Smart meets casual: Mastering the new office style

modern interpretations

You’ll often be told that the dress code at work is office smart, but what does that even mean these days? Times change and so do fashions. You might still be expected to wear a suit, but what goes with that will almost certainly have changed since your father started work.

tailored jacket

Today, many businesses are adopting a much more relaxed style, which allows employees to mix casual elements in with their smarter staples.

image of tailoring

Top performance

Companies are wanting more and more from their human resources, and the pace of work is higher than ever. Business casual is a concession to the rest of life that seems to be catching on quickly. It might mean a tailored jacket with more relaxed trousers such as chinos, or the other way around with tailored trousers and a wool blazer. The idea is that comfort is allowed into the mix and the rules for tailoring can be bent a little; the formal style remains but the fit is more comfortable and casual.

The modern boardroom

The business casual look has worked right the way up to the boardroom. Consider the image of tailoring. A smart shirt in a luxurious fabric will still send an important message and can be worn with or without a tie. A specialist retailer like E J Menswear will sell brands like mens Farah shirts so you always arrive at the meeting looking your best. Look to the Italians for ideas on style and elegance, and take inspiration for accessorising. Open-neck shirts are fine, but pair them with a silk pocket square to make your look appear effortless.


The modern interpretations give much more focus on allowing individuals to express their personalities. Women have been splashing colour and pattern around workwear for some time, and now it seems that men are able to follow suit. Consider details like contrast stitching or a patterned trim.

For more information, check out the advice from Esquire, so you can be confident you’ll get it right.

The key to getting office style right is reading the company culture. You can influence dress code, but you’ll find it easier to make smaller changes, little by little, rather than suddenly ditching the tie and donning a bold shirt. Push the boundaries, don’t smash them to pieces.