Every man should be conversant with the concept of business casual clothes. It’s not hard to learn, but it goes beyond simply matching your belt and shoes. 

Let’s see what business casual men dress code looks like!

I- What is Business Casual?

Business casual is a broadly defined Western dress code that is usually regarded as casual attire but includes smart elements of a decent lounge suit from conventional informal wear and is accepted for white-collar professions. Business casual isn’t intended to be a relaxed look. Business casual for men is a professional-looking outfit.

II- What Men Should Wear for Business Casual?

Remember that business casual is significantly more “business” than “casual” as a general rule. Although the phrase “casual” can be confusing, relying too much on shorts and t-shirts would have been a waste of time.

1- A Blazer

Blazers are indeed a popular option business casual for men. While wearing, stay away from blazers with gold buttons. Stick to dark, neutral hues.

Navy is a solid option that is popular among individuals who want something else besides black. Single-breasted blazers are the most conventional look. If you would like to stand in with a more solid, striking style, a double-breasted jacket is a great option. If you enjoy wearing sports jackets, go for a more modest type. 

Avoid bright, summary designs, as they can come across as unprofessional and informal men’s business casual.

2- A Dress Shirt with Long Sleeves

A cotton dress shirt is always a safe bet for business casual. Concentrate on light blue or pastel colors, and keep in mind that dressier shoes are always appropriate for business casual attire. 

You can quickly alter your appearance depending on how you wear them.

Unbutton one button up or match this with a knit tie for a much more relaxed look. 

You may even make it appear more formal by wearing a tie and a blazer.

Because you’re on the West Coast, the atmosphere is more relaxed, and then you can wear any dress shirt with short sleeves, or indeed any collared shirt for just that matter. Flannels are acceptable in some business casual for men.

3- Sweaters For Warmth

Wearing a sweater over your blazer is completely fine on chilly days. Turtlenecks, sweater vests, and cardigans are the greatest options.

4- A Tucked-In Button Down Shirt or Button Up Shirt

Because the goal of men’s business casual is to appear clean & professional, tucking your shirt in would be a must. Identifying the shirt that best suits you will be the first step in creating your perfect outfit. 

Any shirt will not be enough; you must pick a shirt that fits your business outfit. Choose a well-tailored shirt, but not one that is overly tight. 

The length of the piece is also crucial. Your dress shirt will not tuck in properly if that is too long. 

It’s not just that, but the extra cloth that gathers about your waist can change the look of a business casual outfit. Your shirt should tuck in easily while also allowing you to move around. 

You wouldn’t want any sections of your body to come undone only because you reach for anything.

Should the Collar Button?

There are two types of collared shirts: buttons up and a button-down. While they may appear to be the other thing, they are not. 

By looking just at the collar, anyone can identify the difference. Button-down shirts feature collars having buttons on the tips that are attached to the shirt’s upper chest. Such shirts are often known as oxford cloth button-down shirts. Collars on button-up shirts are not attached to the shirt. 

The collar is stiffer and therefore should keep it in place without using buttons. Nevertheless, inlays in the collar to maintain it upright and rigid are still pretty prevalent on these shirts.

Which is the best option for business casual? Choose a button-up shirt. It’s straightforward, uncomplicated, and timeless.  That not just, but a button-down shirt has the potential to appear too casual.

5- Dress Pants

To match the standards of business casual pants, your alternatives for dress pants are not overly complicated. Any solid grey, blue, or black pair of dress pants would suffice. Pleated or flat front pants are indeed a lot of room for improvement of style.

Simply combine it with a jacket and a beautifully tucked-in shirt for a business casual look. The shape of your pants is also important for the overall appearance of your outfit. 

Your slacks should be neat and well-fitting. If you’re going to be wearing denim, be sure it’s of the highest quality. 

When it comes to professionals, it should be on par with dress slacks. You don’t want to show up to work in a pair of sloppy jeans that will help you appear unprofessional.

Another item to consider when wearing pants is the break. Unless you’re not familiar with the word, the break refers to the ‘crease’ in your pants close to the top of your shoe. 

A break can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and some pants don’t even have one. Pants without the need for a break, on the other hand, can appear ill-fitting, too casual, or perhaps not long enough.

It’s better to stay away from business casual jeans that don’t have a break or that have a full break. Either option appears to be too casual and lacking in professionalism. 

