Business Casual for Men: Master the Business Casual Attire

Business casual attire men

Deciphering dress code rules can be challenging nowadays. The business casual dress code for men is somewhat ambiguous as it lacks clearly defined rules. Not to mention that its meaning can vary depending on the industry or even on the company you work for. Not surprisingly, many men struggle to find out what to wear in a business casual workplace.

If you’re among them, don’t panic! We’re here to help! In this guide, you’ll learn what business casual attire for men exactly means, how to build your business casual wardrobe and the importance of dressing properly to advance in your career. We’ll also give you the best business casual outfit ideas for men. Intrigued? Good! Let’s get to work!

What’s business casual attire for men

In this chapter, I’ll explain what business casual attire for men is. After providing a definition, I’ll clarify the difference between business casual and business professional as to men.

Then, I’ll talk about whether jeans are appropriate or not for business casual. And finally, I’ll comment on whether it’s better to be over or underdressed.

What is business casual for men?

Business casual for men means dressing less formal than traditional office wear, yet professional enough. Thus, appropriate business casual attire for men includes garments like dress slacks, a button-down shirt, dark socks, and dress shoes, to name a few. 

Man business casual style

Deciphering what business casual means for men can end up being a daunting task. The main reason is that the business casual dress code for men can significantly vary from one company to another, from industry to industry, and depending on the part of the world where you work. 

Some companies allow men to wear chinos but not jeans. Others do allow men to wear a nice pair of dark jeans. This is a bit controversial and changes from one company to another. I’ll cover the jeans or no jeans aspect in another section. So, keep on reading to find out more!

Anyway, business casual attire for men means you have to be dressed well enough to give a great business-like impression. So, sandals, t-shirts, and shorts are generally not allowed. Men are still supposed to dress with a certain style and sophistication. 

A blazer is always a safe bet. Quality trousers and dress shoes are essential too. And, it would be wise to ensure everything matches too. If truth be told, some workplaces might ask you to wear a tie. Although, it’s not always necessary. And, your shirt must be tucked in.

Difference between business professional and business casual for men

To begin with, business casual attire for men requires a polished look. Yet, formal items like ties may not be required. It depends on the company you work for. However, the business professional dress code for men means that suits are commonly required. Besides, men have to look both polished and professional.

Businessman wearing eyeglasses suit sitting sofa

Both dress codes offer some variety of customization. Yet, the business casual attire is generally more comfortable than the business professional one. Not to mention that the business professional dress code means you have to dress to impress. 

You must give a great impression and know what’s appropriate. The business casual attire for men generally requires you to wear a button-down shirt, dress pants, and dress shoes. This sounds quite comfortable, isn’t it? Still, you are not allowed to wear items like short-sleeve t-shirts, loose clothing, flip-flops, or shorts.

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Likewise, the business professional attire for men means that you should wear a fitted suit, button-up shirt, a tie, and dress shoes. But, it’s considered inappropriate to wear jeans, athletic attire, or sneakers, to name a few. 

Business casual attire for men:

Man purple suit jumping door
  • Wear black or brown leather shoes.
  • Use long-sleeve button-down shirts (tucked in).
  • Put on khaki or dark pants.
  • Carry a black or brown leather belt.
  • Polish your look with a tie (optional).
  • Put on a sweater to keep you warm.
  • Wear a cool blazer. 

Business professional attire for men: 

Stylish man wearing business suit
  • Dress in a fitted suit (solid color).
  • Wear dark socks.
  • Use brown or black dress shoes.
  • Wear a conservative tie.
  • Put on a long-sleeve button-up shirt.
  • Wear a tie and a nice belt.
  • Use cufflinks or a tie clip to polish your look (optional).

Are jeans business casual for men?

Unbelievable as it may seem, there’s no clear consensus as to whether jeans are appropriate business casual wear or not. It depends on the industry you work for and on your company’s dress code rules. Some places are more traditional than others.

