Need to dress smart-casual to an event but worried you’ll overdress or underdress? ‘Smart-casual’ needn’t seem like a scary balancing act. While different people have their own interpretations (denim jeans are a no-no for some people), some rules are always a safe bet. Here are some of those rules to consider.
Casual pants, smart top
Another option is to wear casual pants such as skinny stretch chino pants by Ben Sherman. This will give you the freedom to pair it with a Ben Sherman’s shirt and jacket.
You may even be able to top off your shirt with a tie or even a bow tie and suspenders. Make sure you really need to know how to put on suspenders before making that fashion choice.
Smart pants, casual top
One popular way to dress smart-casual is to wear suit trousers with a casual buttoned shirt. For the winter, you could add a cardigan or a stylish track jacket to the top of a casual buttoned shirt. Alternatively, you could wear white suit trousers with a plain white tee and a navy blazer over the top. Because a plain white tee is very casual, a navy blazer can offset it a little making it that little bit more formal.
Meet somewhere in the middle
Sometimes it can be possible to meet in the middle. Some brilliant men’s cords with a patterned buttoned shirt are an example of a smart-casual choice in which both the pants and the top blur the lines of formality. Brightly-colored tight-fitting suits may also fit in the smart-casual category when worn without a tie.
Take care with color choices
The colors you choose to wear can also have an effect on whether something is deemed too smart or too casual. Black smart trousers and a black blazer are likely to look very formal and conservative, even with a plain white tee. It’s possible to opt for more wild colors at social events or business meetings – dressing in red is thought to help demonstrate authority, while yellow can show creativity. However, on some occasions, such as a job interview, these colors may be a bit too bold. Blue is generally a more calming color suited for most intimate occasions. Black, white, beige, and navy blue are versatile and can be used on all occasions.
Don’t forget to step up your footwear
Your footwear is also important to consider when matching the formality. Brown leather brogues can be a safe option in most scenarios. You may be able to get away with white trainers when also wearing casual pants but a formal top. Similarly, wearing black leather shoes may work better with black formal trousers and a casual shirt on top. There’s a recent smart-casual trend of wearing shoes without socks, but this is best for summer. In the winter, stick to socks or wear ankle boots.
Featured Photo by Mizuno K