The smart casual dress code is a style that isn’t easy. It is a style that everybody questions when they read it off the dress code. Nonetheless, many places are asking for it such as offices, restaurants, bars and many other places, or you might even want to get dressed up if you have friends coming over for a dinner party.
Smart-casual isn’t the easiest look for a man to follow, especially if they don’t consider themselves fashionable. One thing we would advise is that you don’t overthink it as it is easier than it may seem.
The first thing someone thinks of when they see smart casual is a blazer. However, there are many other items you can wear to keep your outfit casual but look smart at the same time. Moreover, it is a style that the modern man needs to master as many places are asking for this dress code. This dress code is fantastic and looks much better than the jeans and t-shirt style.
What Is Smart-Casual?
Let’s get the main question out of the way, what is the smart casual look? It is where they combine styles of casual and smart into the same outfit. It is a look that once you understand the key items you need to wear, you will be confident and stylish at the same time. The question is, do you lean on wearing more casual clothes or smart clothes?
Smart casual is the outfit where people want you to dress smarter than casual clothes, without looking too smart. It sounds like an indecisive dress code to many but to some people, it is a dream.
The Different Styles of Smart-Casual
The great part about this style is there are many variations of this trend. However, one thing you must remember is the style you choose depends on the venue and event you are going to. The smart-casual outfit you would wear at a posh bar or restaurant is different to what you would wear at a wedding reception. It is where it can get a little confusing.
At a wedding reception, you would lean more towards the smarter clothes for this outfit. Wear a shirt or polo t-shirt with a blazer, pair of jeans and shoes. Your shoes don’t need to be too out there. Just pick shoes that go well with your outfit.
Now, the smart casual you would wear at a posh restaurant/bar will be very different. This time you want to swap the blazer for something more casual. A bomber or Harrington jacket would both be good choices. For your bottom half, you want to either wear drawstring trousers or a pair of cropped pants. Then for your footwear, wear smart trainers or a pair of loafers.
What Is The Difference Between Smart Casual and Casual?
To put this simply, your smart casual outfit will be something you think about and your casual outfit is the opposite. In your casual outfit, you can just throw on a full tracksuit and then you can get on with your day. The smart casual outfit will get you thinking, and care about how you look.
Smart Casual Essentials For Your Wardrobe
First up we have an overshirt, which is an essential in any mens smart casual wardrobe. The great thing about an overshirt is that you instantly look dressy when you put it on, so you could wear the most simple outfit and automatically take it to a new level when you put on your overshirt. Plus, you can wear it open or closed.
So, start with a simple outfit, either a pair of jeans, trousers or chinos and a t-shirt, then put your overshirt on with a pair of trainers or loafers. This is the ultimate smart casual outfit that looks incredible every time. You have so many options when it comes to the shirt itself as well, you can go for something check, a simple block colour or something neutral that will go with everything. We’d recommend buying an overshirt that is nice and thick, as you are likely to be wearing a t-shirt underneath it, so if you get too warm, you can simply take it off. Plus, thicker overshirts always look such good quality.
Good Pair of Jeans
Next up is an absolute staple in any wardrobe, not just for smart casual, which is a good pair of jeans. Get yourself a pair of jeans that fits you perfectly, is good quality and a timeless design, and they will be in your wardrobe for years and years. Go to a proper jeans shop like Levi’s, and they will spend the time to help you find the perfect fit. Plus, with Levi’s, they will repair the jeans for FREE for LIFE! So, if they ever get damaged because they’re defective, then they will be replaced. This is the kind of thing you want to invest in.
Now, onto how to style them! Jeans are a vital staple for every kind of outfit and are the perfect base for any outfit. Whether you wear them with a shirt and blazer, your overshirt or a quarter zip, this is the perfect addition to any wardrobe. If you’re going to invest in anything for your wardrobe, invest in jeans and you certainly won’t regret it.
Good Quality T-Shirts
Another thing that you should invest in for your smart casual wardrobe are good quality t-shirts. Get yourself a couple of black, white and colourful t-shirts as these will be a staple for you. T-shirts may not sound very smart, but they are perfect for pairing with dressier things to create a smart casual look. You could wear a t-shirt with chinos and loafers for a summery smart casual look, or maybe you wear it under a blazer with jeans for another great smart casual look. They are such an important part of any wardrobe, so get yourself some good quality tees for your wardrobe and you will soon see how diverse they are. Again, go for thicker ones here, as they are better quality and will last much longer.
As you can see, there are many outfits and different ways to dress in a smart casual style. All you need to remember is to have one or two items of smart clothing then the rest can be casual. If you stick to some of the outfit suggestions we have mentioned, you will not go far wrong. Just ensure you dress appropriately as the last thing you want is to be turned away from the venue because you are underdressed. Remember to always check the dress code to see what clothes are required as well.