There are various occasions in your everyday life where the right casual attire would allow you to make a lasting impact on others. After all, unless you are giving a formal presentation in a corporate setting, smart casual attires help you put the best foot forward, regardless of your gender.
What classifies as smart casual attire, you may wonder? This dress code combines polished and well-fitted business wear with elements usually worn in casual settings, like polo shirts, chinos, and dark-wash jeans.
Within the spectrum of dress codes, smart casual can be placed between business casual and dressy casual. For those of you looking for smart casual attires, we have compiled a guide for the perfect attire ideas for men and women.
Smart casual attire for men
Here are some of the ideas for smart casual attire for men that you can try.
1- Bomber jackets with dress pants
Usually, bomber jackets come under casual attire. To minimize its vibe, the key is to use a more formal article of clothing to complement it.
So, any time you wear a bomber jacket, tone it down through denim pants. If your jacket is quite eccentric in nature, we would advise you to further tune it down via wearing a t-shirt within the jacket.
Remember, the trick to pulling off smart-casual looks is to start with a casual look and then swap items with formal pieces until you get the right look.
We choose to keep bomber jackets constant in this attire because they are ideal for current weather and look quite classy and comfortable.
2- Add some shade
Do you know, if you play your cards correctly, you can even pull off something as casual as a leather jacket as a smart casual outfit? How so? By merely changing the shade of your outfits!
This attire idea is not limited to any piece of clothing or style. Here, the key is to opt for darker colors. This is because, as a general rule of thumb, the darker the shade of an outfit, the more formal it may seem.
So, a navy jacket and indigo jeans, gray shirt, and black shoes will help you appear formal, even though the individual clothing items can be easily classified as casual or semi-casual attire at best.
3- Blazers and coats
If you feel that your shirt is very informal for the occasion, whether it be due to its fitting, style, or color, the best way to transform it into a smart casual attire is to reduce its impact as much as possible.
You can do so by wearing appropriate outerwear. Here, dark-colored blazers and long coats will surely do the trick. Again, the material and style matter.
For starters, we would strongly suggest that you stay away from anything that has a lot of padding or fur on it. A simple, straight-cut coat is likely to help you tone down your look and enter the smart causal territory.
4- The right shoes
You might have heard of the cliché adage, “great shoes take you to great places.” The saying captures the significance of footwear quite impeccably. To add to it, the right shoes can also elevate any given look.
Think of it this way. Let’s say your entire outfit is extremely business formal. Here, wearing high-end sneakers with it can help in toning down the formality you are giving off.
Similarly, if you are wearing chinos, a t-shirt, and a quilted jacket, a pair of classy oxford leather shoes will help dress up for the occasion.
Smart casual attire for women
To be fair, the same ideas tend to apply to both men and women. Still, it is always good to have a separate list of outfit ideas you can pull off for a feminine touch.
Dressing up for a brilliant casual event requires balancing a casual chic look and formal evening attire. When it comes to picking dresses, this can be quite tricky.
To achieve the perfect look, you must choose a dress that has a polished style. This includes things like a wrap dress or a solid-colored straight-cut outfit. Make sure that the dress does not reveal or fit too much on your chest or legs. If it does, it will end up looking like casual attire.
Try to stay away from vibrant shades like pink, yellow, and purple when it comes to color. Instead, opt for neutrals like white, gray, and black. You can even add color via a leather jacket on top to pull off a smart casual look.
This pink leather jacket would look rocking on a classic white dress. Again, the time of the event also matters when deciding the color. While white is ideal for day events, black is perfect for late-night gatherings.
2- Smart casual jeans
Generally, tailored pants are the preferred choice for smart-casual looks, especially when they are paired with solid-colored silk blouses. But, you don’t necessarily have to limit yourself to a given type of trousers. Instead, you can also use the staple favorite of many – jeans!
To best give off a sophisticated look while wearing jeans, you need to pair them with the right accessories, shoes, and shirts.
Try to choose either skinny or slim jeans within the available styles since mom jeans tend to look very casual. Also, pick ones available in a dark hue, like black and indigo, to further elevate the look. Complement the look with pencil heels, a blazer, and a simple shirt. You can also go for a denim on denim look by adding a denim jacket over it.
If all your jeans are frayed or ripped, know that you cannot use this outfit idea! There is no way you can look ready for business when wearing ripped jeans.
3- Heels and accessories
Accessories bring an outfit to life. Whether it be jewelry or your bag, the right embellishments to a look can decide whether the overall vibe given is formal, casual, or smart casual.
For a laidback yet sophisticated ensemble, choose studs and a thin classy bracelet. Pair it up with a simple bucket bag or a clutch. Don’t opt for an overly formal office bag or a casual tote bag. This is especially true if you are wearing outerwear like a trench coat.
Similarly, just like men’s outfits (some might say even more so), women also need perfect shoes for the occasion. For a smart casual appearance, chic yet comfortable footwear like loafers, kitten heels, pumps, or block heels would best elevate the attire.
Dressing for the occasion is an art in itself. It involves carefully thinking about each clothing article and deciding whether it falls on your desired place on the formality scale for both men and women.
Smart casual can be especially hard to get right since a small change can lead to you either overdoing the look or underdoing it!
With this guide, you now know what types of articles of clothing work best in creating a smart casual look. You will be surprised how a mere change in style and material can have on your overall look.
Keep the tips in mind the next time you are getting ready for a casual meeting or evening commitment. Are there any other attire ideas you think will look great for such occasions? Let us know by commenting below.