Professional AND Hip Mens Clothing?
December 29, 2020 9:18 AM   Subscribe

Where should I shop for "hip" business casual clothes?

I'm looking to dress more professionally while not simply looking like a khaki clad office drone. I work in a creative industry. In my personal life I dress with a slight punk rock aesthetic. Where should I be looking for interesting clothing that would fit with a "business casual" dress code while still expressing some style? I already shop at Descendant of Thieves, and I like their button down shirts, but their pant cuts tend to be a little oddball for me.
posted by soy_renfield to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: For pants I like Outlier’s stuff a lot (good colors, high quality, and cut well, if $$), but pants are generally going to be pants, as long as you avoid super-normie cuts and colors. You may get better bang-for-buck with accessories like shoes, belts, socks, and interesting blazers. Uniqlo’s styles aren’t the most interesting, but inexpensive enough to experiment a bit with mixing in more fashion-forward stuff. Even simple things like mixing “personal-life” clothes like a nice hoodie or t-shirt with business-casual attire does a lot to express style in that context

I like clothes and fashion advice aimed at office-job bike commuters, even now that I’m not bike commuting— tends towards interesting, cut well, and durable.
posted by supercres at 9:38 AM on December 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

late 40s ska/punk/new waver here, who lost decades to slacks and khaki pants after selling off my vintage clothes and extensive doc marten collection--it was a huge mistake. i've been trying to reclaim some of my personal style at work--band, sci-fi, coffee company t-shirts with a stretchy comfy wicking uniqlo blazer, were getting me a lot of compliments on "casual" fridays, so I started working it into the normal week. I had noticed that the people who stood out a little bit had more power, and more respect than the 'drones.' Rock out to your slight punk aesthetic. A blazer goes a long way. During 2020 i've mostly worked from home, but have only gone into the office in those sorts of outfits.
posted by th3ph17 at 10:27 AM on December 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

So much depends on your specific office culture, how often you're expected to interact with clients, and so on, but I think in general the standard for hitting hip and professional in menswear is pretty forgiving.

Start with your classic khakis and Oxford shirt combo. Boring and predictable, right? Not if you pay attention to the details. First things first: check the fit. Don't go with pants that are comically tight for the office, and don't go with a pair that are so baggy it looks like your mom picked them out. Shop around until you find the fit and fabric that works best for your body type, and then buy a few pairs in different colors (grey, navy, etc.).

Stores like Everlane are made for stocking up on your basics, and once you have your basics squared away you can start riffing more on your personal style -- fun socks, no socks, vintage belts and wristwatches, eccentric eyeglass frames, and so on. And if you're going to splurge on any part of your wardrobe, make it footwear -- well-made shoes or boots are going to cost you a pretty penny, but they should last you several years and can elevate any outfit.
posted by good use of time at 12:10 PM on December 29, 2020

Also: I’ve successfully defended against decades of office-drone business casual by wearing only one interesting thing at a time. This is a good way to circumvent a dress code, too. Wear sneakers, wear a band T shirt, wear jeans—but not all at the same time. Like, wear the oxford shirt and khakis but with creepers or boots. Or wear that band shirt with skinny pants and a sport coat. And black jeans can go anywhere.
posted by scratch at 2:43 PM on December 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

(While I'm aware that Fred Perry has repeatedly disavowed the Proud Boys, I wouldn't count on everyone in my office having gotten the memo.)
posted by box at 3:08 PM on December 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Corridor and Todd Snyder are popular brands right now. Corridor is somewhat youthful and fashion-y, which should held you avoid the boring biz casual look. Todd Snyder is a like a higher quality and more interesting J. Crew.

If you want to go deep on this, the Male Fashion Advice subreddit is a good place to start.
posted by TurnKey at 4:11 PM on December 29, 2020

Bonobos is worth some browsing.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 7:23 PM on December 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

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