Casual*Prep is Hard

Baracuta Jacket

*I included the term prep in the title of this post with a little hesitation. I have issues with the word, which I will discuss in the future. I have used it here because it is the most widely understood term for the style of clothing which I am describing.

Things have been been a little hectic lately. Although, it does not take much to overwhelm me as I am a man of routine. I spent all last week painting my living room (see pic 2 – it looks darker in person). Plus, I had weekend plans (sadly this is not the norm). Actually, it was getting dressed to go out on Friday that  inspired this short and late post. I was trying to dress casual as I was going out with a friend and I didn’t want to look as if I were still in my work clothes. While selecting my outfit I discovered that dressing casually is hard (see what I consider casual below).Baracuta Jacket                                                               What I consider universally casual

What do I know about casual dress? I have learned from my work experiences that people love to dress casual. And that when people say casual they mean jeans. Everywhere that I have worked my co-workers have been excited to wear jeans on Fridays. My new workplace has recently allowed employees to jeans anytime, and they do. Even though it is permitted, I never wear jeans. Not even on Friday. It is not that I hate denim. I just don’t find it to be that comfortable.                          Navy sweater                                                                                  Friday’s Outfit

I do dress casually at work. I wear khaki chinos and a blue ocbd. I don’t think that it gets much more casual than that. My co-workers on the other hand do not feel that way. It gets even worse for me on the weekend. I tend to want to dress exactly like I do at work, but with clothes that I have worn out at work. My friends do not consider this casual. So, I have been trying to strike a balance keep between looking casual and feeling presentable.

The solution that I have come up for weekends (work remains the same) is leaving my shirt untucked. Believe me, I know that this is a cardinal sin in the world of traditional clothing. I find myself wanting to tuck my shirt it in so badly, but I don’t want to look the same all of the time (just 99%). I am not going to lie, it is not so bad. I am getting used to it.  Navy Shaw Collar Outside                                           Saturday’s Outfit (Look, I even have athletic sneakers on!)

I am even beginning to warm up to the untuck.  As it would turn out the urge to tuck is directly related to the length of the shirt. In pic 3, the shirt is kind of long. In order to compensate for the length I tucked a little bit of the shirt up and under my sweater. This improved the look. In pic 2, the shirt is short. It actually might be a challenge to keep this shirt tucked in. I thought that this shirt worked the best out of the two. I am going to have to continue to work on developing a distinct casual look. I will let you know if I make any more progress.

oxford cloth button down
Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

7 Comments on "Casual*Prep is Hard"

  1. Carly says:

    Love the blog!!!! So love that you thrift. I had no idea. Loved the lighthouse belt. As soon as I saw this I knew who it was for.

    • oxford cloth button down says:

      Thanks Carly! I was a little disappointed that it didn’t fit him. I do love to thrift. As soon as the holidays are over I am going to get back to my regular Saturday morning thrifts.Thanks for checking out the blog.

  2. JCC says:

    Just found the blog, and am definitely a fan.

    These are item that have helped me with this dilemma.

    L.L. Bean River Driver shirts. Wearing them tucked in instead of an oxford cloth buttondown under a sweater removes the collar from the equation, which makes any outfit appear more casual. Of course, going collarless can feel a little weird if you’re not used to it.

    Wool flannel shirt-jacs. The squared off ends make it look less odd untucked, and they have a very rustic feel.

    Brown ducks. They’re usually fuller-cut than jeans and their color scheme isn’t that far from khakis.

    Crewneck sweatshirts. They work adequately as sweater substitutes and are significantly more casual.

    Polartec fleece. A little Patagonia-esque, but again more casual than sweaters if you don’t mind synthetics.

    Redwing boots The Irish Setter and the Pecos are in that L.L. Bean casual range.

    The risk, of course, is that if you put too many of these together at once, you look like you’re getting ready to go chop firewood instead of head out., so your mileage may vary. 🙂

    • oxford cloth button down says:

      JCC – Thanks for the tips. You are right about going collarless and feeling weird. I was looking at a Patagonia fleece earlier this year. That may be a great way to look more casual.Thanks again for the comment.

  3. BEG says:

    I just discovered your blog, so sorry if I submit a plethora of comments in quick succession.

    First off, I feel your pain when it comes to striking that balance. But wearing clothes wrong on purpose is not the answer. I dressed as casually as I could for work for many years. When I finally decided to “straighten up and fly right,” I was afraid to make such a drastic change, so I did it in “steps.” Like you, I wore my button-front shirts untucked, tails aflap in the wind. At work, I started wearing ties but I wore them loosened with my top collar button undone. Now that I’ve decided to wear traditional men’s clothing properly, I realize that those phases may have been necessary as I worked up the confidence, but they didn’t look good and made me seem like I was trying too hard.

    In the end, everyone has to decide how far from the herd they’re willing to stray, but if you find yourself having to tuck some of the shirt tail into your sweater to get the “right” amount of tail showing, you might be trying to hard.

    • oxford cloth button down says:

      Don’t worry about leaving too many comments. I think that you may be right as l have been wearing my shirt tucked in again. I guess I should give up on being cool and just be comfortable. Thanks for all the comments!

  4. Jo says:

    I like this blog! Giving real reviews of products. It helps me shop for my husbands clothes online. Good modeling too!
    Typed from my ipad

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