Do you get agitated when someone tells you that smart-casual is the dress code? This is something many people have difficulty understanding. It’s the intersection of formal and informal dress, where the lines are somewhat blurred.
Fear not! This handy guide will help you to put together the right outfit for your next smart-casual event.
What is smart casual?
Smart casual is something that’s not overly sophisticated, such as a three-piece suit. It’s also casual but not casual, such as a tracksuit. This is still not very helpful, however. It can be defined in many ways depending on the occasion. This is why it is so hard to define. What might be appropriate smart-casual attire for work may not be appropriate for a party.
There are also sub-sects of smart-casual, including Business Casual, Formal Smart Casual, and Informal Smart Casual. While the first two are very similar, the second is the most difficult to dress for.
For formal smart casual and business casual, a jacket or coat is required. You can also wear chinos and flannels. However, sandals or trainers should not be worn.
Informal Smart Casual allows for smarter jeans such as darker denim. However, shorts and collarless shirts cannot be worn.
Here’s some help if you still have trouble putting together an outfit.
You can choose from plain shirts or t-shirts. These shirts are safe and can be worn casually with your outfit. You can dress up a lightweight linen shirt with a polo or top with a smart jacket, but not too formal. This is especially important for weddings in high summer.
If you wear a jacket, blazer, or other formal wear, you can forgo the tie and unbutton a collared top to appear more.
Smarter, tailored trousers, or even chinos are great choices for your bottom half as long as they’re balanced with your top half. Jeans can also be acceptable. However, it is recommended to wear smarter, darker denim without any treatments or overwashing, as long as you pair them with a smarter top, such as a button-down or tailored shirt.
It’s also important to keep your jeans classic and slim, rather than trendy “baggy” or thin cuts. You can wear any shoe, as long as they are not workman’s boots or flip flops.
The last word:
It’s best to try to find a balance. If you have decided to wear a smart shirt and blazer, don’t wear it with a tie.
You don’t need a complete three-piece suit. Instead, wear a few layers. For example, a smart shirt layered with a smart sweater and finished with a tailored jacket.
Don’t hide behind your workwear:
This is your chance to mix and match other pieces in your wardrobe.