Summertime Business Casual

It’s hot.  Really hot.  The kind of hot whose warm, humid air takes your breath away at 7AM when you step outside to go to work.  Hot is tough, but I’ll take it over cold weather every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Since most of us live in a business casual world, the monotony of khakis gets old.  I don’t care how great the lifestyle representation of *insert khaki brand*’s Instagram seems, wearing them five days a week can start to mess with your head.  Add in the summer heat, and expect rage.

What’s good?  Well, a lot of companies are starting to get this, and are beginning to produce clothing that fits the new business casual rules.  Not only will these new cuts and fits meet your company’s HR policies, but they will keep you cool during the Summer months:

From top left:

1. Finamore Napoli White Dress Shirt:  This might be the most important part of a summer wardrobe.  A good white shirt goes with everything, reflects heat, and fits well.  Think of this as the workhorse of your summer wardrobe.
2. Sid Mashburn Garment-Dyed Patch Pocket Sport Jacket:  Wool is pretty tough in the summertime; it’s hot.  Opt instead for a linen/cotton blend in a dark color for a professional look.  It’ll break in well.
3. Ledbury Hadley Check Dress Shirt:  Everyone loves a linen shirt, but most of them look like a huge Tommy Bahama-off-the-sale-rack option that only gets worn around the pool.  Companies like Ledbury have heard the call, and started producing linen and linen blend shirts in their signature cuts, still including higher arm holes, more formal collars, and plaids, which don’t show wrinkles like solids do…
4. Brooklyn Tailors Indigo Denim Dress Shirt:  When most people think about a denim shirt, they think about something ill-fitting, thick, bulletproof.  Think again, readers.  Today’s denim shirts are thin denim, which hold their shape better than chambray, but will break in and become as soft in no time.
5. Patrick Ervell Twill Jeans:  Jeans that aren’t jeans.  This is one of the best tricks in today’s business casual.  5-pocket style is GREAT in the summertime.  They aren’t as stiff as khakis, but still meet the dress code.  The key is to give them a quick iron before wearing them – NO CREASE (iron them flat).
6. Anderson’s Woven Belt:  A belt with a little flare…not too much; you get it.
7. J.Brand Kane Slim Straight Garment Dyed Jeans:  “Garment Dyed” is a great giveaway that the pants are not denim.
8. Southern Proper Linen & Wool Gentleman’s Jacket:  Some meetings need a jacket.  100% wool isn’t ideal, so blend it with linen and you are in business.  The Southern Proper girls know what’s up.
9. Naked & Famous Weird Guy Selvedge Chinos:  Pair these Naked & Famous chinos with #11 below, the Ledbury shirt and the Southern Proper jacket, and you will be dressed better than 90% of the khaki army.
10. Allen Edmonds Concord Bit Loafers:  No suede in summer?  Whatever.  I don’t like that rule, and you shouldn’t either.
11. Grenson Scott Tassel Loafers:  More suede, but in a darker shade.  Bring the big guns…

I’d love to hear your thoughts…how do you cheat in the Summer?



  1. JNN
    06/25/2015 / 10:54 AM

    I work in hi-tech in Austin, so office dress code expectations may be different than a lot of places, but my summer kit is a modular array of grey tropical worsted trousers and Italian denim jeans for the bottom half, Sid Mashburn sport shirts or Uniqlo pique polos for the top half, and a wide array of shoes (Grenson, AE, Gucci) and belts. A jacket only if I’m giving external presentations.

    If it rains I through on my navy lightweight Patagonia windbreaker but I need a better warm weather solution for that.

  2. 06/25/2015 / 12:47 PM

    What’s up with the funky sleeve buttons on the Southern Proper Jacket? Seems a little wonky to have the back two functional and the front two non-functional so you can never actually button up the sleeve. Beautiful fabric and cut, but those sleeves are a deal-breaker.

  3. Michael Warren
    06/26/2015 / 4:39 PM

    I love wearing my suede shoes in the summer. As a matter of fact the day you posted this entry I was wearing my light blue poplin pants along with a yellow button down oxford and my suede shoes!Keep up the cool work RCS! Cheers

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