Skip to content

How to combine the business casual outfit correctly

business casual herren-outfit-streifen-pullover-blazer-jeans

You should be properly dressed at work: Suit and shirt are a must for men in many industries. Modern dress codes, on the other hand, require somewhat less formality and are interpreted differently from company to company. As a representative of the company, you should adhere to these dress codes and adapt your appearance to the corporate culture. Whether you are invited to a job interview or to an event, you should always be aware of the prescribed dress code. Business casual, for example, is casual office attire that may be worn for everyday business, informal occasions and internal meetings. However, a certain elegance is still expected. And since this dress code leaves a lot of freedom and room for interpretation, we’ve put together a few tips for you to make your business casual outfit perfect.

Business Casual vs. Smart Casual

business casual herren-outfit-button-down-hemd-chino-hosen-pullover

Business casual and smart casual do a balancing act between sportiness and elegance and are worn in young, dynamic companies. There is hardly any difference between the dress codes “Smart Casual” and “Business Casual”. Both oscillate between serious and casual and are stricter than casual. Casual in English means as much as: “casual”, “comfortable” and “relaxed”, Smart stands for “elegant” and “chic”. Accordingly, it is therefore for a casual business outfit, but which reflects a minimum level of quality and chic. When the dress code is Business, the clothing expected is that which is usually worn in the office. Both dress codes are chosen for visits without a formal meeting, informal meetings, or to interview for a job. A clear business reference should be evident in any case.

Shirt and blazer for business casual

business casual herren-outfit-hemd-blazer-ohne-krawatte

“No jeans, no tie” is the motto for business casual. In concrete terms, this means that you don’t have to appear in washed-out jeans, but you can leave out the tie. Loose, elegant clothing is best. However, some companies allow neat office jeans in dark colors. These can be well combined with a smart jacket. The main thing is that the individual parts of the outfit fit together and look tasteful and neat.

Today there are various business outfits with which you are well dressed even without a jacket. For business casual, the upper accompaniment of shirt and sweater, cardigan or possibly also slipover, is a great alternative. A V-neck or O-neck sweater can be combined with a classic, light-colored long-sleeved shirt. If the collar peeks out above the sweater, then you can also combine a tie with it. Currently, the narrow versions are very trendy again and go well with the V-neck.

Ideal to the dark sweater also fits a light shirt in subtle stripe or check patterns, which set colorful accents. This combination looks especially harmonious if the shirt has a pattern in a certain color that repeats that of your sweater. The only thing to keep in mind is that the pants should be plain.

Business Casual Jeans

business casual herren-outfit-hemd-hellblau-chino-hosen-beige


Appropriate for the business casual outfit are suit, flannel and corduroy pants. Are chinos business casual? Yes, khakis are ideal for informal occasions and are versatile enough to pair well with jackets. If you want to stay on the safe side, gray chinos are a good choice.

Straight cut denim jeans without excessive details are allowed in smart casual in recent years. Just remember that your look should be casual but still professional. Definitely refrain from pockets, rivets, rips and wide cuts like loose and baggy fit.

Shirt tucked into pants or not? It all depends on the styling and fit of the shirt. White business shirts are generally wider and longer cut and not meant to be worn over pants. However, if the shirt is sporty-elegant or loosely cut, it may then be worn outside. If you want it to look formal and chic, then a figure-hugging shirt goes inside the pants. Above all, it looks more casual when the shirt is not tucked into the pants.

Business Casual Shoes

business casual outfit-herren-schuhe-hemd-stoffhose-kombination

Business casual shoes are usually closed, and the socks are color coordinated. Dark leather lace-up shoes are preferred, but gentlemen are welcome to wear an elegant sneaker or loafer. Singer Justin Timberlake, for example, often combines casual sneakers with a classy suit. Respected men such as actors Robert Downey Jr, Orlando Bloom, Will Smith and Leonardo DiCaprio have also occasionally chosen this casually elegant combination for their appearance on the red carpet. The fact is that today sneaker models are so versatile that they can also be perfectly combined with elegant outerwear like jackets. On Uebervart Frankfurt – Shoes & Sneakers, for example, there are sporty and yet elegant models with guaranteed coolness factor. What simply always works with a smart suit are classic white sneakers from adidas or Nike.

Examples of successful business casual outfits

business casual -herren-outfit-cardigan-karohemd-beige-hose


Last but not least, we would like to present a few combinations that are perfect for the business casual dress code. The more creative the job, the greater the scope.

Smart and business casual combinations:

  • Button-down shirt, cotton trousers, loafers or leather wingtip shoes.
  • Slim button-down check shirt, chinos and leather slip-on shoes
  • Jacket, shirt instead of shirt and cloth pants without tie
  • V-neck sweater, t-shirt with round neck or shirt under the sweater, straight cut denim pants, classic leather lace-up boots
  • sporty-elegant blazer, figure-hugging shirt, dark jeans (without rips), lace-up suede shoes
  • jacket, turtleneck sweater, dark jeans and sneakers
  • Tweed jacket, plain sweater with round neck, gray chinos, sneakers