Business Casual Guide and the best shoes to always get it right in the office in the days of Casual Smart
The Origin of the Business Casual concept
Decades ago, life was much simpler. There were work clothes and there were leisure clothes. There was no possibility of mixing anything. There was no such thing as Business Casual shoes. Even the most humble people had only work clothes, every day. They obviously worked almost without a break. And as if that were not enough, they had no means of being able to vary much more from the work uniform. And if anything, the Sunday clothes.
Those who could afford it wore an elegant full suit and all the classic accessories, including the hat. But then came our beloved sixties and everything changed. As we always insisted, ideas, terms and concepts were invented that today form part of our daily lives but which at that time were totally revolutionary. And one of those inventions was the concept of casual business.
We have read possible origins that are very funny, such as that it comes from Hawaii, where back in 1966, they wanted to promote the Aloha style. And what better way than allowing people to go to the offices in a Hawaiian shirt every Friday. To our European eyes, it is as shocking to the office as the images of the executives from the Bermuda Islands, in full suits, long socks and shorts. But the idea caught on and slowly spread throughout the United States.
Casual Friday is spreading
Thus, in the mid-1990s, the idea of creating a day when dress codes were relaxed spread through the offices. That day, of course, was Friday. Casual Friday had just been born. For many, it was a real invention, as it allowed people to go out on Friday afternoons already dressed, so to speak, in their own clothes. For others, the need to invent a new work uniform, specifically for that day. Something logical if their personal style was neither one nor the other.
What happened in the offices in the United States is that the reference to “casual” seemed to people who were allowed to wear shorts, flip-flops and sports shirts on Fridays. And the bosses didn’t like the way their workplaces looked.
Then came the initiative of a large American company that sold Chinese and seeing the situation, had the happy idea of sending a communication to the Human Resources departments of 25,000 companies. And in it, by way of a catalogue, some advice on how to dress elegantly and informally at the same time. The invention was liked and spread the example, which lasts until today. The Casual Business as we know it and its first cousin, the Casual Smart style, were born.
In the 21st century, Casual Friday was passed on to the rest of the week in some companies. And in some sectors such as new technologies, the casual concept of the word almost ate up the business concept. And already now, in these times of teleworking and home office, other different styles have appeared. Styles close to dark-coloured pyjamas, yoga trousers and other clothes for walking around the house and/or for sports that we see in the different zooms, meetings, hangouts and other platforms for connecting. Don’t get carried away. We have written these lines so that you can make a success of your style.
Tips for choosing the Best Business Casual Shoes
Mixed models for suit and business casual
Oxford Brogue shoes in burgundy. The ideal shoe for both a suit and casual business shoes, which you can wear every day if necessary. And the models in black are best left for the whole suit.
Brown Oxford shoes. Brown also combines very easily with blue and with these models we comply with the rule of combining two colours. Blue and any earth tone will be a totally winning combination.
The Oxfords Beatnik Miller Brown, are a formal Cap Toe model but thanks to the colour, will go perfect for Fridays or for a business meeting during the week.
And as a perfectly formal but somewhat less formal option, we cannot fail to mention the Double Buckle Shoes. The MonkStrap is a model that combines well with a suit and that for the most purist, is the perfect option for dressing well but not in a completely formal way.
Here we present our MonkStrap Beatnik Lamantia Brown. A shoe with two buckles with an Imel leather in brown colour that is a real delight.
Specific models for Business Casual
As you remember, dressing purely business models in another material is a perfect variant for these cases. And this is when Oxford shoes in suede can be a good possibility. And for this, what better than playing with the two best colours for it, blue and brown.
Beatnik Corso Brown and Beatnik Corso Blueson two models that are perfect to wear and very easy to combine in this context Casual Smart. There will be no business meeting that will resist you with them.
The Loafers are especially for those who follow a more American style, a synonym of casual business style. Our classic Beatnik Allen Penny Loafers in both red and black.