It’s all about striking a balance. According to your preference, you may take a half or quarter break. If your pants haven’t already snapped, now is the time to do it (or they break you want).

III- What Accessories to Wear?

Having attractive accessories and knowing how and when to wear them will unquestionably set you apart from your coworkers. See the following accessories.

i- Business Casual Shoes and Boots

Feel free to step it up to another level with your shoes if you want more creative freedom. The good news is that you don’t have to limit yourself to traditional oxfords. 

You might exploit this opportunity to experiment with new colors and wear more casual footwear. Loafers or chukka boots are two options for footwear. 

For just a business casual style, colors like burgundy, oxblood, and brown are excellent choices. If you’re not sure what and how to wear it, we suggest starting with something simple.

A good pair of modern dress shoes are usually a good choice. For just about any business setting, a pair of brown or black dress shoes is always a good choice for business casual.

ii- Bags

Backpacks should be avoided. This is unflattering and therefore will make you appear to be in high school. 

Instead, go for a leather purse which you like and use it. Brown and black may be worn with almost everything.

iii- A Classic Watch

A watch is useful to have on hand, although it should be a component of every business casual outfit. That isn’t to say you have to wear it all the time. A classic-looking watch, on the other hand, lends a pop of personality to any outfit. Your watch should complement the rest of your ensemble; consider color, texture, and overall balance while making your selection.

Watches with white dials and silver cases are always popular. They look good with almost anything and have the same effect. 

Watches with a leather band, on the other hand, are a terrific alternative for business casual attire standards but are always acceptable. If you’re wearing a watch with such a leather band, be sure the colors don’t conflict with your attire. 

In any circumstance, pairing brown and black is indeed a classic fashion faux pas. Choose a black band whether you’re wearing black pants. 

Similarly, whether you’re wearing dark brown pants, choose a watch band that complements it.

iv- Leather Belt

When it comes to accessories, you’re likely to think of watches and pocket squares rather than belts. However, don’t let anything stop you from accessorizing with your belt. 

Even if you’re wearing a blazer or otherwise, a beautiful belt can add the final touch to a business casual outfit. Belts are available in a variety of materials, but leather is the best choice for men’s business casual. 

It looks fantastic, lasts forever, and just never goes out of style as long as you’re getting care of it. You can add subtle or not-so-subtle detail to the belt as much as it matches with the rest of your business casual outfit, such as your watch strap. 

It doesn’t matter if your belt is smooth, textured or braided.

v- A Pocket Square

A pocket square is not required for business casual attire. Pocket squares, on the other hand, are making a big comeback in favor, since they’re worth consideration in business casual outfits. 

You wouldn’t want to go overboard, but a solid pocket square or 2 is a brilliant idea to have that in your wardrobe. They’re little, yet they can inject a lot of personality into any ensemble.

You should always be cautious and coordinate this with the rest of your outfit, as you would with everything else. However, it’s the entire time to decide what you prefer.

Are you looking for another incentive to include pocket squares in your business casual attire? A pocket square may completely transform the appearance of an outfit.

Whenever a pocket square transforms into the same suit jacket or blazer, you shouldn’t need to spend your hard-earned money on new ones.

vi- Hats

Hats aren’t as popular as they formerly were in some workplaces. The days of removing one’s hat as quickly once one enters a building are long gone. Although they would be more appropriate for many times, they are not appropriate if your company has a business casual dress code. Leave the headwear at home and with friends, not at work or a crucial meeting.

Hats may be OK for very informal occasions if your company hosts get-togethers outside of the office. Nevertheless, for even the most part, we recommend erring upon that side of caution and eliminating them.

IV- Choosing Well-Fitting Business Casual Dress Shirts

Your selection of dress shirts is crucial whenever it comes to business casual. When it comes to buying a dress shirt that suited you ideally, there are a few things to consider. 

It’s crucial to think about every aspect of your shirt.

Courtesy: Pinterest

a) Shirt’s Length

Keep the shirt length in mind at all times. For business casual dress code, you should always have your shirt tucked in. You don’t like the shirt to be overly long because of this. Shirts should always end around the middle of your crotch. 

You should never wear your shirt untucked if it is longer than this. Untucked shirts seem untidy and do look business casual.

b) Collar

A dress shirt’s collar should be neither too slack nor too stiff. When it’s buttoned, you should be able to move one finger under it. 

While the shirt is worn, try moving your neck. The collar is very stiff if it moves with you. 

