Dress Tips

It’s time for you to redefine business casual

By on August 10th, 2014

Don’t underestimate the power of a really great white shirt and pair of slacks.

Whether in or out of the office it’s a great combo. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Chances are the dress code at your office is deemed business casual. But as a former cube dweller myself, you and I both know that business casual may be better labeled relaxed business casual. Polo shirts, jeans and yes, T-shirts are regularly worn among the white collar offices around Denver.

To some extent this is a reflection on Colorado’s more casual atmosphere — the so-called ‘lifestyle’ clothing trend. But all clothes are lifestyle clothing!

And so it is our pleasure to be introducing a new concept to you – sophisticated business casual. What does this mean? It means shaking off the stigma of business casual and taking it to the next level. No more polo shirts and dockers. Instead, use this formula:

1. A great fitting shirt with detail

2. A great fitting pair of pants with detail

The genesis of this concept actually has its roots in one of my past trips to Singapore. But to understand this story you need to first know something about the country. Singapore is not too far from the equator. So that means that days are almost always the same — mid 80’s, mostly sunny and high humidity. Your first visit the heat will hit you like a wall. Your second visit you’ll get smart and stay inside during the day and then venture out walking at dusk.

So among the high temperatures, do you think the business men of Singapore are wearing suits all day long? Nope.

What about ties? Are they wearing neck ties? Again, no.

What you start to notice as you walk around the city during the workweek is that only a few men are wearing full suits. Instead, the vast majority are wearing this:

1. A tailored shirt

2. Tailored pants

It’s that simple.

Now part of the reason that everyone is wearing tailored clothing is that custom menswear is very mainstream in that area of the world. Tailor shops are everywhere. Some good quality and some not so good. But what you start to realize is that the men of Singapore are more or less wearing what us Westerners would call business casual. But they are doing it so much better.



So what can you do? Firstly, make sure your clothes fit. Secondly, add something unique. Whether it’s a contrast collar or accent stitching, both are subtle enough to carry you through the workday, but still fun and unique to set you apart from the crowd.

And here are (2) seasonal tips to help take your business casual to the next level:

Tip #1: In the summer, unbutton your first two buttons and roll up the sleeves.

Tip #2: In the cooler months, layer with a trim sweater.

So ditch the polo shirt and jeans look. Using the simple guidance above you’ll be redefining the business casual dress code in your office in no time.