The gap between daywear and evening wear is narrowing, though it seems like daywear itself is on the decline. For example, high-low dressing or business casual is more of a cultural norm than a fashion statement. Conversely, this lowers the bar for what you have to wear to go for drinks after work. And you can make it that much easier by selecting the right staples for your wardrobe. Here are a few tips to build outfits that can take you anywhere from work to nights out.
The most basic elements of a man’s wardrobe are tees and shirts. They shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. The sleeves should hit about halfway down on your upper arm for tees. You should have them in several different colours. When it comes to a button down shirt, make sure that you have at least one tailored one in white cotton.
You should have several different trousers in a variety of colours. They should have a slim modern cut with little or no break. Have at least one loose fit blazer made from a light fabric like cotton.
Have a well-fitted and tailored blazer made from cotton or silk wool; this will keep you warm when it is cold out. Have a selection of classic, simple sweaters. Vary their colours and materials. For example, have a cotton sweater and a wool sweater, and don’t make everything a V-neck.
And last but not least, you need at least two pairs of shoes. One set of black dress shoes will carry you through every formal occasion, and a pair of clean sneakers can be worn everywhere else.
Why You Want These Basics
These are recommended because they’re both versatile and interchangeable. You can wear many of these items anywhere from a walk in the park to a presentation in the boardroom. They’re something you can dress up by adding one or two items on our list instead of having to completely change clothes to be considered formally dressed.
However, you will have to make changes to transition from an informal look to a formal appearance, especially if you’re in a corporate environment or trying to impress a date. The benefits of this core set of basic clothing items, though, is that you may only have to change one or two pieces plus maybe an accessory instead of your complete outfit.
How to Transition from Daywear to Formalwear
Let’s say you have the basics. How can you transition from casual daywear to formalwear with a minimum of effort?
You can wear your white button-down shirt with denim jeans for a relaxed look. To dress it up, put a lightly tailored blazer over the shirt. Or you can pull a sweater over it. For a more formal look, switch to the fitted blazer and matching pair of slacks. And swap out the tennis shoes to dress shoes.
If you’re already wearing a sweater, you can pull a blazer over the sweater for a more formal look. It is your choice whether or not to roll up the blazer sleeves. The sweater and blazer could be paired with denim for a business casual look or tailored trousers for a formal look.
And last but not least, you may need to change out your shoes. When going from casual to formal, swap out your tennis shoes for the dressy brogues found at dunelondon.com. You can also find classic Oxford or Gibson brogues that work equally well in both situations, so you wouldn’t have to change shoes at all. For example, the high shine brogues by Dune London are equally suitable whether in a job interview or at the bar after work.
How Colour Impacts Your Look
The colours you wear influence how you appear to others. When you want to go for a formal look, choose neutral colours like blue, black and grey. In a more relaxed environment, feel free to mix light blue with grey or red and black. This means a mint coloured sweater or T-shirt is fine for a relaxed office environment, but it shouldn’t be worn under a black blazer to a formal event. Save the unusual colours and patterns for informal events.
This means neutral coloured jeans and T-shirts could get you by in a semi-formal environment, especially if you throw on a sweater or blazer. And it means a salmon pink sweater is going to come across as edgy and controversial though you’re in slacks and a wool blazer.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to be able to switch from casual to formal and back again. Nor does it take a lot of effort. If you have the basics and know what you need to do, you’ll be able to look dapper in moments.