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There’s no doubt that casual clothing lets you feel relaxed while looking great. You can certainly look great in formal attire, but comfort is often lost. Not so with casual outfits for men, as you’re sure to look appealing and feel good at the same time.
But which outfits are best for casual wear? That’s what I’m going to share with you. I’ve compiled the ultimate resource for casual outfits for men to help you get a head start on what to wear. Regardless of the season or setting, there’s something here for everyone.
Look Casual, Feel Great
Casual attire traditionally has to do with any articles of clothing that wouldn’t be considered appropriate in a formal setting. For example, you usually wouldn’t wear casual clothing to a wedding or a job interview. Of course, the reverse is true, as well. You wouldn’t wear formal attire to a casual event.
So, this brings up the quandary of picking out the best casual outfits. And men, we all know what a challenge it can sometimes be to choose the right outfit for the occasion. The good news is that casual clothing is generally a lot easier to pick out.
Unlike formal events, your hands aren’t tied, so to speak. You don’t have a confined set of rules that dictates what’s appropriate and what isn’t. As such, you have a lot more freedom and flexibility in the clothing you choose to look casual.
As promised, I’ve got a wonderful set of outfits to help you look and feel your best while staying casual.
With fall and winter right around the corner, many parts of the ‘States will soon be getting colder. As a result, men need to know which casual outfits will keep them warm without sacrificing style.
Indeed, flannel has seen a bit of a rise in popularity as of late, and rightfully so. Flannel can absolutely be fashionable, yet it doesn’t detract from your sense of fashion. And since you’d never wear flannel to a formal event, this clothing style rests comfortably in the casual category.
And when it comes to choosing the best flannel shirt for casual attire, my money’s on Nimble Made’s Flannel Shirts. For one, you aren’t limited to a single style of flannel. On the contrary, Nimble Made has several flannel styles to choose from, each offering unmatched comfort.
What’s more, the quality is incredibly high, with each shirt feeling robust and durable. This is pretty standard fare for flannel, but I felt it’s important to mention it, as Nimble Made didn’t cut any corners to deliver a high-quality shirt to go with your casual outfit.
Thanks to 100% cotton and medium weight, you’re getting stellar comfort that stays with you all day long. Plus, each flannel shirt from Nimble Made features a slim fit. This ensures that you don’t look like you’re drowning in your clothes.
At the same time, the slim fit keeps you looking fresh. I’m personally a big fan of these shirts, as they deliver where it matters most: comfort and fashion. Match your flannel shirt with some blue jeans or khakis and a pair of white sneaks, and you’re sure to turn heads.
Back to Basics Tees
Truth be told, there’s nothing basic about these t-shirts. Nimble Made’s Basic T-Shirts offer unparalleled comfort and appeal to keep you feeling excellent throughout the day. A t-shirt and blue jeans are perhaps as casual as you can get. But it’s a timeless outfit that never seems to lose its charm.
Once again, 100% cotton takes center stage, offering a comfortable medium weight that never weighs you down. And thanks to the slim construction, you’ll be sure to look well put together in any casual setting.
Furthermore, you can choose either V- or O-neck to ensure that you get just the look and feel you want. You also get a variety of colors to pick from, as well, including:
I really appreciate every single one of these colors, as they aren’t too flashy, nor are they subdued. I find that they strike the perfect balance of appeal and character to bring you a modern take on an old classic. Moreover, they look great with jeans, regardless of the color you choose.
Thanks to Nimble Made, you can rock a casual style that’s been around for more than half a century without straying from modern stylings.
The polo is yet another timeless article of clothing that’s been around for decades. Best of all, it never seems to lose its charm. Granted, modern stylings have made their way into the polo over the years. But by and large, the core design has remained intact.
As such, you can pair a polo with just about anything and look great doing it. From khaki shorts to blue jeans, the sky’s the limit when it comes to dressing casually in a polo. What’s more, you can wear a polo while you’re playing a round of golf or going on a date.
The versatility of polos makes them a big hit among men, ensuring that you don’t have to pack another outfit with you between events. Using the example from above, wearing a polo makes it easy to effortlessly transition from the golf course to the dinner table.
