Smart Casual is a modern style resulting from the combination of elegant cut with sporty comfort, where stiff formalism gives way to everyday life. Smart casual fits perfectly both in women's wardrobes, as we argued on our blog, and also among men who are interested in style and fashion. The smart style is becoming more and more popular - not only in the business environment, but due to the lack of clear rules, it often causes problems in maintaining the balance between excessive simplicity and regularity, and professional and very formal attire.

In the business world, there are several styles regarding dress code. They are usually established in advance and constitute an integral part of the brand image being built. Also during accompanying events, the dress code is an element of a certain savoir-vivre, and ignorance of the rules may or intensive breaking away from the accepted canon may negatively affect the assessment of our person in the environment. For this reason, today we would like to present one of the most enigmatic terms in contemporary fashion - smart casual, one of the styles most open to interpretation, the lack of standardization of which causes many people a lot of problems.

Smart Casual - semi-formal style

The smart casual style is currently one of the most popular fashion styles, which is popular in women's wardrobes, but in men's styling it allows for great freedom and innovation. Without wanting to limit ourselves to any framework, because it is contrary to what smart casual actually is, we will start the introduction to this style with a presentation of what it is definitely not and what we can completely give up when planning this type of wardrobe.

Smart Casual - something you won't find in a semi-formal wardrobe

A full suit in black, gray or even navy blue, consisting of a jacket, trousers with creases, and a vest covering a white shirt, with a collar buttoned to the last button and a beautiful tie made of silk. In addition, accessories - cufflinks, leather shoes and a belt to match the color of the suit and socks that match the color of the trousers - not the shoes. When receiving an invitation to a party with a note regarding the outfit - smart casual - leave the above outfit for a wedding, funeral or a visit of the head of the management board of the company you work for. Smart Casual breaks with the canon, rules and formality, a full suit is replaced by a jacket , cotton chino trousers, colorful socks, good quality shoes, often a finely checked vest or a high-quality shirt with a stand-up collar. The most important thing is that the outfit is refined in terms of the quality of materials and color aesthetics, but allows you to remain relaxed and express yourself without any restrictions.

Jeans, a cotton T-shirt with the manufacturer's logo exposed, sneakers from a famous brand and a hoodie will also not be appropriate for semi-formal meetings. While well-tailored jeans and sports shoes are a good base for creating a smart look, replace the upper part of the outfit with a shirt, a plain T-shirt complemented by a sports jacket. These solutions also work well during semi-formal meetings.

Below we present several wardrobe items that will make your outfit look smart.

Smart Casual for five! Sports jacket

A suit jacket's cut conjures up a very elegant image, but when worn with less formal trousers it raises some doubts, giving the impression of lack of coherence. A sports jacket, however, not only thanks to its cut but also to a different material, allows you to create a less official styling. Sports jackets do not have to be devoid of shape, which is the concern of many men who, when investing in clothing, want it to look very good. Shorter cut, single slit at the back, two buttons, interesting colorful lining - this is enough to make the styling more casual. Double-breasted jackets with sewn-in elbow pads, made of patterned material, look interesting. Not only checks dominate, but also stripes and plant or floral patterns.

Chinos and a good pair of jeans

An alternative to suit trousers with an ironed edge are cotton chino trousers . Cotton trousers with flat, inset pockets were taken from school uniforms popular in the mid-20th century. Apart from the iconic colors - beige and navy blue, which are the basis of men's wardrobe, the smart casual style is full of warm colors - shades of yellow, red, brown and green. In addition to the straight leg, the smart casual style also allows for carrot styles with a slightly tapered leg at the ankles.

Shoes - leather brogues and sports sneakers

Leather shoes, well-fitting in universal colors are a way to perfectly finish the entire styling. Brogue models are an iconic model inspired by the Oxford style - leather decorated with openwork or embossing works perfectly with cotton trousers. If you are planning an outfit based on jeans, it is worth choosing shoes with a more sporty character - smooth, with a sports sole. An alternative to brogue shoes are monks, which go perfectly with jeans, cotton trousers and suit trousers. In the case of color selection, it is worth having two models in your wardrobe - one in black, the other in a shade of brown. Most importantly, smart casual shoes are so universal that they can also be used as an addition to a full suit.
When it comes to shoes, you cannot forget about seasonality - for autumn or winter days, it is worth choosing models of brogues in the form of boots.

Casual shirts and plain t-shirts

A casual shirt doesn't mean giving up a white collared shirt. It's not just about its color or style, the way you wear it is also important. Smart Casual does not stigmatize open collars or checkered motifs. The semi-formal style is, above all, good quality and a certain universality. Off-white shirts with micro-patterns, but also plain ones, dominate. Smart Casual does not force you to wear a jacket, it allows you to replace it with a good-quality cardigan and a V-neck sweater or just a shirt. In this case, not only a collared shirt will work, but vintage-inspired stand-up collar shirts in many colors.

Outerwear - husky jacket and coat

Apart from the jacket, what is crucial is outerwear. An often overlooked element of men's clothing makes its presence felt on colder days. If you wear jackets every day, when choosing a jacket, pay attention to its length. It should cover the jacket. If you are not sure, choose a longer cut jacket that reaches below the hips. An alternative may be a longer coat - single or double-breasted, a trench coat or a military-style parka such as a duffel coat. Regardless of the color of the coat, it will match both jackets and full suits. A casual wardrobe also includes sets based on sporty nonchalance, so a men's wardrobe must include a dress jacket, which is perfect for everyday activities. Husky sports jacket - characteristic quilted flannel jackets with suede epaulettes. Waxed jackets made of Egyptian cotton are similar to the classic husky jacket . There are many possibilities, and the only determinant when choosing a jacket is the comfort of wearing and the overall end result. If you pay attention to the context of the clothes you wear, it is worth taking an interest in the history of the models mentioned, each of them inspires and brings to mind Hollywood stars and their colorful film incarnations. If you have no idea for your own style, maybe the films of the 70s - iconic from the point of view of men's fashion - will inspire you to further search.

July 12, 2023