How To Wear a Suit (When You'd Rather Dress Casually)

This may be a biased opinion, but we believe that every man should own at least one suit. A suit is the quintessential menswear item. No matter the time of year, the weather, or time of day, a suit can work—when styled appropriately.

When we’re fitting a guy for a suit we always start the conversation by asking how they plan to wear it — like if they plan to wear it for a special occasion, for work, or just to wear as part of their clothing rotation. 

We talk to so many guys each week and always ask this question — and we often hear feedback that sounds similar. And it goes something like this:

“I just don’t like to dress up. I don’t feel comfortable in a suit… it doesn’t feel like my style.”

If that sounds like you then we have you covered:

How to Wear a Suit … When You’d Rather Dress Casually

  1. Forget The Tie

The absolute easiest way to dress down a suit is to lose the tie and unbutton the top 1-2 buttons on your shirt. This instantly takes the dressiness factor down a few notches and brings the coolness level up a few.

How to Go No-Tie

Since the tie is often one of the parts of a suit that instantly draws one’s attention, and in some ways is the focal point of a look, Anthony from our Durham, NC store at the Streets of Southpoint recommends to have another eye-catching element when you go sans-tie.

“When I go no-tie (which is almost always), I want to have something else that adds some personality to my look. That can be a great pocket square, a unique shirt, or in the case of this custom-made suit I’m wearing today, the great contrast buttons and stitching throughout the jacket. I also really love the fabric and the peak lapel on this look. Both add a bit of understated style to my look,” Anthony recalls. 

  1. Add Color and Flair

A white dress shirt is the de-facto “suit shirt,” but that doesn’t mean you can’t do something different with your look.

Danny from our Beachwood, OH store at Beachwood Place Mall is a fan of wearing color when he goes no-tie. “I wear suits a lot — not just because we sell them, but because I feel great in them. However, I don’t always feel like dressing up. I’m a fan of leaving the tie at home and putting on a more casual shirt—especially on weekends.”

Where (and how) to Add Color & Personality 

A tie is a great place to add color—certainly if you’re wearing a more conservative suit, like this french blue suit Jordan is wearing. The plaid blue and brown tie both looks awesome with the suit and adds some more personality to the look. To match the bold pattern of this tie, Jordan also chose to wear a spread collar shirt and to go with a Windsor knot for his tie. “It (a Windsor knot) adds a focal point to my look and the Windsor really fills out and compliments the spread collar,” he says.

  1. Lose The Dress Shirt and Shoes Entirely

Another way to add some personality to your suiting is to pair it with something non-conventional, like a polo, sweater, or even a t-shirt. This is a surefire way to loosen up a bit in a suit and to feel more relaxed (and comfortable) while doing so.

This look may not be boardroom ready, but it definitely is date-night or barcrawl ready. Make sure that your suit is tailored to fit for your body when you’re wearing this style—we recommend a slim, but not tight, fit. 

Tips for Casual Suit Outfits

“I mind my colors when dressing a suit down significantly, like I am today,” recalls John Sandy from our Beachwood, OH store at Beachwood Place. “Today I wanted a monochromatic look—so I stuck with a black sweater to go with my black shoes and charcoal plaid suit.”

  1. Accessorize Accordingly

More and more men are adding accessories—bracelets, watches, tie bars, etc— to their looks than ever before. These accessories can add personality to your outfit and add variety to your wardrobe. Plus, who doesn’t love a good watch or piece of jewelry? Check out our blog post on watches and accessories for an idea of how to pick the right watch for the right look.


So What Are Your Waiting For?

A suit doesn’t have to be the “wear only when forced to” garment in the back of your closet. With these tips, and a great-fitting, modern suit, you’ll look great whether you’re wearing your suit to work or out for a night on the town. 

Need help putting your look together? Our style advisors have you covered at any of our stores. Stop in any day or make an appointment to up your style game today.

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