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Business casual

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
With Spring in full bloom, and the office dress code relaxed, I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how to dress business casual.  I am looking to avoid the blue buttondown and khaki "uniform," or even worse, the polo and khaki look.  At the same time, as an attorney, I don't want to look too flashy.
post #2 of 5
Instead of khakis, try flat front wool pants (no cuffs.) in a variety of solid and pinstripe colors. Navy, charcoal, and navy and charcoal with blue, grey, tan, or pumpkin pinstripes would look good paired with slim button up shirts. Stay away from shiny shirts. Try selections from Etro and Prada for a more funky look (warning: not acceptable at all offices), or more classic brands like Kiton, Brioni, and Fray. Try shirts with interesting, textured weaves instead of the typical broadcloth or poplin. If you think it acceptable, pair with a knit tie, loosely done up, with the top button undone. IF you roll up your sleeves as well, you look like a hard working man, not afraid to get dirty. For shoes, try a pair of ankle height laceups or oxfords in a matte leather, (looks more like a hardworking man to wear useful shoes rather than a leisurely sho like loafers)and stay away from rubber soles. Also , remember that your belt and assesssories are more in evidence than when you wear a suit, so smarten these up.
post #3 of 5
If you occasionally role up your sleeves and want to look ironic, try wearing the poker-dealer silver sleeve-holders around your arms. Not only does the silver contrast well with almost every color, it makes for a pretty funny statement, having a lawyer dressed like a gambler. Other than that, Paul Smith does some of the best 'classic with a twist' styles out there, so you might want to look at his stuff. There's a boutique off of Union Square, NYC. --European Interloper
post #4 of 5
My firm's dress code is the same year-round: Fridays are always business-casual, and that's it. For those days, I've gotten some excellent ideas to add to my own from various pieces in Esquire and GQ on this topic. Esquire, in particular, did a piece on the "new office"- at the height of the Internet/casual dress boom, before the recent resurgence of the suit and tie- that I clipped and saved (and occasionally take a peek at), as it offers great ideas/combinations for business-casual that goes beyond the usual. If you're interested, Ambulance, I can dig it up and let you know more about that. When it comes to business-casual, there's lots of ways to be creative. The posts above reference some terrific ways to do that. I look at business casual not as a way to come into work sloppily dressed like so many others, but to stand out. I often try to wear something that could go from work to happy hour to dinner to wherever. That involves a "casual day" outfit that isn't just polo shirt and rumpled khakis. Last Friday, for example, I wore a slim, dark suit with flat front pants and material a bit different from the usual (wool and nylon) with a light blue checked french cuff shirt with nice cufflinks, open at the neck, with no t-shirt underneath. My belt was a bit different than usual as well, as were the shoes (side-zip ankle boots, as opposed to, say, wingtips). Around the office, without the jacket, it's a slightly dressed down look that, with a jacket, can go out on the town after work. Those are the types of looks that I think work great, but there are plenty of ways to experiment.
post #5 of 5
I remember the Esquire article. One thing they mentioned that I forgot is that a thin pullover sweater over a constrasting colour shirt (white shirt and navy pull over is a classic) can pull your look together (I always wear the collar out, 70's style). So can some slim sportsjackets. Try a navy pinstripe sportsjacket over a funky slim shirt and pants with a different stripe (be careful here - make sure that the two patterns ae not too similar - look for differences in the spacing between stripes, stripes in different colours, and different stripe widths) for a cool look.
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