Men's Wardrobe Checkup: Updating "Business Casual"

The Knack team enjoys slacking interesting articles in our #General chat, and this week the article, “What does business casual even mean in 2019?” from Fast Company caused quite a stir.

The article has great advice, like looking to leadership for cues on what to wear and notes on a “work uniform” that varies by industry.  We thought it would be fun to go one step further.  Below, we’ve shared some of our favorite menswear clothing and accessories brands that will help you stand out from the crowd at work.

What are your favorite style accessories?  Let us know in the comments!

#1:  Stylish TAFT Shoes for Men

Knack CDO, Keith Bristol, is a big fan of TAFT shoes.  “The shoes are well-made, and I love the variety,” he shares.  The company has an assortment of boots, sneakers and dress shoes.   Keith’s most recent purchase was the TAFT “The Sneaker” in nutmeg (middle image below).

When picking a pair of TAFT shoes, we recommend you get a little more adventurous with patterns or stitching.  Wearing a unique pair of shoes to a networking event or conference makes it easier for people to approach you, by opening with a comment like, “Your shoes are pretty cool.”

Men's stylish shoes from TAFT

#2: More Futuristic Style with Allbirds

If leather isn’t really your aesthetic, you’ll want to check out Allbirds.  Founded in New Zealand, the company uses merino wool for more sustainable footwear.

Keith’s #1 Allbird rec would be the Mens Wool Runners in “Sunkissed” (middle).

“Allbird shoes are comfortable and stylish,” shares Keith.  They’re a great shoe for work from home days or travel.

Allbirds shoes for men - wardrobe update

#3:  Noteworthy Pair of Thieve Socks

If you’re in an industry where button downs and khakis are de rigueur, you’re probably more than a little bored looking at your work wardrobe.  If you want to mix things up – but start small, you should start with your socks.

Cool socks can add interest and style to an outfit.  We’re big fans of Pair of Thieves (remember the joint giveaway a few months ago?), and their printed socks.  

Push yourself out of your comfort zone!  These socks have on-point design and graphics, showing your appreciation for aesthetics.

Fashionable Mens Socks from Pair of Thieves

#4:   Stylish Frames  [Mens Sunglasses & Glasses]

When Knack founder, Chad Mellen, was asked about his favorite company for glasses or sunglasses – he couldn’t pick just one!

”My daily go-to sunglasses are a pair of Persol with tortoise shell frames and a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers,” he shares.  “For skiing, I wear a pair of Costa del Mar glasses. And I also really like my Lindberg everyday frames.”

Persol Glasses Stylish Glasses for Professional Men's Wardrobe

Unsure of where to start with upping your glasses game?  Take a stylish friend with you to the store! They’ll help you pick out a great new pair.

#5:  OUTLIER Menswear for Discerning Tastes

While 3-piece suits are fun, you’d look out-of-place wearing one in most workplaces.  If you’re looking for stylish menswear without being too on-trend, you’ll want to check out OUTLIER.  

We know it’s cliche to mention a “cult following,” but menswear brand OUTLIER truly has one. The brand does an excellent job of communicating different material and manufacturing choices.  Start by checking out the “Strong Dungarees.”

OUTLIER Men's Clothing Pants

#6:  Laptop Backpack - The Knack Pack

Founded by a team comprised of Tumi, North Face, and Coach alumni, the Knack team is fanatic about great design.  The Knack Laptop Backpack uses a custom fabric that was inspired by tailored clothing and that took over a year to develop, as well as custom zipper pullers and a proprietary logo-print lining.

The Knack Pack has been a hit with men’s style bloggers, who love that it quietly stands out – while also looking like it belongs in a variety of environments.

Check out our comparison chart to decide which size is right for you. The Knack Expandable Laptop Backpack has also been commented to be the best men's travel backpack.

Mens wardrobe guide

#7:  Garmin and Tag Heuer Watches

While an Apple watch is a great pick, it’s also fun to go old school.  “I’m a big watch guy, but two of my favorites are the fēnix® 6 - Pro and Sapphire Editions from Garmin and the TAG HEUER Formula 1 Calibre 5,” shares Keith Bristol.

When investing in a watch, be sure to understand care directions – and take your watch to a professional for cleaning and maintenance.  DIY YouTube tutorials are great, but let the professionals handle this! 

Business Professional Stylish Watch for Men

Men’s Style Update

We hope that this post has shown you some cool new brands to test out, as well as some style ideas to update your professional wardrobe.  We’d love to share future roundups like this, so be sure to share your favorite clothing or accessories brands in the comments.

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