Man watching watch stairs

Yet, if truth be told, business dress codes have significantly evolved in recent years, and jeans are generally accepted as appropriate business casual wear for men. Still, not all jeans are welcome. 

For instance, dark-colored jeans with low contrast details are a safe bet. You’d better not wear light-colored jeans or jeans with fake distress marks. Besides, business casual jeans must be clean and in good condition. Bright-colored jeans aren’t appropriate either. 

So, yeah, you can wear jeans when the dress code is business casual men. However, ensure they are appropriate for the event in question. Some enterprises allow employees to wear jeans on certain days of the week or team building activities, though they’re not always allowed.

Make sure you can wear them before showing up in the office wearing jeans. On top of that, just because jeans are accepted, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to look professional. It’s the other way round. You must always look polished and professional. So you can pair your jeans with a shirt and blazer and dress shoes to ensure the overall look is suitable. 

What’s better being over or underdressed when the dress code is business casual for men?

Not surprisingly, the short answer to this question is that it is better to be overdressed since you can still adapt your appearance a bit. I mean, it’s somehow better to err on the side of classy since you’ll still look sharp. But, if you’re underdressed, you run the risk of appearing messy and out of place. 

Man elegant suit tie

Dress codes are no longer set in stone, and sometimes it’s hard to choose your outfit. Being overdressed means that you’ll be dressed smarter than the rest. We generally dress smart to feel nice. However, it can be uncomfortable being dressed a lot smarter than others. 

What’s acceptable or not varies from company to company and industry to industry. Being overdressed doesn’t have to be necessarily negative. If you’re better dressed than those around you, you’ll transmit power, authority, and confidence.

And, you can always remove your suit jacket and tie to balance your appearance. On the other hand, when you’re underdressed, there’s no way to improve your appearance unless you have a blazer with you. 

So, if you have doubts as to what to wear, you can always ask the human resources department, check with your boss and pay attention to what your colleagues usually wear. Yet, when in doubt, it’s preferable to be overdressed.  

That’s all for now. In this chapter, you’ve learned what business casual attire for men is. Besides, I’ve tried to clarify some general concerns like what differentiates business casual men from business professional or whether it’s preferable to be over or underdressed. 

Thus, it’s time to move on. In the next chapter, I’ll deal with business casual for men do’s and don’ts. Carry on reading to find out more!

Business casual for men do’s and don’ts

In this chapter, I’ll summarize the do’s and don’ts as to business casual for men. This will help you better understand what is or isn’t appropriate for this dress code. Still, remember that it can vary a bit depending on the work environment, industry, company, and part of the world.

Men’s business casual do’s

When building your men’s business casual wardrobe, do opt for quality over quantity. This applies to all types of blazers, shirts, trousers, and shoes. Besides, you should wear a cotton button-down shirt whenever possible since it’s perfect to combine with a blazer.

Elegant man working office

If you don’t always want to wear a blazer, do wear a sweater or cardigan with a collared shirt underneath it. And, you must choose a sweater that’s not baggy, it must fit your body well enough. 

Regarding your clothes’ colors, do stick to neutral, monochromatic colors. You can incorporate some simple patterns, such as stripes, as time goes by. And, you must opt for quality shoes to elevate your overall look. 

Not surprisingly, do wear matching shoes and belts to create a cohesive look. If you really want to look nice, do wear tailored clothing. It always fits better. Do wear fitted dress pants, chinos, and khakis since they’re perfectly appropriate for business casual work environments these days. 

Man phone office

Here, you’ll find business casual men do’s:

  • Do wear a custom-fit blazer made of quality materials.
  • Do wear a cotton long-sleeved button-down shirt. 
  • Do wear a tucked-in shirt.
  • Do wear a tight-fitting sweater or cardigan together with a collared shirt. 
  • Do wear dress slacks, trousers, or nice tight-fitting jeans. 
  • Do wear clothes in neutral, monochromatic colors. 
  • Do wear dress shoes. 
  • Do wear tailored clothing. 
  • Do wear watches and pocket squares. 
  • Do wear clothes that fit properly. 
  • Do wear clothes that project a professional image.
  • remove visible piercings and hide your tattoos. 
  • Do wear matching shoes and belts. 
  • Do keep good personal grooming habits.
Two men professional agreement

Men’s business casual don’ts 

As important as knowing what to wear, it is to be aware of what’s considered as not suitable or inappropriate. So, when the dress code is business casual for men, don’t wear a polo shirt or t-shirt underneath your blazer because it doesn’t look as professional as a button-down shirt. 

