Although casual seems to allow almost any combination – it does not. Even with a casual dress code, the gentleman is wearing pants, not shorts. Shorts are perfect for a walk on the beach or a boating trip, but that is about it.
Shirts should have a collar and be long-sleeve, unless one is wearing a polo shirt. Sleeves can casually be rolled back, but unless you are on Hawaii working in a bar, short sleeve shirts are a no-go and should be considered a sin.
While socks are optional with casual dress, the shoes are crucial: While for business attire, the rules “no brown after 6pm” or the similar “no brown to town” limit the color choices, everything is fair game with casual. If the basic rule for shoes and belt is met, brown is just as acceptable as blue, white, or green. Of course, a gentleman never wears sport or tennis shoes to anything but – of course – sports or tennis. If a gentleman decides to go without socks, a nice slip-on loafer will be a classy piece of footwear. Flip-flops, on the other hand, should be kept in the closet until that walk on the beach is coming along.
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