WHAT TO WEAR AND HOW TO STYLE FOR MEN IN A SMART CASUAL DRESS CODE

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Figuring out what “smart casual” means can quickly become a nightmare. It’s “neat, conventional, yet relatively informal in style, especially when worn to follow a certain dress code,” according to the Oxford Dictionary. Sometimes, smart casual is the right way to dress, though.

You look for smart casual style tips on the web. You might be told to wear shorts, which don’t look very smart, or Ascot ties, which don’t look very casual. Many of these rules look like they were made official soon after the Ten Commandments, as the second line shows.

“Smart casual” might mean something different now than in the 1800s when most people wore pressed shirts.

Josh Sims, author of Men of Style, says, “Smart casual is going to be one of those words that history will not be kind to.” “Thank goodness there are so many new non-designer brands making stylish, wearable clothes these days that it’s no longer necessary to second-guess what the term means. Because, well, things are pretty smart these days, but in a good way.

HOW DO YOU WEAR SMART CASUAL FOR MEN?

To answer the question, “What is smart casual exactly?” Let’s break it down first before we go any further. When guys wear smart casual, you might see them do the following:

A WISE GUIDE TO CASUAL DRESS

It doesn’t mean anything, so “smart casual” can mean anything. The Style Advice page for Mr. Porter says that “pretty much anything smarter than a tracksuit, but less formal than a suit” is smart casual. “An ideal answer is a blazer, white shirt, neat jeans, and brown loafers,” Mr. P adds, which is helpful and informative.

But there is more than one answer. There is a difference between “formal smart casual” and “informal smart casual” in Debrett’s Guide for the Modern Gentleman, but it doesn’t help. Instead, it makes things more difficult to understand.

WELL-DRESSED FORMAL CASUAL

WELL-DRESSED FORMAL CASUAL

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“a jacket or blazer, flannels, needlecord trousers, or chinos (not jeans), a casual shirt with a collar (not a T-shirt), and smart shoes (not necessarily lace-ups, but not trainers or sandals)” are all examples of formal smart casual clothing.

COOL AND CASUAL INFORMAL

COOL AND CASUAL INFORMAL

There isn’t much information about an informal smart casual dress code. All that is known is that “smart, clean, dark-colored jeans” are okay, “polo shirts are better than collarless T-shirts” are said to be better, and “change from what you have been wearing at home.”

But this last point might be the best place to start, even though it sounds hard to understand. Explaining what “smart casual” means is hard because it can mean different things at different times. It’s not just what you wear.

HOW DO CASUAL AND SMART CASUAL DIFFER?

If you want to know the difference between casual and smart casual clothing, imagine taking things up a notch. For casual wear, jeans and a T-shirt might be enough. For smart casual, a collared polo might be better than a regular t-shirt or darker-washed jeans might be better.

Another difference is that smart casual looks more put-together. If your jeans are too big, you might look slouchy or lazy. On the other hand, smart casual makes you look professional, or at least like you put some thought into what you’re wearing.

For that reason, casual clothes can be a great place to start when designing a smart casual outfit. Take clothes from your everyday outfit to start, and add some fancier or flashy clothes. These tips should help you find a dressier outfit that you can wear daily without giving up comfort or style.

HOW SMART CASUAL CAME TO BE

Finding out where “smart casual” came from is as hard as figuring out what it means. Web page As sure as that is, The Phrase Finder says the phrase “thought to have originated around the 1980s” but was “common use throughout the last century.”

These words were first used in an Iowa newspaper called The Davenport Democrat And Leader in 1924. They were, however, used to talk about open dresses, which we strongly advise against.

There must be a link between smart casual and business casual because people often use the terms for each other, even though they don’t mean the same thing. There is one for work and one for fun. It used to be that you dressed up not only for the job but for everything else too.

As traditional dress codes fell apart, Smart casual quickly sprung up as a way to stop fashion from going completely crazy.”Smart casual” is a style that falls between dressing up (more formally) and dressing down (less formally). At the same time, Sims says that more and more guys are looking for comfort and freedom of expression.

People in “authorities,” like restaurant managers and event planners, don’t know how to handle the shift because of this word. They’ve found a medium ground: please dress casually but not too casually. Because of this? There is a lot of uncertainty. Or men with open-necked work shirts and jackets.” Don’t act like those guys.

