What kinds of shoes are appropriate to wear with casual business outfits? This guide covers all you should be aware of.
The business casual dress code has been most popular style of dress for the last two decades, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
Sure, workplaces have become more casual in recent years however, they continue to use “business casual” as the formal dress code.
In our guide to business casual we discussed the origins of this infamous dress code, and what it means in today’s workplace.
We also talked about some outfit ideas and touched upon what kind of shoes to wear for work.
In this post, we’ll go deeper into this topic. Your shoes are among the most essential elements of your attire that’s why they could be the difference between your outfit and a great one (especially when you’re at work).
DO YOU NEED BUSINESS CASUAL SHOES?
If you work in a casual environment (i.e. jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers) You probably require a couple of dress shoes. These are usually reserved for formal occasions like weddings, interviews, or funerals.
However, if your job requires formal outfits, you’ll need three to four pairs of business casual shoes to wear.
We believe that every man should own at least one pair shoes that are appropriate for a casual office.
WHAT NOT TO WEAR
A well-styled person is like an excellent referee. It usually goes unnoticed, but it is rarely a cause for concern.
If you’re looking to stay clear of fashion faux pas at the workplace, don’t wear the following shoes in the workplace:
Shoes for athletes (e.g. running shoes)
Sandals / flip flops
Shoes for boats
Patent leather shoes
Slippers made of velvet (obvi…hopefully)
8 BUSINESS CASUAL SHOES
We’ve covered the best shoes to avoid So let’s discuss the most comfortable men’s business casual shoes today.
Remember: although each of these shoes is a good fit in business casual wear They differ in formality.
For offices in general, sneaker of any type is best restricted to casual days on Fridays since they’re not formal enough to meet the dress code.
Let’s take a look at each one more in detail…
formality level: Very formal, perfect for formal business setting as well as events (weddings funerals, interviews, weddings and more.)
Definition of characteristics: Closed lacing construction
The most important factor to make an Oxford one of the best Oxford is the lacing system that is closed. Eyelets are stitched underneath the vamp. This provides the shoe with a neat formal look.
In addition to velvet slippers or wholecuts of patent leather, Oxfords are the dressiest “dress shoes” you can purchase.
Of of course that’s not the case. Not all Oxfords are made equal. There’s a huge difference from plain leather Oxfords like and cap toe suede Oxfords with broguing, as well as other embellishments.
The good thing is that should you require a formal casual shoe, nearly every Oxford can work.
#2: BROGUES & WINGTIPS
Standard of Formality: Dressy but less formal due to the décor perfect for casual business attire
Specific Characteristics to be Defining: Decorative perforation on the toe or across upper.
While the word “brogue” is used nowadays to refer to a kind of footwear, the term is an ambiguous term (I am at fault). The Kingsman franchise …).
Broguing, also known as decorative perforations are a great addition to any kind of footwear, regardless of the construction.
Also the Oxfords are not only brogues. Oxfords have brogues as well.
The thing about the “Oxfords, not brogues” idea isn’t very clear and has led to confusion.
Of course, a lot of guys prefer shoes with embellishments instead of plain shoes. This is ideal since brogues and wingtips look great perfectly with casual attires.
Since these shoes are decorated, they’re more casual than plain dress shoes, or even cap toe dress shoes, which makes them appropriate for a dressy-but-not-too-dressy workplace.
Wingtips feature an additional piece of leather on the toe , which forms the “W” shape over the upper. They are thought of as more casual dress shoes.
#3: DERBY (A.K.A., BLUCHER)
Standard of Formality: Ranges from formal (but not as formal as Oxfords) to business casual.
Defining Characteristics: Open lacing construction.
In contrast to Oxfords Derby shoes (also called “bluchers”) feature eyelets that are sewn to the over the vamp.
This results in a less polished and more informal look.
Bluechers and Derby footwear are believed that they are more comfortable those with high insteps. So should you find Oxfords to be too tight Try the derby test.
Graduation Level of formality: Ranges from formal (but not as formal as Oxfords) to casual
Defining Characteristics: Slip on shoe, no laces
Loafers come in many shapes sizes, sizes, colors and styles, ranging from formal to casual.
When most people think of loafers, they envision the penny loafer. It’s a classic slip-on shoe which can be dressed either way.
Loafers can be worn with trousers, jeans or chinos at any time of the season. They are available in leather and suede and are worn with socks or without.
The Penny loafers look more informal than lace-up formal shoes (e.g., Oxfords or Bluchers).
#5: MONK STRAPS
Formal Niveau: Formal, yet can be put on with smart casual clothes and is less formal than plain Oxfords and derbies
Specific Characteristics to be Defining: Single or double buckle straps, without laces
Monk strap shoes have been exploding in popularity over the last couple of years, and they haven’t been seen going anywhere, at not anytime in the near future.
Although many men think monk straps to be official, the truth is they’re much less formal than the classic plain toe or cap-toe Oxford.
They are therefore extremely adaptable and ideal for casual business setting.
Double or single monk straps (often known as “double monks”) can be worn with chinos, trousers or jeans.
These are the best suits for men who are looking to be different from the rest and appreciate a bit of attention.
If you’re wearing a pair of leather double monks that are polished at work, I guarantee you’ll get some compliments
#6: DRESS BOOTS
Formality Level: Less formal than formal shoes; can be worn with casual business attire or smart casual attires but not suitable for formal settings.
Specific Characteristics to be Defining: Oxford or derby construction and above ankle height
Dress boots are fashionable throughout the year, but they’re an ideal alternative to formal shoes for autumn and winter as they provide more warmth and coverage as compared to a casual shoe.
Similar to dress shoes beginning at the ankle Dress boots are a great match with jeans or chinos. They can be worn with trousers, jeans, and even suits.
If you plan to wear dress shoes in an elegant setting, you should ensure they’re formal (i.e. it’s not a bulky, matte-finish work boot that has an incredibly solid rubber sole).
#7: CHELSEA BOOTS
Graduation Level of Formality: Range from dressy to casual, based on the silhouette, materials, and details. Not appropriate for formal settings.
Defining Characteristics: Above ankle height, elastic side panel, no laces
Although Chelsea boots come in various sizes and shapes They’re usually more formal than other kinds of boots.
The laces-free construction and the elastic side panel make them an ideal choice and it’s not difficult to locate Chelsea boots that look great with formal outfits.
Certain Chelsea boots can look great with suits. Make sure that they are of an elegant design and polished look.
#8: CHUKKA BOOTS
Formal Graduation: Range from dressy to casual, based on silhouette, materials , and particulars; not suitable for formal environments.
Defines Characteristics: Ankle height, lacing open 2- 5 pairs of eyeslets
Like Chelsea booties, the chukkas can be found in a variety of styles. Some are not appropriate for casual workplace attire.
A chukka is simply an ankle-high boot that comes with 2-5 pairs eyelets. They are typically made of suede or leather.
Desert Boots are kind of chukka which have plain uppers with crepe soles. They’re usually not formal enough for casual wear.
However, a traditional chukka boot goes perfect with formal jeans, chinos, or slacks. Many can wear with suits but a dress shoe is preferred in more formal places.