Style History of the Suit: From Beau to Don to John (Wick)
Casual Style For Men: Wardrobe Basics to Look Your Best
The code for dressing in a casual style is loosely defined at best and even downright complicated when you add the rules of business casual. But, essentially, the best casual style for men is a way of dressing that presents your own personal style to those around you while still looking well put-together and fashionable.
How do you dress casually? Keep it simple and stick to the basics. The goal is to look and feel comfortable while you’re dressed casually — though, not too comfortable. Casual clothes are meant to be something that you can relax in and also look presentable. Wearing slippers, sleep pants and an oversized hoodie might be great for a rainy day indoors, but it’s too far from the stylish approach of the casual style.
The same principle applies to wearing clothes that are too dressy and professional. A three-piece suit with your favorite pocket-watch in your vest may be the pinnacle of style, but it is certainly not the most comfortable.
To make it easy, here are nine staples that every man should have in their closet.
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The best part of dressing in a casual style for men is the freedom you have to fill up your closet—bombers, denim, leather and more. Show off a bit of your personality with your choice jacket, and then frame your outfit around it.
Leather jackets go great with a pair of denim jeans, boots and your favorite color T-Shirt. One great way to wear your leather is to match it with your shirt and pants and contrast it with your footwear and accessories.
Denim jackets are classic, but avoid matching with your jeans. Better yet, pair your denim with a bright pair of chinos, dress boots and some plaid.
Whatever your pick, your jacket is bound to work great with the next staple.
Classic White T
Fitted, oversized, vintage and pocketed. White T’s are always worth having in your closet, and they belong on any list of how to dress casually. Contrast is an easy way to make your casual look pop, so using the brightness of the white T-shirt to show off the rest of your outfit always works.
The white T-shirt is excellent when paired with any jacket and serves as a perfect stage for necklaces. Try wearing your leather necklace and cast-iron accessory on top of your white T-shirt to really show it off.
Just bleach your white shirts every once in a while to make sure they stay clean.
Keep it simple and stick to the basics.
Everyone needs a great pair of jeans. Jeans work with everything, and, like a lot of good staple items, when you find a good pair, you’ll find yourself wearing them often. So, buy your jeans to last after you find a style that works for you.
There are many different fits for jeans, and the best everyday pair of jeans has to be straight. Straight jeans are designed straight from the hip to the ankle; they are built to last and work on everyone.
Don’t stick to one style, though. Dressing casually is all about showing off your personality, so try exploring all different fits, types of denim and trends; that includes ripped jeans.
Chinos are just a slightly dressier version of jeans, yet they are always a staple for dressing in a casual style for men. There are countless combinations of colors and fits for chinos, so it’s best to start simple. A slim-fit tan chino is a great way to start, and it works when worn in most businesses when you need to dress business casual.
If you’re asking how to dress business casual, chinos might be the best start. Business casual depends on the business, so you’re not going to be able to wear chinos everywhere. For a law firm, business casual might mean no tie. For most places, though, chinos are a great way to add color and comfort to your outfit.
If you don’t wear boots, we highly recommend you start. The best place to start when adding anything to your wardrobe is with the most versatile: Classic brown lace-up boots. Boots can be the most comfortable and stylish footwear you own, and the brown lace-up is that and more. These boots work great in almost any casual outfit, especially when paired with dark denim.
If you’re wondering how to dress business casual and incorporate boots into your outfit, try dress boots. Dress boots are unique because they have similar professionalism to dress shoes, yet are more comfortable and fit business casual entirely. You can try a fresh Chelsea boot, the tough chukka boot or simply buy a dress boot that reminds you of your favorite dress shoe.
Cardigans, Turtlenecks and Hoodies
Sweaters are diverse, so they’re a great way to show your individual style.
A turtleneck is always a fun choice; try one with some colorful chinos and a great pair of sunglasses. Alternatively, adding a blazer over your turtleneck makes it the perfect business casual outfit for any office.
The classic crewneck sweater is an easy recommendation, just like the cardigan. Dressing casually is dressing comfortably, so wear what you like. Even Hoodies are a great pick; it’s an athletic piece that leans closer to comfort clothing but can work if you pair one with a bomber jacket and some dress boots.
Whether you’re dressing casually, athletically or for business, there is a watch for you. Any self-respecting stylish guy wears one. There’s a watch for every occasion, and many classic timepieces will enhance your look no matter what that occasion is.
To start, check out this list of the best watches under $500 for many affordable and versatile options. Take your time and see if you can try on the watch before you buy. A good watch can stay with you forever.
Statement sneakers are bright and filled with patterns and images. They draw the eye and define your outfit. The minimalist, low-key sneaker is the opposite; it’s a versatile footwear that can be worn with anything.
A good start is a white low-top. These shoes are great when wearing any kind of shorts and even work with many business casual outfits. The high-top shoe is another minimalist footwear that acts as an excellent boot replacement, and they look great when worn with any pair of pants.
These should be comfortable and low-profile so that they let the rest of your outfit shine.
Accessories are one of the most exciting and unique aspects of men’s casual style. You might find it hard to add new additions to your outfit, but here are some simple tips:
Necklaces look great against a monochrome shirt, so throw on a bomber jacket and your favorite pants to still feel comfortable and complete the outfit.
Watches always work, just like sunglasses. Take your time finding what looks great on you.
Rings are crazy fun, and it’s easy to start by wearing a ring on your pinky or ring finger. You can start with white gold or silver, or wear something unique like a ring made from old coins or antique silverware.
And, of course, a great messenger bag to hold your extra masks and hand sanitizer is both fashionable and functional.
When dressing for an interview, you want to style your outfit based on the employer. At a bank, that means a suit, while an office job can mean chinos, dress shoes and a button-down. You want to wear muted colors, like blues and greys, while also avoiding accessories. A watch is fine, but nothing that will seem like you’re showing off.
Casual style is a mix between dressing comfortably and dressing professionally. Business casual lets you forget some of the dress codes. However, you still need to look professional — more professional than the standard casual style. Casual and business casual share the freedom to show off your own personality with colors and patterns. Even if you’re still wearing a suit, you can try a bright button-down and some fun patterns on the suit jacket.
Short answer? No. Business casual in a law firm or bank means no neckwear and wearing a more comfortable but still professional dress boot. It is also an opportunity to show off your style with brighter colors. In an office, business casual means chinos, your favorite shoe and a dress sweater. For your first casual Friday, go easy on the more casual options until you understand your workplace’s expectations.