Cigar Lifestyle

Dress to Impress: Business Casual Done Right

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In professional offices all across America, bosses are recognizing the benefits of a more relaxed corporate culture. In many ways, this trend was preceded by a similar relaxing of American cultural mores: from our interactions to the things we wear, things have changed, a lot. Gone are the days of three piece suits, fedoras, and extended formalities, replaced in favor of “business casual.”


“Business casual” is a pretty open concept, and can mean anything from jeans and a t-shirt to a suit-minus-the-tie-and-jacket. Often this is specified by the employer, but many opt to let common sense reign, with some obvious exceptions (shorts, leather chaps, and mankinis come to mind).


Still, even if today’s complete man isn’t excessively coiffed, he knows that looking good feels good, and that feeling good inspires confidence. With that in mind, here are our tips for putting business casual to work for you.



Even if it isn’t spelled out in the company handbook, avoid T-shirts, if at all possible. But if you must, refrain from wearing cutesy graphic tees or anything with a ton of branding all over it. You’re in the office to be productive, not drink beers and shoot pool. Look the part.


Other acceptable shirt options include a simple polo shirt, button down, or even a dress shirt with the top button unbuttoned. All of these options are nearly as comfortable as a tee, and communicate that you’re on the ball.



If denim is on the program, then opt for a conservative cut in a dark wash. Avoid baggy or loose-fitting jeans, or the inexplicably popular “skinny jeans.” While these may work for you in a casual setting, they communicate that you’re at work to relax. Pressing jeans may not be necessary, but neither should they have sat in the dryer for days on end accumulating wrinkles.


Better yet: trousers. Black, olive, tan, and grey are all solid choices, but the fashion-forward among us may be able to pull off more advanced options. Again, they don’t have to be pressed and starched (though it helps), just so long as they’re not wrinkly.



Repeat after me: I will not wear flip-flops on casual Friday. Open-toed footwear may not be explicitly verboten, but know there is a difference between casual and business casual. Other options to avoid include sneakers (including Chuck Taylors), moccasins, and casual canvas shoes. Instead, go for boat shoes (often called docksiders) or, if you’re wearing slacks anyway, a pair of casual dress shoes. 

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Lou Tenney

Lou Tenney

When he's not busy writing, editing, smoking cigars, or raising his many, many children, Hayward " "It's Lou, not Hayward" " Tenney spends his days combating confusion about his real name (it's Hayward, but please - call him " "Lou" ") and mourning the matrimonially-induced loss of his moustache (what's he gonna do with all that moustache wax he made?).

Show all Lou Tenney's Articles

Cigar News: Foundation El Güegüense Famous Exclusivo Cigars Arrive at Famous Smoke Shop

Reading Time: 2 minutes Foundation Cigar’s Nicholas Melillo has a gift for Famous Smoke Shop this Holiday season. He recently announced the release of the limited edition El Güegüense Toro Box Press cigar made exclusively for Famous Smoke Shop. Read more about it here.

Read More
cigar advisor panel review aj fernandez new world dorado - cover

CA Review Panel: AJ Fernandez New World Dorado

Reading Time: 7 minutes The Panel critiques AJ Fernandez’s New World Dorado cigars selection. These box-pressed Nicaraguan puros feature tobaccos from the first harvest of AJ’s Dorado farm. Watch this cigar review now to see whether this AJ release has struck gold or struck out.

Read More
cigar advisor top new cigars 5/2/2022 - cover

CA Report: Top New Cigars (May 2, 2022)

Reading Time: 3 minutes In this edition of Top New Cigars we’re reviewing unique blends from Partagas and Plasencia featuring aged tobaccos, and a Southern Draw Famous Exclusive Lancero with a purpose.

Read More
top new cigars May 11 2020 Cigar Advisor Cover

CA Report: Top New Cigars (May 11 2020)

Reading Time: 3 minutes The boutique cigar brand took social media by storm – Viva La Vida – has now arrived at Famous, along with fresh blends from Romeo y Julieta and Villiger. Check them out now!

Read More