There is nothing more elegant than a formal dress, but often the occasions do not require it. And so? How to dress to still be admired?
There has been much confusion about smart casual clothing, today we will try to shed some light by giving you some principles to follow without effort.
What is smart casual?
Have you ever heard of smart casual? What exactly is it?
It is a formal but informal way of dressing, cared for but "easy", elegant but relaxed. Contradictory yes, but very versatile. So versatile to adapt both to the workplace and a party not only without problems but in style. It is no coincidence that it is the dress code most loved by the contemporary man who needs to run around from one corner of the city to the other, needs elegance and versatility to be suitably dressed in every occasion.
Let's be clear right away: smart casual is smarter than casual. When building your outfit always keep in mind that elegance will have to dominate the casual aspect.
Before knowing what you are going to wear you have to know where this smart-casual style comes from. We all know that there are very elegant parties, so a formal style is indicated. In turn, there are parties completely out of the elegant, so the casual style is the most appropriate.
But are there no events that are intermediate between the two? You are right. Many times we have meetings or dinners where it is important to look good, but it is not necessary to wear a tuxedo either. That is where we use the smart-casual style.
Why is it important to know about dressing smart casual?
Knowing these hierarchies is essential for several reasons:
- to make correct combinations
- to dress appropriately for various occasions
- to make the most of the clothes possessed
- to bring personal style to a higher level
A zoom on smart-casual style
Smart casual is the fashionable menswear look of the moment. It is not very difficult to adopt, but some basic rules are still necessary to be able to proudly display it. It's a hybrid style, that is, combining both the casual and the class side. As you can see, smart casual is a mix of sophisticated evening dress and everyday wear or even sports. The goal? Make yourself adopt a style neither too distinguished nor too simple, play with the various accessories and pieces that you have in your wardrobe. If you want to wear a formal dress but in which you are not completely comfortable, this style is the one you need. This look is ideal for various occasions and circumstances: at a dinner, a date, a job interview in a less formal context and why not the day you will be introduced to your mother-in-law? You will have a look both stylish and cool, but especially without leaving aside the elegant touch. To get an idea of what to wear, you should see this article for more details.
Evolution of smart casual wear
For starters, smart casual is trendy for decades, but not necessarily with the same codes. Each time his pleasures. In the 80s, the style was thus spotted with the famous chinos, the sweater carelessly tied on the shoulders, polo, pop colors.
In the 90s, sneakers come back in strength and get married with slightly loose blazer-jeans. Surprisingly this will give way in the 2000s to the return of the tee-shirt worn offset on relaxing pants or jeans.
In all these silhouettes, only one word of order: the relaxation, the comfort, but not without style and without daring! Smart casual plays with, on the one hand, the pieces considered as "relaxation", and on the other hand more sophisticated elements. The aim is to combine pleasure with elegance. Also to forget the joggings of Sunday without depriving of a minimum to let go!
The essential part of a successful look
As previously stated, having a smart casual style means knowing how to put together the different clothes and accessories you have and make it a light but refined look. One of the pieces you must-have in your closet is the slim fit shirt. Indeed, men's shirts are the must-have for a semi-casual smart-casual look. Not only are they easy to wear, but they also blend well with any other piece: jeans, chino, blazer, jacket. The basic rule is to mismatch the different pieces you wear. So the big job will be to choose according to the color and patterns, from classic white shirts to checkered shirts. However, to ensure that the impression you want to give comes out through your clothing, be sure to choose the fabric. Between the poplin shirt, the oxford shirt, the cotton shirt, etc., the choice is vast. The advantage of men's shirts is that you can very well wear sneakers, moccasins, sneakers with, without it being moved. Once again, the difference will be especially in the small details such as the material or the model of your pairs.
Do you want to dress in smart casual clothing?
Have you heard of the Pareto principle? Don't worry if you didn't. the principle simply states that about 20% of the causes cause 80% of the effects.
Most of those who want to dress in smart casual fashion dress 50% in a formal way and 50% in a casual way. This does not produce the desired effect, while with the 80/20 rule it is much simpler. Dressing 80% formal and 20% casual creates a casual yet elegant effect. Balance is delicate, but with experience, reaching it will become very intuitive. Here is an example.
Simply by removing the tie and adding a pair of jeans instead of trousers, we have transformed a formal dress into an elegant but casual one.
Maintaining balance is the most important thing. but in cases like this, 50/50 is not worth it.
2) The occasion
The occasion, of course, plays a fundamental role in the formal clothing to be replaced. Friday aperitif with work colleagues? Dinner with friends? A night out? An interview?