Unbutton the first button of a button-down shirt to make it appear good and business casual.

c) Armholes

You should always feel comfy in the arms of your shirt. You don’t need them to be so tough that they compress your arm each time you twist it or that you can view every part of your arms. 

You don’t want your shirt to be so slack that it hangs around thus affecting your business casual dress.

d) Shoulder

The shoulder borders of the shirt should lie just where your shoulder starts to drop down your arm when worn.

e) Shirt Torso

Pinching the shirt to your sides while wearing it is a useful measure for determining if or not it is very large for you. On either side of your waist, you should be hanging no more than 2-3” of cloth.

You must never wear shirts that are very rigid or too huge, irrespective of your size.

V. Men’s Business Casual Attire Do’s And Don’ts

Here are a few general “do’s” and “don’ts” to help guide you in the correct direction about business casual attire for men.

  • Do wear a button-down cotton t-shirt with long sleeves.
  • Don’t wear a t-shirt or a polo shirt as it can affect your business casual look.
  • Do wear a button-down shirt from under a close-fitting sweater or cardigan.
  • Don’t wear a sloppy sweater, it can badly affect your business casual dress.
  • Do wear casual slacks, chinos, khakis, or other high-quality, tight-fitting denim.
  • Don’t wear casual jeans, shorts, any athletic sort of pants, or any street style jeans.
  • Do wear a well-tailored and causal blazer of high-quality fabric.
  • Don’t wear a suit jacket that is too flashy.
  • Do wear dress shoes that match your business casual wardrobe.
  • Don’t wear sneakers, sandals, slip-on, and any other type of extremely casual footwear.
  • Do wear monochromatic or neutral colors when it’s your starting day at the workplace.
  • Don’t wear bright colors if you haven’t got any idea about business casual.

VI. Men’s Business Casual Outfit Ideas

Well, you’ve put together your ideal business casual outfit and are looking for inspiration on how to style it.

I’ve got you sorted no matter what level of business casual your profession requires with these Seven crucial men’s business casual dress code ideas.

THE CLASSICSports Coat + Button-up shirt + Chinos/Dress Pants + Tie
THE T-SHIRTSports coat + Chinos + T-shirt
THE POLOSports Coat + Dress Pants + Polo
THE NO JACKET LOOKButton-up shirt + Belt + Dress pants + Cool watch
SNEAKERSSports Coat + Clean Minimal Sneakers + Dress Pants
THE CASUAL JACKETCasual jacket + Chinos or Dress Pants + Button-up shirt
KNIT IN PLACE OF JACKETKnit (such as a pullover sweater, cardigan, or half-zip) + Any pant + Button-up shirt

Final Words

When you’re just beginning out, the business casual dress code can be stressful. Once understood, though, business casual is a great style for today’s working-class men. 

You can be one of the best-dressed persons at the workplace if you’ve figured out what suits you well. When setting up a business casual dress,  it’s important to give focus to the small aspects.

When putting together a business casual wardrobe, keep in mind that you have alternatives. Even if you’re wearing business casual attire, you need to see if it’s of excellent standard and looks casual. 

Casual does not equate to inexpensive, and if you do not make an effort to appear great for work, your recruiters will observe.


Are jeans business casual for a man?

Absolutely. Wearing a blazer with a pair of dark, raw denim jeans in a standard or narrow shape might be regarded as business casual.

What is modern business casual?

Business casual is a semi-formal business attire that is commonly seen in today’s workplaces. A type of dress that is less formal than typical business attire but yet designed to convey a professional and businesslike appearance is referred to as a business casual.

How do men look business casual?

Dress slacks or chinos, button-down shirts, black socks, and dress shoes are ideal business casual wear for males. Top: solid-colored short-sleeved button-down shirts, button-up or collared shirts, sport coats, and sweaters in a variety of colors and designs. Dress slacks, Dark jeans, and semi-formal pants for the bottom.

What does business casual look like in 2021?

Formal pants or chinos, a button-down shirt tucked in, dark socks, and dress shoes are the basic business casual look in 2021 men’s business casual. To avoid seeming overly official, avoid wearing a blazer or suit jacket.

Author: Adila Z.

Google & Hubspot certified professional copywriter with a specialization in blogging and copywriting writing. Being the owner of 6 websites and 1 digital marketing agency, her expertise in online entrepreneurship is second to none.

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