Not all of us wake up each day with aspirations of looking like Don Draper each time we step foot out of the door. We’re not in full glen plaid three-piece mode when we’re running down to the bodega for a hangover-curing breakfast burrito or grabbing a few beers while watching the game with the fellas. That said, even if you’re going casual, it doesn’t mean you should leave all consideration at the door. You can still pull off a killer--and super casual--set of looks by nailing down the details, while the rest just falls into place.
The following is a set of (arguably) infallible tips that will allow you to preserve the highest level of comfort and casualness, while still looking like (arguably) the best-dressed gentleman in the vicinity.
Find The Right Fit
Considered more than just “minor”, this detail goes for everything that you decide to wear, from head to toe. It’s also important when dealing with a clothing type that already has “slouchy” undertones and structures--which is not what you necessarily want people to describe you or your look as when trying to be casual. Everything from maintaining proper sleeve and inseam lengths to ensuring jackets and coats fit snug (not tight), is essential to establishing looks that are both effortless and completely cohesive.
Learn To Layer
An invaluable trick that you can use in any season, layering can take your run-of-the-mill outfit and turn it into something both presentable and comfortable. On an unforgiving winter day, for example, layer a dark jean jacket over a cotton henley for extra warmth and style. Boost the look even more by throwing a camel topcoat or peacoat over that, completing the aesthetic. The more you practice layering, the better you’ll get at doing it, which will, in turn, improve your look and style. Plus, you’ll be thoughtfully prepared for changing temperatures, whether it’s a burst of sunshine or an overly warm and crowded bar.
To Tuck Or Not To Tuck
it’s important to know that being “casual” does not equate to being “slouchy”. Tucking your shirt into your chinos or dark jeans, especially while in the office, sends a clear message of “I’m an adult and I know what I’m doing!” If you’re not tucking, that’s all good too. But, it’s important to avoid the dreaded and incredibly sloppy looking overly long shirt. If you’re rolling untucked make sure the length of your shirt isn’t excessive hanging well past your crotch or seat.
If it’s got a longer tail, it’s meant to be tucked in. Just because it’s Saturday doesn’t mean you should be wearing the same shirts you wear on Monday through Friday and just leaving them untucked. Don’t be that guy.
Hem It Or Roll It
Again, casual doesn’t equate to baggy or slouchy, fit is still (and always) king. Keep your hem in check with a properly tailored pair of denim or chinos with a slight break. Alternatively, you can kick it old school and roll on up. How much ankle you show is up to you of course and we don’t mind a little breathing room, especially in the warmer months, but let’s keep it reasonable shall we?
One of our favorite style “hacks”, if you will, of all time: replace the stock laces on your shoes. Undoubtedly, the last pair of oxfords or wingtip boots you bought came those ubiquitous, waxed laces in either brown or black. Much like b-boys did back in the 80s, you can jazz up your kicks simply by swapping out the stock laces with something that has a little more personality. And because amplifying a detail like this cost next to nothing ($2-5 per pair), the possibilities are virtually endless.
No matter if you consider yourself the “Dapper Dan” or “Laidback Luke” of your circle, it’s an undeniable fact of life that the devil’s in the details. Once you master these style secrets, you’ll be able to pull off an effortless, casual style virtually with both hands tied behind your back--although we don’t recommend doing that, if possible.