HOME > Tips & Advice >


Written by in Tips & Advice on the

6 Ways to Be Both Stylish and Casual

It’s easy for us men to understand what formalwear means. All they have to do is wear a suit and tie, a shirt with a collar and some smart posh shoes. Casualwear can also be easy to assemble: just grab some trainers, a T-shirt and a pair of your favourite jeans. Women have a wider choice of clothes they can use for work, and their casualwear offering is often easy to put together, too. The term ‘smart casual’ began to appear in the 1920s. It featured a combination of both a smart and a relaxed look. The clothes were almost formalwear, yet they were also designed to be comfortable. This attire is not for the office, yet it’s also not for a night out with the lads. You can ‘dress down,’ but not too far. Perhaps you want to create this specific look, or the words ‘smart casual’ are on an event invitation you’ve just received and you don't know where to start. Let’s take a look at six ways you can achieve this in style.

Buy Some Jeans 

Yes - you can wear them! We’re not talking about ripped, stone washed or baggy versions, however. Don’t go for a cheap pair that doesn't fit you very well. Instead, take a look at relaxed jeans in a tailored fit that are in darker wash versions. When folks are considering the Diesel Jeans Collection online they often want to view various photos and to see positive customer reviews. They look for online sales, and want to compare prices. It makes life easier when you can select your size and then easily choose from such versions as straight fitting, skinny or slim-fit jeans. There’s also regular tapered and faded to consider.

Avoid These Items 

Don’t wear anything oversized or baggy. It’s not just jeans here, but garments such as T-shirts and sweatshirts, as well. Casual clothes are okay to wear, but they need to be made of a higher quality material. Also avoid dress shirts and suit trousers as they are more for formal events or party wear. Never wear sports trainers if you want to look stylish; people wear them to the gym or at the weekends. The same thing applies to sports joggers and flipflops. You won’t want to wear anything wrinkly, either. It’s not a stylish look if your T-shirt seems to need ironing. To protect yourself from this you could look into materials such as leather, wool or polyester options. Cashmere or denim don't wrinkle much, either. 

Follow These Tips For Men 

If you are rushing to a smart-casual event straight after work, you may only have time to remove your tie (and later your jacket). Anyone who is unsure how much they can dress down for an event, would be advised to dress more formal than less. Cotton or denim suits look good, and so do light blazers. You could wear button-down shirts, tailored shorts or elevated chinos. If the weather is cold, why not wear a fitted sweatshirt or a cardigan? When it comes to footwear the replacement for trainers would be such things as white canvas sneakers or loafers. Alternatively, try out some brogue boots, suede or boat shoes.

Photo: Jonathan Daniel Pryce
Photo: Jonathan Daniel Pryce

Consider These Tips For Women 

As we said earlier, women have a wider spectrum of clothes they can class as formalwear for work. This makes life easier when it comes to creating a stylish casual look. For dresses you could consider wrap, tea or midi versions. Tank tops and summer dresses are also worthy choices, alongside such things as fitted tops and linen trousers. As regards footwear, see if you have any sneakers that will go with your clothes. If not, boots or sandals would be just as good. If you attend a smart-casual event, experiment with wearing tights, stockings or leggings beneath your dress or skirt. Layering is another great option for a stylish casual look, such as wearing a sweater over a dress. 

Experiment With Contrasts 

Okay, back to men. The look you’re going to need is not a flashy one that proudly displays things like ties, pocket squares or graphic T-shirts. It’s all about the overall effect, and what has been worn together. When people consider contrasting colours, they usually think of black and white. If you plan to wear a black outfit, include some white items also. This could be jewellery, belts, shoes or a watch. Some guys experiment with wearing white tops and black jeans, or black shirts with white trousers. You can do this with any contrasting colours that you choose. If you’re going to wear bright and summery colours, make sure that they don’t clash. Some other contrasts you could think about are texture and fitting. A top could be smooth, whilst the trousers are pleated. A man’s trousers could be plain in texture, whilst the shirt more interesting.

Photo: Jonathan Daniel Pryce
Photo: Jonathan Daniel Pryce

Try Experimenting 

If you struggle to match up your clothes, why not go for neutral colours? This way your wardrobe can be full of items that will happily go together. This will make things easier for when you need to dress up but don’t have the time to try lots of things on. It’s also a viable solution for people who don’t enjoy wearing contrasting or bright clothes. When people are creating a special look, it’s interesting to realise how powerful their accessories can be. A pair of decent sunglasses may make you look suave, sophisticated, relaxed and celebrity-like. A cool watch can also be effective - not a digital version, but one with a simple design. 

Whilst we’ve covered a lot of ground together, it’s still worth conducting more research online. Check out our street style gallery for inspiration. Sometimes it can be easier to view real examples than to read about them. Then you can see what you’ve got at home, and what needs buying. When your look has been successfully created, you will feel well-dressed, relaxed and ready to enjoy your event.

previous post
next post