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Business Casual Shirt Outfit

A guide to dressing in business casual shirts

What are Business Casual Shirts?

Dressing for the workplace used to be straight forward

Men would follow a strict regime of a suit, shirt, and tie for work attire. Today, that dress code has loosened and has been replaced with business casual - an informal approach to dressing. While business casual is not as clean cut for many men, it presents opportunities to be distinct in ways not previously imaginable. Business casual shirts allow for the largest opportunity for evolution since ties are removed from the wardrobe equation.


What is the business casual look?

Loosely, business casual for men mean is wearing a pair of casual pants, a collared shirt, a sweater or blazer, and relaxed but appropriate shoes.

A tie is generally not needed for business casual occasions. However, new tie shapes (skinny) and updated tie fabrics (wool or cotton) can create a smart look.
Business Casual Shirt with Blazer

What is not business casual?

It’s important to understand the difference between business casual and casual. Light washed blue *jeans, t-shirts, sneakers and flip-flops are off limits for business casual. Also, any garments with slogans or large branding are not business casual. *We believe dark denim jeans can be treated like navy blue pants and are perfect for business casual.

Basically, dressing for business casual is stepping one notch down from formal business attire. An easy color guide for business casual. In the winter: deep colors like navy blue, dark burgundy, or olive green. In the summer: chinos, whites, and neutrals.
Example of what isn't business casual

What is a business casual shirt?

In general terms, it is the same shirt that you would wear with a suit and tie. Yet, there are a few key changes. First, the fabric does not need to be as formal. twills, oxfords and pinpoint create a relaxed look. Business casual shirts are often more comfortable than traditional crisp poplins that are worn with formal suiting. Second, since the tie is removed from the outfit, pattern and detail have also been removed. Pattern can be added back into business casual shirts through the use of jacquards, checks, plaids or small prints in fabrics.

At Batch, we add details of a refined collar, cuff, and placket to show expression that a man used to portray with his tie and tie bar.

Button Down Collars

Button down collars have made a strong appearance in today’s business casual looks. They exude ease and carefree style, while still looking polished. You do not have to worry about your collar flying away with a mind of its own. Spread collar shirts lay nicely when the placket is buttoned to the top, they appear less clean when the top placket button is undone. Unlike spread collar shirts, button down collar shirts perform well when the top placket button is undone. Button down collar shirts also lend themselves naturally to a more casual look as they use a lighter lining in the collar and cuffs. They work well in more relaxed fabrics like oxford or sateen.
Business Casual Shirts

What should I wear with my business casual shirt?

We find it easiest to build outfits starting with your pants. Chinos, dark denim, navy pants and almost all suit colors all pair well with white, navy, and black shirts. In the fall and winter, adding a cable or v-neck sweater to this mix helps to add a third casual piece. (We suggest a white shirt under a dark color or neutral sweater, the white shirt adds a pop of lightness close to the face). Match a brown or black leather belt to your sharp brown or black shoes to complete the look.
Business Casual Outfit with Navy Dress Shirt

How to finish your business casual look

Personality completes the look. Business casual removes the formal polish that has kept men looking the same. Adding interest is vital to your style, as being seen in today's world is harder than ever. Your shoes, watch, and other accessories are a great place to add personality. Refined details can also add individuality to your business casual look - remember to keep the details smart and simple.

For many businesses, the transition to a casual work environment is a smart business decision. The less formal, and more casual, look transfers into the day-to-day grind. This ease lets people be more creative, foster stronger relationships, enjoy their careers, and adds a bit of fun back into their lives.