A good example may be to replace the dress shoe with a gym shoe. But what if the occasion is not the right one? An evening with friends, it may not require a formal jacket. So I will opt for example for a shirt over the t-shirt.
3) More intelligent than casual
We have seen in the previous points that to change a formal dress into an elegant it takes very little. Removing a tie or changing the type of pants can already transform your clothing. So making an intelligent choice can be crucial to achieving our goal.
Where to wear the smart casual style?
Being a style that combines casual and smart, it has the advantage of being worn in all circumstances.
It is thanks to your shoes that you can accentuate the side you want to highlight.
The other advantage of this style is that it is appreciated by all. From your boss to your mother-in-law to your girlfriend, you will certainly be complimented for your outfit!
How to wear smart casual?
One thing must be said, there is no single model to follow to dress smart casual. it is not a style that can be defined in a single direction. It can be very simple as it is to combine a white shirt, a blazer, ordinary jeans and a pair of elegant moccasins. On the other hand, there are so many ways to give a smart casual touch. It depends on the occasion, what you're going to and your personal preferences.
First, the T-shirt. This very simple piece will be part of the "Casual" side. Combine with the smart side with a blazer-style jacket. And if the temperatures are too high, replace the jacket with dressed pants.
Another classic that will be the starting point of your outfit, the inevitable raw jean. This room is rather sober, it is recommended to match it with a rather extroverted shirt. Feel free to play on colors and materials. If you prefer the classic shirt, add the little accessory that will give a little crazy. For example a colorful belt.
You can also embellish your outfit with a navy blazer, which will pair perfectly with beige pants. But it will look good also with a simple and elegant shirt the same color as the blazer, or that the pants.
Give free rein to your desires to combine smart and casual and define your smart-casual style.
Tips and fashion false
Even if the smart-casual style for men gives free rein to the imagination, it is still necessary to respect certain dress codes. Just like the shirt, jeans are a great basic smart casual. If you like to wear both, it's perfect! Well-fitting jeans with a white or light shirt make this the perfect prototype for a relaxed, smart look. Be careful not to make a total look, especially pants in jeans, worn with a jacket in jeans for example. For colors, it is essential to remember that it is not necessary to match them. You will gain in terms of originality. Outfits too bland, too serious, too clean are to be avoided. As the smart casual style offers many possibilities, you can learn more towards the relaxed side, by adopting a look rather "streetwear" by integrating the t-shirt in your outfit, you can make a perfect look. But again, everything depends on the occasion. For a more formal context like a business meeting, for example, the t-shirt is not a good idea, let alone the jeans. Everything is then a question of taste, but especially of balance.
Tip 1: Respect the Rule of 3 colors for a smart casual style
The casual look is suitable for all budgets and all body types. You do not need to ruin yourself to be stylish. With your wardrobe, you can adopt a casual and smart style. You will just need two or three pieces of the casual look already present in your dressing room. Lastly, in order not to make any mistake of taste, Size Factory advises you not to associate more than three colors in your outfit.
This rule is very simple. A well-built, smart casual look typically includes no more than 3 categories of contrasting colors. By "contrasting" that is to say "different", i.e. colors that are very far apart from each other on a "color circle".
For example, red and blue are two contrasting colors (they are far apart).
Take a moment to take a deep breath, and enjoy the moment.
Rule 2: Choose your must-have pieces from the casual look
For a simple start with this look, you can start by associating chino pants or jeans with a plain t-shirt or one of your favorite polos.
Rule 3: Dare to mix and match
Fashion is not a fixed concept, on the contrary, you have the opportunity to appropriate and adapt the casual style to your personality.
If you wish to have a more smart look, we advise you to associate with your basic look (ie: jeans + tee-shirt or polo) a large blazer to structure your outfit. The possibilities of looking infinite sound, your panel of high are wide. You can go from the light suit jacket to the cardigan type wool vest. To dare, the more you impose your style, the more original you will be.
Rule 4: Accessories
The accessories will allow you to sublimate your outfit. You can combine one to two accessories depending on the season. In winter, opt for a hat and a scarf to cover yourself against the ruthless cold. On the other hand, as soon as a ray of the sun comes out, take out your glasses to have a smart and trendy style.
The fundamentals of the look:
The jeans :
Jeans is the Essential element of the smart casual model. The denim pants are easy to match, easy to wear and the extreme advantage of declining in many colors. To stay at our look of the day, we prefer the dark version or raw. This version sets the tone of a well-controlled, bounded relaxation. It can be worn with a T-shirt, a light suit jacket in summer, a tweed in winter. The good deal is to give a little relief to the silhouette by accentuating the shift up-down with materials and colors more supported on the upper body.
