Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Working on a Casual Approach

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Working on a Casual Approach

Article excerpt

`FRIDAY WEAR" is having its day. As more companies and their workers have embraced casual dressing one or more days a week, office style has undergone some alterations.

Unsure how far to go, men in the early stages of the casual revolution wore a uniform that was just as unimaginative as their dark suits: denim shirts, khaki pants and a wild tie. Jeans under a sport coat was the more adventurous man's choice.

Today's look rejects both starch and sloppiness.

Wardrobe consultants and menswear makers agree that a single piece of tailored clothing in a casual ensemble can add the necessary polish to a casual outfit - but now it's a lighter kind of tailored clothing that makes the look work.

"We have moved from a stiff, upholstered concept of what men's clothing is, to a lighter, body-conforming, fluid look," says Jack Herschlag, executive director of the National Association of Men's Sportswear Buyers.

Casual days at the office represent "a whole new way men are going to dress," says Herschlag. "It's closer to how women's wear is organized, which is to mix things in the closet."

But that's a problem. Men haven't been trained to mix and match. Even their clothing stores have been arranged in strict categories, with suits on one side and casual pants across the hall.

Used to be, says Herschlag, that "the boss told men how they were supposed to look. Once Friday wear kicked in, men had to start doing what they wanted to do. But they didn't know what they wanted to do. They started wearing their oldest, grungiest stuff. But that didn't last long, and now they are going for a dressier look."

Instead of fighting the casual tide, manufacturers of tailored clothing have jumped into a whole new market, says Robert Kaplan, executive director of the Clothing Manufacturers Association of the U.S.A. "They have adapted certain products to create tailored clothing that also is comfortable and casual. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.