How to Look Casual, But Still Nice

Casual is a great way to dress. However, a relaxed, comfortable look does not mean sloppy. When you mix and match your clothes correctly, you can look as good as if you were wearing something more formal.

The issue many men face is how to balance the casual and formal. If you’re going to a party, you don’t want to be the guy in a dress shirt while everyone else is wearing polos or nice t-shirts. In contrast, you do not want to be the person wearing swim trunks and feeling underdressed.

Here are some tips for dressing casually – but not too casually.

There are Different Types of Casual

Casual clothing comes in a variety of styles, and not all of them are appropriate for casual settings. A weekend casual outfit is not the same as a work casual outfit. Wedding casual is different from beach casual. When deciding what to wear, understanding these differences is helpful.

Your Shoes Matter – Wear the Right Ones!

Shoes are in some ways the deciding factor on whether an outfit is casual or not. A t-shirt with khaki shorts can be seen as overly casual with running shoes, but appropriate with a pair of TOMs sneakers. 

Here are a few tips on how to choose the right pair of shoes:

  • Match your shoes to your outfit.
  • Make sure they’re comfortable.
  • Choose shoes that are appropriate for the weather and occasion. For example, don’t wear sandals if it’s raining or snowing, or if you are going to an indoor event. 
  • Make sure your shoes are easy to clean and maintain, as well as easy to walk in if you need them for work purposes (for example, being a nurse).

Get Jeans from a Good Store

Jeans are a great casual dress option. You can wear them with a shirt, or with a t-shirt. What’s important is that the jeans you buy fit well and are of high quality (in other words, they’re not too cheap). Keep your jeans clean and ironed so they look nice when you wear them.

Jeans, like t-shirts, can be judged by their brand names. Sam’s Club Member’s Mark jeans may be fine around town, but too casual for work or other occasions. Levi Straus jeans, however, may always be appropriate. There is no reason for this since they are essentially the same thing, but it is what it is.

Wear Different Styles of Shirts

You can achieve a neat, casual look by wearing shirts that are unique. The key to this idea is that you should have more than one shirt in your wardrobe. When shopping for new shirts, look for ones that have interesting details on them and make sure they’re well-made. 

If you want an easy way to mix and match your shirts, stick to white or light-colored shirts in solid colors (or with small patterns) because these will go with most of the other clothes in your closet. 

Also, consider whether or not the fabric would hold up well when worn multiple times before purchasing it; if it isn’t going to last long enough then no amount of careful laundering will help!

Be Observant

Perhaps the toughest part of giving advice on what to wear to be casual, but not too casual is that trends are always changing, and what is popular and acceptable in Florida is not the same as in North Dakota. 

Be observant of what others are wearing around you. What brands are they wearing? What styles do they follow when at work versus at a gathering? Making these observations and adjusting your own choices accordingly can help to ensure you are confident and comfortable with your casual choice no matter what you are doing.