Everyone has a few suits in their closet. And while some of you may work from home, or only go into the office sometimes, being able to dress down your suit will help you get more wear out of your wardrobe. When thinking about how to wear a suit casually, or just have it not feel like I’m heading into corporate America, I like to follow a few tricks. In reality, trousers, and blazers, are a staple in all closets. So dressing down your suit for a business casual day, a quick work meeting in the office, to just wanting to get more use out of your closet, this is a style hack everyone should feel comfortable with.
How To Dress Down A Suit
Take The Suit Apart
Instead of wearing the pieces together, simply take the pieces apart to instantly dress a suit down. Then swap whichever suit piece you aren’t wearing for an item that’s a bit more casual. Instead of the blazer, try a chore jacket or denim jacket. Even a pretty cardigan will soften the whole look up. The same goes for the bottoms. Keeping the blazer and shirt on? Then swap the work pants for jeans. To stick to your business casual and office-appropriate dress code, be sure to only wear darker wash jeans that don’t have any major distressing.
This is also why it’s important to invest in suits that you can mix and match with your current closet. You want to be able to wear that blazer with your favorite jeans. And maybe even wear those trousers with a tee and denim jacket now that trousers are having a big moment.
Don’t Wear A Button Down
The easiest way to make a suit feel more casual is to not wear your stiff crisp button-up. Swap for a sweater, or even a cotton tee. Try wearing a v-neck tee or scoop-neck tee. This swap is small but makes a big impact. And if a cotton tee still feels too casual for you, try just a nicer tee like a sweetheart neckline tee or square neck. This feels more elevated than a crew neck tee.
Swap Your Dress Shoes For Something More Casual
Now that you’ve swapped your button-up for a tee, the next step to really dress down a suit, is to swap out the dress shoe. Swap the heel, or the nice boot, for a sleek sneaker. To still keep it business casual, try a nice leather sneaker with clean lines. For something more trendy, you can do a more colorful sneaker or a chunkier version.
Swap Your Trousers For Jeans
This is a trick I always aim for because darker denim can instantly be your business casual pant. My one rule with this swap though, is that denim can feel super casual. So in that case, try to keep other things still polished and professional so as to not look like you’re just wearing a blazer casually. Think nicer blouse, and shoe with a third piece like a suit blazer.
Dressed Down Suit Outfits
Comfort Is Key
I think when it comes to dressing down a suit, it’s all about making them more comfortable. If you keep that in mind with your shoes and your top, you’re on the right track. A cool sneaker paired with a two piece suit feels very comfortable yet cool. And swap the button down for a henley or scoop neck tee to keep things simple yet polished.
Instead of slacks or trousers, try your favorite pair of straight leg jeans with your blazer. No major ripping or distressing is key to keep this office appropriate. Add a pretty blouse and simple heel to complete this look. While this outfit does feel a little more dressed up, it’s still not a stuffy two piece suit. It feels elevated, put-together, and office appropriate if you’re allowed to wear jeans.
And to wear out of the office, this is a favorite outfit combination for a nice dinner out. Getting more use out of your suit pieces in your day-to-day is another reason to learn how to dress down those suits!
A Cool And Casual Suit Combo
Back in my 9 to 5 days, this would’ve been the perfect outfit to wear to meetings or tradeshows. Comfortable sneaker and a graphic tee is always a go-to in my weekend wardrobe. But pairing it with separates from suits helps to pull it together.
The Trendy Casual Look
The perfect way to dress down a suit is to just add a tee and sneakers. It really is the easiest swap and it usually works every single time. Because you’re still keeping the suit pieces together, I thin you can go super casual with your other swaps and still feel very business casual approved.
Wear this to travel in for work, to grab a casual lunch with a client, or to attend a tradeshow as we all know how demanding those are on our feet!
Business Casual For Spring or Fall
This is an outfit I would’ve totally worn back in my 9 to 5 days. Beige work pants paired with more casual pieces is the way to go. The denim jacket instantly dresses down these suit pants. But you still feel put-together in a nice blouse and shoe.
I’ll never forget when I went for a job interview and they told me “we’re really casual”. Sure you should dress up for a job interview no matter what, but I’d say this outfit can 100% be a “we’re casual” interview outfit.
For spring pair with a sandal or pump, and for fall, try a suede pump or Chelsea boot.