Summer Staples for the Perfect Business Casual Style
27 Jul 2020
The business casual style is one of the most confusing and challenging dress codes, as it can often be difficult to find that perfect balance between casual and formal that’s appropriate for the office. The issue then becomes even more taxing when the summer heat arrives, making it nearly impossible to construct the perfect work outfit. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be so stressful – you can easily be the best dressed man in your office with these essential business casual summer staples:
Even though T-shirts are basic items all of us have in our closets, they can often be difficult to style for the office. As a general rule, as long as a T-shirt is plain, without any prints or patterns, and in a more neutral and toned-down color, it can be appropriate for the business casual dress code, especially when it’s dressed up with a cardigan or a blazer. Polo shirts might actually be a much better option, as they’re dressier than classic T-shirts, while being more comfortable for summer than long-sleeved shirts. What’s more, they look equally as good under a denim jacket as they do under a sports coat.
Shirts are an office staple regardless of the formality, and the business casual dress code allows you to experiment with different styles, colors and patterns. However, it would still be best to stick to chambray shirts in neutral colors and delicate patterns, to avoid an overly eye-catching look that might not be appropriate for the office. Don’t forget to include a couple of dressier button-down shirts as well, for those days when you have more important meetings or presentations. And while it might be acceptable to roll up your sleeves on hot summer days, never go for a short-sleeved shirt, as it always looks too casual and laid-back to be considered professional.
The right trousers
A pair of dark-wash denim trousers is a basic item every man should own, as they’re versatile enough to be paired with anything from a classic T-shirt and sneakers for an everyday, laid-back look, to a dress shirt or blazer for a business casual style. However, many offices don’t allow jeans, considering them inappropriate for the workplace. For that reason, it would be wise to invest in at least two pairs of neutral chinos, such as black, gray or beige. Chinos perfectly walk the line between casual and formal, and can instantly make you look more polished and refined, even if you only pair them with a plain polo.
When it comes to accessories, it’s always best to keep things minimal – opt for a dress watch, a nice leather belt that matches your shoes, and forgo the tie, unless it’s an important business meeting. Consider swapping out your bulky wallet that protrudes from every pocket, and invest in an elegant money clip for men that will allow you to safely and discreetly carry your cash, while making you look more put-together and professional. Instead of a casual backpack, choose a convertible leather briefcase that always looks smart, and beautifully enhances any business casual outfit you wear.
Whether you live in a climate that’s not too hot, or your job simply requires some form of a cover-up, a linen blazer is always a good idea in the summer, as it goes perfectly with the business casual style, while still being lightweight and breathable enough to maintain ideal body temperature. You could also consider a classic cardigan, sleek leather jacket or even a dressier sports coat, to dress up your outfits on cooler summer days, or if you live in a colder climate.
Summer can also present a challenge when it comes to footwear that’s appropriate for the workplace. Generally, sleek leather shoes, such as loafers or derby shoes, are ideal for the business casual style, while still being versatile enough to combine with anything from denim to a suit, although they could still be too uncomfortable in the heat for some. The perfect pair of shoes for this dress code during the summer might actually be basic and minimal white sneakers, as long as they’re allowed in your office.
With the right simple and versatile clothing items, as well as a couple of essential guiding principles, nailing the business casual dress code has never been easier.