The casual wardrobe style embraced by many in the tech industry is changing the way American men dress. Ties and suits are out in executive boardrooms where every day is now casual Friday. Today’s well-dressed business professionals are wearing plain, dark t-shirts or open-collared Oxford shirts with a sport coat over jeans or Dockers.
So what does this have to do with dating attire which has traditionally been more casual than business wear? In putting its seal of approval on casual dress, the business world has expanded the acceptance of casual attire, making it appropriate wear at upscale restaurants and events. But it has also imposed a few standards on a dress code that, until now, was comfortably free-form:
- Oxfords must be pressed but not starched and worn with the top 2 (but not more) buttons unbuttoned.
- T-shirts must be solid colors, preferably black, free of slogans or art and unwrinkled.
- Heavily wrinkled Dockers or slacks and saggy jeans are out. The slightly-crushed look (think dryer-folded smooth or air-dried) is in; although lightly-pressed is a sharper look for business and more formal occasions. Although wrinkly, seer-sucker is still a fashion faux pas.
- Slacks and sport coat fabrics should be season appropriate: wool, cashmere and corduroy in fall and winter; cottons and linens, bamboo and hemp in spring and summer. Only jeans are appropriate year-round, although only for slacks, not jackets this year.
- Long pants are in. Unless you’re on the beach, shorts, boardshorts and anything else that exposes your legs are out.
- Layers are still a good look but lighten them up for summer with cotton cardigans and nylon jackets.