Smart Casual Men's Style Guide

Smart Casual Men's Style Guide

4 minute read

March 7, 2022

Smart casual is a must-have look for today’s ever-evolving dress codes. For many, it has even become the ultimate dress code itself for work and play. However, nailing the perfect smart casual ensemble can be tricky; is it enough to match a shirt with a pair of jeans, or can you pull off the look with simple sneakers and a suit?

Create the Perfect Smart Casual Look for Different Occasions

As a matter of fact, it is not that easy. The smart casual concept implies giving your look an informal touch without getting too casual. Below are some tips to help you in getting the right mix so that each individual piece complements each other and work toward one cohesive look.

Smart Casual Attire for the Office

Workplaces generally have dress codes but many offices, on the other hand, do not have clear-cut rules. It’s wiser to stay more on the smart side rather than showing up at the office in a the same casual hoodie you wear to the grocery store, for instance. Remember that your professionalism needs to be reflected in your attire. In this case, to get the right look, start with a neutral base and add on extra details. Avoid mixing numerous textures and colors as this approach can easily weigh on the total casual side. Keep a selection of white, black, navy and grey pieces and sport them with an odd splash of color to keep your look fresh and appealing.

Young man in smart-casual Robert Barakett outfit

Dress Pants Can be Made to Look Casual

Dress pants are definitely on the smarter side of the smart casual look. Many people mistakenly think that they can be worn only with smart or matching shirts or outfits. This is not the case. A pair of slim grey dress pants paired with a white Barakett Tee or navy Cavendish Crew can instantly make you appear cool and a little more laid-back. If you are wearing a sweater or a T-shirt, remember to wear a belt as this accessory can make a significant difference with the final look.

Elevating Your Pair of Jeans

The darker the pair of jeans the smarter they look. Try opting for a navy blue or black with an appropriate fit. Overly tight, ripped or baggy jeans are not appropriate for work as they give off too much of a casual vibe and they become almost impossible to pair with smarter pieces. Instead, opt for a slim or a straight fit that doesn’t gather up around the ankles.

Young man in white Barakett tee

Doing Knitwear and Suit Jackets Properly

Knitwear can easily undermine the smarter elements of your outfit if done wrong. To modernize the look, think of wearing our Barakett High Crew with a pair of patterned trousers and classic brogue shoes. Also, remember to keep your knitwear fitted as it is then much easier to be matched with smart pieces.

Suit jackets, on the other hand, are generally associated with jeans for a smart casual look. While some people love this look, others despise it. However, the only reason it gets negative remarks is that it is not done appropriately. You must consider the texture, color, and design of both the jacket and the jeans. For example, you could try pairing our Savona Sport Coat with dark navy or black jeans and complete the look with a white button-down shirt.

Let’s Not Forget About Outerwear

As the cold seasons are approaching, you will also want to think about outerwear. For a smart casual look, a formal overcoat or jacket will be too much. The outerwear needs to be right in the middle of the smart casual style. To make the right choice, opt for neutral colors and a good fit that offers a more relaxed design such as the Renoir Shirt Jacket or our Morven Sweater Jacket.

Now that your outfit is complete, pair everything with a classier shoe to give it that extra touch of smart and your smart casual look is ready to go.

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