Some men hear the words "Dress Casual" and instantly cling to their navy blue suits like a four year clings to his security blanket. True, new found fashion flexibility can be daunting to the die hard suit wearer. But a little Casual Know-How can go a long way toward restoring confidence.
(For even more Casual Know-How than we can offer here, order our free Dress Causal video.)
We've broken this Third Wardrobe (as in, somewhere between your suits and the torn jeans and funky tee shirts you currently think of when you hear "dress down") into two simple categories: Weekend Casual and Dress Casual.
Weekend Casual, offering the most relaxed, informal look, consists primarily of cotton or silk-blend pants, cords, or even jeans, knit shirts, and a comfortable pair of casual shoes with a matching belt. This wardrobe is perfect for most offices where Casual Friday has already become an institution. It allows you to work comfortably in a relaxed, creative environment. As the name suggests, however, these clothes are designed for weekend wear. Outfits from this category are ideal for family gatherings, golfing, barbecues, any public appearances that require you to look better than you do while mowing the lawn.
Dress Casual offers a largely interchangeable array of sport jackets, wool or microfiber slacks, multi-toned dress shirts that can be worn stylishly with or without a tie, and a footwear ranging from hip, lugged soles to polished tasseled loafers. This look gives off an aura of casual confidence that is appropriate for most business situations. When companies began instituting dress-down policies, this is what they had in mind. Afraid of standing out from all the guys in worn out chinos and concert tee shirts? Why?
Last, but certainly not least, is our most commanding version of Dress Casual. You can dress your suits down a notch without sacrificing the air of authority that only traditional business attire can command. Replace your dress shirt and tie with a clean, distinctive cotton-silk mock turtle or polo knit sweater. The addition of a few fashionable shirts transforms your suit collection into a striking casual wardrobe. And when the occasion calls for something less authoritative, these shirts will go with a sport coat and slacks in a return to the more familiar Dress Casual look.
Still unsure? A visit with a trained Wardrobe Consultant at Men's Wearhouse may be all you need to put together a versatile Dress Casual wardrobe. If Tie Separation Anxiety (T.S.A.) persists, try therapy.