SMART CASUAL

SMART CASUAL STYLE TIPS FOR MEN

Right now, here are some tips to help you start dressing in smart casual clothes:

1. CHANGE THE WAY YOU FEEL

CHANGE THE WAY YOU FEEL

In A-Z of Style, Sir Hardy Amies writes, “If you want to look smart, it’s more about how your clothes look than how they look.” To look smart, polish your shoes, press your pants, and ensure your tie is correctly tied.”

The words that matter here are “properly,” “polished,” and “pressed,” not “shoes,” “trousers,” or “tie.” To look more put-together, wear a simple T-shirt, blue pants, and brand-new sneakers from a company like Uniform Standard. Not a shirt that is wrinkled, pants that are dirty, or shoes that are scratched.

It’s not always okay to wear a T-shirt, flared jeans, and sneakers. Smart casual, on the other hand, might be more of an attitude or mood than a set recipe or set of clothes. It’s not the same as not trying hard just because an event is casual, as Debrett says.

2. DO A ONE-TWO

DO A ONE-TWO

As we’ve seen, it’s almost impossible to describe a smart casual outfit. So, starting with a casual outfit and adding a few more formal pieces is better and more helpful.

A bomber jacket, a T-shirt, pants, and shoes come to mind. All of this seems pretty casual, right?

Now, switch out the jacket for a shirt, pants, slacks, or shoes. You should be almost in the smart casual range. If you swap in two, you should be right on track. And if you swap in three, you might be too smart in some situations. There is a thin line.

3. SET UP SOME SHADE

SET UP SOME SHADE

There’s no need to change clothes to make a look more laid-back. Turning off the lights is all it takes to get ready. This is because things that are dark seem more important.

This outfit has a white T-shirt, stonewashed pants, and white shoes. Dark green is the color of the bomb jacket.

Now, change the green bomber jacket to navy and the stonewashed pants to blue. All of a sudden, it feels dressier. Change the shoes to blue or black and the white T-shirt to a mid-gray or charcoal. It will look even better. 

The song sounds very different, even though the styles are the same. It’s also the same thing to be smart and turn down the lights.

4. COMBINE THE ROUGH AND THE SMOOTH

COMBINE THE ROUGH AND THE SMOOTH

The texture is another big thing that can make or break how smart or casual something is. Men’s dressiest clothes, like barathea dinner coats and worsted wool business suits, are usually smooth and shiny.

If you switch from worsted wool to a matte cloth or tweed, the piece will feel different physically and non-physically. This will also often make the item of clothing look more extensive, which fits with the casual style since better clothes are usually straighter and sleeker.

Generally, this is an excellent way to dress down almost anything, from shoes and clothes to shirts and jackets.

5. THE BLAZER TRAIL

THE BLAZER TRAIL

As was already said, it’s easy to pull off smart casual clothing by wearing a blazer over a T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. Some Blazers are better than others, though. The nice words from Debrett make me think of middle-class people who drink gin and tonics and drive Jaguars.

Also, it was already said that pants look great with a jacket with some texture. It will also look good if you cut it a little shorter and make the lapels tighter and more modern. Patch pockets that look like they were worn are also “cash.” 

The last thing that can be done to smart jackets to make them feel less formal is to take off the chest and arm pads. Note: Do not tear your jacket; search for “unstructured.”

6. PRESS THE BUTTON UP

PRESS THE BUTTON UP

If it’s simple, well-made, fits well, and hasn’t been washed too often, a T-shirt can be taken to work.

But quickly putting on a polo shirt will make a casual outfit look more put together. It looks more like a shirt with a hood and buttons but is still sporty. It sounds like it was made to be worn for polo because of the name. The collar wouldn’t move because it was zipped up. The button-down shirt is next. It’s not stiff like a shirt with arms and neck that are too tight. 

Oxford cloth and chambray, which aren’t as smooth and shiny, are also often used for this. One more is the grandfather shirt. A collar makes you look more professional. Do you understand?

7. MAKE USE OF YOUR FINERY

MAKE USE OF YOUR FINERY

They didn’t have a jersey jacket or hoodie in their clothes. These heavy, fun, and sporty clothes will look less put-together if you wear fine-gauge knits made of merino, cashmere, or cotton instead. It would be better to wear a sweater or cardigan over your T-shirt and shoes instead of boots.

A thick knit won’t work, but a shawl-collar sweater can look good instead of a jacket with no toggles or a big moose. In the middle, there is also a felt jacket.

Too thick and too thin are the two main types of roll-necks. Too thick and too thin are both like the drinks Hemingway liked.

