Business Casual Men’s Shoes & How To Wear Them


Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette and
our series on business casual clothing. Today, we discuss shoes and we go more in
depth about different work settings and how you can put your best foot forward so you
could look always stylish. If you have not already done so, please check
out our general dress code guides or five different outfits and what to wear to the
office here. Business casual today is one of the most widely
spread dress codes yet it’s often vaguely defined. Because of that, we created an in-depth guide
but the golden rule to keep in mind is that you always have to adapt to your company and
the culture within. There’s no point in following all the advice
we provide in our video if your company is extremely casual or extremely formal. You simply have to figure that out and the
best way to do that is to observe what others are wearing or to ask your supervisor. Well-made shoes from quality leather that
is expertly polished can really upgrade a cheap suit, at the same time, a cheap pair
of shoes can bring down a $5,000 bespoke suit. So first, let’s look at what business casual
shoes mean in a context of traditional white-collar environments such as law firms. Because you’re on this traditional environment,
chances are even business casual is more formal than in other places. Now that doesn’t mean that you should wear
your black cap toe oxford because that would still be too formal and while it’s good with
suits for business casual, you can be a bit more daring. For one that means wearing a derby shoe. Derbys have an open lacing system and because
of that, they’re always slightly less formal than an oxford. Also, I would stay clear of black derbys,
instead I would opt for brown ones because brown is one of those shades that has just
a hundred or thousand different colors with little variations and so you can never have
enough brown shoes. When I say brown I also mean red shoes, either
reddish brown, burgundy, or oxblood. These are all fantastic colors for business
casual even in a formal environment. My favorite derby shoe of mine comes in Burgundy,
it’s made of a Parisian last which is still quite elegant and so I can work with a suit
or for business casual very easily. Alternatively, I could wear a burgundy monk
strap, either in dark chocolate brown or maybe in red. Apart from that color scheme, I would not
branch out into others because it would maybe be too casual for such a traditional environment. That means no gray shoes, no olive green shoes,
stick with shades of brown and you’ll be good. Whether that’s a very dark brown, a medium
brown, chestnut brown, or very light tan, is up to you but just keep in mind the lighter
shade of brown, the more casual the shoe. Likewise, the more broguing you have on the
shoe, the more casual it is. Apart from the color, leather texture can
also have a huge impact on how it’s perceived. For example, suede shoes are always softer
and more casual. So for example, a dark brown suede shoe will
look about as informal or casual as a regular polished leather tan shoe. Overall, it’s very important that your shoes
work well not just with the rest of your outfit but with the socks and the pants in particular
because they’re right next to your shoe. To learn how you can put together interesting
outfits that work pretty well in a business casual environment please check out this video
here. Second, let’s go a notch down and determine
what business casual shoes look like in other traditional environments that are not quite
as formal. If you work in the service industry, in sales,
or other trade positions, chances are you still have client contact and even though
it’s not required of you to be well dressed, and sometimes it may come off as aloof or
not appropriate, people will still judge you and if you look frumpy in sweatpants with
a hole that are all dirty, people will think less highly of you, they will assume that
you’re less competent than if you would wear let’s say a nice dress shirt with a pair of
chinos. If you are just at the office and never have
client contact, your employer will likely have specific ideas of what’s acceptable and
what’s not. If that’s not your office, I suggest to just
stay clear of sneakers because sneakers are quite casual. The same is true for tennis shoes,
Nikes, Adidas, it’s simply not work appropriate shoes.Fine for gym not for the office. In this segment, one of my favorite colors
is green which is highly underrated in menswear and I talk more about why and how in this
video. Just think about adding a dark green oxford
full brogue wingtip shoe in suede, it’s quite dark, people wouldn’t notice it right away
yet it’s very different than a traditional dark brown wingtip oxford. Alternatively, a nice olive green with a beautiful
patina on an elegant long last is really something that will provide a lot of contrast with the
pants and slacks you’re wearing therefore, it’ll stand out in a way but it’s still subtle
enough that it could be mistaken for a dark brown shoe at first glance. In recent years, dress shoes uppers with white
rubber or sneaker soles have become extremely popular. Now personally, I don’t wear those because
I either want to go casual and wear boat shoes or some sneakers or I wear leather dress shoes
with a leather sole. That being said, if you really dig the white
rubber soles on a shoe, simply go for it, it’s something that you can wear, you can
pull it off, it’s definitely more of a statement and I’ve even seen like red soles, yellow
soles, or blue soles, so assume that people will judge you, they will make assumptions
about you, and if you’re okay with that and you can wear it confidently, go for it. Of course, if you’re into classic men’s clothing
and a traditionalist, this is not an option for you and in that case, stay with nicely
polished leather shoes. So what about regular rubber soles? While they are acceptable and no one will
