The sneaker in a business casual look for men

Business Casual - the dress code in the business world has fundamentally changed since the banking crisis. Through the "casualification", the high-quality sneaker found its way into board meetings to direct customer meetings. Casual business attire is meant to be more relaxed, yet professional, and the appropriate footwear is arguably one of the most important components for the smart business look. The suit and sneaker combination has become socially acceptable today, pairing comfort with casualness and fashionable style. Mats Klingberg, owner of the renowned menswear store TRUNK in London and Zurich and an internationally sought-after style expert, tells us how to achieve the perfect, casual look. What else is important when choosing the right business sneaker and how it found its way into the business world, you can read in the following blog post.

 

How the sneaker crept into the business world

After the banking crisis 10 years ago, "casualization" first took off in the financial world and insurance industry. The tie suddenly seemed overdressed and male executives increasingly replaced it with the pochette as an accessory. The heel of the tie suddenly fell away and foulards experienced their revival. This was the start of "casualization" and the terms "business casual" and "smart casual" emerged. In addition to the outward effect of the outfit, it suddenly also had to be comfortable. Senad Rrustremi, who managed Herren Globus in Switzerland at the time, recalls: "We realized that it was no longer enough for suits to be of virgin wool quality, but they also had to be bi-elastic, i.e. they had to have stretch. The cuts became tighter, the silhouettes narrower and man wore the pants shorter, as they also became narrower. Then you realized it was going to be exciting when the look was broken up again by the business sneaker." This new genre was born out of "casualization" and found its way from the catwalk of big designer brands like PRADA or ARMANI to the business world, where the outfit was now supposed to look more dynamic yet professional.

The classic look disappeared more and more: the shirt was replaced by the shirt and the suits were freed from their shoulder padding, becoming more comfortable and soft. The comfort of the clothes took on an increasingly important meaning thanks to washed yarns that were processed "sartorially" and were extremely elastic with the advantage that these fabrics did not wrinkle during travel. The narrowing of the silhouette, the elimination of the tie, the comfort and the arrival of the sneaker defined the "casualization", which today, after the pandemic home office and the accompanying loosening of some dress codes, is still experiencing an additional acceptance in the office and other occasions. 

The business sneaker: casualness and comfort combined! 

The business sneaker combines casualness and comfort like no other shoe and contributes significantly to a casual business outfit. According to a study by Harvard Business School (HBS), this makes a more confident impression than the conservative look. The reasoning: Those who defy the usual dress codes show their courage and that they are less dependent on the approval of others.

The replacement of the welted shoe is underway, but there is also a fine line: when do I still appear serious and at the same time casual and dynamic? Here, care must be taken with the silhouette and likewise with the color choice of the sneaker, especially with the sole. In addition to the outer appearance, it is also just as much about the comfort, the foot climate and the feeling while wearing.

Senad Rrustremi, himself an avid VYNNER, now advises small businesses to corporates on the choice of appropriate business looks and outfits the entire staff from reception to management. "The VYN sneaker approaches from its premium look to that of a welted shoe. When I step into the sneaker, I have the feeling of wearing a real shoe on my feet and immediately feel transported into the world of welted shoes. But at the same time I feel this coolness of a sneaker. The excellent support and that soft yet stable feeling from the cork insole gives me a sense of security, while the white sole exudes that lightness. When I'm in a casual meeting, this fits very well, but when I'm in an environment where I have client visits where I need to exude seriousness, the dark sole version is more appropriate. This one exudes earthiness and steadfastness." 

 

Quality must be tangible and visible in the suit - sneaker look.

In order for the sneaker to stylishly unite with the suit and shirt to create a casual business look, the workmanship and high-quality materials play a central role in addition to the comfort and silhouette. The sneaker must also come across as very neat and clean and should exude a sense of style. The simpler and more classic the design, paired with natural tones, the more effortlessly the perfect smart casual as well as business casual look will succeed. 

 

High-quality natural materials for ultimate comfort

VYN uses only natural materials for uppers that are absorbent, adaptable and wonderfully easy to care for. With our Italian shoe care specialist, we have a valuable partner with whom we will further expand the care range. The shoe balm, made from pure natural materials - such as lanolin and essential citrus oils - nourishes and cares for the high-quality calf leather of the VYN sneakers for the perfect premium business look.

 

The calfskin lining and the cork insole ensure a very pleasant foot climate - doing your feet good and giving you less tired legs in the evening.

The interplay of care, appreciation and increasing comfort through wear time also reflects the fact that quality leads to sustainability. Financially, we also benefit from investing in a quality sneaker instead of a sneaker that is worn out after one season and guaranteed not to show up in the business world.  

From business meeting to happy hour - with just one sneaker!

Senad Rrustremi has experienced it: "What's really great with you guys is the customizable parts on the same shoe. I can wear the same shoe to a business meeting where I want to look smart, and in the evening I just change the small accessories and have the cool, trendy shoe for the bar. You don't look underdressed during the day and overdressed in the evening. And in addition, you get that personal identity. Plus, the shoe didn't smell even after 15 hours of wear. What more could a man want?" 

 

 

Interview Mats Klingberg, owner of the renowned menswear store TRUNK in London and Zurich and internationally sought-after style expert on business dress codes. 

 

 

What does the perfect business casual outfit for men look like?

Smart enough to be suitable for a meeting with your top clients, banker or lawyer, yet relaxed enough to blend in nicely if going for a factory visit or to a hockey match with your friends after work. Business casual is about never being overdressed nor underdressed.

Does a business outfit go with sneakers?

If you pick the right business outfit and the right sneakers, then yes. The business outfit needs to be more casual like an unconstructed jacket or suit and the sneakers should be a bit smarter and most importantly clean.

What is the ideal business casual sneaker for men?

VYN ticks all the right boxes. Smart and timeless design, good quality and comfortable.

What other business casual outfit ideas are there for men?

Separate jacket and trousers rather than suits. Pair a jacket or suit with a nice t-shirt in the summer or roll neck in the winter.

What should men avoid when wearing casual business clothing?

Suits that are too formal or formal suit jackets paired with distressed denim and sneakers that are too sporty or dirty from running in them.

What is the difference between business casual and smart casual?

Realise that smart casual as a term is something that confuses people a lot and don’t think we need to complicate matters any further. In my mind the result of the two above would be pretty much the same.

 

 

TRUNK in Zurich Seefeld is our premium partner for trying on the VYN Sneakers and matching them to your new smart business look.

 

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