Awesome. It’s safe to assume you’ve got some nice suits in your closet. You’re always on point, so no mistakes like many of us have made. You got them fitted and tailored. It’s admirable the way they look and feel on you. How about those people who don’t work in an office which requires suit and tie? Or, what if you do, and still want to get some use out of those investments off the clock? It’s actually not that hard to take the stuffiness out of a suit. To dress it down. To wear it a bit more casually. Here are tips to do just that.
- SKIP THE SHAVE, OR KEEP THE BEARD
Sure, it can look a little… playboy? Too cool for the room? But it helps. A clean shave can look a little too clean if you’re looking to wear a suit more casually. So? Skip the razor that day (or heck for a few days)
- LOSE THE TIE, AND MAKE SURE YOUR COLLAR IS GREAT
Wearing a suit, sans tie, can be a bit more complicated than simply unbuttoning the top button of your shirt and skipping the neck-wear. You’ll want some alloy collar stays instead of the cheap plastic ones your shirt came with. Put a bit of a bend in them. That should keep your collar at attention instead of pancaking out. Also, button placement on the shirt can be key for some (see the slightly lowered, 2nd button on the Ledbury shirt above).
- FAVOR BLUE SHIRTS INSTEAD OF WHITE W/ DARK SUITS
White can be a little stark up against charcoal or dark navy. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But if you’re going to dress down a normally sober, dark suit, wearing a bright white shirt can look a little like your multiple hours (and drinks) into a wedding reception, and you just lost the tie so you could really get down on the dance floor. That’s probably not a good situation for anyone.
- WEAR A COLORFUL/PATTERNED POCKET SQUARE
Doesn’t have to be super flashy. It can be a white pocket square with a forest green or navy border. Or maybe a true blue gingham. Rule of thirds is almost always a good thing visually, no? The tie is gone here, so three things that jump out visually (pocket square, shoes, watch) a bit more than normal can really work.
- MIX UP YOUR FOOTWEAR
Conservative dress oxfords, like the Allen Edmonds Park Avenue, are timeless. But they won’t help you dress down your suits. Put on a pair of Chelsea boots. Or some monk straps. Or hell, if it’s an unconstructed, summery suit, why not some clean white sneakers? Have a bit more fun with your footwear here.
- WEAR A LESS SUBTLE WATCH
Leave the slim, simple dress watch on the dresser, and instead go for something with a bit more visual weight to it. That’ll help balance out that lack of tie, and also will look on point with the more interesting/less conservative shoes.