What You Should Know About The Smart Casual Dress Code

4K resolution. Avocado toast. Smart casual. All terms tossed around these days that you’re expected to understand.
But you don’t. And that’s okay. We can help you with the last one. Smart casual styles for men are easier to follow along with than you might expect, as long as you follow a few simple rules.
But first, a definition.

What is Smart Casual?

Here’s our non-scientific definition: a nice blend of informality and handsome wear. You look pretty great, but didn’t think too much about it. (Wink, wink. You did, but they don’t know that.) The snazzy guy that rolled out of bed looking like this. Slept through class, made all A’s. You get the idea.

Invest in Blazers

Tailored, preferably, and made out of light materials like linen or cotton during the spring and summer and wool in the fall and winter. The blazer should be the focal point of your smart casual dress code, partly because it’s just so darn versatile.
Variety is the name of the blazer game, as these jackets come in all kinds of patterns and colors that somehow dance across the informal line while looking very stylish. It can be infused with your personality while paired with a more toned-down pair of chinos or jeans and a collared shirt.
Speaking of …

Collared is still required

Casual means tee shirts. Smart casual does not apply. Not always, anyway. You can sometimes get away with a tee shirt under your blazer, as long as it’s plain and complimentary to the blazer. But generally, you want to wear a collared button-down shirt under your smart casual blazer. Since the blazer will take up the color of your outfit, opt for monochromatic, safe colors for the shirt. And you can actually change up the fabric of your shirt in a smart casual outfit.

Chinos or Jeans?

Why not either? The genius of the blazer is that it locks your outfit into the informal-but-formal grey area that lets you freely choose between the casual jeans or more formal chinos. The color of both should match your torso, though. Like your blazer, your chinos should probably be tailored.


Footwear in a smart casual outfit follows the theme of your pants, in that flexibility is an option. Loafers are perfectly acceptable, as are minimal sneakers (not Nikes) depending on the occasion or location. Nothing open-toed, though.
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