There aren’t a whole lot of casual outfits for men that allow you to do that. For this reason, polo earns its place among the top selections of casual attire.
As a young lad, you may have scoffed at the idea of donning knitwear — that’s only something your Dad or Grandad would wear. The times have changed, however, and so has your taste in clothing. Today, knitwear is gaining traction as one of the best-kept secrets in casual wear.
The modern spin on knitwear has breathed new life into this clothing option. As such, you can find some truly remarkable styles that harken back to knitwear styles of yesteryear while bringing something new to the table.
The end result is a perfect blend of comfort and appeal. I find today’s knitwear to go well with just about anything. I regularly sport a knitwear top with jeans and sneakers, although loafers look just as appealing.
What’s more, knitwear serves as the perfect outfit for men during the colder parts of the year. You can look forward to staying warm without sacrificing your looks or feeling like you stepped into a time machine.
Not that something like that is a bad thing. As a matter of fact, I actually admire the outfits worn by classic characters in TV shows like the Dick Van Dyke Show. Rob Petrie (DvD) is the epitome of casual class when he’s just chilling out around the house.
And often, he’s sporting a knitwear top. Granted, he’s also usually wearing as dress shirt underneath, but you get the idea. I don’t think you need to go that far today, at least not when you’re hanging out at home.
But for casual events? Why not? It looks attractive and helps you stand out from the crowd at the same time. And most importantly, knitwear is about the only casual clothing that affords you this look. Give it a shot. You may be pleasantly surprised.
There’s little room to argue that adding a jacket to your outfit will make you look cool. Back in the day, one of the most popular casual outfits for men was jeans, a white t-shirt, and a black leather jacket (see: the Fonz).
If you believe this look belongs in the 1940s or ‘50s, you’re in luck. Today’s jackets come in a variety of styles, materials, colors, and more. As such, you should have no trouble finding the perfect jacket to go with today’s casual clothing.
Not only will you most certainly present a sense of individuality, but you’ll look great doing it. With that said, I recommend avoiding jackets that are a bit too modern. Why? Because many “modern” jackets lose their appeal in a matter of months.
So instead, opt for the classics. In doing so, you can be sure to strike the perfect balance of appeal style without veering too far into unwelcome territory. Your outfits will look timeless and appealing, ensuring greater flexibility in what you can pair with your clothing.
The light and flowing nature of white linen is a must-have to stay stylish and comfortable during warmer months. The design of long-sleeved linen shirts looks very relaxed and exudes an equally relaxed atmosphere through the open collar and neatly rolled-up sleeves. The style of the hem should be casual, and it’s best to forget to wear a belt.
When combined with a pair of fitted pants, linen is a hit that is sure to serve you well. I really appreciate how comfortable linen makes me feel, and it’s a casual outfit I return to regularly.
Try to pair your white linen shirt with smart pants that are made with lightweight fabric. Then, roll up the cuffs to reveal your ankles ever so slightly. You might also want to consider adding some leather loafers or sandals (without socks).
This will allow you to create a look in your footwear that reflects the feel of summer nights. If you are committed to your appearance, you can even buy pre-cut cotton pants to avoid the hassle of curling up the hem.
And shorts, like your white linen shirt, also have some summer vibes, so feel free to embrace the look. It’s the perfect compilation of clothing and one that lends itself well to warm and breezy weather. Once again, you’re going to benefit bigly from the comfort that linen provides.
You’re staying relatively modest in your appearance, but it’s perfectly suited to these kinds of outfits. Linen is also rather versatile. You can blend right into the beach and a night out dining without missing a beat or needing to change clothes.
You can’t do that with too many clothing options, but linen makes it look easy. You’ll feel relaxed, attractive, and comfortable. What more can you ask for in clothing?
When to Wear Casual Outfits
Most people wear casual clothes for most of their lives. It’s the type of clothing you wear when you have lunch or go to a ballgame. You wear casual outfits when you meet with friends to hang out or go on a date.
