A Guide to Office wear for Men, and Why a Suit May No Longer Be Appropriate

Once, not all that long ago, a man was expected to wear a suit if he worked in an office. It wasn’t even really anything that was discussed; men wore suits, and that was that. Today things have changed, and in many cases, a suit would be seen to be too formal or ‘over the top’. We’ll look at why this is and what a man can wear instead.

Office wear

Why Men No Longer Wear Suits

Fashion changes all the time, but although this might initially seem to be the ultimate reason why men no longer wear suits (as much) to the office, and although it does play a small part, it’s not everything.

The main reason is that the suit, although perfect for some occasions, can be seen as out of touch, even old-fashioned. So as much as they might look smart, they give off the wrong impression in an office space. That’s why business casual attire came in. Read on to find out what this means and what men can wear instead of suits.

Smart Shirt

Even if you’re not going to be wearing a full suit, and you probably won’t be wearing a tie either, wearing a great shirt is crucial if you want to look smart, be comfortable, and be appropriately dressed for the office.

Have a number of shirts for men in your wardrobe, perhaps in a few different colours so you can mix and match your outfits. If you pick wisely, you can even use these shirts in your day-to-day life outside of work, making them more cost-effective and ensuring you can define your own style.

Good Trousers

So if you’re not wearing a suit, you’re going to need to work out what trousers to wear to the office – that’s essential. A great option to go for so that you can look and feel comfortable is to try chinos. These are a great midway point between suit trousers and something much less formal, such as jeans. Although some offices might accept smart jeans, chinos are a better option.

The reason to choose chinos is that they work very well with the nice shirts we mentioned. They’re also easier to style in terms of shoes. Plus, you can save your jeans for when you’re going on a date, or you’ve got a family gathering to go to, and you won’t feel so much like you’ve come straight from work.


Shoes can be a little more tricky than any other part of your work outfit, but the good news is there are many more styles than ever before, and you’re sure to find something that you’re comfortable in (uncomfortable shoes are not good for productivity) and that you feel fits in with the vibe of your office.

Although trainers might be your go-to in everyday life, you should stay away from them at work. After all, you’ve got plenty of other things to think about, such as Chelsea boots, loafers, brogues, or perhaps monk straps.

Because you won’t always (or ever) be wearing black trousers, you’re going to have to consider the colour of the shoe as well as the style. Brown or tan is a great option if you’re not sure what to pick.