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Business casual

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jim_k, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. jim_k

    jim_k Member

    Messages:
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    Feb 21, 2004
    I've just about had it with khakis and oxfords or khakis and polos. Anybody have any creative ways of shaking up the dress code thing without blatantly breaking it? With summer coming up, I'm guessing there are some great alternatives to the standard fare. My dress code is: Slacks, collared shirt, no tennis shoes.

    Speaking of shoes, how about a warm weather alternative to the penny loafer?
     
  2. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    I say with spring/summer coming, think linen: pants and short sleeve button ups (not at the same time.). Short sleeve button ups are not to be confused with the dreaded "short sleeve dress shirt". If you wear a tie you wear a long sleeve shirt. For shoes, try a suede buc for summer wear.
     
  3. regularjoe

    regularjoe Senior member

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    Suggestions I've heard and used are:

    Cotton or linen trousers for the bottom (not all cotton trousers are khakis).
    Long sleeve button-up shirts with no tie or lighter sweater (cotton or linen) for the top in lieu of a polo
    Spring/summer sportcoat (usually patterned and lighter weight material like cotton/silk/linen).
     
  4. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    I know my feelings are shared with many of the members of this board - I would HATE to work at a job with 'business casual' rules. I don't know why us Americans love the thought of dressing down for work. I express myself through my fashion and dress. I'd actually turn down a decent job if the dress code was like that. I would love to wear suits to work. As smart as he may be, I would never fully respect a boss who wears dockers and a polo to work every day - and who makes that the mandatory dress code.

    Some suggestions:

    Do you have to wear khakis or could you wear standard dress pants? I think a pair of flat-front medium or charcoal-gray pants would look pretty nice while still being casual. I like the linen ideas, especially with summer approaching. Instead of solid oxfords, try a dress shirt with a nice striped or windowpane pattern. I'd also suggest French (double) cuff shirts with some nice cufflinks - either trendy or simple.
     
  5. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    i think you're answering your own question here. why don't you get some dress pants instead of khakis?

    since you don't wear a tie, i suggest short-sleeved dress shirts (no pocket) for warm weather.

    shoes are a very personal choice to make. you're on your own.
     
  6. esquire.

    esquire. Senior member

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    If it's short sleeve, than it can by definition not be a dress shirt.

    If it gets warm, then roll them up.
     
  7. pokey07

    pokey07 Senior member

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    Jan 7, 2008
    Just thought I'd bump this rather than making a new thread.

    What do you guys recommend for business casual pants? Right now I'm wearing J.Crew khakis, but they wrinkle so easily, stretch and generally just annoy the shit out of me. What are my best options for business casual pants? Should I stick to cotton?

    I'm all ears for any other tips on spicing up "business casual." You can only do khakis and a polo so many times before thinking about sticking your head in a microwave.
     
  8. ChicagoMediaMan

    ChicagoMediaMan Senior member

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    Just thought I'd bump this rather than making a new thread.

    What do you guys recommend for business casual pants? Right now I'm wearing J.Crew khakis, but they wrinkle so easily, stretch and generally just annoy the shit out of me. What are my best options for business casual pants? Should I stick to cotton?

    I'm all ears for any other tips on spicing up "business casual." You can only do khakis and a polo so many times before thinking about sticking your head in a microwave.


    Business casual can mean many different things. Only you know what you can and can't get away with in your particular office. That said, I don't think you need to stick to cotton for trousers. Wool can definitely work too. Wool dress trousers and a nice fitting dress shirt (as opposed to a polo shirt) will make you look nice without looking like you are trying to look better than everyone else. My first job out of college was "business casual" and this is what I wore. You can add a sport coat or a blazer if you don't think that would be over-doing it for your office. And don't forget about sweaters. On days when I don't wear a suit, sport coat, or blazer, my favorite look is: medium gray wool trousers and a white dress shirt underneath a navy v-neck sweater.
     
  9. J. Cogburn

    J. Cogburn Senior member

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    Washington, DC
    There's a very good chapter on this topic in Alan Flusser's Dressing the Man. Rather than regurgitate it all to you, just break down and buy that book. It's worth every penny.

