish and cool. For more tips on how to dress your best while at work, check out Perk’s blog.