The 9 wardrobe essentials you need for today’s biz-casual office

The office dress code has never been more relaxed and casual options now abound.

By Kareem Rashed 20/03/2019

When Goldman Sachs circulated a memo to its employees last week announcing the induction of a new “flexible” dress code, it made headlines even outside the banking world. While such shifts in corporate policy don’t usually warrant attention outside of the office, much less a story in The New York Times, the news tapped into anxieties brewing in executive suites across the country. A blue-chip bastion of Wall Street endorsing casualwear? Is this the end of the suit?

Goldman Sachs is only the latest in a string of traditionally conservative corporations, including JPMorgan, General Electric and IBM, that have loosened (or altogether abandoned) their neckties. With Millennials and Gen Z-ers making up over half of the workforce, and tech companies orchestrating billion-dollar deals in jeans, the definition of “business-appropriate” has evolved—and it’s vaguer than ever. Where a man’s workweek wardrobe was once comfortably formulaic (suit + shirt + tie = dressed for success), the options now abound.

Variety can be freeing, but it can also be overwhelming. If the prospect of dressing for a casual workplace leaves you paralysed with doubt, we’ve rounded up nine essentials to build the foundation of a decorous wardrobe sans suit and tie. Welcome to the new rules of power dressing.

## Dunhill Glen Plaid Coat

While the absence of a suit jacket may leave some men feeling naked, a tailored topcoat is an equally natty alternative. In glen plaid wool-and-cashmere, that icon of traditional menswear, this Dunhill coat (around $4000) makes a polite first impression—an ideal topper for relaxed ensembles.

## Church’s Polished-Leather Derbies

Sneakers may be an easy way to take the starch out of a conventional suit, but when everything above the ankle skews casual, a proper shoe is in order. Rather than a standard dress shoe, these polished-leather derbies (around $920) from Church’s deliver a fashion-forward boost (literally) thanks to their chunky crepe soles.

## Brunello Cucinelli Silk-Cotton Dress Shirt

The monotony and tiresome upkeep of a perfectly pressed white shirt is a thing of the past. Instead, try a classic spread-collar dress shirt in a more laid-back fabric like this silk-cotton jersey (around $1050) from Brunello Cucinelli. As comfortable as an old T-shirt, but a whole lot more elegant.

## Ermenegildo Zegna Couture Turtleneck

## Officine Générale Unconstructed Blazer

For those occasions when a blazer is required, trade stiff suit jackets for something with unlined, unconstructed ease. Officine Générale’s lightweight wool jacket, with its patch pockets and soft shoulders, is as effortless as a cardigan (or, for those Silicon Valley guys out there, a hoodie) around $950, officinegenerale.com

## P Johnson Chambray Dress Shirt

From afar, this shirt looks like a classic French blue dress shirt — a very traditional choice, indeed. But, closer inspection reveals that this shirt from P Johnson is actually a fine denim chambray. It’s a subtly irreverent twist on an office-wear staple. Around $350, pjt.com

## Le Mont St Michel Stone-Washed Twill Jacket

There are plenty of casual jackets that are easily dressed up to office standards. Paired with a button-down shirt and tailored trousers, Le Mont St. Michel’s stone-washed twill chore coat strikes a perfect balance between off-duty cool and 9-to-5 propriety. Around $450, bergdorfgoodman.com

## Mansur Gavriel Leather Tote

Staid, old-school briefcases seem out of place with today’s relaxed workwear. A clean-lined tote in sumptuous leather, like this one from Mansur Gavriel, is a refined choice for the modern man. Plus, it’s big enough to pull double duty as a gym bag. Around $950, mansurgavriel.com

## PT01 Beltless Wool Trousers

To be clear, casualwear does not equate to jeans. Rather, a well-tailored trouser can anchor, and elevate, any outfit. These pants (around $625) from cult-favorite Italian brand PT01 have a sharp, modern silhouette rendered in a suiting-grade wool. The beltless waistband and adjustable side-tabs lend a polished counterpoint to more casual fare.

ADVERTISE WITH US

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

Oliver Peoples X Brunello Cucinelli’s New Eyewear Line

The five sophisticated styles mirror eyewear worn between the 1920s and 1960s.

By Demetrius Simms

19/04/2022

How Vintage Sportswear Is Getting a Modern Upgrade

Old school training gear is back, offering both good looks and performance.

By Alexander Freeling

13/04/2022

Designer Jeremy Hershan’s Newfound Groove

The Australian’s debut collection for new label Haulier is inspired by the ’70s.

By Benjamen Judd

31/03/2022

Salvatore Ferragamo Taps Maximilian Davis For Creative Director Role

It’s one of a number of moves that signal the historic Florentine house has its eyes on the future.

By Austa Somvichian-clausen

15/03/2022

Luxury Brands Are Closing Boutiques In Russia

Chanel, LVMH, Kering and more have joined the call to close their Russian retail locations in the wake of Ukraine invasion.

By Laurie Brookins

07/03/2022

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe to Robb Report today!

Subscribe today

Stay Connected