When head men’s designer Frank Muytjens took the reigns at J.Crew in 2008, he transformed the storied retailer into a one-stop shop where men could enter as poorly dressed schlubs and exit as super stylish versions of themselves. The Ludlow suit was slim but not constrictingly skinny, the 484 jeans had selvedge lines for an authentic look but could be worn under a sport coat. Rugged chambray shirts featured mother-of-pearl buttons and looked even better with a knit tie. The clothes fused utilitarian workwear with the basic elements of tailored goods.

Muytjens’ menswear overhaul netted him a nomination as one of GQ magazine’s Best New Menswear Designers in America in 2010. Everything from Great American novels to flea market finds inspired him. That eclectic mix lended his clothes a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure vibe. Dressing up as a guy became simultaneously foolproof and fun. New Balance sneakers with chinos? Go ahead. Sweatpants with a topcoat? Sure, why not.

With this attitude, J.Crew became a destination not just for dudes who want to look great in a suit, but also for a more style-conscious casual dresser. The type of guy who never tucks in his shirt but is very particular about the fit of his jeans and chinos. As the workplace becomes less buttoned-up, former weekend warriors can now feel free to flex from 9 to 5, too, and for many guys that means trading in the hard-bottomed soles for a proper pair of kicks.