    Hint - you are absolutely right about the need to give up on the polos and khakis. All they say about you is "drone."
     
  10. BeaconHillBoston

    BeaconHillBoston Senior member

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    Boston MA
    Dark blue Indigo denim jeans. Normal wash. No fading. Maybe something in the standard cut by 7 for all mankind. A sport shirt (top two buttons undone) and a well tailored sport coat with a pocket square. Do a fabric that is consistant with the texture of the denim. Do a casual leather loafer or some chukkas, maybe suede. Tie it all together with a handsome belt.

    The dark indigo denim will look killer and "dressy" if you have them tailored.

    The key to this "look" is to make sure everything fits correctly. Jeans being most important. Imo, a well fitting, tailored pair of indigo denim can look better than slacks. I'll get killed for saying that, but that is how I feel.

    Ps: If you have balls, lose the square and do a windsor neckerchief.
     
  11. mkarim

    mkarim Senior member

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    Jeans being most important. Imo, a well fitting, tailored pair of indigo denim can look better than slacks. I'll get killed for saying that, but that is how I feel.
    This is actually true. But where to get dark indigo denim with normal wash and no fades All the jeans I have seen have fade - and lots of it.

    If you have balls, lose the square and do a windsor neckerchief.
    +100.
     
  12. mkarim

    mkarim Senior member

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    Hint - you are absolutely right about the need to give up on the polos and khakis. All they say about you is "drone."

    Yes, every since I moved away from those, I have never looked back. Well-fitted polos can work though, under the right circumstances.
     
  13. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

    Messages:
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    Mar 15, 2006
    Just thought I'd bump this rather than making a new thread.

    What do you guys recommend for business casual pants? Right now I'm wearing J.Crew khakis, but they wrinkle so easily, stretch and generally just annoy the shit out of me. What are my best options for business casual pants? Should I stick to cotton?

    I'm all ears for any other tips on spicing up "business casual." You can only do khakis and a polo so many times before thinking about sticking your head in a microwave.


    Some people are saying denim or wool. Both can be too warm, the latter can be too formal, and the former seldom will help career advancement. And they do not always meet office standards The easiest change would be to well-fitting no-iron cotton khakis from, say, Lands' End. By contrast, J. Crew is known to give some items a deliberately worn look.
     
  14. BeaconHillBoston

    BeaconHillBoston Senior member

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    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    Boston MA
    This is actually true. But where to get dark indigo denim with normal wash and no fades All the jeans I have seen have fade - and lots of it. +100.
    7 for all mankind, standard fit. They have several indigo non fade options. Can be had at Barneys. They do 20% off denim sales all the time. Levi's premium line available at Barneys is also another option. I bought 4 pairs of denim a few weeks ago. Saved 30% (with the sale and by opening a Barneys card). Naked and famous denim and wool blend are another good option. The weird guy or slim guy fits look good with a jacket. Wash your jeans after 8-10 wears and do it in the bathtub with cold water and gentle detergent. Allow to drip dry and they will stay very dark for years.
     
  15. BeaconHillBoston

    BeaconHillBoston Senior member

    Messages:
    267
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Location:
    Boston MA
    Some people are saying denim or wool. Both can be too warm, the latter can be too formal, and the former seldom will help career advancement. And they do not always meet office standards The easiest change would be to well-fitting no-iron cotton khakis from, say, Lands' End. By contrast, J. Crew is known to give some items a deliberately worn look.
    A well fitting dark pair of indigo denim, a tailored sport shirt, a sport coat and a neckerchief will have you looking far more formal than khakis and a button down,imo. When I see khakis and a button down I think boring and robotic. Complete with the dreaded pocket flair. I strongly disagree with your career advancement comment in regards to denim. Dark indigo denim can look better than cotton pants, imo.
     
  16. gladhands

    gladhands Senior member

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    May 5, 2010
    Denim is casual, not business casual.

    If you're looking for an alternative to chinos, but don't want to wear wool, I suggest cotton gabardine.
     

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