When it comes to fashion, whether you prefer runway couture and the best in men’s wear or you like to hang out in joggers and a wife-beater, casual wear can sometimes be confusing. Instead of the more clear-cut rules for formal wear, or the more apparent pairings for semi-formal clothing, casual wear is like walking a fine line between chic and hopelessness.
Whether it’s striped vs. polka dots, bold colors vs. plain, animal print vs. geometric shapes, knowing what casual clothes and don’t go together can be simply confusing, especially if you spend your weekdays in a suit! These 7 style tips will help guide you into the jungle (there is a limit to animal print people!) of men’s fashion wear.
Clothes, Maketh the Man
Before you delve into the depths of the dos and don’ts of the male fashion world, first, let’s dive into and decode what men’s casual wear actually is. There are typically 5 basic styles when it comes to men’s wear, and they are :
- Cocktail Attire
- Business Professional
- Business Casual
- Smart Casual
Cocktail attire is quite simple and easy to dress for. All it requires is a dark suit, although, in truth, cocktail attire is slightly fancier than strictly formal wear. These suits are usually in navy or dark grey and fit the standard theme of a cocktail party quite well. Think of a slightly less formal suit to Cillian Murphy’s one in Peaky Blinders, more fashion-forward than dodging bullets.
Business professional wear is precisely what the title suggests. This is professional clothing and puts forth an image that is generally more professional and more conservative than your average everyday outfit.
Business casual is a style that allows you to skip the bells and whistles of a formal suit and tie combo (the unsung hero of the formal fashion world). Instead of wearing your absolute Sunday best, business casual gives you space to pair simple yet classic clothing together. Khakis or Chinos with a polo is a popular winning look.
Smart casual is simply another way to tell you that you should be dressed neatly and slightly conservatively. You could have the punniest shirt, the one to end all other puns when it comes to smart-casual pairing. Think jeans and sneakers with a simple shirt as the best option for smart casual.
Casual wear is a range of clothing that includes a vast spectrum of all sorts of trends, colors, and styles. Casual wear is, simply put, a type of fashion in which you can express yourself while still feeling a level of utmost comfort. Now that you know a little bit more about the differences between the basic fashion styles men can wear, it’s time to learn how to dress comfortably while still oozing charm and appeal. By using these tips, your friends and family will be less likely to want to hide you in the nearest linen closet.
1. If the Shoe Fits…
If the clothes make the man, then the shoes are the deciding factor. It may not seem like, it, but the shoes you wear can influence the overall impression you’re trying to give to the world. Wearing a simple jeans-and-jacket combo is easy to elevate by trading in your dirty sneakers for a pair of boots, promoting your aesthetic and giving your look the perfect finishing touch. Cinderella found her prince because of a glass slipper, don’t let your socks and sandals scare off your potential match! Shoes don’t have to be very expensive, and they can be as simple as a pair of shoes in a different color or a style of shoes that you wouldn’t usually go for.
From sneakers to loafers, boots, and everything in between, your shoes are the window to your fashion sense.
2. Casual Doesn’t Mean Cheap
Contrary to popular belief, casual wear does not have to be the cheapest thing on the rack. When it comes to casual wear, you want to choose clothing that lasts. That way, you can wear your favorite hoodie, and you can rest assured that the hoodie will be able to withstand some wear and tear and live to tell the tale.
Now, this doesn’t mean that all of your casual clothing has to be cashmere. It just means that quality would be better than quantity for your everyday look.
3. Build Your Layers
A typical theme amongst men’s casual wear is just a one and done, but one and done is honestly a dull look. Spice things up and add some more flair to your look by simply adding another layer. A jacket, a cardigan, or even just a white shirt underneath your sweater elevates your look without too much effort.
Layering doesn’t have to be expensive or a long and drawn-out process; it is a simple way to make your outfit more appealing.
4. Trends Never Truly End
One of the best style tips you can ever get is that fashion trends never indeed die. Trends come back around, albeit in strange and new colors, but they come back around (the same way the middle path in hairstyles has come back for the ladies). The best way to stay in line and “fashionable”? Dress in a way that will look good no matter what time of year or season it is. Classic looks, simple looks, or even bold looks all just boil down to the basics. So don’t focus on the best trends or the hottest looks; just focus on making sure that your overall aesthetic looks good.
5. Accessorize Your Wrists
A quick tip that draws attention to you in a good way is the accessories you wear. Whether it is an earring or two, a necklace, or even just a bracelet, accessories change the game and will leave others wanting more. Take a chance, and instead of leaving the house bare, accessorize your wrist with a watch or even a simple bracelet.
6. Switch Up Your Pants
Jeans are amazing, but even casual wear is tired of seeing you in them 24/7. Wearing a nice pair or two of chinos won’t break the bank and will keep you looking fresh. And if you do wear jeans, wear more fitted jeans. And if your baggy jeans from five years ago are still tempting you every time you go out, it might just be time to find them a new home.
7. The Graphic T’s Are Not Your Best Friend
Contrary to Big Bang Theory, not every person is going to instantly fall in love with your extensive collection of graphic t-shirts. Even if it is May the 4th, the force is not necessarily with everyone. So instead of making graphic t’s your go-to, swap them out with a nice vest or a sweater every now and then, and you might just be surprised at the attention you receive.
Overall, the secret to casual wear is simple, even if this is the cardinal rule for you “make sure it matches instead of clashes.” Comfort doesn’t mean that you have no style; it just means you are making your style work for you instead of you trying to work for your style.
Casual wear for men focuses more on comfort and functionality, and it is essentially an open invitation for you to dress in a way that not only makes you feel the most comfortable but also in a way that expresses who you are.