Choosing the right clothes to wear to work may seem pretty straightforward, but when you’re spending 9-5 in an office, bouncing back and forth between business meetings, it’s important to dress in clothes that’ll keep you comfortable, yet looking sharp for your potential clients. Not only that, but if you’re comfortable, you’re relaxed, and if you’re relaxed then you can perform at your best – that’s why it’s important to choose clothes that aren’t going to have you feeling rigid and restless during your working day.
The solution to the elusive perfect work wear that is going to cover both of these bases is to find a happy medium between both business and casual. Some would say it’s… business casual, (duh). Below is our own business casual guide to make choosing the right clothes for the job easy as putting on your trousers in the morning.
T shirt and chinos
Starting with the simplest business-casual outfit imaginable – you can’t go far wrong with chinos, a plain, well fitting t shirt and some smart shoes. We recommend some tapered fit chinos as they by far look most professional when worn with smarter end shoes.
The great thing about this look is that pretty much any colours can be worn, so long as the fit of the clothes are right. Couple some navy chinos with a brown belt, matching brown shoes and a white t-shirt (tucked or untucked) and you have one of the easiest smart-casual office outfits you can imagine!
Shirt, jumper and jeans (tie optional)
A slightly sharper dress than the previous outfit, a collared shirt with a jumper over the top is a great option for any smart-casual occasion, work included. The contrast of layers, particularly with the collared shirt, adds depth to this already stylish outfit. If you’re looking to bump up the office aspect of this office-casual get up, add a tie beneath the jumper. Worn with either chinos or jeans and some classic boat shoes, you’ve got yourself a stylish office outfit. Alternatively, if you’re choosing this outfit and would like to read more about boat shoes, check out the History of the Boat Shoe here.
Roll neck and chinos
Another simple but smart outfit and a personal favourite, roll neck and chinos are really laid back, comfortable clothing choices that can also be worn formally. Roll necks are widely underrated and are very smart, particularly when layered with a coordinated blazer. Some matching slip-ons would be perfect for this outfit, keeping it smart but simple. Alternatively, when the weather warms, you can go sockless with the slip-ons and roll the bottom of the chinos up slightly adding a summer flair to your style.
Shirt, blazer and jeans
On the smarter end of business casual we have the shirt, tie, blazer and jeans combination. Whilst the majority of this outfit is formal, the blue jeans and brown shoes take the edge off an otherwise overdressed ensemble.
This outfit is great for those looking for the casual comfort of jeans but still wanting to look the part in their office environment. If you really want to amp up the formality of this get-up, feel free to put on a tie beneath your blazer.
CC: Creative Commons – Wikimedia Commons
Written by Aaron Thompson