Man posing city skyline

What’s more, don’t wear baggy or oversized clothes. Likewise, don’t wear street-style jeans, shorts, or sports clothes. You should try to look professional, and the clothes just mentioned don’t help with that.

Man colorful suit
Source: Vijesh Datt on Unsplash

It comes as no surprise that men’s business casual attire means don’t opt for bright, bold colors. The same happens with patterns. It’s preferable you wear simple clothes since they are more elegant. 

Young man speech coworkers
Source: Austin Distel on Unsplash

As for shoes, don’t wear sneakers, sandals, or slip-ons. Sportswear isn’t appropriate either. What you should wear are dress shoes and dark socks. Not to mention that it’s vital you don’t wear clothes with stains, that’s common sense!

Young man sitting sofa computer
Source: Austin Distel on Unsplash

Below, you’ll find business casual men don’ts: 

  • Don’t wear an extremely fancy suit jacket. 
  • Don’t wear a polo shirt or t-shirt.
  • Don’t wear a loose sweater or cardigan.
  • Don’t wear shorts, casual jeans, or athletic pants. 
  • Don’t wear clothes in bright colors.
  • Don’t wear loud patterns.
  • Don’t wear sneakers, sandals, or flip-flops. 
  • Don’t wear a tie with a suit (it’s not business casual). 
  • Don’t wear mismatching clothing. 
  • Don’t wear frayed, faded, or stained clothing. 
  • Don’t wear excessive accessories. 
  • Don’t wear a hoodie to the office or any other sportswear clothes. 
Businessman shirt ink stain

And, that’s all for this chapter. Now that I’ve made clear business casual men do’s and don’ts, it’s time to move on. In the next chapter, I’ll focus on how to build a business casual wardrobe for men. Thus, you can miss it out!

How to build a business casual wardrobe for men

In this chapter, I’ll help you build your own business casual wardrobe for men. First, I’ll provide some general information. And then, I’ll focus on all those specific items that are essential. Ready?

First things go first; how many items do you need to get started? Well, that depends on how often you do the laundry and the money you can spend. It also depends on where you live and where you work. 

If you live in a cold place, you’ll need several coats, for instance. But, if where you live is warm, you might not need them. 

Likewise, you’ll need more or fewer items depending on where you work and the type of job you do, like for meetings or dealing with clients face-to-face, to name a few.  

Man shopping blazers

But, on average, I advise you to get enough clothes for each day of the week plus a few extras to be safe. So, at least you’ll need around 20 pieces of clothing, without counting underwear and socks. 

Thus, I’d say you need a coat plus two jackets, around ten shirts, one or two sweaters, three pants, two or three pairs of shoes, underwear, socks, and some accessories. That would be a great start. From there, you can expand depending on your needs. 

I also advise you to start with neutral colors and simple patterns since they are easier to pair with. And build on your wardrobe with more variety as time goes by. You’ll probably don’t want it to appear that you’re wearing the same all week. So, I advise you to pick versatile items that allow you to mix and match them easily. 

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Let’s get into the details!

Here are the basics on business casual clothes for men:

Business Casual Coats 

Man beige trench beach

If you live in warm climates, you might don’t need a coat. However, if you live in a cold area, outwear is a must-have, and there are many types of coats to choose from. You can get a peacoat since it’s quite flexible and you can wear it with many outfits. A sports coat is a great option, too, either single or double-breasted; it’ll add formality to your look. Besides, for transitioning seasons, you can also wear a trench coat. 