A plain-tie or bow-tie shirt, or discrete pattern, dress shoes or pristine sneakers, and little fun accessories will enrich the thoughtful side of the look.
Why do jeans have this casual image? No doubt because of its history:
For a century and a half, the famous canvas denim has entered all lives; from the youngest to the oldest, from punk to sup, from the housewife to the biker. It has become a must-have for fashion. it is one of the most revisited elements in its history. Easy to tune, it goes hand-in-hand with everything and makes everyone agree on their style and comfort.
Costume jackets or blazers:
They are the smart backer of this trend! But beware, if you do not want to fall into the old-fashioned classic, we put on colors more sought after. We love navy blue, beige, patchwork elbow jackets, and sober but effective textures and patterns in winter and summer. A fine stripe, a check on white shirts or blue chino chambray and short sneakers will give new energy to your look. A trend to use with caution, rather reserved for very informed fashion victims.
In the tradition of jeans, this is his ideal companion, both in terms of comfort and fashion design. t-shirts have already married for decades with blazers, no conflict of interest!
We love the sexy side of the white V-shirt with a jacket with a straight cut and no-frills. On straight trousers in colored canvas, he furiously urbanizes and legitimizes the smart casual spirit. A kind of sartorial schizophrenia that works best! But one can also decline these simple pieces in various and varied colors. and you can also play on the new materials proposed as lins light for summer or cotton reworked with honeycomb effects or others. The T-shirt has also left its humble origins to become a best and fiddle with the "high" fashion trends!
Gone are the days when you only bought your sneakers to stretch your legs in tennis, run the marathon or laze on your couch on weekends! Now sneakers are an irreplaceable part of the men's wardrobe and even more so for the smart casual style! But for this trend, the art and the way of wearing them are pretty regulated! No, destroy look, laces that hang out or colors too strong! No dirty sneakers having been used for the sport, no hip-hop style! only sober and chic. Virginal white or seasonal colors, leather or canvas, and bass! We love the innovations of iconic brands, but we can also be sober with classics revisited.
How to carry a smart formal in the summer?
Well, isn’t this something we all want to know? In this sub-continent, we spend a lot of time in a hot and uncomfortable season. That is why our styling and dressing has to be compatible with the weather.
So, here are some tips and tricks:
Check the construction of the jackets
Let's face it, the main culprit when you go crazy for the heat is the jacket. The solution is not to wear it, if you were already about to take it off, but wear the right jacket.
Check all your summer uniforms in the wardrobe and make sure they are unlined or semi-lined, and possibly strapless. In the event you are about to buy a jacket, we advise you to opt for the blazer version. Although not before having a clear difference between a jacket and blazer. with a deconstructed construction blazers ensure a greater feeling of comfort and lightness.
Learn to recognize fabrics
Although it is quite obvious that cotton and linen are fabrics suitable for summer (we have said it a thousand times!). Staying fresh is not just a question of the right fibers, but the right texture. It, therefore, opts for garments made with fabrics with "open" canvas armor, such as hopsack, which help air to circulate.
One step back: what is canvas armor? It is the simplest type of weft. Each warp thread is intertwined with a weft thread. It is therefore very strong and resistant. Canvas armor can be full and compact, but also open, sparse, depending on the result to be obtained.
Don't overdo the softness
The temptation in the summer is to wear clothes with a softer fit. We understand it well. But a baggy dress can ruin anyone's style. The solution is to leave a certain distance between your skin and your clothes. So that your sweat can evaporate, but know that a centimeter will be more than enough.
Select the right accessories
As for the main accessory for men's clothing, the tie. We are sure that no one will blame you if you don't wear it. Instead, it can be the occasion to highlight other accessories like the men's bag!
Avoid being (completely) without stockings
Even if a little more in business-casual style, but trust me, in summer it goes fine with smart casual too. when the heat becomes cumbersome, it is allowed to show a little ankle between the dress and the shoes.
Wearing simple cotton trousers will avoid overheating your foot and will prevent the formation of unpleasant odors. If you prefer to wear socks, remember to follow the basic rules to match the socks to a man's dress.
You've heard it over and over again in the mouths of your favorite clothing vendors. You understood that it was THE style inherent to all the cool men of the moment! But to describe exactly what it represents and what are its specificities, there is much less obvious! The smart casual is an easy style but not without risks.
It's up to us to decipher this trend, which has become a must, and to familiarize you with its basics, which finally make sense.