Styling Guide To Smart Casual


Smart casual is a dress code for modern offices and always raises questions. It is also a style that many venues ask for at bars and clubs. When you read ‘smart casual’, you start asking many questions. What is ‘smart casual’? Is it a blazer? Is it a shirt with pants, or a shirt with jeans? There are many ways that you can style it. None of these is necessarily wrong however some are considered too dressy. 

Smart casual is a style that you should not automatically worry about when you see it on the invite. It should be a style that people should embrace and look forward to wearing. It is a sleek and revolutionary style that everybody should love. It takes away those boring jeans and adds a dressier twist to them. Not to mention that you can go out and have a drink with this look after work. 

The Definition of Smart Casual

The smart-casual style is the two opposite styles, which are why it confuses many people. We should probably change the phrasing for smart casual, simply because it confuses them. The question is, do you go for the smarter style or more casual style? 

This style doesn’t need to be overthought. The easy go-to for a smart casual outfit would be a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, followed by an overshirt. If you think that isn’t smart enough, swap the t-shirt with an oxford shirt and wear a plain bomber jacket over that. 

This style is often asked for when people want their event to be smart but have a casual feel to the event as well. A great example of this would be wedding receptions, graduations or even a fancy restaurant. Just any venue where you have to show a sense of style and courtesy. One thing that you must remember with smart-casual is wearing clothes adjunct to the rest of the outfit. 

The Different Styles of Smart Casual

Smart casual can be worn in multiple styles, not to mention that it is also dependent on the venue. Smart casual for a wedding reception will be a lot different to a fancy club or restaurant. Before you commit to your smart-casual style, heavily consider the venue that you are attending. 

If you are going to a wedding reception, you want to ensure that you wear a blazer with pants. Furthermore, you want to wear a pair of black skinny jeans with this look as it is the most modern for smart casual. You could wear dark denim jeans if the colours of your blazer and shirt are complemented by them. For something slightly less dressy but still requires a smart-casual outfit.

 When going to a fancy restaurant or even date night, swap the blazer with a bomber or Harrington jacket. For your bottoms, you want to wear pants instead with a pair of brogue or oxford shoes. For the top, you can either keep it as a shirt or, a polo shirt. As you can see, there are many ways that you can style smart casual, remember to always consider the venue. 

Difference Between Casual & Smart Casual

If you don’t understand the difference between smart casual and casual then this section is for you. To put it simply, your casual attire is the outfit that you wear without much consideration. Smart casual is the opposite, it is where you have to consider what you are wearing. Casual wear will be jeans, hoodies, sweatpants, tracksuits, trainers and t-shirts. These are the usual go-to items you would wear going to the pub with a few of your friends or the shop. 

Smart casual is you avoiding all of those items that were stated previously. Avoid clothes that would be considered scruffy. In your smart-casual outfit, you want to consider; Polo shirts, shirts, trousers, black/ dark blue jeans, blazers and, bomber/Harrington jackets. If your outfit doesn’t include the majority of these then you need to rethink your outfit. 

Essential Smart Casual Pieces

Oxford Shirts

Every man should have an oxford shirt, whether for a smart casual outfit or a suit. The oxford shirt is essential for those formal meetings and evenings. There are hundreds of brands out there that you can wear, Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and many more stock premium oxford shirts that are a great addition to your smart-casual outfit. 


Blazers are another essential item that you need for your wardrobe. Furthermore, they are perfect for those elegant smart-casual outfits. There are a lot of blazers out there that will have padding on the shoulders. However, we suggest that you wear a blazer without padding that isn’t too tight around your shoulders. That way, your blazers are a much more casual style to your outfit. If a blazer is a go-to piece for your smart-casual outfits then make sure it is unstructured. 

Drawstring Trousers

Drawstring trousers have only become relevant in recent years and are another key piece for mens smart-casual. In recent years, the smart casual look has only become a common style which is why these trousers have become so popular. 

To Conclude

There are many wonderful ways to style this trend for work. It is all down to your personal preference. There are enough variations on here that will give you outfit ideas throughout the week. Moreover, you can add your twist to the style as well. Remember, with smart casual you want to avoid overdressing. Nonetheless, you want to ensure you are not underdressing either so ask for someone’s opinion

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