Are Polos Business Casual? Yes, polos are a must for men’s business casual outfits. We recommend polos to male clients because they’re a step up from a T-shirt and a step down from a formal button-up. AKA, it’s put together without trying too hard. They’re a staple for any CEO or executive in a more creative or casual industry. Additionally, polo shirts are a lifesaver for summer business casual ensembles or hot climates like Texas or Florida. When shopping for polos, seek out refined fabrics. Think merino wool (like this open collar option from Reiss pictured above) or Pima cotton.
For one, these textiles are high quality. They don’t break down after a couple of washes (or dry cleanings) and they hold their shape, texture, and knit. This leads to a put-together, more office-appropriate vibe than you’d get with the typical golf polo. Another reason these natural fabrics reign supreme in our book is their breathability. No more worrying about pit stains or overheating.
If you’re new to adding these collared shirts to your closet, invest in core colors. Black, navy, grey, and white are the foundation tones of any wardrobe. They easily mix and match with anything else in your closet. Take the black long sleeve polo by Michael Kors for example. You can pair it back to chinos or jeans without thinking twice. Plus, the long sleeve makes this the perfect way to wear a polo in cooler months.
If Polos are Business Casual, What do I Wear With Them?
Finally, you can stop asking yourself, “Are polos business casual?” and get into building successful outfits with this popular tee. Here are two sophisticated and effortless ways to wear polos. Want to take your polo from business casual to power casual? Try something like this monochrome moment from Bonobos.
Blue and blue go together. But what keeps this sophisticated and effortless instead of bland, is the different textures. Notice the almost heathered effect we get from the woven pants? This creates visual interest next to the classic knit of the polo. Another detail that ties this whole look together is the belt. That touch of brown breaks up the outfit so it doesn’t all run together. Polos and summer go hand in hand. So let’s lean into that aesthetic by wearing your shirt with classic chinos.
This pairing masters casual without feeling sloppy. How? For one, the fit. Wearing too-tight or too-loose clothes is a surefire way to seem like you don’t care about your appearance. Both the polo and pants in this photo are in a straight/slim fit, just skimming the model’s frame. Secondly, check out the modern color story. Chinos and a polo could read as stuffy or old-school. But it works here because of the neutral shades selected. Now that we’ve solved the “are polos business casual” conundrum, let’s tackle another dress code dilemma: khakis.
Are Khakis Business Casual?
Yes, Khakis are business casual. A lot of our clients ask, “Are Khakis business casual?” because they’re thinking of old, outdated, baggy styles. They’re picturing the super light wash khakis from work and school uniforms made of heavy-duty polyester. Like khakis from the show, The Office. cough Dickies cough So let’s get one thing straight. Just like what we said with polos, Khakis can work at the office. All it takes is selecting the right colors, fabrics, and fits.
Take this olive option from NNO7. The darker tone looks more modern and polished than the typical “khaki” color. Plus, take a peak at the fit. No 90’s style front-pleats here or baggy hems. Just a sleek, slim-straight fit. Or try a darker brown tone as you see with these pants from rag & bone. Many guys stick to the same old color palette when it comes to khakis. But playing with other shades like navy, olive, and brown shows off your style skills.
If Khakis are Business Casual, What do I wear with them?
Like we did in the “are polos business casual section, we’re going to show you how to wear khakis. The right way. Our founder, Cassandra Sethi, recently gave her Dad a style makeover after a major weight change. One of her major focuses was to update his wardrobe with well-fitting outfits that felt stylish yet age-appropriate. (He’s 70!) Take a peek below to see how she created one of his favorite looks with a pair of khakis.
The foundation of this outfit may seem basic: khakis and a polo.
But one of the things that elevate it, is the color. We’re not going for that stereotypical frat bot pastel palette. Instead, we’re starting with a core-colored polo in black. Next, the khakis are olive. This adds contrast to the dark polo without going too stark. They’re still in the same “mood”. What else upgrades this ensemble? Accessories and layers. Skater-style flat tops in black and white that tie back to the polo, and a trend-aware plaid shacket. Combining traditional go-to’s with contemporary touches is how you do power casual at any age.
What are the best fabrics for polo shirts in a business casual setting?
Refined fabrics such as merino wool or Pima cotton are ideal for a polished and office-appropriate look.
How can I style polos to create sophisticated and effortless outfits?
Experiment with different textures and colors, and consider pairing them with well-fitted chinos or woven pants for a modern and put-together appearance.
Are khakis considered business casual, and what are some modern options for wearing them?
Yes, khakis can work for a business casual environment. Opt for darker tones like olive or brown and choose a sleek, slim-straight fit for a contemporary look.
What colors and fits should I look for when choosing khakis for a business casual look?
Consider modern shades such as navy, olive, and brown, and ensure the pants have a tailored fit that complements your frame.
Can polos be worn in cooler months, and what are some style tips for wearing them during this time?
Opt for long-sleeve polo shirts made from high-quality fabrics like merino wool, and layer them with a jacket or cardigan for added warmth and style.
Polos and khakis can be valuable additions to a business casual wardrobe, offering versatility and comfort without compromising on style. When selecting polos, opt for refined fabrics like merino wool or Pima cotton for a polished and professional appearance. Experiment with different textures and colors to create sophisticated yet effortless outfits that reflect your personal style.
For khakis, choose modern options in darker tones such as olive or brown, ensuring a sleek, slim-straight fit for a contemporary look. Incorporate accessories and layers to elevate your outfit, adding visual interest and dimension. By following these guidelines and selecting the right colors, fits, and fabrics, you can create successful business casual ensembles that exude confidence and professionalism while embracing comfort and individuality.