What’s Your Business Casual Style? Four Outfit Styles Explained

As long as you’ve got your suit and tie (you can leave it in the closet), let Macy’s show you a few things. Business casual attire for men is not restricted to a blazer and dress pants—reserve those for special occasions (like tearing up the dance floor at a wedding). Whether your style is hipster, preppy, smart casual or straight streetwear, Macy’s has the best wardrobe essentials for you! Not to mention trendy items you need now and key accessories to finish your look. Create awesomely cool casual outfits for so many different occasions…a casual Friday, a date night or even an interview! Pull together a look so good your friends and colleagues (or even your interviewer—major brownie points!) will want to ask you for all the outfit deets. Shop Macy’s for casual clothes for men and business casual ’fits from your favorite brands like Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Nike, adidas, Champion, Sean John, Levi’s®, American Rag and INC (Created for Macy’s) and more!

Which Men’s Style Type Are You?

Smart Casual.

Let’s get thinkin’…but not too hard, because the smart casual look is a no-brainer! Don’t think of it as a dress code, but rather a more casual and smarter way of dressing. You’re blurring the lines from workweek to weekend—smart casual can be worn from the office to after-work rooftop happy hours and beyond. Basically, wherever life takes you. It’s rooted in comfortable and classic pieces that never go out of style. The smart casual man is mature and chooses tailored, neat and appropriate pieces. His style is elevated and he always looks put-together without seeming too formal. The term “smart casual” dates back to the 1920s but has greatly evolved over the decades. It does not imply that you’re flashy or flamboyant, rather that you have confidence (and maybe a little pep in your step) when you leave the house…because you know your outfit is on point. Smart casual men dress for the job they want, wearing finer-quality clothes that are still casual but well-fitted. These good fabrics promote self-confidence and self-awareness. You’re casual yet established, but (more importantly) laid-back and lookin’ good. You love brands such as Levi’s®, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Dockers, Weatherproof Vintage, Tasso Elba (Created for Macy’s) and more!

The Prepster.

Oxford shirts, argyle ties, navy blue blazers, men’s polo shirts, chino pants, varsity sweaters, boat shoes—if you have all of these in your wardrobe you definitely represent the preppy man. This Ivy League look was started around the 1890s. It got its name by the college-aged men on campuses in the American northeast (like Harvard, Yale and Princeton) that wore it. Although the style began to wane in the late ’60s and early ’70s, it got a resurgence in the ’80s with a new generation of prep sparked by Lisa Birnbach’s The Official Preppy Handbook along with a hot new scene of preppy companies. Preppy casual outfits for men are truly authentic if they are styled from head to toe—think Steve McQueen or Paul Newman. Preppy business casual men play up their office looks with bold color choices (hint, hint: the preppy tie). Wall-Streeter by day, fancy-cocktail sipper by night…yachter by weekend! Prep like a pro with preppy men’s clothes from iconic brands like Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Brooks Brothers, Sperry, Burberry, Lacoste and more!

The Street Artist.

Although actually born in the swells of California surf culture roughly 50 years ago, men’s streetwear didn’t truly blow up until the ’90s when the first skate boom (hello, Tony Hawk) and hip-hop scene turned a generation on to baggy jeans and graphic tees. True story: this generation can never have enough graphic tees. Today, ’90s babies are hitting adulthood hard…and although they may have a mortgage, they still feel more comfortable in a hoodie rather than a suit. Streetwear embodies both comfort and style. Bring the streets to work (and satisfy your ’90s nostalgia.) Men’s urban clothing like streetwear will look best in a business casual environment when they are more refined, like a fleece hoodie that’s conservative in color with dark wash men’s tapered jeans. Also, you can (and should) wear sneakers with a suit. Streetwear guys also love logos, the bigger the better…if you want to get a lot of social media likes, your clothing brands must show up. You’re taking it to the streets, to work, to the weekend and beyond with men’s fashion casual streetwear from brands such as Nike, adidas, Champion, Sean John, Levi’s®, G-Star RAW, Wrangler and American Rag (Created for Macy’s).

The Hipster.

The term hipster dates back to the 1940s, when people in the New York jazz scene wanted to rebel and embrace bohemian culture. Being a hipster means you value independent thinking, an appreciation of art, indie-rock, creativity, intelligence and witty banter (or something like that). Hipsters and hipster outfits can take a variety of forms. At heart, you’re the anti-mainstream guy in your friend group that wears trend-forward clothing, regardless if it’s accepted. You haven’t eaten breakfast or lunch in years…because brunch is where it’s at. But you can’t eat your brunch until you’ve snapped a pic of it for Instagram. With this men’s casual style, you wear jeans that are a few sizes too small—cue men’s skinny jeans (maybe you even borrow them from your girlfriend—girls have been doing it for years, so why can’t you?). You also love soft pants and often wear them with short-sleeve button-ups and a trendy sport coat. This is your favorite business casual look when it’s paired with ankle boots or loafers…don’t forget to cuff the jeans to show off your socks, of course. Your vibe is “I don’t care” (even though you know you look really good) and there’s nothing cooler than that. Your top brands are Levi’s®, Wrangler and INC (Created for Macy’s) among others.