Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s many internet friends has asked the Manolo the question.
I would appreciate your comments on the proper way to dress for business casual. I am a civil engineer and I live in Austin, TX where we have summer type weather for 7 to 8 months of the year. In my business dealings, if you see a guy in a suit, he’s an attorney. Ties are infrequently worn by my colleagues, my clients or the government workers and elected officials that we deal with. Some wear sports coats and I like to wear sports coats when the weather is cool (under 80 F). Jeans are worn by approximately 40 percent of the people I deal with. The rest wear khakis or slacks with golf shirts, casual shirts or long sleeve dress shirts. I don’t like to wear jeans, so I always wear khakis.
Most of the US “sunbelt” is similar in that most men dress business casual every work day but Austin seems to be more casual than most. Any hints that you could provide for dressing to look extra sharp in this business environment (without spending a fortune) will be greatly appreciated.
Manolo says, it is a sad day indeed when even the engineers they have given up the wearing of the cravat with their dress shirts of the short sleeves.
Having said this, the Manolo he will tell you that you are in the essence doing the right thing, wearing the new uniform of the lamentably casual American workplace. Manolo says, when in the Rome, wear the well-draped toga. When in the Austin, wear the high-quality khakis and the nice shirt.
The modern reality is that the business casual it has become the standard for most of the American mens, and so we must adapt ourselves to this new situation, even it we do not like or approve of it.
You are also correct in intuiting that this new standard of the dress it is as unforgiving in its way as the wearing of the suit and tie, in some of the ways worse, as before there was always the possibility of distinguishing oneself with the choice of the tie, or the impeccable cut of the suit.
Manolo says, here are some of the rules for the business casual, so that you may both blend in with the fashion, but at the same time stand out for your superior taste.
In the general the Manolo would tell you to wear the high-quality, long-sleeve, cotton, button-down oxford shirt with the high-quality khaki pants, or perhaps the summer-weight wool pants; never the jeans of blue, and only rarely the shirt for polo. As for the pattern of the shirt it should be solid, or perhaps the muted tattersall, or even a crisp bold stripe.
The Manolo he would tell you that this it is not exciting, but you will now set yourself apart by doing the following: Your clothes they must always be pressed by the professional, it makes your clothes look their best. Your shoes, (or perhaps, your boots of the cowboy) they must be shined, or if suede well-cared for, and well-heeled.
Your accessories, your belt, and watch of the wrist, they should be of the excellent quality, but conservative. Leave the Rolex to the stars of the hop and hip. (Soon, the Manolo he will address the issue of the proper wristwatch.)
You should add to this a navy blue hopsack blazer of good quality, or perhaps lightweight sports coat in a muted check or plaid. Do these things and you will stand out from 95 of the percent of the peoples. So many peoples they use the “business casual” as the excuse to be the sloppy.
Manolo says, as you have seen, this it is not the science of the rocket, or the surgery of the brain. This style of the dress, it is the basic commonsense; good quality, conservative cut, and the attention paid to the neatness and appearance of the clothes, without appearing overly fussy. But, then, the Manolo he suspects that his friend he knows all of this already.