Smart casual. As a look, it sounds simple enough, but getting the balance right can be a challenge. In this post we look at how the modern man can master this classic blend of style and comfort.
Keep it Together
Before we look at how smart casual works as a style, let’s take a look at how it doesn’t... Smart casual definitely isn’t about mixing extremes, so if you’re trying to pull off a dinner jacket and ripped skinny jeans, then the results are likely to be less ‘fashion innovation’, and more ‘I got dressed in the dark!’
Instead, try selecting a whole outfit where each item fits into the ‘smart-through-to-casual spectrum’ at about the same point...
Take the Look One Way or the Other
The smart casual look is one of the most flexible in fashion – with the scope to be pushed one way or the other as the occasion demands…
- For Work
With more and more workplaces applying a semi-relaxed dress code, this could be the perfect time to shed the suit, while keeping things professional. We’d still suggest steering toward the smart side of smart casual during the 9-5, so why not try leaving your suit jacket at home and your shirt open at the neck for a light twist on the classic office attire?
- For Outdoors
If you’re heading into the great outdoors, or have a more physical job, you’ll probably want to lean the other way and go toward practical, comfortable choices – while avoiding looking like you just pulled something out of the laundry! Avoid extreme style choices and go for on-trend classics – boots and check shirts are both big in 2018, and suit the look perfectly.
- For Social Occasions
For a party or relaxed meal out with friends, we’d typically recommend something right in the centre ground of smart casual. Why not match a tan coloured jacket (always less formal than black or grey) with a pair of dark denim slim/regular fit jeans and loafers?
It’s Time to Accessorize
It’s no surprise that men’s fashion accessories sit perfectly as a natural compliment to the smart casual look... After all, the look has more than enough focus on style to justify accessorizing, but doesn’t come with rigid, formal conventions that restrict what you can choose.
Leather accessories such as wallets, belts, or bags make the perfect last minute addition to bring the whole look together, and the classic leather colours of tan, brown, or black, are neutral enough to work with virtually anything.
If you want to push things further, why not experiment with hats, scarves, or gloves – scarves especially give you the scope to start incorporating more colour into your wardrobe.
Watch Your Leathers!
Leather may be universally popular for accessories, but when it comes to leather clothes, things can get a little more complex...
Do you love them, or do you hate them? Don’t worry – the fashion world can’t decide either! Right now leather jackets, coats, and yes, even trousers, are becoming very on-trend – and can work perfectly as part of the smart casual look... But pairing leather, with leather, with yet more leather can look like you’re trying too hard!
So, if you’ve picked leather for your jacket and shoes, why not break the look up with a classic compliment like denim jeans or chinos?