Well, you are brilliant. Swapping out a restrictive shirt for something more casual instantly ups the comfort factor of your tailored looks, while also lending them a contemporary edge. I wish I could share this with my bf. Dark blue jeans without bleaching or excessive distressing just look classier and more mature.
2. More Smart Than Casual
The precise origin of smart casual is as hard to track down as its meaning. As the traditional standards of dress eroded, smart casual was the hastily erected bulwark against total sartorial chaos. Or men in blazers and open-neck business shirts. Smart casual means nothing, so it can mean anything. There is no one answer, though. But while it might sound obscure, this last point is perhaps as good as any to start from. Part of the reason that smart casual is so hard to define is that it can mean radically different things in different contexts.
A pristine T-shirt, indigo jeans and box-fresh trainers can look dressier than a wrinkled shirt, stained trousers and scuffed shoes. But smart casual is arguably more a mood or attitude than it is a set formula or combination of pieces.
So a more helpful and practical approach is to start with a casual outfit and then change one — or better, two — pieces for smarter alternatives.
Now swap in any one of blazer, shirt, trousers or chinos and shoes. You should be verging on smart casual territory. Swap in two and you should be bang on target.
Swap in three and, depending on the circumstances, you might even be too smart. Darker colours skew more formal, so smartening up can be as simple as turning down the lights. For example, take an olive green bomber jacket, white T-shirt, stonewashed jeans and white trainers. Now swap the olive bomber for a navy one, and the stonewashed jeans for indigo.
Suddenly it feels dressier. Even more so if you swap the white T-shirt for, say, mid-grey or charcoal, and the trainers for navy or black. The constituent styles are exactly the same, but the overall effect is very different.
And the reverse is true: Another major factor that affects the relative smartness or casualness of a piece is texture. Swap the worsted wool for a matte flannel or tweed, however, and you both literally and metaphorically change the feel of the piece. This will also often make the garment seem larger in size, which only adds to the more casual vibe, given that smarter looks are usually sleek and streamlined. This is a handy rule of thumb and forefinger that you can apply to casualise much any piece: As previously mentioned, throwing a blazer over T-shirt, jeans and trainers is as easy a move as any to nail smart casual.
But not all blazers are created equal: As also previously mentioned, a blazer with some texture will rub up the right way with jeans. As will one cut a little shorter, perhaps also with slightly slimmer, more contemporary lapels. Finally, ripping out the padded shoulders and canvassed chest found in smart blazers will also make them feel more casual, not to mention comfortable.
But upgrading to a polo shirt will instantly smarten a casual rig. It also commonly comes in fabrics such as Oxford cloth or chambray, which are less smooth and shiny. But substituting a fine-gauge knit in merino, cashmere or even cotton for these thick, casual and sporty pieces can lend a soupcon of sophistication. A knitted blazer is somewhere between the two. A word or 23 on roll necks: Legwear is usually a smart casual sticking point.
Your pins are an oft-missed opportunity to not formalise an outfit, but also flex. Going back to the bomber jacket, T-shirt, jeans and trainers example, swapping the jeans for tailored trousers can not only look smart, but also fashionable. Which is why most guys stick to jeans or chinos. What makes a smart shoe more casual? For those reasons, wingtips , Derbies , loafers , Chelsea boots and chukkas are better bets than office-y Oxfords.
But some examples can be very smart, some very casual. But a more formal dark colour is smarter in more ways than one: In terms of fabrics, shiny, smooth leather is smarter than matte, coarse canvas, and suede is somewhere in the middle. A blazer will make you practically bulletproof. Outside of work, smart casual almost never calls for wearing a tie. A grandad shirt, polo, or roll neck will remove any ambiguity, or the impression that you forgot your neckwear.
The occasion obviously plays a big factor in how you strike the balance as well. Is it a date? What kind of formality does the occasion call for? A good example of this is sneakers. Personally smart casual is something I always strive towards.
Apply the tips shared in this article and pulling off the smart casual dress code will become a lot easier. Read my personal blog here. Many thanks for sharing! I work at a job where the dress is casual and I want to up my appearance. How can I do this everyday and make it simple?? You should add links so we can purchase the items in pictures. Leave a comment Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.
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Long-Sleeved Shirt + Shorts
“Smart casual is destined to be one of those terms that history will not be kind to,” says Josh Sims, author of Men of Style. “Thankfully, the recent explosion in non-designer-y brands. Sweatshirt and Shirt – Match the jumper with a crisp dress or oxford shirt to nail the smart casual style. Smart casual is easy to grasp with just a few simple pieces PHOTO CREDIT: Vogue On That Note. So, the men’s smart casual dress style isn’t too tricky after all, and with so many combinations, there’s no excuse for you to not try out the look from time to time. Casual ties: while a traditional suit and tie get-up is a bit too formal for a smart casual look, styles like patterned square ties, bow ties or ties that are tucked under a sweater or vest are a great option to add an interesting but appropriate accessory.