In short, casual clothes are what you wear in your daily life. However, just because you wear casual clothes every day doesn’t mean you can’t look nice, too.
The essence of casual wear is adaptability. A pair of chinos, chambray shirts, and some classic sneakers should get you from brunch on Sunday morning to afternoon in bars and other places. This is why leisure should not be misunderstood as an excuse for laziness.
Moreover, you shouldn’t mistake casual attire for sportswear or beachwear. Casual wear is both low-key and stylish. As such, it could be a pair of slim jeans with a well-tailored t-shirt or a denim jacket with chinos and boots.
Bottom line; if you don’t feel comfortable wearing it for dinner in an informal restaurant, then it may not actually be casual.
When to Avoid It
Some people are baffled by the desire to dress casually, believing that it’s improper to wear anything other than the height of formal wear. I beg to differ. You can absolutely look out of place by dressing formally all the time.
As for when not to wear casual outfits, the rules are really quite simple. You should only avoid casual attire when the dress code specifies as much. Sometimes, you will attend events where there is no dress code.
Instead, it is only implied what you should wear by the nature of the event. Take a cocktail party as an example. Such events are usually designated for suits and the like. You wouldn’t want to wear a polo shirt or even a knitwear top to settings like this.
This is not just a nod to convention. Failure to meet the dress code means a lack of care and courtesy-not only to other guests, but most importantly, to your host. Dressing according to the dress code is a respectful nod and a simple way to distinguish yourself as a true gentleman.
Choosing the Right Casual Top
If you start to build your casual wardrobe, the first thing to focus on is some classic button shirts. Try different brands to find a style that suits you, and then invest in some classic colors and prints. The wonderful thing about this style is that it can be dressed up or dressed up all day long.
If you don’t like college style, then look at the more rock (but equally cool) denim shirt. Invest in a dark indigo version and a light wash, and pair it with light-colored pants in white or taupe.
During cooler months, wear a fine-knit crew neck sweater over your shirt. Navy blue is the first choice. It looks equally sharp with a collared shirt and a pure white t-shirt. Once you have covered some core colors, sweaters can also be a good opportunity to experiment with colors and textures further.
Many clothing manufacturers launch a series of fresh colors every season to add luster to your standard casual outfits. However, if you are looking for something a bit more unique, don’t be afraid to explore top-tier clothing brands. I’ve found some truly exceptional casual wear that most people would designate as formal just because it’s from a high-end company.
You’re still able to adhere to the casual side of clothing, but you’re also able to take it a step further by sporting something unique.
Casual Pants and Such
Let’s be honest here; you can’t get much more casual than blue jeans. Whether you prefer light washes or dark inks, jeans are a staple that can be based on multiple appearances time and again. When choosing how you’re going to wear jeans, you have some options.
For example, you might consider rolling up the cuffs to reveal some trim. And don’t be afraid to lift them up with a button shirt or even a lightweight sports jacket. The key to wearing jeans casually is to avoid too many details. Motor cross pipes and extra rips may look cool, but they end up detracting from other chic and perfect ensembles.
When you want to raise the stakes for casual outfits, you can’t miss a pair of classic chinos. Choose a slim fit and look for neutral base colors such as olive, navy, white and beige. They are perfect for pairing with t-shirts or button-down shirts and will take you from the bar to midweek dinner. Pair it with some classic sneakers and a shawl collar sweater, and you should be good to go.
In the warmer months, wearing shorts as casual wear is completely allowed. However, they can’t just be a pair of old boards. Instead, look for Bermuda shorts cut in cotton twill or seersucker. Pair it with a linen shirt, canvas belt, and suede loafers for a summer style.
Speaking of casual shoes, loafers are highly commendable options that should serve you well for a variety of styles. Whether you like penny style, horse bits, or tassels, these shoes can be easily matched with jeans, shorts, or chinos.
In doing so, you will effectively add a touch of class to casual wear that is sure to garner attention. During warmer months, try the suede and canvas structure to help add some texture. You can also try bold colors such as sky blue, darker oranges, or even yellows. This unexpected touch gives personality and character.