Business Casual for men Shirts

Dress shirts are a must-have for men’s business casual dress code. Some companies might allow you to wear a tucked-in polo shirt in summer. Still, you’ll look more professional wearing a dress shirt. Not to mention that there exist shirts in soft materials like linen. 

We advise you to pick traditional dress shirts first. A white or light blue button-down oxford is a classic choice for men’s business casual attire. However, you can also opt for colors like lavender or light pink—even dress shirts with subtle stripes or checks. 

Not surprisingly, you should avoid shirts that are too trendy in design as they are not appropriate for professional attire. Besides, you should go for dress shirts that fit your body type and make you feel comfortable. Long-sleeve regular or slim fit are preferable. 

Button-down shirts are those that fasten the collar to the body of the shirt. These are more casual than their counterparts, the button-ups. So, it’s advisable to opt for button-down shirts but tucked-in. And, unless you wear some kind of neckwear (tie or necktie), you must leave your shirt’s top two buttons undone.

Business Casual Pants

At least, you’ll need three pairs of trousers. Depending on your job, you’ll probably need a pair of wool trousers, a pair of chinos and a pair of jeans. If you’re not allowed to wear jeans, then you’ll have to double or triple up wool trousers or chinos. 

Man choosing suit clothing store

As regards colors, classic tans, muted blues, grays, greens, navy, charcoal, camel, beige, and the like should be appropriate. Make sure your trousers fit well. And, go for no-break or half-break models.

I strongly advise you to have at least a pair of dress pants. For colder months, you can get a pair of gray flannels or even corduroy trousers. If you are allowed to wear jeans, make sure they are dark, nice, and high-quality, and avoid any distressed jeans.

Business Casual Shoes

Regarding the footwear, you’ll need at least three pairs of shoes. What’s more, it’s mandatory that you get yourself a pair of good leather work shoes. They can be oxfords, derbies, brogues, monk straps, or loafers. Brown or black are most common.

Man leather shoes next car
Source: Cristofer Maximilian on Unsplash

If you spend a lot of time on your feet, look for comfortable types of shoes. Dress boots and leather sneakers are an option too. It’ll depend on your office and the kind of job you do. As to socks, pick them in neutral colors like gray, brown, black, or beige. And make sure your shoes are polished. 

Business Casual Suits

Some business casual environments require men to wear suits at times. When this happens, you are likely to be allowed to skip the tie. Suits are more professional. You might need them to give a presentation or deal with upper management. 

Business Casual Jackets

The amount of jackets you’ll need depends on your office. If they’re encouraged, you’ll probably need navy or gray blazers, tweed sport coats, or even a quilted jacket. Whatever the case, a dark blazer is a must-have when the dress code is business casual men.

Man choosing suits jacket blazers on rail

You can combine your blazer with a long-sleeved shirt, dress pants, and leather shoes. You’ll look amazing and smart. A blazer is extremely versatile. You can easily pair it with other garments and look professional. You can even wear blazers with chinos or jeans. 

Business Casual for men Sweaters 

Sweaters, cardigans, and vests are also considered business casual; you can use them with or without a jacket. What’s more, you can perfectly wear your sweater with a dress shirt and a tie and still look professional and smart. 

Man sitting coffee

Some offices allow you to wear sweaters as substitutes for a jacket. But, not any sweater will do. We advise you to get a v-neck sweater or cardigan in solid colors. A merino wool sweater or even a cashmere one will warm you up during the coldest months. 

Business Casual Accessories

Ties, belts, bags, watches, pocket squares, socks, etc., also form part of men’s business casual attire. You don’t always have to wear accessories. Yet, they can polish your appearance since they make a great difference in your overall look. 

Man shirt wearing watch

Not surprisingly, it’s not necessary you wear a tie when the dress code is business casual. But, when your clothes are a bit more casual, wearing a tie can balance the look. For instance, when wearing a cardigan with chinos. 