8. CARRY THE DIFFERENCE WITH YOU

CARRY THE DIFFERENCE WITH YOU

Some people have trouble with smart casual because of their legwear. If your jeans are dark and not worn down, you can wear them almost anywhere, even to work. But something terrible could happen at any time. There are also foolproof pants, which are all about the word “safe.”

Many people miss the chance to dress up in an outfit and show flexibility. Switching out the jeans for fitting pants is one way to make the bomber jacket, T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers look smart and on-trend.

Casual pants can look good in flannel or linen, which are rough and don’t shine too much. However, this style isn’t easy to get into. That’s why many guys dress in pants or jeans.

9. STAY IN LINE

STAY IN LINE

The same is true for sneakers: you can wear them almost anywhere. It’s better to be safe if you’re not sure. They say, “The right shoes can save even the worst fashion disaster—the opposite is rarely true.”

How can you dress down a smart shoe? Regarding color, black is the classiest, brown is the most relaxed, and tan is even less formal. Shape: A simple shape like a round or almond toe or a chunky bottom is better for everyday wear than a pointed toe. Also, suede that is nubby and matte looks more casual than leather that is smooth and shiny.

Wear wingtips, Derbies, loafers, Chelsea boots, or chukkas instead of Oxfords if you want to look good in the office. As you can see, some examples are very smart, and some are very relaxed. Be careful, then.

10. GET YOUR KICKS ON

GET YOUR KICKS ON

Many smart casual books say you can’t wear trainers at all, but that’s last year.

People who like to wear shoes are often told to keep things simple with types like Common Projects, white Converse Jack Purcells, or Adidas Stan Smiths. A more formal black hue, on the other hand, is brighter in multiple ways than one.

People won’t think you’re weird or dirty because you won’t stand out as much. Regarding smooth and shiny leather is better than rough and matte fabric. Suede is in the middle. Also, dark-knit trainers look good but maybe too modern for some events and not quite as right as shoes. Sandals made of leather? Sometimes. Never wear flip-flops.

5  SKILLFUL CASUAL PIECES REVIEW

Men should wear these five most important clothing pieces for smart casual events.

BLAZER WITHOUT A STRUCTURE

BLAZER WITHOUT A STRUCTURE

How many times can we say that the Blazers are great? One more, please. There is no getting around the fact that a fitted jacket is the fastest way to pull off smart casual. It’s also a classic piece for business casual. Get a jacket that can do both, if possible.

A blazer that looks good with jeans should be made from a fabric with more texture than a suit jacket, cut a little shorter, and built less tightly. Of course, this also makes it easy to put on.

BLAZE BOMBER

BLAZE BOMBER

A jacket is, without a doubt, the most important piece of work and dressy-casual clothing.

What about times when a structured or not-structured jacket that fits well looks too dressy? Please let the “blazer bomber” in.

It has a serious look because it comes from the military, where people wear uniforms. What makes a bomber jacket “smart casual”? It should be a dark color (like blue or black), smaller than a military-issue MA-1, and made of a more expensive and less shiny material than nylon. You can choose wool or cotton. This is your partner for smart casual jobs.

CHAMBRAY SHIRT

CHAMBRAY SHIRT

Oxford button-down shirts look great when you’re not dressing up or down. They would be at work, of course. There’s a chance you won’t even try to get dressed if you work from home. So, to keep things interesting, the denim shirt is a good choice for smart casual.

Chambray seems like denim, but denim isn’t denim because denim is made with a twill design instead of warp and weft going back and forth. You can also get it in different weights and shines. In general, it won’t make a big difference whether you dress it up or down.

BLACK JEANS

BLACK JEANS

Chones or “khakis” (a color, not a style) are essential to business casual, just like the polo shirt. They can also be worn with smart casual clothes.

This is a less dressy version of the first one, so we won’t repeat it. Instead, we’ll pick plain dark selvage jeans with a western pocket design and the bare necessities. You don’t have to wear blue jeans, though. If not better, black pants can look great, too.

THE DERBIES

THE DERBIES

We won’t tell you what shoes to wear; you probably already have a good pair. It’s better to have shoes in your smart-casual closet that don’t make you want to go to a lousy club. It’s possible to look more rock ‘n’ roll by wearing Chelsea boots instead of brogues. We’re arguing for Derby. Since cool brands like A.P.C. and Ami will be making them, they’ll look better than wingtips. 

The thick soles make them look like they belong on a parade ground or even a punk rock band.

