You’ve been told that the dress code at your new workplace is “business casual.” But, what is business casual? While a common dress code for many modern offices, the definition of business casual can vary. In some offices, jeans and polos are appropriate while others expect dress shirts and slacks.
When dressing business casual, one thing is for certain: Your gym sneakers won’t do. You need a quality pair of shoes to accompany your attire. When choosing a business casual shoe, keep both the style and materials in mind.
Good Business Casual Shoe Design
Before deciding on your design of shoe consider the other elements that make up your ideal style.
The material your shoes are made of play a major role in whether they are appropriate for your workplace.
Look for shoes made of quality materials, such as leather or suede. Regardless of the style of shoe, a leather shoe will almost always be the best choice for a business casual office.
Experiment with Color
A neutral color is always a safe choice for a business casual shoe, especially at more formal offices. It is always a good idea to have a quality pair brown or black leather shoes in your closet. Its versatility will be appropriate for both formal and casual occasions.
However, don’t be afraid to experiment with color. A blue or red shoe will add a little fun to your look, while the leather material keeps the shoe appropriate for the workplace.
Best Business Casual Shoes
Depending on your work environment and your own style, you have several choices when choosing a business casual shoe.
Bluchers are a safe choice for nearly all business casual offices. They are versatile, easily transitioning from casual to formal. They may also be able to accompany a suit if you need to transition to a business professional setting.
It’s always a good idea to have at least one pair of bluchers in your closet in a neutral color. However, don’t be afraid to branch out and try a unique color.
The classic slip-on, lace-less loafer is appropriate for a variety of work environments. When choosing a loafer, there are many design options available depending on how formal of a shoe you need and your own personal design tastes.
While the penny loafer has a reputation as a shoe your grandfather would wear, new fabrics and designs have brought this classic shoe into the modern era.
This classic, European design provides a slightly more upscale look compared to the more simplistic penny loafer. Riding the line between casual and formal, tassel loafers work perfectly as a business casual shoe.
Like the tassel loafer, the kiltie loafer provides a few additional design elements to the traditional slip-on loafer.
Monk strap shoes are characterized by their one or two leather straps and buckles that are used to close the shoe.
A monk strap shoe is the perfect fit for the business casual wearer who wants to stand out. While the monk strap design is still timeless, the added buckles and strap add a unique look.
The iconic Chelsea boot first came into fashion during the 1960s in England. Today, they are a great choice for both casual and business casual, depending on the material.
A Chelsea boot in a dark leather provides a modern business casual look. However, they can easily transition out of the office if necessary as well. Chelsea boots are a great choice for men looking for a sleek business casual shoe.
While typically seen as a casual shoe, chukka boots can be dressed up for a business casual work environment when paired with the correct attire.
Chukka boots in a dark color fit in most easily with business casual offices. Try pairing the chukka boot with formal clothing to dress down the look. For example, chukka boots with a blazer and trousers will bring balance and a casual feel to the otherwise formal attire.
High-quality sneakers are beginning to find a place in the business casual workplace. When made with a leather or suede, sneakers may be a great fit for the workplace.
Read more about how to wear sneakers in a business casual office.
Dressing for the workplace doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your personal sense of style. Choose a business casual shoe design that suits your style made with high quality materials and soon you’ll be experiencing business casual bliss.