Casual dressing takes more work than meets the eye. Here’s a simple primer on doing it right.
As the term suggests, ‘casual’ dressing signifies a departure from formal dressing. It comprises more relaxed fits and silhouettes, softer fabrics, more vibrant colours and sometimes, even an element of quirk.
However, most men equate casual with ‘sloppy’. It is not about wearing the first thing you find, whether the garment is washed or ironed or not. It is also not about not caring what you look like, since you’re only going out to meet friends from your neighbourhood. Pulling on old and tattered shorts and a bedraggled tee is not casual dressing at all! Also, casual dressing is not just about meeting people you know well. It can also be an informal meeting with a prospective boss, or a first date with a woman you’ve only recently met.
The point is, you dress differently from your office self when you’re casually dressed. Now let’s move on to putting your casual look together.
Get the right clothes. There are a few points to bear in mind when dressing casually. First, it’s not about the brands you wear but about picking clothes that are on trend. Browse the latest collections on a good shopping app to get an idea of what’s hot at the moment. Second, it’s about wearing relaxed but fitted clothing like shorts and jeans, with slightly looser tees and hip length shirts. There are no restrictions on the colours you pick. However, be sure to match and complement colours and fits correctly to appear stylish instead of gawky. When it comes to tees, graphic prints are in this season. Take care to ensure a good fit on the shoulders, hips and waist.
The shoes are important. Another important feature of casual dressing is wearing the right casual shoes for men. Formal leather shoes with laces are not ideal. Instead, invest in casual shoes for men comprising canvas, rexine, faux leather and suede. Pretty much anything goes, from Crocs to flip flops, but the kind of casual shoes for men that you pick depends on the length and type of pants, and the overall look you are aiming for.
Accessorise, but not too much. Once your clothing and footwear is sorted, you can turn to buying accessories like perfumes, wallets, hair and skin care products, etc. Start with a great new cologne, with a sporty or aqua fragrance that is present without being overpowering. Next, get a new wallet that will fit comfortably in your back pocket without bulging – it must hold all your money, cards and other essentials since you ideally should not carry a bag when you’re casually dressed. After this, invest in a light moisturiser and sun block cream, as also some hair mousse/gel to slick your hair in place. The thumb rule with accessorising casually is to have every element present without any of them being too visible.