Although smart casual is a popular dress code, it may be one of the trickiest dress codes to follow. Beyond the range of interpretations across the fashion world, the wording contains literal polar opposites. Is there such a thing as being simultaneously smart and casual?
We argue that dressing smart and casual can be done and done well with the right advice and direction. Plus, it’s a fantastic relief from a black-tie dress code or no dress code.
Put simply, smart casual, also known as business casual, can mean dressing down the clothes you wear or dressing up more laidback fashion choices.
To help you take the guesswork out of layering smart casual men’s outfits, we’ve put together a collection of everyday options and straightforward tips from New Zealand fashion brand Rodd & Gunn.
Today, you’re going to learn smart casual wear, piece by piece.
How to Piece Together Smart Casual Wear
Putting together a smart casual outfit is relatively simple when you break it down. The idea is to strike a balance between formal fashion items and more casual pieces of clothing. Start by playing up the “smart” side of things rather than looking too relaxed. Remember, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed for an event.
Another essential styling tip for men’s smart casual outfits is the fit and feel of clothing. While Rodd & Gunn emphasises well-fitting clothes for all sizes and body types, knowing your measurements can make finding flattering fashion a more straightforward affair.
As for colours , keep the hues classy and to a minimum. Low-key colours allow you to get away with more, combining muted shades, black, white, and neutrals for that distinguished aesthetic.
Fabric-wise, opt for pieces made of high-quality fabrics such as crisp Italian-milled cotton and ultra-smooth cotton weaves. Leather is, and always will be, a fantastic material for footwear and other personal accessories like wallets and belts.
Denim is another incredibly popular material that often gets overlooked. Available in various colours, the darker shades of denim pay dividends for men’s fashion.
Of course, we can’t forget outerwear. We suggest a blazer made of linen for that look of relaxed elegance without being too over the top, which fits the bill brilliantly. Oh, and if you’re considering adding something sporty, keep it to just a single polo shirt or a pair of sneakers to avoid breaking away from the look.
Starting Up Top
There’s no one-size-fits-all option here, so consider the setting, the weather, and what you feel most confident in when choosing smart casual clothes.
Starting up top, we’re going with our long-standing smart casual champion, the button-up. A fail-proof choice for smart casual shirts, the button-up is great for occasions in both warm and cool weather.
If the temperature does drop, consider practical-but-distinguished pieces. Sweaters and polos pair well under a blazer or coat, while a classic t-shirt under a well-fitting linen blazer is an understated summer day duo mastered by men who love modern style.
Lean ever so slightly towards casual or formal fashion items until you find your sweet spot.
Pairing With Pants
Smart casual soirées call for chino pants, slim-fitting jeans, and dark denim. Great-fitting pants are vital to completing a smart casual look for Gunn guys. Denim is best paired with a casual top and some outerwear, so consider a combination of smart casual jeans with a t-shirt and a blazer, as the blazer balances the look of the casual jeans.
Chinos are the quintessential smart-casual fashion items and are universally accepted at all kinds of events, making them super versatile. And to be frank, items such as chinos, slim-fit pants, and dark denim jeans are wardrobe staples, providing solid foundations for countless effortless outfits.
A tailored blazer may just be the ultimate smart-casual symbol—Amp up the sophistication of the dark-wash jeans and t-shirt combo with a well-structured blazer. Besides good function, this type of men’s smart casual jacket will take your outfit to the next level. An elegant jacket is an instant upgrade, perfect for smart casual wear and all vital if the smart casual event you’re attending requires a spot of weatherproofing.
Step Out In Style
For starters, consider pairing some high-quality leather boots with straight dark jeans, or wear a pair of boat shoes with chinos for a breezy daytime smart casual event. If that’s too much, throw on some sneakers for a more relaxed addition to your smart-casual ensemble.
Effortless Men’s Fashion
Since the smart casual dress code is far less starchy than black-tie, enjoy the sophistication without sacrificing your comfort. Nail smart casual men’s fashion the first time with Rodd & Gunn.
Content placement cost is in USD, does that mean this is being published on a US page? If that’s the case, should this and other references be in US english?