Let’s get down to brass tacks, in America alone the male participation rate in the workforce was at an all-time low just a few years ago. Unemployment across the Eurozone countries has skyrocketed as well. At the same time you’ve got an aging workforce and an increasingly casual one at that.
New 21st century cyber-culture is beginning to dominate the business world and guys no longer want to look like the dudes from Office Space. So, on one hand the men who are in dire straits want to look respectable without coming off as corporate, while on the other hand the corporate world is going to a more casual look. Here’s your modern business casual guide so you don’t get lost in the hype.
The Outdated & Sad Traditional Standard
- Think white crewneck t-shirt, slightly faded, being worn under a light blue long sleeve that’s like three sizes too big. The top two buttons are undone and the belt is about as “meh” as it gets.
- Imagine a guy with polished knock-off Oxfords drowning in baggy slacks. Oh the horror!
The New Business Casual
Economic collapse isn’t the only thing bearing down on men these days, adding to the pressure. There’s also the obesity epidemic. Rather than bagginess and conformist shirt & tie get-ups, it about sleek snug-fitting jackets, forget the undershirt or go with a v-neck, and then add in some design with a collared shirt.
Slacks are also a bit more fitting as well. Just like in the first American Great Depression, men are striving to look tailored. Men are using a business casual approach to telling the society they would like to be taken more seriously.
- Navy Blazers are awesome, and once you find that perfect color visit a tailor!
- Light Tweed sports coats are the perfect blend of old school and new.
- Snug-fitting thinner sweaters with solid colors are in. Yes, where a collared shirt underneath by all means, but the collar should be short not tall. Match these with some corduroy slacks and shiny loafer (no tassel) for a modern sophisticated business casual.
Footwear & Accessories
When it comes to modern men in today’s world they are paying more attention to the crucial details that when times were good seemed to matter less. One good example is cufflinks. They used to be a standard back in the golden days of Wall Street and high fashion in America, but then they went away with corporate office worker-bee mentality.
They’re back, and those small fashion accessories can be powerful because they’re distinguished and not as common.
Shoes, shoes make or break the man. This is true in many respects. These days men would rather invest $300 into a really impressive pair of shoes than waste much more money than that on cheap clothes.
It’s a brave new world of men’s fashion and the business casual look is dominating the scene. It begins with taking outward appearance seriously, and then through fashion telling the world you deserve respect without coming off like a boss at the office.