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Business casuals, or outfits that strike the perfect balance between corporate sartorial rules and the leisure of Friday dressing, are finding takers everywhere. With most workplaces relaxing their guidelines, business casual dressing has become the order of the day. What’s key here is to not complicate the silhouette of a suit, but instead to work it down. Though the style spectrum for business casuals is wide, and most people dress based on their role at work, there are some key pointers that can be kept in mind. Just follow the style rules below.  

Chinos over jeans, always
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Working business casuals with a textured grey coat and white trousers

Though denims are acceptable for most part, for business casuals a smart pair of chinos would be our best bet. They’re sharp, sporty, and great for neutralising heavy prints, textures, and accessories. What gives chinos the edge over jeans and trousers, is the freedom of colourplay. Staples like beige, navy, white or even olive work perfectly. And with casual brogues making a comeback, a brown pair would simply give it the Oxford casual feel it needs. 

Lightweight linen blazers for summer layering 
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Layering in tropical summers can be a vexing affair. Hence, indulge in linen and cotton

As a concept, business casuals are essentially based on layering. Which is a particularly vexing affair for summer. To take this on the Indian summer, opt for linen and lightweight cotton. Bespoke tailors also offer anti-microbial and stretchable treatments for coats, which is a great detail for summerwear. Since business casual dressing isn’t about suiting up with a black tie, colours like navy, dark grey or beige with prints like tartan or tattersall would make for great detailing. 

Accessorising with watches, leather bags, and more 
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Classic navy on navy, accessorised with a scarf and leather pouch

In the overall indulgence of business casual dressing, accessorising certainly has a more playful part. Starting from the top, since there isn’t a commitment to ties, a light scarf in a contrasting hue or one that colour-blocks will help you stand out. How about a navy coat with an orange paisley printed pocket-square tucked in? Yes, please. You could indulge in a classic white silk piece as well. This helps maintaining a formal essence of corporate-wear yet adding a slice of fun too, the very definition of business casual. For your wrist, opt for a leather strap watch instead of metal. Last but not the least, a pair of fun socks. 

Working with shirts and tees 
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Classic white shirt over a cool aqua blue blazer, summer ready and perfect for a business casual Friday

A classic buttoned-down would be our favourite piece to wear when rocking a business casual look. Pin striped and textured shirts are ideal, but be careful about wearing two contrasting patterns on your shirt and coat – they might not come together.  

T-shirts are usually a grey area for business casual indulgences. But, as a Friday look, a tartan navy blazer over a solid black tee or a beige blazer over a white would certainly be interesting combinations to experiment with. It’s best to stick to solids and base colours like black, white, or navy. 

All images: Courtesy

Mikhail Gomes
Senior Features Writer
A watch aficionado, Gomes also enjoys learning about fine whiskies, and one day hopes to establish his own menswear label. At Lifestyle Asia India, he writes on watches, menswear, auto and tech.