How can men achieve that smart casual look?
Creating that smart casual style without spending too much time deciding what that means can be quite challenging. The main aim of smart casual is somewhere between jeans and t-shirt and a three-piece suit. To get started on this aim, choose your casual outfit and make slight changes to create that smarter appeal.
In this scenario it’s always best to dress it up rather than down – being underdressed is definitely harder to forgive than turning up to an event looking handsomely dapper! It may be little subtle changes, like your shoe choice or swapping your t-shirt for a classic oxford shirt that will create that smart casual look that you want.
Tailored chinos are the perfect start for a smart casual appearance. Chinos are tailored like formal trousers, but the fabric feels light and comfortable, and doesn’t crease easily. They work well with many combinations but they must fit correctly otherwise you will lose the smart vision you are aiming for. With chino’ you are given the option of choosing a lighter colour rather than the dark denim that jeans are known for. Chinos exude a smarter style than jeans and so they go best with leather shoes including brogues or derbies.
If your jeans rule your wardrobe, then you can still get away with wearing them for smart casual outings. They must fit well to give that clean and tidy look so opting for slim or straight leg are best. Avoid choosing distressed colour jeans or wide leg styles as you will be edging on the side of too casual. As jeans are the personification of casual they need to be ‘dressed up’. They work well if paired with a shirt and a blazer or sports jacket. The blazer/sports jacket must be tailored to create that sleek smart image. A tweed jacket can give you a bit more extravagance but still keep you casual when paired with jeans. Stay away from trainers if you’re wearing jeans; loafers will complement this outfit perfectly and can be worn in many different colours and fabrics.
Sometimes the occasion will help decide on which clothing avenue to go down. If it’s a work function, then opting for chinos may be best – they create that professional image that jeans slightly lack. After all, you’re still working so it’s important to be professional and to reflect that in your attire. A collared shirt is a more positive style than a t-shirt. Complement your outfit with brogues or loafers.
If done correctly you can gain a style that’s not only sophisticated, but comfortable and relaxed as well. That’s what dressing smart casual is all about.
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