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You've heard of business, business casual, and casual when talking about specific dress codes. But the term smart casual might be new to your ears, and you're not alone. It's a dress code which to many, is still somewhat unknown, but one you should start researching since it's super versatile and amazing. So how exactly would you dress to make your outfit pass as smart casual? Continue reading this article to find out the answer!
To summarize the description in one sentence, smart casual is slightly less formal than business casual. The dress code includes appropriate and well-fitting pieces suitable for most types of occasions while being more put-together than a casual outfit. The term itself also gives a hint; you're supposed to look smart and casual, but not too casual. Dressing smart casual also gives you the freedom to experiment with different materials, structures, and colors.
Although the precise origin of the term smart casual is hard to find, it's been used throughout the last century, with the term starting to describe menswear in the 1950s. It's often associated with the business casual dress code. Back then, business casual was for work and smart casual for, well, not work. As of now, both dress codes can be worn to more formal places, such as to the office, as long as dressing smart casual means looking clean and well-dressed.
So, how do you appropriately dress smart-casual? Smart casual styles are more guided by intentions rather than social convention. The keywords here aren't what you'd typically look for. You don't need a particular tie, shoes, or a specific suit brand. Instead, an outfit consisting of a crisp t-shirt underneath a polished blazer along with perfectly fitted jeans is what you're looking for here.
Darker colors tend to be viewed as more formal, which is why it's a smart choice to go with black, gray, and navy as a base in your smart casual outfits. A navy blazer on top of a sleek t-shirt works every time. If done right, a smart casual outfit can work both in business casual, casual and dressed up environments. As stated earlier, wearing smart casual is a feeling and intention. When you're all dressed, you should get that feeling that people are going to think you look really, really good. Don't be afraid to experiment with different structures, weaves and colors. Does your outfit seem too casual? Swap out the jeans for a pair of well-fitted chinos. Do you feel too dressed up? A more casual shoe or a t-shirt in a light color will do the trick.
We’re hoping you feel a bit more wiser after reading this article, and most importantly, inspired to go out and try the smart casual style for yourself! Remember, the most important thing is for you to feel comfortable in what you’re wearing, but a perfect fit never really hurt anyone.