Naturally, though, loafers are not the only choice for casual wear, and it would be negligence not to include classic sports shoes here. Fresh white sneakers are quite possibly the epitome of casual style and can be matched with most styles of pants and shorts. However, the key is to keep them clean. There is nothing worse than a sharp ensemble with a pair of dirty canvas shoes.
Accessorize Your Casual Outfits
When it comes to making the most of your casual outfits, it’s the little details that really make you stand out. Whether it’s a belt, a nice wristwatch, or sunglasses, these are the final touches that give you an opportunity to inject personality and appeal into your outfit.
First, let’s start with something simple…
There is a strict rule for belts, which is to always associate them with the shoes you are wearing. For example, if I wear sneakers and chinos, I usually choose a looser canvas or maybe a navy or gray suede belt.
Or, if I am wearing a pair of darker polished loafers, I would consider wearing a similar dark brown belt. This is not to say that you have to make sure your accessories match exactly, but that they need to at the very least reflect one another.
Also, I’m in the mindset that there is a time and place for belts when dealing with casual wear. With formal attire, a belt is an absolute must. But you have a lot more flexibility when wearing casual clothing. If you feel it complements your outfit, then by all means, wear a belt.
But there are plenty of casual outfits that can be thrown off by adding a belt to the mix. The call is yours, of course. But unless you need to wear a belt to keep up your pants, check to see if it clashes with your outfit before committing to wearing it.
Regarding sunglasses, it is worth investing in something a bit more classic. In addition to paying homage to the timeless styles, a set of classic sunglasses can easily inject some personality into your attire. As with casual jackets, straying to modern sunglasses territory runs the risk of losing their appeal in a few months.
Stick with the classics, and you will be sure to maintain their appeal for the foreseeable future. It will also allow you to wear your classic shades with many more styles of casual wear. Modern shades tend to limit you on what you can wear them with.
So, where do you go for classic-looking sunglasses in the modern era? Ray-Bans are one such brand that often keeps things simple and classic. As such, you can still get modern-made shades but without veering too far from the classic style.
Now that you know what constitutes casual attire, do you have a better idea of what you want to wear? I had to go through several iterations of casual outfits before I found the ones that I was most comfortable wearing.
Then, I narrowed down my favorite choices and went on a shopping spree to find casual wear that adhered to the choices I picked. Remember, the ultimate goal of casual outfits for men is to maintain comfort while looking your best. You can’t always do that with formal attire, but you sure can with casual clothes.
That’s part of their appeal and surely why more employers are relaxing their dress codes to complement casual attire. When employees are comfortable, they are more likely to be happy. The same applies to all other avenues of life, and you thank casual clothes for making it possible.
1. What is casual wear for a man?
Men's T-shirts or sleeveless shirts, jeans, and a dress shirt (with the collar turned down for casual use) are all examples of what is generally considered casual attire for men in current times.
2. Are jeans casual attire?
There are a few exceptions to the general rule that jeans are considered business casual, as explained below. Jeans are considered to be more casual on their own, but you may dress them up to make them acceptable for the office if you so want. In seconds, you can transform your casual look into business casual by pairing your jeans with a button-down shirt and a well-fitting jacket.
3. How should men dress smart casual?
In general, smart casual refers to a pair of dark-colored jeans or chinos worn with a blazer, a shirt, and a stylish pair of leather shoes. It should be well-fitting yet a little less formal than a business casual or business professional look.
4. What comes under casual wear?
These items include jeans, sweaters, t-shirts, shoes, and a variety of other items. Under this rule, flip-flops, sweatpants, gym clothing, soiled garments, severely worn or ripped items, and graphic t-shirts with obscene or controversial slogans are typically prohibited.
5. What is classy casual dress code?
A pair of pants in a neutral color, such as khaki, navy blue, or black, is usually appropriate for business meetings. A dress shirt can complete the look. Dress it up by adding a cardigan or blazer. Dress shirts with collars and button-up fronts, crewnecks, ruffled blouses, cashmere sweaters, and vests are all excellent examples of dress shirts.