I need some help! I need to up my 'business casual' look. I've been browsing and researching but I'm honestly stuck. I have very little fashion sense or color-coordinating skills. So while I've been able to pick up some basics and pointers and things, what I really need or some very specific suggestions. "Buy this, wear these pants with this color shirt." That kind of stuff. Feel free to talk down to me, I won't be offended!
Here's my context: I'm in my late twenties and lead a large non-profit/community organization in a small semi-rural community. In that role I often have to give presentations & lectures to eclectic groups of people. There will a few lawyers in suits, some farmers in jeans and t-shirt and everything in between. Historically, the organization leadership has been fairly formal. The previous person in my role would often where a suit, but I am intentionally trying to create a more casual culture.
Here's my go-to style that works well for me:
I always wear dark-ish muted colors. I've tried to brighten it up, but it just doesn't feel right. I'm quite happy to stick with muted colors. My day-to-day in the office & out in the community is a pair of Levi 501 STFs, Wolverine 1000 mile boots, and an OCBD from JCrew Factory or Taylor Stitch. My go-to shirts are a dark gray or light gray, but I also have a dark blue, a light blue, olive green, and white that works into the mix. I have a couple linen shirts from Uniqlo and a Mechanics shirt from Taylorstitch as well. In the winter I have a dark green or dark gray quarter-zip sweater I'll wear, and occassionally a dark gray or blue v-neck sweater. When I need to present as more professional day-to-day, I have a couple sport coats I'll wear with my jeans and OCBD. I have a gun-metal watch with brown leather strap and a dark brown leather briefcase I use everyday.
I am really happy with my day-to-day look. I feel good in it. It's simple. I can match the colors simply, because basically any color goes with dark jeans....my business casual/presentation look is a different story. I'm never sure about how to match pant color and shirt color and tie color. I feel like it should be a bit more professional and put-together without crossing into formal territory.
My current "business casual" wardrobe:
I will wear the Oxford shirts from above, plus work in a couple broadcloth style dress shirts form JCPenny (but they don't fit well). I like the OCBDs quite well. I'll wear a skinny tie (usually wool or wool knit because I like the texture) from The Tie Bar. (I'm generally expected to wear a tie when presenting). My shoes are usually the 1000 Mile boots brushed well (though I am looking for a pair of Oxfords).
My pants are where I have the most trouble getting good color match and fit and texture. They are usually straight cut Docker's "jean cut" khakis in British Tan, navy, or this grayish color with a hint of tan (and dark brown & black pairs that I almost never wear because I don't know how to match it). More recently I have worn a British tan Docker's Alpha Khakis in the tappered cut. The slimmer cut helps I think.
My go-to pairings are navy Dockers with dark gray dress shirt + dark blue/gray/maroon tie, or British tan with light gray or blue shirt and tie.
I like that it's casual, but it doesn't feel as put together as I like. The slimmer fit of the Alpha Khaki helps, but my colors are all off. In my ideal world, I would wear dark jeans, an OCBD pair with a well-fitted sport coat, but I am not (yet) allowed to wear jeans or skip the tie.
So as specific as you can be, what should I wear?
TL;DR I need specific suggestions for business casual pants and how to match it with my shirt & tie colors. Plus any other tips for a near hopeless cause!
Thanks so much for you help!!