The moccasins are especially for those who follow a more American style, a synonym of casual business style. Our classic Beatnik Allen Penny Loafers in both red and black.
Both are a very good option for all those who do not like laces.
Casual Smart Dress Boots
Ankle Boots are another very interesting option for elegant business casual wear. Whether in leather or suede, the options are endless. And since the cuts of the cotton trousers tend to be more open, the cane is more easily concealed.
As for a more casual option, in suede and with a bit of colour, we recommend our Desert Beatnik Kenneth boot. A brown suede boot that is extraordinarily comfortable and easy to match in these contexts.
And for leather boots, we can’t help but recommend our Chelsea boots, which, in addition to their strong personality, we can add a touch of colour to them. This is the case with our Chelsea Beatnik Cassady Brown boot.
As for our Chelsea boot in brown Cassady Brit suede, both are perfect in combination with any shade of blue.
Tips to succeed today with Business Casual
1º- Put “the Business” in front. A pin-stripe suit is as much a work wear as a navy blue Chinese suit. So both must always be impeccable. Leave your personal clothes for your leisure time. This will extend the life of your casual work clothes and they will look new much longer. If you have any doubt that something is too relaxed for work, it is already answered. Put it away for the weekends and you’re done.
2º – Because the casual concept is behind it. We have seen people who define casual business as going the same way as other days, only without a tie. Or even worse, without a tie and with a pair of trainers, which gives rise to styles that are incompatible with style. But casual if it is serious and formal work clothing, which maybe has some colour different from gray or blue. A blue blazer with blue chinos is perfect. Or with a beige or light brown. And if we put some moccasins on it, it’s already achieved. It is everything that a 100% professional environment will accept without any problem. You’ll be dressed like you are on Saturday.
3º Combine colours. There are people with an innate style to mix colours. This is to be admired. But just in case you are not the owner of the company or the person in charge of human resources, we do not recommend you to combine more than two colours. Three is already becoming a fantasy for many. And the goal here is to look professional and flawless. And that it will run smoothly in case you have an unexpected professional visit or meeting.
4º Colour palette. Ideally the same as with the suit, only with garments in other materials and cuts. That is, if the base is different shades of blue and grey, we can use blue as a base and combine it with earthy or pastel shades. And a minimum detail of colour, if possible in the accessories. On this subject of colours in the world of work and combinations for shoes and trousers, we invite you to this entry with the colour wheel in our blog. It is quick and very instructive information for your use and enjoyment.
5º Garments to avoid. Returning to the previous case of being the person responsible for human resources, founder or owner of your company, this does not apply to you. But for the rest, T-shirts are not welcome. It doesn’t matter if they are plain, dark or new. Not in this environment. If something unexpected happens, there will be no solution. The same goes for jeans, regardless of colour or design. It’s not the day, you always have to go one point above the standard in dressing. And jeans are pure casual. Unless they force, abstain. Trainers are perfect for many occasions, but they are not business. And again, if it’s debatable, we can avoid them and eliminate the possible mistake.
6º Garments that we recommend. The polo whenever it is smooth and new can be an interesting option or at least to study. And especially with the temperatures we have in southern Europe. But clearly the cotton shirt botton down ( those nice buttons on the sides of the neck ) in light tones would be the champion. This shirt combined with a blazer or a new cotton jumper will go impeccable. And with a discreet trench coat or trench coat to match, nothing can stop you.
7º As for the Business casual shoes, the truth is that you have here several perfect examples to illustrate you.
Famous Last Words
Don’t forget that another synonym for Business casual is casual Smart. A casual style but elegant and intelligent. If there is a dress code in your company where you are allowed to express yourself and dress freely, you are lucky. But you’ll always do well to follow these tips, because your customers or suppliers probably won’t be. And besides, this way you will always distinguish yourself from your colleagues for good. Which, in the end, is what the working environment is all about.
If you have any comments, we are happy to hear them.