ever call you out for it, personally, I much rather prefer leather soles. The sound they make, the way they roll on
my foot, the way they feel, all of these are attributes I appreciate about the leather
sole and I would not switch to a rubber sole. So what do you do if it rains heavily you
might wonder? Well, I have leather boots with rubber soles
because they’re usually a little more casual and if it’s raining a lot, having a lace-up
boot that is above my ankle always comes in handy to protect my feet from getting wet
and cold. Apart from the shoes mentioned, you can also
experiment with spectators in this segment which again are quite loud and traditionally,
you have black and white ones which I think is not such a good combination because it
is black, quite formal, white makes it informal. Instead, a brown and maybe off-white spectator
or a navy with a gray spectator are really great. You could think about saddle shoes or just
more unusual shoes. In general though, I always suggest you stay
clear of square-toed shoes, rubber soles or any kind of metalwork or reflective letters
such as silver or gold because they’re not really part of a gentleman’s wardrobe. So what are business casual shoes in a start-up
environment? Frankly, the sky’s the limit and it can be
anything from flip-flop over vans to very extraordinary Gucci loafers. Most startups won’t even have a dress code
and so it’s all about what you’re comfortable with and about their culture and how you fit
in. Now, just because you can wear anything doesn’t
mean everything has the same level of benefits for you. That being said, a nice pair of leather shoes
or boots will always make you look more dapper and more grown-up than wearing some colorful
sneakers or tennis shoes. In terms of colors or leather textures, really
anything under the sun goes here. Even flip-flops or alpargatas are acceptable
but frankly, I would simply not wear that but I guess I’m not telling you anything new
here. Now that we covered three different environments,
let’s talk about general guidelines that may help you to look stylish in your workplace. The general advice to your wardrobe and if
you want the biggest bang for your buck and the lowest cost per wear, I strongly suggest
to not invest in shoes that fuse modern style and traditional style. Why you might wonder? Well, matching together formal and informal
elements will mean it’s a very trendy shoe and it may be great at the moment but it’s
just a fashion and a fad and it will disappear in just a few years of time. So even if you have the most highest quality
leather shoe with a blue sole, chances are you will be tired of it in a year from now. Instead, buy classically styled shoes and
try to find something that works with your style. For example, you can go with medium brown
penny loafers or you could go with cordovan tassel loafers. Alternatively, if you want even more casual,
you can have suede green tassel loafers which are very casual yet still classically rooted. Because it’s business casual, broguing or
hole perforations or decorations are always welcome and an element you should incorporate
if you want to tone things down and make them easier to look at and less formal. Similarly to jeans, that should be avoided
in a formal office environment unless expressly approved by management. You should also keep sneakers out of the office. Now that you know a lot about business casual
shoes, there are times when you should avoid wearing them and step up your shoe game and
just be a little more formal. For example, think of important meetings with
a board maybe with their most important client or the CEO who is known to be a clothes horse. In those situations, you definitely want to
take it up a notch and put your best foot forward. During work related events, conferences or
symposia where you represent your company or maybe during a media interview, it really
pays to have nice leather dress shoes in a darker color because they won’t stand out
and people won’t just focus on your shoes but rather on what you say and the point you
want to bring across. Likewise, if you’re interviewing for a position,
it always pays to put on the proper interview attire and to learn more about that as well
as other interview preparation guides please check out this video series here. In summary, the dress-code business casual
is not easy to master when it comes to shoes because it can mean different things at different
times at different companies, however, using the three-tier approach of formal environment,
less formal environment, and casual environment, it can really help you to nail it and put
your best foot forward. Last but not least, if you’re unsure whether
if something is appropriate or not, chances are it is inappropriate. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have thought about
it in the first place and if even that doesn’t help, always keep in mind being slightly overdressed
is always favorable to being slightly underdressed. That being said if you enjoyed this video
please give us a thumbs up subscribe to our Channel so videos like this come right to
your inbox and also make sure to check out our other videos about business casual dress
code. in today’s outfit i am wearing a mid-level
business casual outfit that does not contain a tie or any form of neckwear it consists
of a white blue check shirt with a button down color which is rather casual I am pairing
it with a green sport coat and chinos likewise I’ll add a brown pair of penny loafers it’s
medium brown it contrasts for the chinos yet my pocket square picks up the brown tones
as well as the blue tones and tie everything together it’s from Fort Belvedere and you
can find it in our shop here just like my blue and navy stripe shadow socks that are
contrasting between the pants and shoes but since they’re dark and I pick up blue in the
shirt and the pocket square it all works harmoniously together

