Smart casual looks, everything you need to know

Over the years, fashion is advancing, new styles are being created and others that were worn a few years ago are being recovered. As a rule, we all know what a casual look is because it is more relaxed than formal, it can be used for many occasions, especially during the day, in addition to allowing a certain comfort, it allows you to improvise and combine clothes much easier. Now, when we talk about a smart casual look, things can get complicated (it’s not an advanced Greek exam either, let’s not freak out…).

When we refer to this style of looks, it is a mix of two styles, in addition to the mix of two opposite poles of fashion that are quite well known. On the one hand, we find the casual and on the other hand the more formal and arranged. Now, with this men’s look, things are mixed up for a new look.

What is a smart casual look?

If we translate it in the most literal way, smart is intelligent and if we have casual on the other side, we will understand this concept as a style of casual dress, but more intelligent, elevated, with style. Well, it is not something that you will take to the market, but it will help you to go to some events that are not entirely formal and you will always look good.

In this type of style, greater emphasis is always placed on the smart, to give the look that touch of distinction that is needed, in addition to not breaking the dress code. When requested to go with this style, you cannot appear in a tracksuit, no matter how expensive it may be, opt for much more elegant options that allow you to distinguish yourself, but not a tuxedo.

When to wear a smart casual look?

Well, when it is used will depend on the event and the dress code that they have defined for the occasion. The usual thing is that this type of look is used during the day or at most until the end of the afternoon. When the night comes, what rewards is elegance, unless otherwise indicated in the dress code of the event.

Some of the most common occasions in which this type of look can be used are cocktails during the day, weddings, when the bride and groom prefer it, informal meetings with friends, and mostly for day-to-day work. if your work allows you to have a less formal look.

The condition of the clothes is essential

When creating a smart-casual look, the condition of the clothes is a very important point. The clothes do not have to be the most expensive brand, as long as they are in good condition, are of quality and are clean, they will make you look better.

It is not the same to wear a white T-shirt in perfect condition as one that you have been washing at home for a few years and has lost its original color and looks somewhat stretched. Attention to detail is decisive. The main thing is that if you can wear a garment to walk around the house, this is not the ideal one to go out on the street or to an event.

What garments can be used in smart-casual looks?

First of all, for this type of look, we must stop classifying garments as elegant or casual, which are the two elements present in these looks. Since the context is different, the garments will have a different connotation. For example, you could wear a t-shirt with a soft fabric suit and you would be wearing a smart casual look and you would look great.

You can also wear jeans with a jacket or a shirt, and that’s it. This is what these types of looks are all about, taking something basic and elevating it to suit other styles. To lay the foundations for these looks, we will tell you about some of the most common garments.

Shoes or sneakers in smart casual looks

The options to wear footwear in looks of this type are quite varied, but there are some conflicting opinions. The sports shoes have entered the smart-casual looks but have caused controversy because for some it is too informal and does not meet the style. The truth is that the brand or style does not matter, but the silhouette of the shoe. It is not a matter of pretending to be with the brands when we want to achieve this style.

For a smart-casual look, elegance rewards, so white leather sneakers with laces can look great. There are many brands of this type of shoe, from the most basic like Nike to something more expensive like Armani, Gucci, and Prada that have launched their own models on the market. You can also wear moccasins, especially the velvet ones that look pretty good, but this is already a bit more elegant, but you can choose according to the occasion.

Are jeans valid in a smart casual look?

The answer to this question is ambiguous and will depend on the type of jeans. As we have mentioned before, the state of the garment will depend on whether it can be used in this type of look. If you have ripped jeans, with holes or faded even if they are new and you bought them that way, this is something much more casual and informal.

The same thing happens when they are too tight jeans or they are a bit old. These look great on other styles, but not on this one. If you are going to wear jeans for a smart casual look, it is best that they are in a solid dark blue tone, without rips, faded, etc. Also, we recommend the tapered style ( tapered jeans ), which have a tapered cut that will not be too tight.

If you have doubts, take a look at Levis jeans and how to combine them, which will surely inspire you.

If you can’t find a pair of jeans that fit this, don’t worry, chino pants are a good option as they have that necessary elegant touch, more than a jean, but not as formal as suit pants not to mention that there are many colors you can use

Button-down shirts are a hit

Smart casual looks are much more elegant than casual, and a button-down shirt is a great success. What will make the difference is that the shirt you choose will not be too rigid, it cannot be the same as that of a suit , look for a softer one, with a rigid collar, but not that of a tuxedo.

Anything with a neck will do

In theory, all garments have a neck, but those with a more pronounced neck will serve much better. Especially if it’s a mandarin collar shirt or a turtleneck sweater. These types of garments give the right elegance to the looks you want to wear.

Examples of smart casual looks

We have already told you about some of the bases to create this style of looks, now, we show you some of the looks that will always look good on all occasions.

Smart casual look with a short-sleeved shirt

The short sleeves, at first glance, seem too informal, and the truth is that yes, what will change everything will be the way in which it is used. First, the shirt should be very well pressed and it should fit somewhat on the torso and a little more snug around the arms.

The ideal length of the sleeve is about 4 or 5 fingers above the elbow, so it will look more balanced. The color may vary, ideally, it should be a light shade, in the photo we show you a light blue, but it can be white, which will always look great.

At the bottom, dark brown chinos will be the best choice, look for ones that have a straight or tapered cut that will look great. Close the look with elegant shoes in brown, quite similar to the pants and voila.

Smart casual look with a check blazer

Blazers are always a success when creating looks of this style because they bring the necessary elegance mixed with something much more comfortable. Before going with the jacket we will focus on the accessories, first, a basic black t-shirt without prints with a round neck will be the basis for the look.

Top it off with a pair of black chino pants with a simple cut, nothing too tight. The shoes can be white or black, she looks for sneakers in some of these colors with a simple silhouette.

Finally, the jacket, this must be made of light fabric, it is not the same as the one you wear with a suit. The base can be a medium gray and the horizontal and vertical lines that make up the squares can be gunmetal gray or black. The texture of this type of jacket is more porous and even if it is informal, make sure it fits well in the shoulder area and the length at the wrists.

Smart casual look with jeans and sneakers

A look with jeans can be risky if you want to focus more on the ‘smart’ part, but if you choose jeans in a soft blue color it will look great. Avoid those with rips or holes. Pair it with a basic white button down shirt and leave at least two buttons open at the top. As for the shoes, a basic white is ideal. Finally, a simple blue blazer will balance the look and give you a smart look. If you like this look take a look at these: looks with jacket and jeans for men.

In short, we hope that this article has been useful to you, that you already know a little more about what a smart casual look for men is, you know what clothes to combine it with, and of course, you have been inspired and are a little happier.

Matt Singley

Matt Singley is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Pinnacle Furnished Suites, a provider of short-term, fully furnished apartments and temporary corporate housing. Singley is a mechanical engineer by training, but an obsessed entrepreneur at heart. His light-hearted and friendly management style complements a serious dedication to the use/advancement of technology and enhanced customer experience to create a winning product and client journey. 

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