About the Author: DeJuan is a husband, father of an 11-year old son and 4-year old daughter, and a chemical engineer. He enjoys watching sports, reading, playing and listening to music, and of course men’s style. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and works from home in inside sales for a chemical process equipment supplier.
What are you going to wear? Sometimes it’s good to look at a few suggestions then add your own tweaks and ideas. That’s what these are for. As things continue to return to some semblance of normal, many of us are heading back into the office. Time to dust off our business casual gear that has been sitting in the closet for the last two years. Especially as many workplaces have gone more casual. It doesn’t have to be boring. No pleated khakis, boring button downs, and “I’m only wearing these because I have to” dress shoes. You can spice it up a bit while still looking appropriate for the office.
The Sportcoat: Bonobos Italian Knit Blazer – $298. Knit jackets are having their moment due to the combination of the look of a blazer with the comfort of a soft sweater. My wife said this was one of her favorite outfits of mine, particularly because of the jacket. The WRK jacket that I am wearing in the top photo is no longer available, but there are options like the Bonobos jacket featured, or even this less expensive version from J. Crew Factory.
Editor’s Note: It appears that Bonobos may be starting their first big sale of the year soon? Some of us long time Bonobos customers got a 25% off user specific code in our email yesterday. There are exclusions (suits being one of them), but blazers/sportcoats appear to be a go. Tested my code out on this thing, and the price did in fact drop to $223.50. Early VIP access ends today (3/30) so we’ll see what happens tomorrow. Fingers crossed.
The Shirt: WRK Check Geo Performance Dress Shirt – $98. Blue and white are arguably the most common shirt colors seen in a business casual environment. To stand out a bit in those colors, try a micro check pattern. This shirt from WRK is made from a comfy, stretchy performance fabric. The 86% Polyester, 14% Spandex blend delivers 4 way stretch & sweat wicking while still looking like an office-ready dress shirt. Nice. Ships and returns for free via Nordstrom. The More Affordable Alternative: You could go with a small tattersall check shirt like this one from Tie Bar. That one combines the dark and light blue of the WRK’s shirt pattern into a small grid, and costs just $27.50 on final sale (so no returns). But you won’t get the performance aspects of the WRK shirt.
The Pocket Square: Tie Bar Domino Dots Navy Pocket Square – $14.00. Coordinated thanks to the small dots, yet not a matching fabric to the shirt. Avoids being too “matchy matchy”.
The Pants: Target Goodfellow Slim Fit Navy Chinos – $22.99. A wardrobe staple, a pair of navy blue chinos says business casual when paired with a dress shirt and sportcoat. Pairs well with just about anything. If your office allows, a pair of slim fitting dark wash jeans looks great as another option.
The Belt: Allen Edmonds Suede Avenue Dress Belt – $98. Following the style rule of matching your belt with your shoes will have you looking polished and put together. So here we have a gray suede belt to coordinate with the gray suede shoes.
The Watch: Citizen BM7251-53L Dress Stainless Steel – $199. A dressy watch with a blue dial to coordinate with the blue in the outfit. Features the Eco Drive technology that powers the watch by light so you never need a battery. Need something a little more affordable? Here’s a quartz Citizen for about $100 less.
The Socks: Tie Bar New Argyle Navy Dress Socks – $8.00. Navy blue socks to go with the navy blue pants, but with an argyle pattern that makes them anything but boring.
The Shoes: Nordstrom Pryor Penny Loafer in Grey– $99.95. Loafers are at home with business casual. Not as formal as oxfords, yet more sophisticated than sneakers. Suede gives the outfit some texture, and gray is less common on loafers, so you will stand out from the crowd. These Nordstrom house-brand loafers deliver that rich-looking Italian style on a mid-shelf boxed spaghetti budget. If you want to invest a bit more and/or go with a more conservative shape, try the Allen Edmonds Dylan.