The Smart Casual Dressing Guide

Looks, Spotlight | June 2, 2016 | By

0487486b6a916274fb235dd306290b19The latest trend in dressing is ”smart-casual”, but rather than causing excitement it inspires a sense of uncertainty, especially for men.

So, you get an invite to an event with Smart Casual as the dress code and you flip. What is it? More formal than sweatpants but less formal than a suit. What does that even mean? Friday dressing, a norm in many workplaces can also be as stressful and confusing for many.

Well, worry no more. After you are done reading this ‘Smart Casual Dressing Guide’ you will know exactly how to kill it in the next party!

The Trousers:

When it comes to Smart Casual, religiously avoid ripped jeans. Casual does not mean a beach look or a punk look. You need to look smart & formal, so avoid shorts too. Jeans are still fine, as long as they are not faded or ripped. Choose dark jeans with a neat cut. You can also opt for chinos as they go perfectly with shirts, blazers and polo tees too. Chinos are the king of trousers, in our opinion.


The Shirt:

Do make sure that you stay away from tees that are too punk. Polo tees are still okay and smart but no loud colors, psychedelic graphics or lewd text. When you decide to choose a T-shirt, carrying along a blazer. Importantly, invest in shirts. They do not have to be the typical formal ones with solid colors or stripes, but can be experimented with. Choose bigger checks or linen fabric for the shirts as are the perfect balance between formal and too casual.


The Blazer:

They will ultimately come to your rescue at these events. If you feel overdressed, take it off and if you feel underdressed, put it on. Pair it with a shirt, chinos and loafers to carry it off. Opt for blazers that are a contrast with the color of your shirt. It should be a subtle contrast and should not clash.

The Footwear:

Whatever anyone might tell you, footwear is very important in deciding how you look. No matter how amazing your attire, if the footwear is wrong, the look is ruined. Say ”NO” to flip flops and sports shoes. Do not let the word ”casual” fool you. You do not want to ruin your look by being way too casual. If you are not comfortable wearing formal shoes, opt for loafers. They can be worn without socks and provide a mid way between flip flops and shoes.

The Accessories:

Watches, smart belts, pocket bows and sunglasses are your go-to accessories. Stand out from the crowd by choosing select accessories that complement your outfit perfectly. Just stick to a maximum of 2 accessories and you are good to rock it.


Lets talk some Do’s and Dont’s again-

Yes please:

  • Create balance of neat and informal. Don’t be punk.
  • Dress up jeans with a blazer or dress down trousers with your Chucks.
  • Keep in mind it’s better to be overdressed than under dressed.
  • Buy, rather invest in some chinos and tan oxfords.
  • Smart casual is tricky because it’s so open to interpretation but that’s also the best thing about it so be yourself

No not at all:

  • Rule out flip flops. and also sport sneakers.
  • Automatically rule out shorts.
  • Forget to consider the occasion.
  • Stress. If in doubt wear a crisp t-shirt, dark jeans, loafers and a blazer. Fool proof recipe.

This attire is certainly more relaxed and innately casual; but it plays off on deconstructions of formal wear. So, next time you get an invite with the dress code as ‘’Smart Casual’’, you know what you need to do! Be ”Smart-Casual”!


Note – Images are sourced from Google. 

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