Casual style is usually one of three things - 1) something guys don't put much thought into (oh, it's Saturday, I think I'll just wear my workout gear all day) 2) have no idea how to achieve or 3) is so perfectly put together it looks effortless. Obviously you should be trying to achieve the third. It can be difficult to put together a casual look that looks good but doesn't look like you're trying to hard - this is one of the most common style questions I receive. I've said it before and I'll say it again... style should appear effortless - it should look like you put thought into your look, put it on and then forgot about it. If you're too matchy-matchy or look like you put too much time into it, you might as well put on a suit and call it a day.
Calgary has some really, really great men's shops that will help you step up your casual style game. My favourites include Leo Boutique, Modern Menswear, Understudy Shop and Less 17. Each of these shops offers unique brands that you won't find at the malls and is run by trendy dudes who definitely know where it's at, style-wise.
When putting together a casual outfit, there are a few things you should consider;
- The occasion.
- The weather.
- The fit.
- The colours.
Different occasions call for different levels of casual. If you're going to your local coffee shop to meet with a friend or do some work, your look can be a lot more casual than if you are going to a non-formal (aka, casual) dinner. Know the occasion, know the venue and plan accordingly.
Here are a couple ideas for different occasions.
Coffee Shop - jeans, tee shirt or casual button-up, sneakers or boots and a sweater.
Informal dinner - dark denim, Chelsea boots, printed button-up and a sport coat.
The weather in Calgary can change in an instant - know the forecast and layer appropriately. For cold days, a wool scarf can be worn with a jacket and leather driving gloves can be added if need be.
In general, if your clothing fits properly, it probably looks good. When purchasing clothing, ensure it is the proper size and if it needs to be tailored, get it tailored. Many guys don't fit off-the-rack clothing perfectly - especially when it comes to jackets. It could be the nicest, most expensive brand in the store but if it doesn't fit right, it won't look good.
When it comes to colours, less is more, especially for casual wear. You may have that one colour that you love, or you've been told looks good on you - wear it but ensure that it is kept to a minimum. If you're wanting to incorporate a brighter colour, a pair of funky socks will do the trick.
- You can never go wrong with a white button-up.
- Dark denim is ALWAYS appropriate.
- Always, always wear good shoes.
- Blazers or fitted jackets (like the one Adam is wearing above) should be worn if the occasion is up-scale casual.
Put some thought into it, consider the weather, the occasion, the fit and the colours and you will be well on your way to perfect casual style! Don't forget to check out the local Calgary shops to update your casual style wardrobe, or drop me a line if you need help!
- Ensemble Style Calgary