Casual suit style: What is a casual suit and how do you wear one?
While it’s true that suits are usually worn for formal occasions, the main appeal of a casual suit is that it lets you dress up without being too formal. If you enjoy wearing head-to-toe tailoring, it’s only a natural step that casual suits would become the norm for everyday attire. We’re welcoming in casual suits that favour cotton and linen blends and swapping our crisp, white shirts for polo tops and crew neck t-shirts.
To help get to grips with the importance of pairing and presenting a casual suit, we’ve created a guide to show you how to perfectly style a casual suit with your day-to-day essentials. Our styling experts have rounded up their top tips to help find a casual suit that will match your style.
What is a casual suit?
Put simply, a casual suit consists of two separate pieces that can be worn together or independently and still look dapper. Casual suit outfits are easy to master and are perfect for a smart-casual office dress code, an evening meal out or any occasion where you want to dress smart without looking out of place.
Modern suits are more versatile and typically forgo stuffy ties and classic accessories, instead opting for sleek watches and sunglasses.
How to wear a suit casually
Dressing down a suit relies heavily on the fit of the blazer and trousers and it’s important to remember that proportions are everything when it comes to proper suit tailoring.
Make sure that your suit jacket fits well in the shoulders with no bunching or overhang of fabric. If you prefer more of a fitted style, a tailored blazer that slightly cinches at the waist will create a streamlined silhouette. Your jacket sleeves should sit at the wrist bone, allowing just enough room to debut any wrist accessories.
Burgundy Suit — £99
Essentially, picking a suit that is right for you is all down to personal preference. When it comes to picking the right fit, it’s important to consider how you want the blazer to sit on your arms, shoulders and across the chest.
Lighter colours, like light blue and grey, as well as muted tones like cream and beige, make for great statement pieces that will stand out individually. The easiest way to make a suit look laidback and casual is to pair it with items that you would usually associate with being easily dressed down. To allow for a more fitted look, a slim fit suit will sit nicely across the chest, while a tailored fit suit will showcase expert craftsmanship and highlight your physique. If you’re looking for a more laidback fit that allows ample room to move, a regular fit suit will do just that.
What top to wear with a casual suit?
Suit with a t-shirt
M.R.K Blue Checked Suit — £135
Ventura Classic White T-Shirt — £6
There’s nothing more timeless than a quintessential plain white T. When worn the right way, a crisp, white t-shirt paired with a navy blue suit is effortlessly stylish. Tucked in or out, the addition of a casual t-shirt helps to strike the perfect balance between formal and casual wear. Both your blazer and t-shirt should be slim fit to solidify a modern feel and perfectly complement one another. Your suit trousers should taper toward the hem and style with a pair of black dress shoes for a smart finish.
Suit with a polo shirt
Ventura Black Two-Piece Slim Fit Suit — £69
Barbour Grey Polo Shirt — £39
Ted Baker Leather Udamo Sneaker — £99
With the comfort of a t-shirt and the addition of a collar, a polo shirt adds a splash more sophistication. This suit styling is a slightly smarter approach to a casual suit but still maintains its laid-back nature. The unstructured design of the polo shirt’s collar offers a more dressed down look to that of a traditional shirt when worn under a blazer. Paired with contrasting white trainers and slim leg trousers, this casual suit is a quick and easy summer winner.
Suit with a roll neck
Grey Sleek Street Checked Suit — £199
French Connection Black Cotton Roll Neck Jumper — £25
Simple but stylish, a suit worn with a roll-neck brings an additional level of polish that means you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort. Slick yet laid-back, a roll neck and contrasting blazer is a winning combination for autumn and winter. For a classic, elegant touch, keep your palette refined with grey and black hues, or delve into warm tones of burgundy, purple or khaki.
What trousers to wear with a casual jacket?
Levi’s Light Denim 502 Tapered Fit Jeans — £75
Broadstone Green Tweed Blazer — £65
If there’s one thing that makes a worthy investment, it’s a pair of perfectly fitting jeans. Suitable for almost all non-formal occasions create a modern and timeless look with a casual suit with jeans and a light coloured blazer. This look is best worn during the warmer months, however, swapping a bright blazer for more monochromatic or earthy tones like tweed during the winter will make this styling a year-round success.
Levi’s Beige Tapered Chinos — £59
Sawyers & Hendricks Navy Weave Blazer — £75
Chinos are timeless and are easily one of the most versatile elements of a man’s wardrobe. They’re the perfect middle ground for outfits that are slightly too formal for jeans but not formal enough for suit trousers. A pair of neutral chinos will compliment most blazers, but pairing with a darker colour like navy or black will really provide a focal point.
What shoes to wear with a suit?
Suit with trainers
Ted Baker Slim Fit ‘Elevated’ Three-Piece Suit — £299
Cambro Low Smart Trainer — £59
Providing the finishing touches to any look is crucial and navy suits are where you’re free to experiment with bold footwear. High-quality materials and premium workmanship are essential to seamlessly transition a traditional sporty shoe into a more elevated look. A pair of minimalistic and crisp trainers exude an understated, cool vibe when paired with a navy suit. Just make sure they’re pristine — nobody looks good in mucky trainers.
Suit with boat shoes
Check Tailored Tweed Blazer — £75
Dockers Black ‘Smart 360’ Chinos — £59
Dek Brown Boat Shoe — £39
A relaxed summer favourite, boat shoes offer all-around style while still maintaining the traditional lace design of a classic deck shoe. With a thicker sole that’s made for city living, boat shoes are the perfect choice of footwear for a casual event where trainers just won’t cut it. Boat shoes look best with a pair of tapered leg trousers or turned-up hem chinos for a more casual look.
Find your perfect match
Now you know exactly how to style a casual suit, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge to the test. Shop our wide range of suits, tops, trousers and shoes to find your perfect casual suit at Slater Menswear. If you’re looking for some extra guidance, head over to our style inspiration hub for more expert fashion advice.