What Is Proper Business Casual Attire for Men?


Quick Answer

Men’s business casual attire generally includes khaki or dark pants, cardigans or jackets, button-down shirts and accessories. The attire is not synonymous with looking unkempt, but it does offer some leeway with patterns and fabrics. Attire must be wrinkle-free and should exclude all athletic wear.

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Full Answer

Fit is important, so pants should not be baggy. Many definitions of business casual include khaki pants, and wool is a good choice during cold months. Jeans are acceptable in certain situations if they have a dark wash, and cargo pants are an option in less-formal settings. Shirts should always be tucked into the pants. White and light blue long-sleeved, button-down shirts are a staple of business casual attire, but plaid and subtle checkered patterns are fine. Some workplaces and events lend themselves to short-sleeved polos, but they are often considered too casual. Button-down shirts can be paired with either a jacket, sweater or tie, although ties are not generally required. When they are worn, knit and subtle patterns are acceptable.

Subtlety is important in jackets, so neutral colors, such as camel and navy, are ideal. Tweed and corduroy are a couple of options for jacket material. Cardigans and sweaters should also avoid loud colors and patterns, instead sticking with gray, navy and black. Leather and suede are acceptable material for belts and shoes, and they should be brown, black or another neutral color. Socks should be dark and calf-length. Additionally, canvas or leather messenger bags can be used in place of briefcases.

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