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Essential Business Casual

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am trying to build a solid business casual/business wardrobe for when I start work this summer. Normally it's business casual but sometimes suits.

What do you consider to be essential items at the foundation of any business casual wardrobe? If you had to build one from scratch, what would be the first 10 items you'd get?

Thanks.
post #2 of 18
1) Khaki/tan pants 2) Grey pants 3) Navy blazer 4) Brown shoes - captoe, wingtip, half brogue 5) Black shoes - captoe 6) White shirt 7) Blue shirt 8-10) Shirts, lighter colors, can go w/ stripes, checks, or solids, whatever looks good on you
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bananananana View Post
1) Khaki/tan pants
2) Grey pants
3) Navy blazer
4) Brown shoes - captoe, wingtip, half brogue
5) Black shoes - captoe
6) White shirt
7) Blue shirt
8-10) Shirts, lighter colors, can go w/ stripes, checks, or solids, whatever looks good on you

This is all well and good. I'd also add that, despite the protestations of the SF crowd, even blazers and sportcoats are sometimes considered too over-the-top at many "business casual" workplaces these days. The definition of business casual varies from company to company, but the ones I've visited most often feature guys in dress pants and shirts, maybe with loafers or some other variations of laceless shoes. Occasionally you'll see a fitted sweater over the shirts.

Feel free to wear a sport coat and nicer shoes if you want, but the coat might make you stand out (and not necessarily in a good way) at certain workplaces.

I'm not a fan of business casual myself, but it is what it is.
post #4 of 18
There was a post on starting a wardrobe in finance (from Johnny Crockett). It may not apply to you completely, but I am in a business casual environment and I found it useful.

http://www.styleforum.net/archive/in...24996-p-4.html
post #5 of 18
get a couple Lacoste polos, one in black and one in white.
post #6 of 18
Light blue button down shirt
Tan chinos
Tan socks
Brown loafers
Navy blazer
Brown belt

Done.
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by westinghouse View Post
Light blue button down shirt
Tan chinos
Tan socks
Brown loafers
Navy blazer
Brown belt

Done.
Don't forget your free golf shirt from that tournament you did in 1995.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cant kill da Rooster View Post
Don't forget your free golf shirt from that tournament you did in 1995.
And dont forget the fuckit bucket, eh Rooster?
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagman1 View Post
I am trying to build a solid business casual/business wardrobe for when I start work this summer. Normally it's business casual but sometimes suits.

What do you consider to be essential items at the foundation of any business casual wardrobe? If you had to build one from scratch, what would be the first 10 items you'd get?

Thanks.


If I knew what you already have, this would be a lot more easy. I'm going to assume that you have nothing but tshirts and jeans. My first 10 clothing items would probably look something like this:

5 shirts: 2 white, 2 blue, 1 in whatever color/pattern I like.
2 pairs of cotton pants/"chinos": khaki color
2 pairs of wool pants: charcoal and navy
1 v-neck sweater: charcoal, black or navy.

I'm sure that if I thought about it more I would think of adjustments, but that list would give you at least enough to make it through a full week with a basic wardrobe. Let's have more detail on what business-casual items are already in your closet.
post #10 of 18
In a lot of "business casual" environments, that means no running shoes or open toe footwear, no t-shirts or jeans. Everything else flies. That rule doesn't seem to apply to women though. I've seen women in flip flops and sandals at law firms while the men are in suits.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viral View Post
get a couple Lacoste polos, one in black and one in white.

Good call, especially if you get the long sleeve ones which look slightly more dressed up of you take off your blazer or jacket.

Please please for the love of god DO NOT wear a blue button collar BB shirt, khakis and loafers. This is the uniform of the unimaginative. My theory is that most people in a business environment even if they are squares, are forced to have a few suits, shirts and ties of various colour combinations and still fit the dress code, but when they transition to business casual they freak out as they don't know how much business and how much casual, so they revert to the uniform of the unimaginative. I counted 30 yes 30 people in that exact getup merely walking from security to my gate at IAH the other day.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. Some things that I already own, mostly CM and J.Crew, nothing fancy. Not so informal--I couldn't wear a golf shirt to work. Any holes here? Shirts: Solid white point collar Solid white oxford point collar Stripe white/purple oxford button down collar Solid grey oxford button down collar Solid pink point collar Solid light blue point collar Stripe (unconventional) white/blue point collar Pants: Black cotton Dark brown cotton Light brown khaki Light grey glen plaid Shoes: Brown captoes Black wingtips
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Some things I'm thinking of getting: Charcoal pants Navy pants Light blue oxford White/blue stripe oxford White/red stripe oxford White/blue mini-gingham
post #14 of 18
I do have a follow-up question. What do you wear with blue dress shirts in a casual setting? Dark pants look too "McDonalds", and apparently light khakis are sinful.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by intent View Post
and apparently light khakis are sinful.
Really? What about light charcoal wool trousers?
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