A smart look at what to wear to a simple event Still not sure if this laid-back outfit is right for you? It’s important to follow these essential dos and don’ts when it comes to your style:

DO: GO OVER YOUR BASES

That’s pretty much all there is to smart casual. Just make sure you don’t wear sneakers or pants. A jacket will protect you from most things.

DO NOT: TAKE YOUR ARMS OFF

Short-sleeved shirts, polo shirts, and T-shirts are cool. Even more casual are shorts. Make sure it’s safe before taking the guns out of their holsters.

GET OUT OF THE TIE

Smart casual means you rarely need to wear a tie outside of work. A grandfather shirt, polo, or roll-neck will clear things up if you’re unsure what to wear.

DO NOT FORGET THE TIE

Don’t worry about whether you should wear a tie to a smart casual event or a casual position at an organization that likes that style. It won’t make you feel bad. 

DO: PUT ON YOUR COAT

You won’t need to wear a suit when going to a smart casual event because you’ll be taking it off anyway. 

DO NOT: TRY TO FEEL BETTER

You might want to wear your jacket for formal, smart casual events. An overcoat you can take off might be better than a knit under your jacket.

DO: MAKE SURE THE PLAN IS CORRECT

Instead of making you look like you just got off the job, patterns like jackets and shirts make you look less like you’re wearing business clothes.

DON’T: TRY TO CHANGE HISTORY

It would help if you didn’t put any patterns, logos, titles, or (shudder) jokes on T-shirts because they are already fun. The phrase “liquor in the front, poker in the back” only means you have nothing better.

DO: HOLD ON TIGHT

As was already said, the silhouette also shows how serious something is. One way to show you are wise is to ensure your casual clothes fit right. It wasn’t “sloppy,” we said “casual.”

Please do not cut off the supply.

“Clingfilm” and “fitted” are not the same thing. You look like you’re getting ready for an event at a nightclub when your dress clothes are too tight. 

DO: GET YOUR HEART RATE UP

A light jacket? Without a doubt, it’s excellent. A jacket made from the same stuff? You’re fine. You don’t have to wear a knit under a casual fitted jacket. You can wear a sweater instead.

DO NOT: JOGS ON

It’s one thing to wear pants or chinos with sporty drawstrings or sleeves, but jersey sweatpants aren’t appropriate for everyday wear. Remember that it’s a smart casual event.

DO: PUT IT BEHIND YOU

There’s more to smart casual than what you wear. To get rid of the dressy look, roll up the arms and hems of your pants to show off your boots.

DO NOT: LET EVERYTHING HANG OUT

You can leave your shirt out if you’re wearing a bomber or another casual jacket. What if it shows through a jacket, though? Do what you want.

DO: ADD A LITTLE MORE TO IT

The brown leather belt and watch look bad together. Instead, get a sports watch with a NATO or metal band. Also, don’t get a leather belt. Instead, get a colored weave belt. 

DO NOT SACK IT TO THEM

More than one internet “style” guide says that colored or patterned underwear is a great way to show who you are. Do not do this. Do not do that at all.

SMART CASUAL

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QUESTIONS PEOPLE ASK ABOUT THE SMART CASUAL DRESS CODE

Are you still not sure how to dress in an innovative, casual way? Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) and some last words of wisdom: 

IS IT OK TO WEAR JEANS TOO NICE AND CASUAL?

Most of the time, jeans are acceptable for smart casual, but make sure they are a darker wash and don’t have any rips or other signs of wear. Instead of jeans, try a pair of slacks if you’re afraid of looking too casual.

HOW DO YOU WEAR SMART CASUAL TO WORK?

If you want to look smart casual, wear dark jeans or pants, a shirt with a collar, and a jacket with the front open. You can also wear Derbies or smart sneakers with this outfit. Add simple but stylish accessories, like a colored belt, to make yourself stand out in the boardroom.

WHAT KIND OF SHOES GO WITH SMART CASUAL? 

Sneakers don’t always go with smart casual clothes, such as Deebs or other casual dress shoes. Anyhow, smart shoes can spice up a simple outfit. Get a pair that you’ll only wear to dressier events, and ensure it has no marks or scratches.

Muhammad Shoaib
Muhammad Shoaibhttps://fashionnovaaza.com/
Muhammad Shoaib is a seasoned fashion expert with a particular interest in streetwear, accessories, and luxury leather goods. He splits his time between NYC, Paris, and Pakistan, constantly on the hunt for today’s latest trends

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