Smart casual can be a difficult style to pinpoint. It’s less formal than a suit, but also has a focus on looking neat and put together.
It can be a bit more overwhelming to try and put an outfit together because you have so many more options.
The routine of knowing you will always need slacks, a button-down shirt, and a tie almost makes formal attire feel simple after a while.
Whereas smart casual could mean everything from a blazer to shorts.
For starters, you should know that smart casual has formal and informal styles. For a formal smart casual, some type of jacket is usually what ties it all together.
That could mean a blazer, though it doesn’t specifically have to be. A shirt with a collar is also most common for this style, but you have options other than button-downs. Some men even go with a nice-looking flannel shirt.
If your workplace dress code calls for informal smart casual, you have even more flexibility.
You could wear a nice pair of jeans provided they don’t have any trendy rips or designs. You could even wear a plain polo shirt that fits you well.
These are clothes that aren’t as dressy but still clearly a step above what you would wear sitting around at home for the day.
What makes smart casual harder to define is that it oftentimes is not what specific clothes you choose to wear, but how you present them.
Are your clothes ironed or pressed to look neat?
Is the fit tailored to avoid looking baggy?
Your shoes should be polished, and your hair should be neatly trimmed.
What determines whether you have pulled off the look or not is the whole package. You should look in the mirror and see that your outfit looks sleek and stylish.
If you are skimping on the little details then you could wear that exact same outfit and come across as dressed down.
If it is a look you are considering trying out, start out with some of the classics before experimenting with your style too much. As you get comfortable, start taking cues from others whose style you enjoy for ideas to try for yourself.
Explore the full guide to Men’s Smart Casual in this post.
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