London Living with an Alternative Twist!

Decoding the Toughest Dress Code; Smart Casual! *

Smart casual is the dress requirement for many events, including birthdays, weddings and the occasional cocktail party, but the line can sometimes become blurred between too formal and too casual, so what should the man in your life be wearing?

If it hasn’t been specified on an invite wheat the dress code is, it can be difficult to determine when to go for a smart casual look. Some offices and workplaces have ‘dress down Fridays’ or a casual dress code every day. However, it’s still nice to make an effort and look reasonably smart but this doesn’t have to involve a three-piece suit and tie. Certain events request a smart casual dress code too, such as a dinner party where a formal tuxedo is not expected but jeans and a T-shirt would be frowned upon.

Or, for a first interview, even if it says casual in the email, your first impressions count and your outfit should still be carefully thought out. Opting for business casual can be a good choice when there’s been no indication of dress code too. It avoids the error of looking like you don’t take pride in your appearance and prevents you feeling out of place by dressing too formally.

Staple Items for Every Man’s Wardrobe

Dressing for business casual doesn’t have to involve the purchase of a new wardrobe., you can just invest in a few staple items to achieve your chosen look.

One of these items should be a smart and stylish blazer. It depends on your fashion preferences as to what sort of blazer you opt for. I bought Mike a lush tweed blazer a good few years back and he still wears that to a lot of our smart casual events. If you’re unsure of what kind of blazer you should buy, then navy is a good bet as it is very versatile and not as formal as the traditional black jacket.

Another staple item is suitable footwear. Depending on your preferences, choose a pair of brogues or loafers to complete a smart casual look. Brogues are super stylish and can be found in so many colours, styles, and patterns so they’re bound to find a pair that they like. Loafers, on the other hand, are lower shoes so the ankle is exposed, they do not have laces and often have a low heel. They can be seen as less formal than the brogue because more of the foot is on show. In terms of colour, brown is a good colour to go for as it can be paired with denim or smart trousers, whereas black may be too dark to complement some colours and can often look like office work shoes.

Invest in a pair of smart trousers that match well with the rest of your wardrobe too. A light pair of chinos are a good option for warmer weather, as they can brighten up your outfit whilst keeping you looking smart. If you feel more comfortable in jeans, try to choose a darker denim or black as this gives off a more formal vibe. Slimmer cut jeans are often more formal looking too.

The Full Outfit

It can be hard to style for business casual, especially if it’s not something that you’re used to. CT Shirts, who are experts in men’s fashion and retailers of men’s shirts, have made some suggestions:

The classic roll-neck ticks all the boxes for a stylish smart-casual look. For the colder months especially, a roll-neck jumper is perfect for layering and looking smart. Pair a black wool roll-neck with a grey slim fit jacket and coloured pocket square to become the master of business casual. Match your socks with your pocket square for co-ordination and wear your favourite pair of swanky trousers.

The open collar shirt paired with a double-breasted jacket can create an ideal look for the fashion-conscious gentleman. Choose complementing colours for the shirt and blazer, such as different hues of blue or grey, to really make your outfit come together. Slip into tailored trousers, chinos or jeans depending on how smart you really want to be and pair with brogues to complete the look.

So, there we have it, the decoded version of smart-casual. Hopefully, it’s not as difficult to master as you might have thought! Of course, keeping the outfit neat and tidy is important too, so don’t let smaller details drop you into the ‘casual’ bracket. Have a lint roller on hand before leaving the house and make sure you always look your best.

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