71 Comments

  • LOVE THIS CHANNEL! ❤️I wear Vintage Suits Everyday with pride

  • 2nd like

  • Love your aesthetic!

  • I have to admit that since i discovered this channel i watch it allot. I don't even have enough money to dress like that but at least i try.

  • Hello I want to thank you for all you do on this Chanell. I've learned quite a bit from you keep up the outstanding work here 👏🏽👏🏽

  • Where I live, the cowboy boot is a universal shoe. They can be casual, business casual, or formal. Just depends on how well polished they are and how ornate the lower is (never tuck pants into the tops of cowboy boots no matter how ornate the upper is, that's very low class and looks terrible)

    Edit: for a very formal pair you might look for a pair made of exotic leather and/or a pair with silver/gold boot tips and heel guards

  • Very nice examples
    Thank you so much
    From India

  • As I've said many times, as someone in finance and who lives on the East Coast, it's basically suits all day every day. However, I view 'business casual' as my personal brand of 'off time' clothing, usually with little tweaks. For example, I have a cordovan loafer from Ace Marks that I got with the leather sole painted blue. Invisible unless I show the underside, it adds just that little pop of sprezzatura that I enjoy.

    Another delightful video, I really enjoy this series on business casual, and I share it with all my male friends (in the hopes of converting a few sneaker lovers!).

  • Like the jacket.

  • I like that jacket. I’m trying to incorporate more green in my dress

  • Uber cool video ! 🙂

  • 1:17 will stay etched in my mind for days to come.

  • Why don't you tapper your pants

  • In that video Raphael‘s English is a little strange. Did he have a conversation in German just before recording the video?
    I‘m from GER myself, and some phrases in that video reminded me of German.

  • Green rules.

  • at my company everyboy dresses like slobs….so not difficult to be" overdressed" and outshine em all.

  • where did you get the dark brown whole cut shoes ?

  • Do rubber soles last longer than leather soles?

  • Up till now I've not really had contact with many businesses where the business code is really that formal, especially when there is close contact with a client company I've found that good colour matched Chino's and jackets etc. not really black/navy suits. Don't really know how true this is in other places thought, would love to hear.

  • I work in a big factory's management department, where I never meet any customers. Patterned shirts, jeans and sneakers with a modest design (I have a mid-brown suede pair) are perfectly acceptable here.

  • Where I live, any leather-soled shoes, no matter how brogued or embellished they are, are considered "church shoes". No one seems to know (or care about) the difference in formality. It's rather sad…

  • I tend to wear rubber soled shoes, because the remaining leather pair I own (which has not really been worn) is very slippery, and thanks to an accident a few years ago, I have some trouble walking and balancing. I also live in the UK, so its often rather wet.

    Is there some way I can make the grip on the shoes better (other than sticking rubber on the bottom), or should I just continue with my rubber soles in your opinion?

  • Yes! My kinda style.

  • i am a 77 year old woman so none of this applies to me. however, you are so darn cute and your videos are so darn cute i love to watch them

  • oh..you don't like rubber soles….apparently you do not live in the northeast United States where you life depends on non skid rubber soles.

  • I only discovered this channel today and have binge watched it this afternoon, thanks for the great content! I actually have a video request, its for filler words, as i um like seem to um have an er issue with like using them subconsciously and i'm trying to up my game a little, any tips on how to recognise and stop using them so much? cheers Nate

  • These videos are just STELLAR. They're detailed, informative, and entertaining. You can rely on this information for ANY type of event or situation, and with that, you can know that your presentation to the world will be one that is of the highest order. Thanks again, Raphael.

