Smart casual — what are the rules?

The phrase ‘smart casual’ can crop up anywhere — for a wedding, cocktail party or even a business event. But the line can sometimes become blurred between too formal and too casual, so what should you and your partner be wearing? CT Shirts, retailers of men’s slim fit suits, give us some advice.

Going for business casual

Sometimes, you might not be given any hints as to what the dress code is. Some offices and workplaces have ‘dress down Fridays’ or a casual dress code every day. However, it’s still nice to make an effort and look reasonably smart — even if this doesn’t involve a ball gown or three-piece suit and tie.

There are some occasions where you’re asked to dress specifically ‘smart casual’. At a dinner party for example, a men’s shirt and tuxedo or ball gown is not expected but slack jeans and a T-shirt would be looked down upon. Or, for a first interview — it may specify casual in the email, but first impressions count and your outfit should still be carefully considered.

smart casual - what are the rules?

Photo by Olu Eletu on Unsplash

Often, a ‘smart casual’ dress is a secure option. It avoids the error of looking like you don’t take pride in your appearance and prevents you feeling out-of-place by dressing too formally.

Buy yourself a few staple garments

Don’t worry — you don’t need to buy an entire new wardrobe if you’re heading to a smart casual event. Just a few garments will do the trick.

Get yourself a blazer! It depends on your fashion preferences as to what sort of blazer you opt for — just choose one that you feel confident in and it will show. For men, an unstructured blazer is perfect for those who prefer a relaxed look and want to avoid a rigid and overly tailored shape. Some believe that these are more comfortable too, as they are without inner folds and allow you to move more freely. For women, a structured blazer emphasises the shape of the body. It gives more of a snug fit to the wearer and is generally more expensive, as it takes great skill to create an impressive jacket of this style. Navy is a good choice for a blazer as it is very versatile and not as formal as the traditional black jacket.

Consider what’s on your feet. Depending on your preferences, choose a pair of brogues or loafers to complete a smart casual look. Brogues are uber stylish and recognisable by their detailed leather uppers and thin laces. Loafers, on the other hand, are lower shoes so the ankle is exposed, they do not have laces and often have a low heel. They can be seen as less formal than the brogue because more of the foot is on show. In terms of colour, brown is a good colour to go for as it can be paired with denim or smart trousers, whereas black may be too dark to complement some colours.

Another way to make sure you’re smartened up is a nice pair of trousers. For men, a light pair of chinos are a good option for warmer weather, as they can brighten up your outfit whilst keeping you looking smart. If you feel more comfortable in jeans, try to choose a darker denim as this gives off a more formal vibe — just avoid distressed or ripped denim at all costs.

Styling it all together

For women, opt for a smart, knee-length dress or tailored trousers with a loose shirt. What about men? How do they rock the look?

Start with a jumper

Invest in a smart jumper for the cooler months. A roll-neck jumper is perfect for layering and looking smart. Pair a black wool roll-neck with a grey slim fit jacket and coloured pocket square to become the master of business casual. Match your socks with your pocket square for co-ordination and wear your favourite pair of swanky trousers.

A loose-fitting shirt

For a man, an open collar shirt is a great way to rock smart casual. Choose complementing colours for the shirt and blazer, such as different hues of blue or grey, to really make your outfit come together. Slip into tailored trousers, or jeans and pair with brogues to complete the look.

 

You might now know how to achieve the smart casual dress code. Of course, keeping your outfit neat and tidy is important too, so don’t let smaller details drop you into the ‘casual’ bracket. Have a lint roller on hand before leaving the house and make sure you always look your best.

 

Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you have enjoyed this post.

You may like to look at the other posts in the fashion category.

*This is a collaborative post

 

1 Comment

  1. Bev
    March 18, 2018 / 9:40 am

    Great article!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.