What Is Smart Casual?

What Does Smart Casual Actually Mean?

We’ve all heard it, we’ve almost all attended some form of event within the past twelve months which specifies the need to adhere to a ‘smart casual’ dress code, but do any of us truly know what it actually means? And has the definition shifted during recent years?

In this blog we’re not only going to address the generic definition of smart casual, we’re also going to talk about the ways in which you can comply with the dress code in the most fashionable ways possible.

So what does it mean? Well as if it didn’t already sound like enough of an example of hyperbole, it can in fact be broken down into two separate categories: formal and informal. It’s easy to see how so many get confused! Generally speaking ‘smart casual’ is the term used in situations where a full suit isn’t required but an element of class and formality is still required given the circumstances. Often if an invitation to an event specifies a smart casual dress code, it can feel awkward or even inappropriate to ask the person who provided the invitation for their definition of smart casual, or whether or not their interpretation is formal or informal. In this situation it often feels safer to plump for the ‘formal’ option to err on the side of caution, but even being overdressed to an occasion can come with its difficulties.

Smart Casual In Layman’s Terms

Here at Men Fashions we have put together our brief but all-encompassing definition of ‘smart casual’. This is of course still open to interpretation and can vary depending upon factors such as the formality of the invitation or other less controllable variables such as weather conditions and the activities that will be undertaken throughout the occasion.

So here it goes:

Smart casual is a dress code for occasions at which a neat yet fairly relaxed outfit is required. It is perhaps the happy medium that can be found between the sort of attire you wear at work and the comfortable clothes you might wear whilst you are at home watching the television.

Seems fairly straightforward doesn’t it? Well even if you are still confused about the somewhat ambiguous nature of the term ‘smart casual’ then do not despair. We are here to give you some helpful pointers to guide you in how to dress when attending a smart casual event.

What Can I Wear?

This all begs the question: what can I wear to a smart casual event? The very fact that the event in question is a smart casual one perhaps suggests that it is in fact not something that you need to overthink about. As long as your clothes are tidy and well-presented then the actual fact is you can’t really go wrong. Depending on your style and your fashion preferences; smart shoes, jeans and a casual shirt with a collar is pretty much the go-to option when it comes to smart casual events. If that still feels too ‘formal’ or that’s simply not your style, we have compiled a short list of outfits which are compliant with the dress code of a smart casual event:

  • Blazer, t-shirt, chinos, smart shoes
  • Polo shirt, jeans, trainers
  • Collared shirt, smart trousers, smart shoes
  • Blazer, collared shirt, jeans, smart shoes
  • Collared shirt, jeans, trainers/comfortable shoes

As you can see, following a smart casual dress code really isn’t as stressful as it sounds, and there are a myriad of outfit options that you can follow whilst still adhering to the rules set out within your invitation. If you are still in doubt then follow this general rule of thumb: make sure your outfit is neat and well presented, whilst still maintaining an element of comfort and practicality.

Above all else, enjoy your event!

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