Besides, you don’t have to wear classic ties. You can wear a knitted tie since it adds more texture. And, you can play with colors and patterns as much as you wish. As to bags, you shouldn’t wear a backpack. A leather brown or black bag is much better. 

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Belts and watches are essential. Most men wear them to go to the office. Make sure they match your shoes. Finally, pocket squares can add a pop of color. If you fancy wearing them, make them match your tie. 

Sunglasses can also help you give a great impression. You might want to wear a nice pair of stylish sunglasses from a well-known brand. There exists a wide range of sunglasses types nowadays. Yet, the right pair of sunglasses can make a great difference in your overall business casual look. Thus, take your time to select the perfect matching pair.

Now that you know how to build your own business casual wardrobe, it’s time to move on. If you’re interested in learning more about men’s business casual, you can’t skip the next chapter, where I’ll talk about its history. Keep on reading to find out more!

History of business casual for men

In this chapter, I’ll explain men’s business casual history and origins. Thus, I’ll talk about how men’s office wear has changed throughout time.

The perception of office wear has significantly changed over the last few years. It has evolved from extremely conservative to a bit more casual but professional enough. Let’s have a look at men’s business casual history to understand how it all started!

Not long ago, business suits were the standard daywear for men. It was Aloha Friday which somehow paved the way for men’s business casual attire. In 1966, a company that made Hawaiian shirts came up with the idea of Aloha Fridays to boost their profits.

Young man work laptop sitting

They asked local businesses to allow their employees to wear Hawaiian shirts on Fridays. It became so popular that it soon spread to the mainland in the form of Casual Fridays. Thanks to this, employees started to feel more relaxed. However, some men started to dress too casually, even wearing t-shirts, sandals, and shorts to work.

It was in the 1990s that there was a decline in the sale of jeans. But, Levi’s had just bought a new brand called Dockers. And, they saw a new opportunity to increase their sales. In 1992, they printed a brochure called “A Guide to Casual Businesswear” and sent it to 25,000 human resource managers helping defining American Workplace fashion

Not surprisingly, most looks involved wearing Dockers. Back then, wearing Dockers was considered something revolutionary. But, it soon started to be adopted. Likewise, other brands like Ralph Lauren or Brooks Brothers saw the opportunity too and began marketing casual wear for men.  

Two businessman conversation

Many employers saw it as a fair compromise, neither shorts nor suits. This is how shirts, chinos, blazers, sports coats, or loafers became popular and suitable for men’s business casual attire. 

Man shirt pants hold glasses

These days, men’s business casual is not only acceptable but the norm in many workplaces. There are some aspects to bear in mind though, such as your age, your company culture and the kind of job you do. 

Men’s business casual is quite common in traditional white-collar jobs. For example, in banking, law firms, or accounting firms, to name a few. Now you know where it all started. Who knows what can happen next! Let’s hope we don‘t have to come back to wearing suits to the office as everyday wear.

In the next chapter, I’ll provide more interesting information. I’ll deal with men’s business casual, depending on the season. Carry on reading to ensure you’re well-dressed in the office!

Men’s business casual dress code for each season

In this chapter, I’ll focus on men’s business casual attire, depending on the season. I’ll comment on typical fabrics you can choose from. And, I’ll provide some ideas as to what to wear. Ready?

Here are some ideas regarding business casual for men dress code for each season:

Business Casual in Spring

Spring is that time of the year when the nights are cool, but the days are warm. So, you must be wondering how men can dress business casual when it’s cool but warm. You shouldn’t be wearing the same clothes as for fall. You need to wear breathable, lightweight fabrics and layer your clothes, but with style. 

Black male sitting suit
Source: Darling Arias on Unsplash

I strongly advise you to select items that you can easily mix and match. You’ll save a lot of money. Wool blazers, knit sweaters, and thick cotton items are not appropriate for the spring.

Get business casual clothes in spring fabrics, such as linen, light cotton, or silk. Breathable and moisture-wicking garments are best. If you want to look sophisticated but casual, you should pick lighter colors, such as navy, light blue, or light gray. There’s no need for you to wear bright yellow for work just because it’s spring. 

