Three steps to going casual after work

At any weekday happy hour, bars are full of the stuffy business type. The guys in their suits that look stressed and are only there to drink away their workday sorrows. Don't be that guy! That's the guy people avoid, the one the bartender doesn't want to serve and no one wants to flirt with. There is no need to go home and change though. Here are a couple of simple ways to leave work behind and change a professional suit into a slick, casual outfit.

1. Lose the tie and jacket

Ties and jackets are what make a suit seem constraining. Even the most pulled-together suits look hot and uncomfortable. Before heading out with friends or meeting up with someone for a first date, stuff the tie in a desk drawer in the office and lose the jacket once inside a bar or restaurant. Carry it over your arm or go for the expert-level finger hook over the shoulder. Sling it over the back of your chair when you get the chance, and if you are hovering around the bar, look for hooks under the bar to hang the jacket on. Save those uncomfortable pieces for a meeting with your boss. Wearing just a dress shirt makes a man look less overheated and more relaxed.

2. Dare to unbutton

Of course, upon shedding the tie and jacket, the next step is to undo the button on the collar of the shirt. But go a little bit farther; try not just unbuttoning the collar, go two or even three more buttons down. Especially if the dress shirt you are wearing has detailing on the inside of the collar and where the shirt buttons together, unbuttoning a bit can completely alter one's look. A bland white or blue shirt becomes interesting when a hint of pattern peeks out. Just like you - professional at the office with some hidden talents lying right below that buttoned-up look.

Again, going from a professional work look to a casual night-out look is all about feeling comfortable. Unbutton the wrist cuffs and roll up the sleeves once or twice. Keep it below the elbow, though, unless you're planning on actually getting your hands dirty. And in that case, maybe just take off the shirt altogether and save yourself a dry cleaning bill. Like the collar and neckline details, a lot of shirts also have matching detail along the inside of the wrist cuffs. With these shirts, just roll up the sleeves enough for the detail to stand out. A nice watch on the wrist can pull this casual look together.

The key to making all of these tips work is to invest in a quality dress shirt. Fashion is all about the attention to detail and not overdoing it. So pick a shirt that has a bright color or pattern to it. And if you want to keep it simple at work, buy a shirt that has hidden details to keep it interesting.

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