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The New Way to Dress California Casual

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Spring is here and with summer just around the corner, it’s time to give your wardrobe a 180˚. The weather is warming up and there’s no better time for us Californian menswear enthusiasts to shine!

Let the pool parties, beach parties and backyard barbecues begin! So what do you wear? California casual! 'California casual' is notorious for shorts, chinos, flip flops, tees and polo shirts. But not anymore!

Californian menswear influencers have taken the social media fashion scene by storm and we want everyone to know that there’s a new ‘California casual’. So the next time someone tells you to dress 'California casual', you better leave the flip flops at home.

You don’t need to buy a full wardrobe to get ready for all your outdoor shindigs. All you need to do is casual up some of your favorite staple pieces that you already have in your closet. I’ve partnered with the guys at to show you how to put together an effortless, spring and summer party-ready outfit!

BOWTIE: A striped cotton bowtie, like this one from, gives off a preppy and nautical look perfect for outdoor events. MAKE SURE it’s a real bowtie! Don’t get a pre-tied bowtie, it looks too symmetrical. The ‘uneveness’ of tieing your own bow tie adds character to your look. A pre-tied bow tie makes you look like a man child. Think no one will notice? Just stop reading here.

OXFORD SHIRT: Pair your bowtie with an oxford shirt for a casual yet ‘put-together’ combination. An oxford helps keep you cool during those really hot days because it is made of breathable material. The best part about wearing an oxford shirt is that they are wrinkle resistant, so the only thing you have to worry about is not spilling your margarita or Long Island Ice Tea on yourself. Hey, I don’t judge.

WINDOWPANE PANTS: A reason why guys get excited to dress California casual is because they think it gives them a pass to dress down and wear borderline line pajamas outdoors. Khaki pants, shorts or jeans have been the norm. But guess what? That’s right… Not anymore!

I’ve always found dress pants to be soft, thin and easy to move in. The material on dress pants is a lot thinner than jeans, so why not wear them when you want to be casual and comfortable? Like I mentioned earlier, you don’t need to buy a new wardrobe. Just give your dress pants a casual look. Spring and summer are the perfect seasons to wear eye catching patterns like these windowpane pants.

CAP & VEST: The best way to make any outfit look casual is to just throw on a cap. The best way to dress up an outfit is to throw on a vest. See where I’m going with this? The key to the new California casual is to mix casual and dressy pieces together.

KHAKI JACKET: You’re going to need a jacket when your daytime shenanigans go on into the evening hours. Grab a light weight jacket with a stand-up collar to protect you from the cool beach breeze. What’s that you say? You’re not cold? It doesn’t matter! The point is you’ll look good in it!

SHOES: Flip flops have been the epitome of California casual. And summertime was the perfect excuse to wear flip flops with any outfit. But not anymore (that’s the last one, I promise)! This is another example of mixing casual with dressy. A pair of Sperry’s can take you from the beach to a backyard barbecue and complete your California casual look.

Shop the look:

Bow Tie:

Jacket: Target

Pants: Forever 21

Shoes: Sperry

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Until Next Time, Gents!

Steve A. Nuñez

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