Business casual – the bane of every modern man and office for the last god knows how many years. The open collar gave way to shirtsleeves which gave way to polos which basically rolled over and let Hawaiian shirt into the building. Lulu wrote up a nice post about business casual not some time ago, bless her heart, but I fear she is fighting a losing battle. Business casual has become “Wear whatever you want day,” and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. (Although hopefully the popularity of Mad Men will have some sort of ripple effect.)
However, just because the white flag has gone up over the three piece suit doesn’t mean we can’t discuss a very real sartorial problem – namely, how to go about without a tie. This should seem a simple formula – remove tie: walk around – but many office men seem baffled by the situation. Again, I blame business casual.
When not wearing a tie do
open the top button
throw on a vest
untuck your shirt
unbutton more than the top button
pop your collar
wear your collar over your sweater or vest
wear your collar on the outside of your blazer
There also seems to be a pathological need around the office to try and match blazers to pants, a fool’s errand if I’ve ever seen one. You will never, ever be able to match items you buy separately into a suit. So rather than confuse everyone’s eyes by wearing a navy blazer with a slightly different blue pair of pants, simply go in the opposite direction and coordinate light to dark.