Business Casual Basics, Part III: Shoes

Previously: Part I, Part II. This is the third installment for my fellow white collar ballers.

If you’ve spent any time learning about men’s clothing (be it from family, friends, or the internet) you’ve probably heard a disproportional amount of talk about shoes. Shoes are a huge part of what dressing well is about (both in cost and importance), even though they take up a fairly small amount of space on your body. It can’t be stressed enough; shoes are often what separate the men from the boys, and business casual workplaces are notorious for bad shoe choices. A little bit of knowledge here will go a long way. Shoes are also the foundation of your outfit in stylistic and structural terms; if you buy well and take care of your purchases they will in turn keep you comfortable and stylish for decades.

1. Save up some money.

This one has the potential to get expensive. Accept the fact that high-quality shoes will be expensive if bought new, and can even be pricey when bought secondhand. Thrifting can be a good option here as well.

2. Learn the differences between “real shoes” and bad shoes.

High-quality shoes are expensive for many reasons, but the biggest two are material quality and construction. These qualities are much more important with shoes than they are in a shirt or pair of pants because shoes need to stand up to a tremendous amount of wear. Read Kiyoshi’s post and Put This On’s article to get a sense for what I’m talking about. If you buy a high-quality welted shoe that fits well and is well taken care of it will last for decades. Trust me.

Need some help finding out which brands can be trusted for high quality shoes and which can’t? I’ve included a short list at the bottom of this post, but my rule of thumb (toe?) is this: don’t buy shoes from any manufacturer that can’t tell you what last their shoes are made on. Any respectable shoe maker will have products on a range of last choices and will be able to tell you about them.

3. Understand the different styles and their applications.

Ready for some shoe terminology? This should be enough to get you started.

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Will a white dress show on a white blog? ;)

White dress on a white blog should look like a blank post, right? That idea made me laugh but the thought of a white shift dress sounds like a great idea, whether you are hungry for a simple form or to use as a plain canvas ready to be painted with your accessories. This one, from Topshop has a stepped hem and a black back zipper. I’m tagging this as a must-have.

#ootd #express #producer #pants #longsleeve #black #grey #scarf #business #casual #shoes #neutral #gaysian #asian #gay #queer #lgbt #poc #qpoc #chub #cub #bear #selfie #gayboy #gayman #intern #dress #mensfashion #basic #simple #instagay #instacub #instabear #instachub #instaqueer #gpoy #lips

Key Business-Casual Pieces For Autumn

Article By Matt Allinson | @Ollinson

The Rise Of Business-Casual

Business-casual is a buzzword that has risen to prominence due to the continued promotion of relaxed, friendly and calm work environments. Essentially, you’re allowed to dress in a slightly more casual way, in comparison to traditional business dress.

But even then, that’s horribly vague – how do you get the balance right? What if you lean too much to one side? It’s enough to make any guy sweat, and you’ve not even started trying to do your actual job yet!

Luckily, that’s where FashionBeans comes in. We’ve put together a list of the items that we think are essential to nailing the aesthetic. Because, in essence, what business-casual really means is this: feel comfortable and confident enough to realise your full potential. And, as a result, get those promotions and benefits you desire.

You can achieve this by building the perfect mix and match work wardrobe that can adapt to any scenario at a moment’s notice.

So let’s get to it, shall we?

1. Blazers

Come September, there are only three jackets you’ll need for the office. The first is a classic navy version, which goes with everything you can think of and will instantly smarten up any look.

The second is a grey tweed blazer: perfect for colder mornings and incorporating other textured layers such as chambray shirts, cashmere v-neck jumpers and merino wool cardigans.

Lastly, a beige cotton blazer will help lift even the most sombre of business looks while adding an element of warmth.

Just make sure all three fit you properly: they should have high armholes, be cut slim through the sides and finish below your bum. If not, make an appointment with your tailor immediately.

Lookbook Inspiration

2. Trousers

Chinos in neutral colours are a must for any business-casual wardrobe. Opt for flat fronted, slim-fitting versions in navy, grey, brown and beige for the best results.

A pair of charcoal/grey flannel suit trousers will also prove invaluable; they look great throughout the colder months, will add some much-needed character and texture to your office attire and can be combined with everything else on this list.

If you’re allowed to wear jeans, have one pair for the odd change of pace on dress-down Friday. Make sure they’re in a dark indigo wash with no distressing and cut slim enough to sit tight above a dress shoe.

Lookbook Inspiration

3. Knits

Knitwear is ideal for creating practical layered looks that are full of depth. Breathable materials such as merino wool and cotton will ensure you stay comfortable and sweat free during autumn, but as temperatures drop you can also consider lambswool or cashmere construction.

V-neck jumpers and fine gauge cardigans both look superb layered over the top of Oxford shirts, while roll necks work extremely well on their own underneath a blazer – look to add all of these styles in a selection of neutral and rich colour ways to your business-casual arsenal.

Another versatile design to consider is the chunky shawl neck cardigan – the perfect substitute for a blazer during the transitional season, it will help add a tactile element to your standard trouser and shirt getups.

Lookbook Inspiration

4. Shirts

Make sure they fit you in the neck and shoulders and consider having darts put in the back if the sides are too baggy. You should be able to fit two fingers comfortably between your neck and collar, and when you turn your head the collar should stay still. The cuff should end where your thumb and wrist meet.

Look to build a collection of solid styles in classic business-appropriate shades such as white, blue and pink, complementing these essentials with striped, check or gingham versions.

5. Neck Ties

A tie probably won’t be required in an office with a business-casual dress code – but that’s even more of a reason to have some to hand.

What if you’re asked to make a presentation? Or what if the managing director is paying your division a visit? A tie would sure come in handy, right? If you’re only going to buy one then make it a navy knitted silk version as they are simple, classic and versatile enough to pair with any shirt and jacket combo you can think of.

Other great options are: grey wool, navy and white stripe, black and white polka dot, and burgundy/black/navy grenadine.

6. Shoes

This is easy: purchase all the classics that make up a capsule wardrobe and you won’t go wrong. Think black Derbies, chocolate brown Oxfords, burgundy penny loafers, tan desert boots and brown brogue boots/shoes.

Depending on the office you may even be able to throw in some smart trainers – but if you do, opt for a black or brown minimal leather pair to maintain a professional note.

Remember that people (read: clients, peers, your boss) will instantly judge you on your shoes, so invest in the best you can afford, look after them properly and keep them clean and polished to ensure you always make the right impression.


Finally, a word on accessories. I’ve personally worked in plenty of places that have frowned upon wearing a pocket square, deeming them too flashy and flamboyant.

It’s easy to see why – they really have only become popular amongst menswear enthusiasts, after all. So try and judge your audience before pulling the trigger on that blue and pink floral version you got for Christmas.

The same applies to superfluous formal accessories such as tie bars, collar pins, statement watches and other forms of jewellery.

Business Casual Basics, Part II: Dress Pants 

After some positive feedback from my first business casual post (I see you, Reddit) I’ve decided to continue the series for my fellow white collar ballers (being a baller is not actually required). Again, this may be old hat to some, but for those that are interested – read on. 

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