It shouldn't be difficult to create a suitable wardrobe that will work in any season and for different dress codes. If you're looking for work business casual wear then check out our guide to men's transitional workwear.Read more Men's Style Guide features and check out our Store.
If your wardrobe is divided into work clothes and weekend clothes and you feel like you're constantly wearing the same things all the time, you're not alone. If you're stuck in a rut when it comes to weekend dressing and your wardrobe choices are limited then there is a solution. It's not all about suits, mixing up your work wear can mean a more transitional wardrobe that can carry you from the office to the pub with ease.
Casual wear is getting smarter and work wear is getting more casual, it's easier than you think to interchange the two. Dressing smart isn't just for the office. Versatile wardrobe staples can take you from work to the weekend as long as you know how to style them. We pick 5 wardrobe staples to show you how easy it is to transition your work wear.
Work Wardrobe Staples
There are a few items that are men's wardrobe must haves so we thought it would be a good place to start by listing a few. Who doesn't want to look smart at work but there'e nothing worse than feeling uncomfortably over dressed after work down the pub. We've put together some tips for making your outfit totally transitional.
The White Shirt
The white shirt has been around forever and is probably the easiest of our five wardrobe staples in terms of transitional dressing. You may be accustomed to wearing your white shirt with a classic suit and tie combination but when there's a will there's a way and we have a way.
To turn your white shirt from smart to casual swap suit trousers for jeans (we'd suggest leaving the shirt un-tucked and the top button undone for a relaxed weekend look). An informal pair of boots work wonders for a transitional look; always opt for brown as it's the most versatile colour. This look is a winner if you're going to the pub or on a casual date. A great transitional piece, the white shirt can be played up or down easily; it really is a blank canvas.
If you live in hoodies at the weekend, mix things up and try adding your work blazer into your weekend wardrobe. This is a transitional piece of smart-casual work wear in the making.
When faced with introducing your blazer into your casual wardrobe, you may feel stumped but it's simple if you know how. Take this light grey blazer, which fits perfectly into your work wear with suit trousers and a pair of brogues, but how to tone it down without looking as though you've completely missed the mark?
A light and neutral colour shirt, like this blue, keeps the look smart. Team this with a pair of jeans and it doesn't make you look too overdressed at all. Slip on a pair of tassel or penny loafers for ultimate casual styling and you're ready for anything.
They're one of the men's wardrobe essentials, no one wants to be left with their pants down! An easy way to look smart whilst still retaining a casual look is by choosing a well cut pair of chinos. A great brand for this has to be Dickies Workwear. They make incredibly durable, smart looking chinos that come in a relaxed or slim fit.
Already, the chino is like a casual version of the suit trouser, so you're onto a winner straight away. You can really go to town on relaxed, casual dressing with a pair of chinos. Pin roll and wear with plimsolls to inject laid back informality into this work wear regular. Add a loose sweatshirt and casual jacket for a minimal look that requires minimal effort.
The chino is the ultimate transitional piece; it really is a clean slate and can be so easily dressed down by introducing casual basics. This is undoubtedly one piece of your work wardrobe that you won't feel out of place in at the weekend.
A little trickier, the brogue doesn't often make its way out of the work half of your wardrobe. But it can make a nice change from trainers and they might just have you walking differently. The brogue can be dressed down if you know how. When you're transitioning your work wear, it doesn't all have to be about dressing down and looking casual.
You can take pieces like the brogue and keep them looking formal by adding a smart polo shirt with some nice trousers. It's a perfect combination, allowing you to look perfect for a meeting and even better in a bar later. Don't be scared to partner your brogues with some less formal pieces, it does look good, trust us.
Winter Work Outfits
Winter means you're going to want more layers so it gives you more to think about than in the summer. Don't let it worry you, some of the best men's outfits are winter looks. There's also no need to throw away your summer clothes, they can still be worked into a winter style.
The main difference will be the extras you add to the outfit, whether that be a hat or scarf and also a pair of gloves. All of these are great ways to create a smart casual look that can be taken off with a matter of seconds. Who knows how the weather will change in the winter so always be prepared. It's good to have a scarf or gloves that can be taken off once you head indoors.
Jackets for Winter
It's the perfect time of year to spend a little bit more than you usually would because a decent coat in the winter can make all the difference. It's also a wardrobe item that will last for a few seasons. Ideally, it will be waterproof but if you can't find one you like invest in an umbrella and you won't have any issues.
The Overcoat is a great one to transition into your weekend wardrobe because you can wear it with pretty much anything. Take the ultimate casual approach and go to the opposite end of the spectrum with this one.
The overcoat is a great transition piece and is perfect for any occasion. It can work with overly casual and similarly overly smart looks as long as you layer simple clothes in neutral colours. However, sometimes the hammering rain that hits us all too often in the winter months requires a thicker coat. Parkas are more practical when it's Hurrican Margaret battering you on the way to the tube, so be sure to have one in your wardrobe. Take a look below at our Top Picks so you can see what we'd recommend.
Basic Wardrobe Essentials
We've covered the work wardrobe, let's take a closer look at the essentials you need for your wardrobe. Some items you can also consider are accessories, with a watch being a perfect chance to smarten up a casual look. The watches below are smart and minimalist that works with most outfits. The Larsson & Jennings is the perfect balance for creating a smart casual look.
Business Casual Wardrobe
Business casual or office wear is far more common today than it was just 10 years ago. It's often the case that you no longer need to wear a tie, suit trousers or even a shirt to the office. You can mix it up with a polo and chinos with a pair of loafers. There is one benefit to keeping your look casual, when you do wear a tie or dress smarter it has far more impact.
You can save certain outfits or accessories for special occasions or meetings where you want to impress and it'll have a far greater impact than it normally would. A badly chosen bag can let even the smartest outfit down. Many people can be let down by the bag they choose. Consider spending a little, on getting an impressive bag. Your outfit might look a little casual but if you've accessorised it with a bag that works with the outfit you'll instantly look smarter.
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