What types of shoes should you wear in a business casual environment? This guide has everything you need to know.
If you work in a more casual workplace, then you probably won’t need more than 1-3 pairs of dress shoes that can be reserved for more formal settings.
But if your job leans more towards business casual, you’ll want some more shoes to rotate between.
A good rule of thumb is to at least own one pair of dress shoes in your wardrobe, regardless if you work at a casual office or not.
Five Business Casual Shoes
The Oxford is often referred to as the most elegant one amongst all of the dress shoes. It’s characterized by the closed lacing construction where the shoelace eyelets tabs are attached under the vamp.
The Oxford is the most dressier shoe of them all, but they are not all created equal. There are differences between a plain toe Oxford in calf leather and an Oxford in suede with decorative perforations.
How to wear them: Wear them smart. What we mean by that is to wear them together with dressier clothes such as a suit or at least dressier trousers and a nice shirt.
Derby shoes with brogue details are a less formal alternative to the Oxford. It’s more relaxed and for many considered the perfect daily companion to both denim and tailored garments.
How to wear them: A pair in dark brown, burgundy or black calf works well with a suit while suede often adds a casual yet polished touch to denim or chinos.
If you don’t already own a pair of penny loafers, it’s time to add it to your collection. These shoes are an obvious essential item for any man. They can easily be worn in both casual or more dressed up settings.
How to wear them: A typical outfit amongst the men at the Morjas office usually consist of straight-legged jeans, knitwear in cashmere and a pair of penny loafers in suede or calf. You can also dress them up together with a suit. It will be more formal but not as formal as it would be with a pair of Oxfords. More on how to wear Penny Loafers here.
The Chelsea Boot comes in many shapes and sizes and they are often a bit more polished and dressier than other types of boots due to the sleek and minimal look.
How to wear them: If you want a more casual look then go for a pair of suede Chelsea boots together with denim or chinos. Want to take it up a notch and be a bit sharper? Go for the calf and wear it with a pair of smart wool trousers or even a suit. More on how to wear Chelsea Boots here.
Wearing sneakers in a business casual environment may feel a bit strange. But the key here is to make sure that they are clean, sleek and not too bold. Preferably in muted colours. A good rule is: Bend the rules but don’t break them completely.
Five Business Casual Shoes