Starting a Business Casual Wardrobe
by John Phillips
While writing our previous newsletter on Dressing in Your 30’s, there’s a section that made us realize that we should take a break on the age series and talk about building a business casual wardrobe. Whether you already have one, or just starting one, here is what we think on how you should begin building a business casual wardrobe.
Start With Navy Blue and Grey
The best place to start when figuring out a business casual wardrobe is determine what colors will be the most flexible, and can build on. Grey and navy blue are great starting points. It’s tough to find colors that don’t go with either.
Going this route not only gives you a good base, it makes it easy to throw together an outfit in a pinch. Because everything matches these colors, and they work in every season.
Starting with the colors mentioned above, buy some blue and grey chinos. You can never have too many, and vary the shades of each that you buy. Just don’t go too light with the blue…remember, we’re in business casual mode.
For the grey, go medium to dark. Once you have those, snag a light gray too, which is great for the summer.
With solid base colors, your shirting should be easy. Pretty much anything with a collar is fair game. If you’re tucking your shirt in, just make sure it fits well to avoid it ballooning in the back. While it may seem obvious, we’ll mention it anyways…tees and tank tops are a no go unless it’s under a collared shirt.
Sweaters are also in play here for business casual attire, weather permitting. It’s always nice to start out with at least a couple of these to either wear on their own, or layer up with other items like a button-down underneath or blazer over the top.
We’ve discussed layering before, so read up to get ideas.
Blazers & Sports Coats
Since these aren’t exactly cheap items if you’re buying quality, you more than likely won’t be buying more than a couple at a time. Use the same color choices as mentioned above. Buy one medium grey, and one navy blue blazer. These will pair very well with your pants (navy pants w/grey blazer and vice versa).
Art of Manliness has a good rundown of thedifference between blazers, sports jackets, and suit jackets. In case you were wondering.
You don’t need to heavily accessorize here. A must-have is a belt. And it should match the shade of your shoes, if possible.
If you sport a blazer on a regular basis, start building up a collection of pocket squares. They’re a great addition to an outfit, even if you don’t have a tie. It’s the easiest upgrade you’ll make for a very little amount of money.
Another great addition is a good watch. Class it up a bit, keep your phone in your pocket, and look at your wrist to check the time. We have 5 stylish and affordable watches that we recommend. Pick one to add to your wardrobe.
While it’s important to not overdo the accessories, they’re important. And they’re what make the details of your outfit stand out. So don’t overlook them.