We’ve written a number of handy guides for business wear, including business casual, business professional, and business formal dress codes. The rules of business formal dress are very strict, demanding matching suit jackets and trousers. However, when it comes to wearing business casual and business professional clothing, we have a greater opportunity to rotate our wardrobe and team different items together to look fantastic.
Here we’ll take a look at six style ideas for mixing and matching your business attire.
Mixing & Matching Business Professional Clothing
Before getting started, a word to the wise: While many workplaces have relaxed the rules on business professional wear, allowing us to dress more colourfully, some are still a little more conservative. Before showing up with an unmatched outfit, take a look around the room. Are your colleagues dressing conservatively? Or are they free to wear a variety of colour and fabric combinations? If you’re in any doubt, simply ask your office manager or HR staff.
1. Navy Jacket, Mid-Grey Trousers & Light Blue Striped Dress Shirt
A combo muted and refined enough to blend in nicely, but with enough flair and personality to shine through. The shirt, thinly striped in blue and white holds this outfit together as it draws the eye. However, the “pop” of the shirt’s colour is balanced out perfectly by the more classic jacket and trousers. Make sure you don’t go too light or dark with the trousers, as they’ll then clash with the rest of the outfit. Finish the outfit off with a pair of black leather shoes.
2. Grey Jacket, Navy Trousers & Dark Blue Striped Dress Shirt
This works perfectly with the above look, as you’re able to simply swap your trouser and jacket combo around. However, since the jacket is the lighter of the combination here, it’ll look better with a slightly darker blue striped shirt. As for shoes, black or brown will both set this outfit off beautifully.
3. Dark Grey Jacket, Medium Grey Trousers & White Dress Shirt
Since you’ll be wearing two shades of grey, this look is perfectly held together with a crisp, well fitted white dress shirt. Ideally, your jacket will be shadow or charcoal grey, which will both complement a lighter shade of trousers. For footwear, black, or perhaps a darker shade of brown or navy will all look great. Though if in doubt, stick to black shoes.
Mixing & Matching Business Casual Clothing
Business casual gives you much more freedom to mix and match your clothes. You can feel free to wear regular trousers, slacks, cords, or flat front fronted trousers, but the staple of the business casual wardrobe is chinos. Chinos are featured in each of these combinations, but feel free to swap them out for any of the others for a similar effect.
4. Navy Chinos, Light Grey Jacket & White Dress Shirt
A classic business casual outfit. It’s smart, refined, respectable, and when each element fits you well, it looks simply fantastic. Once again, the shirt holds this all together, so don’t overlook that element. Well fitted, plain white, with a straight point collar is the way to go. The dash of white uplifts the jacket and creates a very amicable look, while the navy chinos help to balance out the brightness. To finish it off, brown shoes would be perfect.
For the record, swapping the colours of your chinos and jacket will also look just as good here.
5. Brown Khaki Chinos, Navy Jacket & Light Blue Striped Dress Shirt
Brown khaki can be a risky game as it sometimes looks dated and frumpy. But a nice medium brown pairs up perfectly with a navy jacket. On their own, they can look a little too professorial, but a blue striped shirt, either lightly or darkly striped, really brings the outfit to life. We’d usually avoid pairing brown chinos with brown shoes of the same shade, so try to wear a darker pair of shoes. Black shoes will also look great here.
6. Olive Green Chinos, Navy Jacket & White Dress Shirt
This is a really fantastic outfit when done right. Olive green chinos are a great wardrobe staple as they’re so versatile for pairing with shoes, shirts and jackets. But the best colour of jacket is a medium navy. Too light and it’ll clash, too dark and it won’t stand out at all.
Because the trousers and jacket both are quite muted, a crisp white shirt is what invigorates this look, making it extremely cool and self assured. In terms of footwear, go for brown. Black will also look quite nice, but any shade of brown will look amazing here.
Mixing and matching your business clothing will hopefully be a lot easier, and a lot more enjoyable after this reading. Feeling inspired? Check out our collection of supreme quality, affordable men’s dress shirts.
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