Men’s Casual Meets Formal: How To Dress For Both Occasions

You’re heading out to a party, or maybe it’s casual Friday at work, either way you’ve got to pull together the perfect casual meets formal outfit. The thing with this attire is that it’s not as simple as wearing your slackest pants with a smart shirt, it takes a little more thought. D’Marge gives us the low down on casual meets formal as smart first, casual second and whenever you’re in doubt, stick to the smarter side of the style spectrum.

The Blazer

Without a doubt, a smart but casual blazer is a key piece to add to your wardrobe. You have the option for a heavier material like wool in the winter and cotton in the summer, so it’s an all year round staple. You can wear a blazer with a plain t-shirt or a shirt – it’s such a versatile piece of clothing that it is an easy way to dress up any outfit and make it feel more formal.

The Shirt

Shirts are an easy go-to for either formal or casual but when the two collide it’s best to opt for a button down collared shirt or a collarless shirt so that you don’t look scruffy (because you won’t need a tie). A collarless shirt in particular has held its place as a fashion staple over the years but it takes a confident person to wear it. SikSilk’s black collarless shirt is the perfect example of a versatile, ‘casual meets formal’ shirt that you could wear with chinos or some darker coloured jeans and look super smooth.

The Trouser

Jeans are the go-to casual staple item in any man’s wardrobe but they’ve got to look right because chances are you wear your jeans more than most of your other trousers. Use GQ’s jeans guide to find the perfect fit for you, you can find out whether you’re a straight leg kind of guy or more of a skinny leg geezer. As well as your go-to jeans, it’s good to keep a beige/sandy coloured pair of chinos close to hand for when you’re going more casual with your top half; likewise a pair of brogues always smarten up any upper attire.

The Tops

Ultimately, if you’re wearing jeans you can’t go too casual with your top choice if you want to maintain the balance of ‘formal but casual’. However, if you’ve got your smarter black jeans on or a pair of chinos you could opt for a button up long sleeve top or a plain t-shirt as both work well. It’s also effective to layer your clothing and wear a jumper over a shirt to add a little texture and be prepared for temperature changes.

So, get the balance right and you’ll nail your formal but casual look no matter where you’re going!

Bryan Desrosiers

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Bryan is an avid gamer and designer, and likes to combine the two. In his spare time he writes for Previous Magazine and is part of Split An Atom. Follow @bryandesrosiers