It really is amazing to think about how the definition of the word "casual" as it applies to our modes of dress has changed so drastically in so little time. I'm not going to complain that things are generally more comfortable for people these days, because I'm glad to wear jeans and sweaters to drop the kids off at school and go to the supermarket. Nor am I going to wax rhapsodic about some bygone era that I know of only through movies and books and pine for a time that was done before my birth. But I will trot out what used to be considered casual dress on a Saturday afternoon now and then.
Dark shirts are not something to be used lightly with a jacket and tie, but it can be done. I've written on this before. I usually wear this shirt alone with khakis or jeans, but given its color scheme in navy, hunter green, and gold, it can take a tie sometimes. I think the trick is to remember what casual used to mean, and stick with tweeds and other textured, soft fabrics. I'm sure that the combination pictured above will garner wailing and gnashing of teeth from the purists for both the use of a dark shirt and the overt four pattern combination, but so be it. I find it to be a nice change of pace now and then from the standard light colored shirt. And as much as we lament the loss of stricter codes of dress, not having one gives me the freedom to wear this if I want to, and that's not all bad. Besides, it is Saturday.
Charcoal grey whipcord trousers with deep forward pleats from the Andover Shop held up with braces complete things. On the feet, argyle socks and cordovan longwings, outside a tan cashmere coat, brown corduroy cap and brown leather gloves.
The old casual lives somewhere between the new super-casual and dress clothing, so tread lightly. It's not for everyone, and even if you can pull this off I suggest using this trick sparingly. But it is fun when it comes off well.