If your office leans towards business casual dress code, then your ideal look has to be easy and unimpeachable at the same time. While getting more freedom of self-expression, business casual embodies professionalism. It certainly has nothing to do with jeans and an untucked shirt; perhaps leave those for a sports bar or a BBQ party. Always think business first.
Navigate your wardrobe, add a bit of design and experiment with fits and fabrics.
The dress shirt is the foundation for your business-casual attire. Start off with white or light blue shirts; then add a colourful feel to your closet with lavender, mint green and light pink. If you wish to wear a patterned dress shirt at the office, stick to subtle checks and soft stripes and keep the rest of your attire in solid colours. The long-sleeve shirt with the small-spread collar and button cuff looks elegant and sharp with or without a tie. Choose lightweight cotton fabrics that will allow your skin to breath in spring and summer. For the cooler seasons, consider wool and thicker 100% cotton.
Tuck your shirt into a pair of fine cotton trousers that fit you well and allow maximum movement. Go for solid colours such as charcoal, navy or camel. If you want to add some flair, get a pair of flyweight cotton khakis that come in a wide gamut of colours.
A pair of dress shoes should be your wardrobe’s forte. High-quality leather loafers, derbies, oxfords, monks and brogues are all appropriate choices. Although black or brown shoes are classics all year round, spring and summer are great excuses for shoes in brighter colours such as chestnut or dark blue.
In business casual, there are endless ways of wearing a suit. For instance, a completely unconstructed suit jacket with drawstring trousers is a modern expression of formality. A looser suit with a sleek t-shirt or a thin wool-cotton hoodie underneath infuses an athleisure feel into your smart look. A wool, cashmere or tweed garment will protect you against winter chill, while a suit made from linen or cotton will keep you cool on a hot day.
Not in a mood for a suit? The right blazer offers a softer fit and creates more casual, albeit sophisticated image. A dark blazer with a white shirt underneath offers a classic business look, while a blazer in vibrant or light hues has great potential for self-expression. While wearing a blazer, you can dress down a dress shirt with a t-shirt during warm seasons.
A perfectly chosen tie can pull the entire look together. And even when you wear more relaxed combinations, like a collared shirt and cardigan, a fine monochrome tie will certainly bolster your look. Invest in fine fabrics, giving preference to 100% silk or blend of silk and cotton or 100% wool.