Presenting Your “Substitute” Business Casual Blazer

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A cardigan should fit snugly. Paired with a spread collar shirt, knit tie and sharply tailored pants it's a perfect fit. By the way, this cardigan is from Uniqlo and the shirt is Brooks Brothers.

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And the watch is a Rolex. Ref. 116234.

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Wear a cardigan in a lightweight fabric during the transitional time and into fall and then switch over to chunky knits when the mercury drops.

A cardigan is one of the most essential business casual pieces

The best part about building a wardrobe centered around the concept of versatility, is that you’re able to draw from pieces you already have in your closet to give one outfit a completely different look. Nowhere is that idea better illustrated than when it comes to workwear and jackets.

For many, a blazer worn to the office is de rigueur. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t (and shouldn’t) mix it up now and then. Maybe you’re feeling a little rebellious on any given Friday. For your commute, why not trade the blazer for a denim jacket?

Simple substitution. Maximum style benefit.

mens cardigan business casual outfit

As we ease into our month-long conversation about the changeable dress code known as business casual, I thought that beginning with that simple concept – the big impact a very small substitution can have – was a good place to start.

And this is especially true when you’re talking about the cardigan, a bona fide business casual essential.

mens cardigan business casual outfit

| WEARING | Uniqlo cardigan, Brooks Brothers shirt, PT01 pants, Gitman Bros. tie, Rolex watch, Loafers c/o G.H. Bass | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo

One of the keys to the business casual dress code is mastering that “balance point” between your regular workwear and a more relaxed version of that. That’s why the cardigan is such a great blazer substitute in this situation. It’s not as structured as a blazer, yet it still appears “put together”.

Let’s talk about fit. A cardigan is meant to fit snugly, which means that it’s going to look fitted if you’re substituting it for a blazer. Over a spread collar shirt with knit tie and a pair of sharply tailored pants, it’s perfect.

Choose a fabric weight based on the season. For the fall transition and into fall, wear a lightweight merino wool. And when the temperatures fall, break out the chunky knits, which we’re fond of wearing with even more tailored looks.

mens cardigan business casual outfit

mens cardigan business casual outfit

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style


Chime In

  • Ben K H

    Sadly the Link of the Cardigan is not the same as the one you are wearing in the picture. Would you please provide another link, since the Cardigan is looking dynamite? Thank you

    • Brian Sacawa

      No, it’s not. The one I’m wearing was from a couple of seasons ago. The linked version is the closest I could find. Cheers.

  • Jonas

    This outfit is awesome! Keep up the good work.

    • Brian Sacawa

      Thanks for the support, Jonas. Have a great weekend.

  • markuskonow

    Looking good! It’s going to be a good month if the rest of the posts have this kind of quality!

    • Brian Sacawa

      Cheers! Thanks for the continued support.

  • Mr. Jenks

    Loving this look!

    William Jenkins | |

  • Michael

    Great post! I’m new to HSS. Do you have any new substitute business casual posts? Thanks!

  • Kenneth Jacobs

    Cardigans have been a great look for the office especially in South Florida. Wearing a blazer can sometimes get too steamy anytime of year, tbh! Love the earthy tones put together for a great transition to fall :)

    Insta: @kenjayofficial

  • elrod

    It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, would you be mine?