Spring weather is famous for being unpredictable. So, you’d better get layered. Yet, make sure your clothes match. You need to get yourself a versatile jacket. Something that protects you from springtime wind. 

As to your tops, spring is the perfect time of the year to wear some simple patterns like stripes or polka dots. Yet, a white button-down shirt is a must-have. You can wear it under a jacket, with or without a tie, and with chinos, a belt and dress shoes. 

Besides, a cashmere sweater is great for spring since it’s breathable and lightweight. Linen shirts are perfect for warm weather. They’re soft, lightweight, and look good even when wrinkled. 

Chinos are the quintessential men’s business casual pants. They’re comfortable, and you can pair them with many garments. As to shoes, you can choose from brogue oxfords, loafers, and even chukka boots. 

Business Casual in Summer

Dressing business casual in the summer doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable, or worse, sweating, because you’re wearing too many clothes. There are lots of business casual outfits for men that are professional, appropriate for the season, and make you look sharp. 

Businessman beard office standing

There exist some spoken and unspoken regulations you must watch out for depending on where you work. Still, it’s unlikely you can wear shorts, t-shirts, or ripped jeans; leave those for the weekend. 

Pick lightweight, breathable fabrics. They’ll keep you away from overheating. So, you’ll feel more comfortable. Cotton, linen, and tropical weight wool are your best options. Yet, not any cotton will do. Go for varieties of cotton that are great for summer months like seersucker, madras, and chambray.

As you may well already know, linen is ideal for warm weather. It absorbs moisture. Besides, it’s breathable and lightweight. The only downside is that it wrinkles a lot. As to tropical weight wool, it’s got many benefits. It’s odor resistant, wrinkle-resistant, easy to clean, and moisture-wicking. 

On top of that, you can play with colors. Lighter and brighter colors are summer-appropriate. Not to mention that they help keep you cooler in the sun. For example, beiges, grays, creams, light blues, etc. 

More often than not, you’ll be able to wear short sleeve polos, light-colored pants, loafers, linen or seersucker suits, brightly colored button-down shirts, neutral-colored accessories, a sports coat or blazer, etc. 

Most firms and offices have dress codes on their own. Make sure you know yours. You’ll still have to shave as usual and make sure your outfit is ironed, and your shoes are polished. Just because it’s summer, it doesn’t mean you can show up dressing informally unless allowed by your company. 

Business Casual in Fall

There are many business casual looks for fall. It’ll depend on your workplace and how much room is there left to play around. You might be allowed to wear a denim jacket instead of a blazer as part of your outwear. For instance, while commuting to work. However, it’s not appropriate for meetings or while moving around the office. 

Business man showing computer

If you need to look formal, button-down shirts and a tie are essential to polish your appearance. You can also wear accessories to keep you warm, such as a simple silk scarf together with a blazer. They’ll easily help you elevate your look.

Cardigans and sweaters are quite common in the fall. You can wear them under a blazer or over a dress shirt. You should stick to classic models since they’re more versatile and easy to mix and match. 

Dark-colored jeans with a blazer are typically worn on dress-down Fridays. Besides, they are acceptable in many business casual offices. If you’re not a blazer fan, the alternatives are either a nice cardigan or a jacket.

You can even wear a turtleneck as a substitute for the button-down shirt and tie. You’ll look stylish and sophisticated if paired with the right jacket and pants. A v-neck sweater can serve you well too. 

Business Casual in Winter 

There are lots of aspects to bear in mind when dressing business casual for men in the winter. You must somehow adapt your men’s business casual attire for colder weather. But how? Well, you’ll have to layer your clothes and opt for winter-appropriate fabrics. It also matters that you pick the right footwear to keep you warm. 

Man crossed arms wool blazer

As regards layering, you’ll have to pick items to go on top of others. You should wear the thinner ones first. Leaving those which are thicker for the top. It also matters that they don’t restrict your movements so that you are comfortable while in the office. And, you must ensure they match with one another.

