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How To Pull Off the Smart Casual Look

Smart casuals may mean a lot of things for people. Unfortunately, the term 'Smart Casuals' is thrown around far too often to make much sense anymore. Many men think of smart casuals as dressing like you may or may not go to work. On the other hand, a few think of it as wearing jeans with a shirt. Modern fashion and its many phrases have confused a good number of people. Getting you started on the smart casual journey is basically dressing down from a formal look, not dressing up from an incredibly casual look. Smart casual is not the look you can pull off at a board meeting but will definitely work for a special event that is not black tie (wedding, lunch meeting, and so on).

What is a Smart Casual look? 

Smart casual came into being to combat formalwear that may men would wear daily. While formal settings like offices, conferences, board meetings, directors’ meetings, presentations, etc., do require strict formal clothing, all other times can pass for smart casuals. By smart casual, we do not mean pull out your distressed jeans and a white shirt. What we mean is instead of wearing formal trousers and dress shirts, you could instead opt for a semi-formal look that relaxes the formality but does not come across as immature. Let us look at some tips to help you pull off the smart casual look without compromising your style.


Avoid Comfort-Fit

When dressing up in a smart casual style, avoid purchasing baggy clothes. Baggy clothes scream extreme comfort and are not considered semi-formal. Slim fit shirts like the ones on Olymp Shirts online, and trousers are excellent for a smart casual look. Loose-fitting clothes are not regarded as smart casual simply because they will not fit the occasion. Similarly, wearing skinny trousers or jeans is considered immature. When in a formal setting, always look and dress your best, even if it is not a three-piece suit. 

Wear Ironed Clothes

Grunge, non-ironed clothes are not smart casual. Instead of pairing the shirt with a pair of formal trousers, you could wear tan chinos with a formal shirt. Neatly ironed clothes always give off the impression that you are careful about your appearance, even if you are not dressed strictly in formals. Ensure that the cuffs, collar, and body of the shirt is well ironed. You should also avoid wrinkles on the trousers. Ironed clothes (even in a smart casual style) always look better than a crumpled formal shirt, blazer, and chinos.

Riley Studio
Riley Studio

Wear the Correct Shoes and Belts 

Avoid sports shoes when dressing up in smart casual attire. A pair of versatile boots or shoes in colours like brown, black, or navy blue are sure to make more of an impression than flip flops and sandals. When carrying off the smart casual look, always sport a belt. Avoid belts with spikes, and instead, opt for single tone belts in the same or similar colour to your shoes. Dressing with a bit of care and choosing complimenting colours will help maintain your look without making you seem like you are trying too hard. 

Keep It Simple

A smart casual dress code is synonymous with non-flashy. Avoid wearing band t-shirts or things with slogans, and instead opt for single tones, checks, or stripes for shirts. Overdoing it with complex patterns and textures may look tacky in a formal or semi-formal setting. If the weather is chilly, you could also pull on a V-neck sweater with a scarf, single tone shoes, and a belt to keep the look simple. Dark colours, paired with light sweaters or scarves, will also help complete your look and keep it classy yet simple.


Avoid T-shirts

T-shirts and blazers are not considered smart casual. A t-shirt is always regarded as casual clothing. Instead, choose a utility shirt or a slim fit shirt under the blazer. When dressing up in a smart-casual style, you should avoid ties and leave the shirt's collar button open. Like we mentioned earlier, avoid colourful shirts with overcomplicated patterns. Single or dual-tone shirts and a blazer will help improve your look and fit the dressing style perfectly. 

Buy Good Quality Clothes 

Good quality clothes are not necessarily expensive. However, when purchasing shirts and trousers, you should always check the make of the fabric, the stitching, and the seams. Poor quality clothes do not last very long. While you may want to save some money and buy the cheaper versions, you should also remember that they don't last long. Instead, buy a few good quality, versatile pairs that will prove to be more useful in the long term.

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