We’ve all received that invite that defines the dress code as smart-casual, and we’re left staring at our wardrobe wondering what the hell smart-casual actually is. We’re here to put this great debate to rest.
It’s all about context
Smart-casual has a different meaning to everyone, hence the ambiguity. Jeans and a blazer might be smart-casual to one person but just plain casual to another.
It’s important to remember that you’re never going to be able to comply with everyone’s definition of smart-casual, but you can try. Knowing the context of the event or situation for which you have to dress smart-casual can help in determining which side of smarter or casual your fall.
Take a wedding for example. Most modern weddings ask you to dress smart-casual but this is all dependent on the context of the wedding. A picnic wedding with 30 people will require tailored trousers, a patterned collared shirt and possibly a tie or quirky bow tie; while a classic church wedding with the same amount of people will most likely require the same trousers with a plain shirt and most definitely a tie to finish.
It’s like a collage
The key to smart-casual attire is combining elements from other dress codes- for example, a pair of chinos from the weekend with a patterned shirt and a blazer from the wedding you went to last weekend.
Smart-casual is a little more lax when it comes to patterns and colour combinations- you can still look smart-casual by wearing red and oranges as much as blues and greys. Smart-casual dressing almost forces to play around with bolder colours and patterns to ensure you don’t get stuck looking too formal.
These staples are a sure fire way to sharpen your look.
Single breasted blazer: You could literally throw a blazer on top of your pyjamas and exude some sort of polish.
Tapered chinos: The slim fit keeps things on the smarter side of casual.
Collared shirt: Whether it’s patterned or plain, a collared shirt can be paired with just about anything for a smart-casual appeal.
Suede derby shoes: Not polished enough for work, and too polished for weekend hangs making them smart-casual appropriate!
Shop the smart-casual look here!
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