For instance, you can wear a dress shirt together with a sweater, a jacket, and a coat. This way, you’ll be able to remove any items if need be and adapt to the circumstances while feeling warm. 

Besides, you should wear fabrics that keep you warm in winter. Cotton, leather, denim, and wool are my favorite. There are some accessories that can keep you warm in winter too. Consider wearing hats, scarves, and gloves. Yet, not any will do. Make sure they are not too casual. I mean, don’t wear a baseball cap. Pick something that’s stylish, like a quality wool cap.

Choosing the right winter coat is of vital importance. It’ll help you give a good impression. I’d rather go for a classic model which will be suitable for years to come. Make sure you buy one in neutral colors, such as navy, gray, or khaki. Either a pea coat, overcoat, or trench coat will do. Consider the climate to make up your mind.

Choosing men’s business casual shoes for winter is all that remains left. It’s vital you opt for winter-appropriate footwear. There are lots of options available. Still, you should pay attention to whether your dress shoes or boots are waterproof. Besides, you must take into account interior lining and the shoe’s soles. 

Now you are familiar with what men should wear when being asked to dress business casual for each season. Thus, it’s time to move on. In the next chapter, I’ll provide some business casual outfit ideas for men. Keep on reading to learn what’s in vogue this year!

Men business casual outfits

In this last chapter, I’ll comment on some business casual outfit ideas for men. If you’re struggling to choose the right men’s business casual outfits for this year, you’re in the right place!

Men’s business casual examples

Here are some business casual attire outfit ideas for men:

Man glasses patterned blazer

This men’s business casual attire is not only in vogue but also sophisticated. It perfectly mixes the formal and casual look. The man in the photo is wearing a checkered blazer, a white button-down shirt, neutral-colored dress pants, and a belt. 

This outfit also highlights the importance of wearing the right accessories. The man in the picture is wearing cool sunglasses and a classic wristwatch.

Elegant man tie

Depending on your job, you might need to wear a suit. Don’t be afraid to pick a suit jacket and suit pants of different colors. Yet, make sure they match. This outfit is ideal for a meeting, for instance.

It consists of dark-colored dress pants, a gray suit jacket, a white dress shirt, and a blue tie. You cannot see it in the image, but this outfit needs to be worn with dress shoes and a matching belt. You’ll look elegant and sophisticated. 

Man brown suit

Since business casual is not as formal as business professional, you can also wear a suit with a basic sweater or shirt underneath. The man in the photo above is wearing a light-colored suit with a matching top and bottom.

Besides, he’s wearing a white t-shirt. Probably, long-sleeved. He’s also wearing a matching white pocket square and glasses. This man has a groomed beard. He looks pretty elegant and professional. 

Young guy walking

This men’s business casual outfit is a lot more youthful. As I mentioned earlier in this post, how to dress depends on the company your work for, the job you do, and your age.

This outfit includes a dark-colored blazer with elbow patches and a pocket square. The young man is also wearing neutral-colored slacks and a matching long-sleeved sweater or t-shirt. 

It’s worth mentioning that he wears a leather bag, a wristwatch, and glasses. Overall, he looks comfortable but professional, which is what characterizes business casual attire. 

Entrepreneur using computer tablet

Another possibility is to wear dark-colored trousers, a blue blazer, and a white button-down shirt. This outfit wouldn’t be complete without appropriate shoes and socks.

The man in the image above is wearing dark calf-length socks and black leather shoes. Since the look is professional enough, there’s no need for a tie. It’s for this reason that he’s got the top two shirt buttons undone.

He’s probably wearing a matching belt. And his dress shirt is tucked-in. He wears glasses, and his hair is done. He’s got a groomed beard. He looks elegant, comfortable, and confident. 

Man street using phone

This business casual outfit is more than complete. The man in the image is wearing dress pants, a matching vest, a dress shirt, a leather bag, a watch, and a hat. 

