Men’s Guide to Casual Dress Work Attire

Understanding what the best items are to wear to work is crucial to looking your best during your time in the office. It’s easy to know what to wear on an average work day, but what are the best items to wear on a day that calls for casual dress? Whether your office has a consistent Casual Friday or there are sporadic occasions that call for something a bit more laid back, it’s important that you have a good handle on what qualifies as casual work dress.

What is Business Casual Dress?

While the definition of casual dress may change depending on the company, you can generally anticipate that casual work dress means that you’re wearing office-appropriate attire without being as formal as usual. For example, if you wear a suit to work, you might transition to a pair of khaki chinos with a button down shirt on a casual work day. You may even omit the tie, or layer a sweater over your shirt. You will still look professional and put together, without dressing formally.

Items to Wear

So which items should you keep on hand in your wardrobe to put together some good business casual outfits? Take a look at some of our must-have items that will make it easy for you to get ready on those days that call for something more relaxed.

Cotton Button-Down Shirts

A great place to start is with some comfortable, cotton men’s button down shirts. Not only will they fit perfectly for your casual work dress days, but they also work wonderfully for your more formal days in the office, as well. White and blue shirts are definitely the most versatile and easy to pair, so grab a few shirts in both colors to add a sense of simplicity.

Well-Fitting Sweaters

Sweaters are always a great way to go, and will be a great addition to your casual work dress wardrobe. You’ll want to make sure you get a men’s sweater in a size that fits you well. This is key to helping you look put together. Something too tight will leave you feeling uncomfortable, and something too loose will be far from flattering.


If you’re looking for ways to add some layers and extra warmth to your casual work outfits, cardigans are a great way to go. Not only will you be comfortable, but when worn well, a men’s cardigan sweater can help you look distinguished and classic. Start out by getting some in a few neutral colors, and then move on to hues that go well with other items in your wardrobe. A deep maroon or navy is always a good way to go!

Have the Right Pants

When it comes to pants in a casual work wardrobe, you want to make sure you find something that satisfies the balance between casual and professional. Slacks are always a safe way to go, or perhaps a pair of men’s chinos. You could even opt for a pair of jeans, but you’ll want to be sure to go with jeans that are high-quality, in a good cut, and that fit well. Not just any pair of denim jeans will do. 

Dress Shoes

You may be tempted to go with a pair of casual shoes on a casual work day, but don’t be mistaken — your shoes matter, and wearing a good pair of men’s dress shoes will do wonders for pulling your outfit together. Opt for your regular, everyday dress shoes, even on a day that calls for casual work dress.

Color Matters

Not just any color will do when it comes to casual work dress. You don’t want anything too bright or flashy. Remember that this is still a day at work, and you want to do your best to still look as professional as possible. Focus on reliable neutrals and deep, jewel tones. There are plenty of ways to mix and match these colors!

Observe Those Around You

At the end of the day, we know that every place of business is unique and different, and that casual dress attire ranges from office to office. If you’re unsure of what applies, take a few weeks and observe those around you to see what goes in the office. It’s very possible that jeans and bright colors are absolutely fine in your office! Play it safe for a little bit until you have a good idea of what’s acceptable in your workplace.


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