Back to work: the new office casual

Depending on which side of the style fence you stand, dressing up for work just got interesting. If your job happens to require a traditional business suit, then deciding what to wear each and every morning shouldn't be too taxing. But, if you're one of the many whose workplace doesn't subscribe to latter, or better, you're flexi working between home and the office, then you've got plenty of decisions to make when the time comes to open up your wardrobe and swap your birthday suit for something stylish yet office appropriate.

What's in no doubt is how the last 18 months have made us all that little bit more casual. When we were collectively grounded, it's fair to say that our dressing habits may have fallen by the wayside, but with everything back to a new normal now, style and menswear in particular has emerged as a more casual beast, but don't mistake that for 'lazy'. In fact, how we're now incorporating things like sweatshirts and sweatpants into our casual looks, mixing them up with workwear or even tailoring. This has fed into our workplace style, with many companies, even in traditional sectors, loosening the restrictions on what they expect their employees to wear. 

Oliver Spencer's Autumn collection has that flexibility and versatility designed into it. Classic silhouettes such as blazers come unstructured with a soft, easy drape for example, so they can be worn as a suit or as a casual separate with sweat pants and sneakers. But the question of how to accomodate the needs of work with your own personal look without overstepping the mark remains, so we've put together a short guide to help you navigate office style... 

The new work suit

FINSBURY JACKET KENDRICK CHARCOAL

FINSBURY JACKET
KENDRICK CHARCOAL

PLEATED TROUSERS KENDRICK CHARCOAL

PLEATED TROUSERS
KENDRICK CHARCOAL

GRANDAD SHIRT WALLACE CREAM/BLACK

GRANDAD SHIRT
WALLACE CREAM/BLACK

If you work in an industry that requires a suit then the chances are you won't be able to deviate far from the classic charcoal or navy blue business suit. But if you have a bit more flexibility, then opting for a more relaxed tailoring style is the way to go. Whether you work in a creative office or have an important client meeting/zoom call, our seasonal tailoring is perfect thanks to the unstructured cut, so it has none of the stiffness of traditional canvassed tailoring. Our Finsbury jacket (Kendrick charcoal pictured above) moves the classic peak lapel blazer into the casual wardrobe thanks to the relaxed construction, making it easy to wear with knitwear, polos, and tees.

Creative minimalism

DRAWSTRING TROUSERS RHODES BLACK

DRAWSTRING TROUSERS
RHODES BLACK

ZIP THROUGH CARDIGAN INGRAM RED MULTI

ZIP-THROUGH CARDIGAN
INGRAM RED MULTI

BLENHEIM JUMPER INGRAM BLACK MULTI

BLENHEIM JUMPER
INGRAM BLACK MULTI

Keeping it simple is often the best formula for work attire, avoiding the need to think too hard about your look in the unforgiving hours of the morning. Black trousers in the form of our Rhodes black drawstring style instantly give you a smart vibe your can pair with loafers, Oxfords or Derbys, but then use some bolder colour-blocking on top to break the look up. Our zip-through cardigan in Ingram Multi red is a great option or you can keep the look monochrome and opt for our Blenheim jumper in Ingram Black Multi.

Collegiate cool

BUFFALO JACKET PENTON CORD MIDNIGHT

BUFFALO JACKET
PENTON CORD MIDNIGHT

BUFFALO JACKET PENTON CORD RUST

BUFFALO JACKET
PENTON CORD RUST

CONDUIT T-SHIRT EPWORTH MULTI

CONDUIT T-SHIRT
EPWORTH MULTI

Preppy will be more than smart enough for most casualwear offices since it incorporates tailored elements as well as soft knits such as cardigans or more collegiate-style polos and rugby shirts. Our pleated trousers work perfectly with this look since they are cut with a slightly higher waist for a 1950s-inspired silhouette. The preppy vibe is a great look to pattern clash, so think about mixing classic checks with college stripes. A cropped jacket such as our corduroy Buffalo jacket rounds off the look nicely, but you could also incorporate a workwear layer such as a chore coat, or for smarter, Oli's Solms jacket.

Casual uniformity

BUFFALO JACKET RHODES GREEN

BUFFALO JACKET
RHODES GREEN

DRAWSTRING TROUSERS RHODES GREEN

DRAWSTRING TROUSERS
RHODES GREEN

TALBOT ROLL NECK JUMPER BASING CHARCOAL/OATMEAL

TALBOT ROLL-NECK
JUMPER BASING
CHARCOAL/OATMEAL

When you're ready to ditch the traditional business suit, but you still want the uniformity of a matching two-piece, we've got you covered... This season Oli has created a number of matching sets that function like a suit but have none of the stuffiness. These looks are great for when you need to smarten up without seeming to try too hard. Our Buffalo jacket has been created in a number of styles with matching trousers to give a sense of formality, but in effect it's a super casual look. Pair it them with a rollneck sweater in the winter or go with a tee or long-sleeve jersey top in the autumn months.

Click here to explore the new Autumn 21 collection at Oliver Spencer.

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