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Union Square Blog
A navy sports coat is key to being business casual.
Tony suggests business casual with a good quality leather bag.
A multi-purpose chambray shirt can be dressed up with a tie or dressed down for a more casual look.
To make your casual look pop, try a good brown dress shoe.
August 15, 2014

Menswear: Mastering Business Casual

**Guest post by stylish guy about town and fashion blogger, Tony Taylor

It’s no secret that the weather in San Francisco is unpredictable, foggy one hour and summer sunshine the next. As we head toward our much anticipated Indian summer here in Union Square, I have put together five essentials for gentlemen who want to do “business casual” in style. From the t-shirt techy to the loosely suited accountant, I’m here to meet you in the middle of relaxed and stodgy. Sip some scotch and take some notes… oh, and grab your American Express card, too. We’re going man-shopping in Union Square.

Let’s start with a clean, straight legged pair of dark denim jeans as the foundation for business casual. You want these jeans to be taken seriously around the office, so avoid washed prints and embellishments. My go-to for affordable denim is Levi’s at 815 Market St. because they have office-appropriate fits for every body type. To punctuate the lower half of your casual look, lace up into a remarkable pair of brown dress shoes. I’m a firm believer in “Cost Per Wear” so if we’re going to splurge, the shoe is the place to do it. A $300 pair of shoes worn every day to work for six months will pay for themselves. Check out American-made shoemaker Allen Edmonds at 310 Sutter St.

For the top half, an everyday business casual essential is a chambray shirt. Multi-purpose with varying price points, you can dress up your chambray with a knit tie or keep it mellow with the top button open. I’ll give you a chambray secret: J.Crew in the Westfield Mall takes the chambray cake - thank me later.

It’s possible that you already have a standard navy sports coat in your closet, but if you’re still looking for the perfect fit, check out Banana Republic at 256 Grant Ave. Banana puts the B in “business casual” and you will have many sports coat options to choose from. It’s a seamless transition piece from sunny day to breezy night, or you can be a perfect gentleman and throw the coat over your date’s chilly shoulders at the end of the evening.

Finally, to accessorize your look, add a good quality leather bag. Sure, you’ll have to spend a little bit, but also consider how often you have to replace a cheapy laptop bag (cost per wear, remember?). San Francisco based bag designer Christensen has made the perfect leather man-bag for your MacBook and other business essentials. Available in a multitude of colors and materials, there is surely something to match your vibe.

After a long day at the office, it’s time to take a stroll to a local rooftop lounge like 620 Jones or stylish new cocktail bar The European in all of your business casual glory. Whether it’s happy hour with friends or catching a breath alone, you’ll be outfitted in the perfect gear, and if the breeze kicks up, just throw on your stylish navy sports coat… and another glass of scotch, of course.


Photography: Anthony Bonilla, Aldo Fabbri

Thanks to The Irish Bank and 620 Jones.

Tony Taylor is a travel and handbag enthusiast. Inspired by the dapper men of London’s Savile Row, he attempts to step out in style while still reflecting the casual aesthetic that is iconic to San Francisco. Check out his street style blog for fashionable accessories for women and men.