Men’s Business Casual Outfit Ideas

When Is Business Casual Allowed?

Corporate casual wear was once restricted to Fridays where you could take finally take the tie off and maybe get away with a pair of jeans and dress shoes. But wih workplace dress codes becoming more flexible, there’s more room to push the envelope.

A great business casual outfit strikes a balance between comfort while still presenting well. When the occasion calls for it, the last thing you want is to look like you’re ready for a formal event or at the other end of the scale - like you’re already halfway out the door for an early mark!

What Do I Need In A Business Casual Wardrobe?

As the name suggests the easiest way to understand a business casual outfit is to think of it in two parts, business and casual. The first part is easy enough, but don’t let the casual get away from you like an intern slipping off to an early lunch. Business (or smart) casual is not an opportunity to finally bring sweatpants into the office.

There are a few common staples that make it easy to put together a solid casual wardrobe for work:

  • Jackets: Relaxed (but tailored) blazers are the easiest way to smarten things up.

  • Chinos: Soft, structured pants offer the best option for movement, especially if you’re sitting for long periods.

  • Shirts: Between T-shirts, polos, and other long-sleeved, smart casual shirts there’s a range to take your pick from.

  • Footwear: A pair of suede leather loafers or complimenting sne akers will work best.

The business casual dress code also allows for experimenting with colours, textures, and patterns away from what might be traditionally considered “work appropriate”.

Three Business Casual Outfit Ideas

Now that you’re across the bare basics, we’re going to take the guesswork out of leaning into this trend with 3 versatile (but still work appropriate) styles that are sure to impress.

The Tailored Jacket

We’re starting off with a tried and tested look - the tailored jacket. This is the easiest hack in dressing for business casual and follows the simple idea of mixing jacket and trouser separates, often from different suits. Perfect for showing some creativity, especially if you’re faced with a limited number of tailoring rotations in your wardrobe.

The T-Shirt

There are a few rules for wearing a T-shirt with a blazer or suit. Our recommendation is to start with a well-fitted, crew neck (rounded collar) and work from here. It’s important to keep the tee as plain as possible, meaning white and navy options will be your friend here. Pair a darker cotton or wool-linen suit jacket to bring out that formal element and you’re good to go.

The Short Sleeve Shirt

Swap out your long-sleeve corporate shirt for a short-sleeve version with camp collar. The best of both worlds, the short-sleeve shirt looks uber-presentable under a tailored jacket (one might even say it lends a certain je ne sais quoi), and is an easy win for when you’ve got a 9am meeting followed by a hard out for afternoon social revelry.