We cannot see it, but he must be wearing dress shoes and a matching belt. He’s also wearing socks. What I like the most about this outfit is how everything looks together. 

The man has a groomed beard, and his hair is done. He’s wearing a striped shirt with rolled-up sleeves. He appears to be confident, elegant, and sophisticated. 

What’s the best business casual interview outfit for men?

When attending a job interview, it’s vital you dress to impress. Taking time to dress appropriately can make a great difference since it’ll make you feel more comfortable and confident. 

Waiting man holding paper sitting

Men’s business casual attire for a job interview doesn’t require you to wear a suit and tie. However, you’ll still need to look professional. A nice button-down shirt or a v-neck sweater is a good choice. You can also wear a tweed blazer or a navy blue blazer. 

Besides, you can wear chino pants or dark slacks. Do not forget to wear dress shoes and select a matching belt. Loafers are a good option, and make sure you wear mid-calf socks. If you want to wear a tie, pick one that’s simple. It’s preferable you err on the conservative side.

As to accessories, limit your jewelry to a wristwatch. Remove any visible earrings; you want to give a good impression. And make sure you don’t show any tattoos if you happen to have any.

Preparation for an interview is paramount. You’ll not only need to research the company in question and think of possible questions. Dressing properly is essential to stand out. Whatever the position, you must show up clean and well-dressed.

You should try your interview outfits on in advance to ensure they fit you well. Check your clothes for stains and polish your shoes. Needless to say, you must iron the whole attire. 

What should males wear on their first day at work when the dress code is business casual?

Congrats! You’ve got the job. Now, you need to make up your mind as to what to wear to the office. No two offices are the same. Thus, deciphering what to wear on your first day at work might be complicated.

Businessman waiting shit tie

Not surprisingly, you shouldn’t wear jeans and sneakers on your first day at work unless encouraged to do so. It’s preferable you dress more conservatively and adapt your outfit if need be.

A dress button-down shirt and a pair of slacks are typical business casual attire for men. So, you’ll probably be safe with such an outfit. Yet, you won’t feel comfortable dressing smarter or more casually than everybody else. 

So, I advise you to check the company’s website and pay attention to their shoes and clothes. You’ll probably get some info on the day of the interview. So, use it to your advantage. 

Generally, executives, bankers, and insurance agents don’t wear the same attire to work as computer engineers, artists, and designers. What I mean is, consider the job you’ve been hired for when deciding on your men’s business casual attire.

Developers working computers office

That being said, you might want to wear a dark color suit or a navy blue blazer with dress pants. Both looks demonstrate maturity and confidence. Wearing a tie is optional. If you do want to wear one, it needs to be simple.

Besides, black or brown leather dress shoes are key to give a good impression. Make sure they are polished. You might be allowed to wear a polo shirt and dark jeans. But, maybe they’re not the best option for your first day. You can wear them on dress-down Friday instead. As to accessories, keep it simple. A nice watch is more than enough. Take a look at our tips on how to wear brown shoes with black pants so you can get some interesting ideas.


Men’s business casual attire is encouraged by many enterprises these days. As I’ve explained throughout this post, it means different things for different brands. So, when in doubt whether a garment is appropriate or not, you might want to check with your brand’s human resources department. 

Yet, what’s an undeniable fact is that the business casual for men dress code is less formal than the business professional one. The idea is going to work and feel more comfortable. Still, there are some items that are not part of men’s business casual attire, such as shorts and sandals.

Bear in mind that you are dressing for work. Wear clothes that are comfortable, but also clothes that make you look professional and trustworthy. Leave your favorite tees and ripped jeans for the weekend.

You can check out our complete guide on Business Casual for Women to know more about this dress code and see some advice and outfit ideas for your work clothes.

Now, I’d like to hear from you!

Have you got any questions about this post?

What’s your favorite men’s business casual attire?

Are there any tips you’d like to share with other men?

Leave a comment below to let us know what you think!

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