  • what a about boots

  • Sometime I just rewatch some of the videos on this channel because I love seeing such wonderful outfits.

  • Thank you very much for the video; what do you think of rubber outsole that covers the leather sole to protect it from the elements?

  • Great advice here Raphael 🤘🏼

  • Can you do a series where you review and talk about suits and outfits from movies?

  • Raphael is back, thank god.

  • Sven, what do you think about the M40 greatcoat?

  • Looking good Sven!

  • Business casual in law firms is pretty casual

  • where did you get the shirt your wearing in the video?

  • The dress shoes with the white rubber soles are the ugliest thing I have ever seen.

  • As a real estate agent, what would be the best choice to go with. I hate super casual fits, so what should I do?

  • As much as I like them, I find it hard to wear leather-soled shoes. Even when it's not raining where I am in New York, sidewalks are always wet for one reason or another. Maybe Dainite soles are a good compromise?

  • Been always waiting on your opinion on shearling jackets..

  • Love the green jacket, look great as usual, keep up the great work. 🙂

  • wow! I love those navy and grey suede spectators.

  • Tan Double monk strap shoes with the matching leather belt and kahki dockers with a navy blue and white dress shirt ss wrist watch and light mist of cologne… Made my lady melt like Candy…anyways thanks for the vids big thumbs upp

  • Your style and the coordinating of accessories is so awesome. It is unfortunate that I never see men dressed like you. Most men have no idea of how to dress.

  • Great video clip there Raffael.Most informative.

  • That 🌴 background 🤦‍♂️

  • You have to have some rubber soled shoes if you walk any distance is wet, snowy weather.

  • Few men can pull of a green jacket and be stylish.
    This man is one of them

  • How do you feel about the turtleneck sweater beneath a dress shirt finished with a blazer?

  • Can you bring back is it worth it?

  • At 9:29, what's the brand of that mid brown penny loafer? They look amazing

  • you need to do a 'how to wear purple' video

  • I was wondering, where did you get the green coat? Thanks!

  • You move your mouth very weirdly when talking but I can't exactly pinpoint why I find it weird… exaggerated, unnatural movements of the mouth perhaps?

  • Please on april fools dress in sportswear and pretend like it's normal.

  • Could someone recommend me a channel as this one, but made for women, please? I wish you created "Lady's gazette" or something similar, as this channel seems very interesting, although exclusive for men, sadly:)

  • You look like a old g-eazy

  • Who needs to pay those expensive manner classes when you can just learn free from this true gentleman!Great work man!

  • Are white buckskin shoes too informal?

  • gloves?

  • What about Louis Vuitton?

  • 17 formal business wearers clutched their pearls

  • You have a nice style… 👍👏

  • Make a video on leather jackets

  • I go with Ecco boots in wet weather.

  • My office doesn't have customer interaction, so a lot of people just wear jeans, s t-shirt, and sneakers. I'm about the only guy who wears driving mocs, loafers, Chukka boots etc. at the office. As for clothing I typically wear a dark wash jean paired in the winter with a nice sweater or dress shirt and sportcoat and in the summer a nice short sleeve dress shirt or a polo shirt. I've had co-workers say I'm the only one in the office with style lol. I definitely agree with not dressing down just cause everyone else is. Know your environment and dress accordingly even if nobody else is.

  • I work in tech as a programmer, I’ve started wearing brown derbys and feel more comfortable this way even if I get more looks now. When autumn comes I’ll try adding some tweed to my wardrobe and I will probably be seen as pretentious by some and dapper by others.

    One of the comments I’ve gotten for my shoes is ”what are you doing on this floor? Sales is down there!”
    The culture in tech is very much acting like you’re above dressing up or that you don’t care, which is something I don’t particularly agree with.

  • Your tips are always amazing, Rapha. I'm trying to adapt them to my workplace in Sao Paulo, but it's not easy to dress more elegantly in Brazil. Everything here is so casual… I work in a newspaper where people hardly wear leather shoes. It's 90% sneakers and tennis shoes…

  • Please tell me who makes the olive green derby's pictured in your video.

  • Since I discover your channel I have change my whole wardrobe I'm 45 year old. now I dress age appropriate like you mention once thank you I feel great.

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