Words by Alek Rose
Many of us fear reading the words ‘business-casual’, and with good reason. What does it really mean? Will you be over-dressed or under-dressed? Nobody really knows. We’re here to make it all a bit easier with a guide on how to hit the right balance every time. If you can nail business-casual you can do almost anything, so pay attention.
In the spirit of ‘giving a man a fish and feeding him for a day; teaching a man to fish and feeding him for a lifetime’, we don’t just want to walk you through the door, we’re going to cover some general ground rules so that you can apply them to your wardrobe every time. The foundational key is to keep it as simple as possible – the more simple you can keep it, the fewer mistakes you’ll make.
Business-casual is a difficult mid-ground. It’s less formal than traditional business attire but must still convey a sense of professionalism. Basically, it’s up to you to interpret it, which leaves a lot of room for embarrassingly over-dressing or under-dressing.
Job interviews are perfect for business-casual, if you understand and are confident in your business-casual style, you have an opportunity to communicate your personality and identity through your outfit.
You can’t go wrong with a shirt, whereas a t-shirt can sometimes tread the business-casual line a little too closely. Shirts are extremely versatile which makes them perfect for business-casual occasions, there’s a lot of room to play around with variations. Opt for a grandad collar like this All Day Shirt from L’Estrange London. The grandad collar means you still get smartness of a crisp white shirt, but the collar distinguishes it from its formal collared counterpart. You can still style this with a blazer, or you can wear it on its own and roll the sleeves up but remain well within the business-casual boundaries.
Another variant of business-casual is to play with the materials, adding in different textures can elevate and downplay certain elements of your outfit as you see fit. You can experiment with a piece of textured knitwear or even a shirt, just like this FRISUR Flannel Simon Shirt which benefits from a 100% Portuguese cotton flannel construction and mother of pearl buttons. This shirt is a great choice for a business-casual style during winter. The navy hue will work perfectly with a pair of grey trousers and you won’t have to wear a blazer for warmth.
When it comes to trousers, try to keep the colours dark. Instead of trying to cater to the ‘casual’ side of things with a lighter colour as many do, play with the shape and materials of the trousers. L’Estrange London Navy Pique Trousers are made of bonded cotton pique. Taking advantage of alternative textures, L’Estrange align this suit trouser with a more casual aesthetic. This is enhanced by the elasticated satin waistband details. You can have both comfort and style, no matter what anyone tells you.
Forét’s Ash Pond Suit Pants look as classic as any pair of suit trousers on first look but little details give these trousers an added edge. Manufactured with turn-ups, Forét never intended anything other than business-casual with this pair. Made of a polyester and viscose blend, the Pond Suit Pants give you much more freedom of movement than a classic pair of suit pants.
Accessories are an easy and subtle way to give your outfit more personality. A simple silver ring like this Alex Orso Silver 5mm Ring is understated, and doesn’t scream for attention but adds flair and a touch of personality to your style. When it comes to accessories, keep it simple with either gold or silver and don’t go overboard with the details, a simple ring or bracelet with no embellishment will always do the job.
Now you're all clued up on all things business casual, you can shop and explore all of our latest shirts, trousers and accessories in Latest.
If looking for more winter style inspiration, then check out our edit on the Shearling Jackets that you need to be seen in this season.
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