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Today I want to talk about smart casual for men. What is it? When do we wear smart casual? Through this article you will find out the first steps that will take you away from the casual style (jumpsuit, jeans and T-shirt) in which many men sink.
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What does dress code mean? It is the suggestion that is written in invitations to parties and ceremonies. When it is present it is certainly a good thing, because then there will be no doubt about how to dress.
There are different types of social occasions and therefore there are different types of dress codes, from the most formal to the most casual. Most of us will be dealing with more or less informal occasions and few formal occasions. Therefore it is worthwhile to become an expert in how you will dress most of the time.
what is casual?
Instead of defining what it is, it is easier to understand what it is not. Basically anything that is not formal wear, formal dress, black tie, white tie or tuxedo. The idea of casual is something comfortable, not too complicated to wear.
Casual is all you wear to go to school, to shop, to buy an item in the store. No one expects anything. There is no degree of formality: you could present yourself in a tracksuit, or in jeans. No one could make it the subject of discussion.
It’s what doesn’t make you stand out from the crowd. It does not require any kind of color matching effort, etc … Some great CEOs have gone down in history who have decided to simply dress with jerseys and jeans even in the company (Steve Jobs are you listening?)
Smart casual: meaning
The smart casual is instead the elegant version of casual, which indicates a greater effort in presenting oneself adequately to others and using it for slightly more important events: a dinner, an appointment, to go to the cinema etc …
Smart means being elegant neat. Together, Smart and Casual, they sound a bit weird.
Smart casual has no precise rules, so you don’t have to study a manual to dress yourself smart. There is no bible that teaches what is smart and what is not. It is rather the “intelligent” choice of elegant elements together with casual elements. It is the care with which you combine colors and garments, rather than individual elements.
Complicating everything is time: what was acceptable as “smart casual” at the beginning of this century is now almost elegant.
Origin of smart casual
Not surprisingly, the word is of American origin. The first time the word was used was 1920 In the Iowa magazine: “The Davenport Democrat And Leader”. Over time (1950) the concept has merged with “business casual” American concept that refers to the type of typical office clothing.
The point is that, over time, customs have become less rigid and therefore this type of class does not mean anything precise today. One example is the debate: are jeans part of the smart casual? for some, yes, for the United Kingdom, apparently not.
What does smart casual dress code mean?
“Practically anything better than a gym suit, but less formal than a suit. An ideal answer is a blazer, white shirt, tidy jeans and brown moccasins. The key is not to worry about being too well dressed; few people that matter they will worry that you are too well. “
Apparently it doesn’t have to do only with clothes but with attitude. That desire to appear in order, clean and with decorum for themselves.
However, there is a concept to be understood: each garment has a degree of formality, based on the type of fabric, cuts, etc. This concept is called the formality scale. A garment is not elegant or casual: but more or less formal according to a gradual scale.
When you follow the Smart casual dress code, you need to insert elements that don’t point too much at the formal side or at the casual side. It means considering only the formal elements that go the most towards the casual side and only the most casual elements that go the most towards the formal side.
Dress code Smart casual outfit: How to dress smart casual
The thing to fix is also the attitude. In everyday operations, therefore, we do not talk about what kind of shoes, such as pants, or tie, we speak of “clean”, in order. The smart casual first of all an attitude that a dress code. Even if an event is informal it does not mean that there should be no effort in matching the colors of the clothes.
Suggested Dress code for smart casual
So what to do? Below are some practical tips.
In the color range dark colors generally represent a more elegant tone, while light colors recall more sporty tones. Dressing in navy blue or black makes a smart outfit.
Another trick that wisely used will give you a smart look are the textures. See the examples below. By texture I mean the textures of clothes, like a knit of course wool or grisaille colors.
Don’t uncover your arms. Sleeves of the shirt should not be pulled up leaving the arm exposed. Short sleeves are an obvious casual sign.
Do not wear a tie. The tie is a clear sign of elegance. Too much. If you are not sure about the event you are attending, take it with you. You can always take it off at the last minute to make your outfit less formal.
Use blazers instead of jackets in jeans or bombers … Make it more elegant.
Use the textures. As previously stated, textures and patterns help to make a garment or an outfit less formal. Use them wisely.
If you need help understanding the color matching in clothes, take a look at this article: matching clothing colors: how to create all the combinations.
Do not use t-shirts with obvious logos and prints.
Use your right size. I had already talked about it in another article, as you can see from the examples above none of the models are oversize.
Smart casual look mens
Smart casual jacket
The Chambray shirt is not made of jeans even if it reminds you of it. It can make an outfit less formal instantly but it’s still a shirt.
smart casual trousers
Smart casual shoes mens
The sneakers are precisely designed for gymnastics. Don’t use them. The derby shoes are ideal: