When it comes to formal and semi-formal apparel, much of what we look towards has been the standard for decades. Go back a century, and you will still see business suits and neckties in common usage.
That’s the world of formal apparel: Guided by tradition and rigid structures about how we should act and dress. In the last several generations, it has changed in only the smallest of ways. When it has, it’s usually only to streamline the existing standards.
Business casual apparel, on the other hand, is another style entirely. This laid-back take on business apparel is often more strongly informed by contemporary fashion. In 60 years of history, it has undergone a drastic series of changes.
It leans, as the name suggests, towards the casual. The business casual look is always more comfortable, but that doesn’t make it any less stylish.
The last few years have significantly changed the way work looks, especially in office settings. Men’s business casual apparel, while in some cases still where it was, is undergoing a paradigm shift.
What Is Business Casual?
Casual businesswear incorporates a wide variety of styles. It stops shy of formal suits, but wearing dress slacks and blazers are still spotted regularly.
In its most formal iteration, business casual clothing incorporates khakis and a sport coat or blazer with a button-down shirt. In many classic cases, that dress shirt would be white or light blue. Oxfords can be substituted with loafers or a Chelsea boot or the coat for a cashmerevest.
An informal business casual outfit might replace the button-down shirt with polo shirts and leather dress shoes for casual suede. Still, the office wear incorporates dress pants or chinos, usually with a flat front rather than pleats.
This all describes classic business casual apparel. You can never go wrong by adhering to this style. However, in some cases, this aesthetic is negatively viewed for its association with cubicle work. This is why the classic business casual wardrobe has been, in some cases, supplanted by a new manual of style.
This style is precisely what this 2022 guide is going to explore. Here, Pashko is going to showcase what the new business casual is.
What Is the New Business Casual?
With very few exceptions, you don’t need to wear a suit and tie to do your job properly. This is the fundamental premise that has informed contemporary business casual apparel. New business casual apparel has largely been informed by the casual atmosphere of startup culture and comfortable clothing.
Modern Business Casual
The contemporary business casual look isn’t so casual that flip-flops are normal, but casual apparel is certainly welcome. In many cases, human resource departments will give general guidelines as to what constitutes business casual attire. If you don’t receive a guide, then you are given more free reign to style yourself.
Business casual apparel still includes polo shirts, but more designs like the Innovator are upgrading it. Your polo is no longer limited by thick cotton and a starchy collar. This smart casual shirt uses Merino wool and silk to create a luxurious-looking, breathable work shirt.
A zip-front placket and stretch tech fabric give it a comfort that generations of business casual shirts previously lacked. Contrast accents along the collar and sleeves provide an extra bit of style to your outfit.
Business casual shoes run the gamut from laced brogues to loafers and may even include dress boots. Structured jackets have given way to cardigans and other indicators of comfort. While most offices won’t allow a plain t-shirt, you can bring much of your casual wardrobe to a casual office.
The largest change in the world of appropriate business apparel comes from our own environment. Many groups are reconsidering dress codes, leading to an evolution many are calling “power casual.”
Power casual is casual apparel that eschews the more casual elements of leisurewear. Instead, it focuses on a style that is more formal than purely casual apparel. In other words, it integrates perfectly into the new business casual.
What To Look For in Your Business Attire
From your new business casual style, there are three essential factors you need to consider: versatility, style, and comfort.
Your clothing shouldn’t just be an indicator of professionalism but should make an overall fashion statement. If it can suit multiple purposes beyond work, so much the better. It should have a conscious effort put in to make your sense of style unique.
The days of dressing straight from a company style guide are over. As far as comfort goes, your clothing should be something you feel good working in.
Your classic button-up shirt and khaki pants are strong continual options but also offer room for improvements. The Wild, paired with our aforementioned polo, makes a great compliment to any business casual shirt. A zipper and snap closure gives it a figure reminiscent of professional dress while retaining the comfort elements of casual pants.
Articulated knees and ergonomic seams enhance the feeling of comfort in movement. These can help you feel better whether sedentary at a desk or on the move when traveling.
4-way stretch technical fabric enhances its comfort while elevating ease of movement. An adjustable waist allows for a fit that’s personalized to how you like to wear your favorite pants and never feel uncomfortable or underdressed at work.
If you’re in constant need of simple pieces that elevate your work wardrobe, the Innovator Polo is for you.
This silk collared shirt was designed for frequent travelers to stay comfortable while on the road or in the air, but it’s also ideal for the office or a job interview.
With a timeless, modern design and lightweight feel, the Innovator is available in several easy-to-pair colors, making it an excellent pair for your favorite chinos or khakis and a pair of chukka boots in any shade.
The classic polo look is a staple of traditional business casual attire; the Innovator breaks tradition while paying homage to the classics. It’s a polo for the modern age made from materials that keep you comfortable throughout even the most demanding workdays.
For a non-jacket layering option, the Intrinsic serves as a cardigan ready to enhance your wardrobe. The choice of 100% Merino wool offers a luxe degree of comfort while resisting moisture. It remains exceptionally breathable for hot days where other jackets would simply be too warm.
The choice of green, charcoal, and midnight in colors gives countless pairing options with your other garments. The cardigan fits large, lending a look that is effortlessly relaxed without sacrificing professionalism.
The options above showcase what the new business casual dress code can be. Next, we’re going to explain why this is what it should be.
How Business Casual Attire Can Change Your Workday
The reason why business casual should lean more towards the “casual” end of the spectrum is this: Comfortable clothing helps you feel better and perform better at work.
Popular wisdom, and outdated studies, suggest that dressing for success means looking like a consummate business professional. This isn’t true. Dressing casually can improve performance. At the same time, dressing in total casual apparel can lead to damaged first impressions.
The logical endpoint is for the casual workplace to moderate the two. Business casual attire, infused with the comfort elements of casual apparel like performance fabrics, forms an ideal. We’re talking about clothing that is relaxed without being baggy and can layer effortlessly with suit jackets if needed.
Company Culture That Looks to the Future
The end result is a new company culture, which emphasizes high quality in all things. Our lives are versatile, going from work to recreation in a moment. We should choose clothing that does the same.
The Individualist highlights the possibilities available when formal apparel and performance apparel come together to unify. The unstructured design lends itself to an effortless drape. A slim fit creates a slender, work-ready silhouette that won’t leave you bogged down in fabric while working.
Technical fabrics resist wrinkling and repel water, oil, and dirt alike. In other words, it uses elements of performance apparel to create a semi-formal garment that redefines men’s business casual.
The New Men’s Wardrobe
Paskho clothes are travel clothes by design. This means that style and versatility are inherent in each garment. These are pieces to keep men looking their best on the plane or stepping out onto busy city streets. Or, for that matter, into a business meeting.
Our line includes classic casual items like hoodies and long-sleeve tees. However, it also includes blazers, dress shirts, and pants more than appropriate for the workplace.
Changing what business casual means, means changing what business casual does in style and function. Our apparel provides a way to keep your workwear looking better for longer and to give you a seamless transition.
Business casual is no longer just a dress code. With new standards of what workwear looks like, it can finally be a fashion statement.