Introduction

In part one we dissected how to dress smartly (and practically) for the morning commute to the office. In today’s article, we are going to be considering the more casual of travel plans. For those lucky enough to not be tied down by the de rigueur of dress codes or formality, the options for the morning commute are far wider and more extensive than for those who are.

With that in mind, the format of this article is different from that of the last. Where part one suggested techniques to add practical warmth and layering to your traditional work suit, part two will be providing full outfit inspiration. For every smart-casual dresser who braves the winter chill each morning for their commute, it’s time to up your travel game.

The Smart-Casual Commute

Those who work in a smart-casual environment (or who are subject to the ‘dress down Friday’ tradition) by no means drew the longer straw. Cries to remain presentable and professional can cause tackling the morning commute to be just as difficult a task as those dressing smart.

A deconstructed wool blazer is the perfect smart-casual piece and makes for easier layering – both under and over – than its structured counterparts. Underneath, try a lambswool cable knit over an Oxford shirt and textured tie – this combination is smart but not corporate. Grey chinos and a pair of brown weather appropriate boots finish off the foundations of the look.

Accessorising with a pocket square is essential blazer etiquette, so pick a playful colour or pattern and have fun with it. Leather gloves are a refined yet practical addition that will keep the whole look sharp.

Finally, take your lead from the immortally stylish gents who frequent Pitti Uomo by finishing off with a gilet layered over the top of the blazer for that additional protection from the elements.

Example Outfit
  • Asos Oxford ShirtAsos Oxford Shirt
  • Ymc Taupe Brushed Lambswool Cable KnitYmc Taupe Brushed Lambswool Cable Knit
  • Topman Plum Nep Flannel TieTopman Plum Nep Flannel Tie
  • Reiss Fielding Merino Wool Blazer NavyReiss Fielding Merino Wool Blazer Navy
  • Reiss Ushas Polka & Dogtooth Pocket Square MagentaReiss Ushas Polka & Dogtooth Pocket Square Magenta
  • Uniqlo Men Premium Down Ultra Light VestUniqlo Men Premium Down Ultra Light Vest
  • Allsaints Fort ChinoAllsaints Fort Chino
  • J.crew Cashmere-lined Leather GlovesJ.crew Cashmere-lined Leather Gloves
  • Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Julius Canvas And Leather BootsPaul Smith Shoes & Accessories Julius Canvas And Leather Boots
Alternative Outfit Inspiration

Smart-Casual Commute Outfit Inspiration

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The College/University Commute

This look is aimed at students who are subject to a regular commute to and from their place of study (and this has been reflected in the price of each piece as well). Much like the office commute the working gents are faced with, the journey is met with temperatures of varying extremity. A particular destination, one where any layers are ultimately stripped off, must be accounted for – it’s all about efficiency as well as style.

Layer a denim jacket over a fitted, neutral hooded sweatshirt and clean-cut polo to form a casual and warm top half. Whilst likely to cause commotion among the comments, a minimal hoody worn well is more sports luxe than ‘gang culture’. To bring some individuality and flair to the top half of your look, louchely stuff a pocket square in the top left breast pocket of the jacket and forget all about it.

For the bottom half, keep it clean and practical with some slim fit blue chinos and a pair of tan worker boots.

In terms of accessories, opt for practical knitted pieces (beanies/scarves/gloves) to keep the cold at bay and finish with a hard wearing holdall, satchel or backpack depending on preference.

Example Outfit
  • Topman White Curve Collar Polo ShirtTopman White Curve Collar Polo Shirt
  • Easy Zip Through Marl HoodyEasy Zip Through Marl Hoody
  • Asos Denim Jacket With Acid WashAsos Denim Jacket With Acid Wash
  • Reiss Patera Random Polka With Sqaures Bottle GreenReiss Patera Random Polka With Sqaures Bottle Green
  • Burton Tapered Slim Fit Blue ChinosBurton Tapered Slim Fit Blue Chinos
  • River Island Wedge BootsRiver Island Wedge Boots
Alternative Outfit Inspiration

The College/University Commute Lookbook

new look ss13h&m ss13river island aw11river island aw11river island aw12Gaudi aw12allsaints ss13SUITEBLANCO aw12Do Rego & Novoa aw12
The Casual Weekend Commute

Even as the weekend comes around, many of us (especially those living in large cities) remain slaves to public transport and thus the commuting element is still present in weekend gallivants.

In this scenario, a strong piece of outerwear layered over a knitwear and shirt combination is an easy pairing that is effortlessly stylish – perfect for a day out. This look utilises a short-sleeved shirt for the bottom layer, as it will stop you from getting too warm on your chosen method of transport. Ensure the gauge of your knitwear makes short sleeves a non-issue when you’re outside.

Slim-fitting denim will always be a crucial part of the male wardrobe. Paired alongside some leather desert boots, you really can’t go wrong; the brown and deep blue colour combination is as striking as it is timeless.

Accessorise with a bold coloured scarf and you’re ready for whatever the weather throws at you during your weekend activities.

Example Outfit
  • Topman White Swallow Print Short Sleeve ShirtTopman White Swallow Print Short Sleeve Shirt
  • Rag & Bone Montfort Waffle-knit Cotton CardiganRag & Bone Montfort Waffle-knit Cotton Cardigan
  • French Connection Double Breasted Pea CoatFrench Connection Double Breasted Pea Coat
  • Allsaints Oshima Cigarette JeansAllsaints Oshima Cigarette Jeans
  • Asos Burgundy Cable ScarfAsos Burgundy Cable Scarf
  • Clarks Originals Brown Leather Desert BootsClarks Originals Brown Leather Desert Boots
Alternative Outfit Inspiration

The Casual Weekend Commute - Outfit Inspiration

Woolrich John Rich & Bros aw13barneys aw12barneys aw12Faconnable pre aw12asos aw11Woolrich John Rich & Bros aw13club monaco aw12club monaco aw12he by mango aw12
Final Word

As this follow up has shown, the elements still play a major part in your outfit choice during even the most casual of commute. You need to strike the perfect balance between style and practicality, to which the most basic of rules from part one still apply: opt for timeless combinations, layer cleverly and finish with practical accessories.

But now you can have your say:

  • How do you style your outfits for a casual commute?
  • Do you find it easier or harder when the dress code is informal?
  • What are your top tips for battling travel conditions both underground and overground?
  • What is your go-to outfit for the commute to and from college or university?

Let us know in the comments section.