How to get the smart casual mix just right

How to get the smart casual mix just right – words Alan Woods

Trying not to look too smart or too casual sounds complicated but only because it’s been given the daft label of “smart casual”.

It’s time someone came up with a new word really. All it means is the informal style that’s in-between workwear and lounging around clothing.


The best way to get the smart casual mix right is to pair a few of your smarter clothes with some of your more casual clothes and always finish it off with a great pair of shoes. For starters, you could pair a shirt and blazer with some casual jeans and you’ve got yourself a smart, but casual outfit. Equally, wearing a sweatshirt or well-fitted knit top with a pair of chinos or some of your smarter jeans can work well as a smart casual outfit. Illusive London offer some great slim fitting sweaters and tops that are perfect for this look.


Sometimes the situation or location you’re in can help you to work out just how smart or casual you can go. For example, dress down Friday requires the balance to edge more towards smart than casual. The dress down Friday rule actually originated way back in 1947 in Hawaii when it became acceptable to wear the brightly patterned Aloha shirt in the office on Fridays – according to Oxford Shop, so over in Hawaii they were really embracing the more casual side. It’s probably best you avoid any brightly coloured shirts over here in the UK on casual Friday, for now.

In the winter, you can’t go wrong with a relaxed blazer when it comes to the smart casual look. Try and pick a blazer that wouldn’t feel out of place at work, that way you know it’s the right side of casual. In the colder months, opt for a tweed blazer like a British made 100% wool material in green or navy but as summer approaches you can start wearing pastel colours in a lighter cotton.

For the smart casual look you should always have balance, so with a smart jacket like a blazer, opt for some casual shoes like some plain pumps or deck shoes. You can then turn this on its head and go for really smart shoes with a more casual jacket such as a a bomber jacket or a raincoat to ease the outfit back into casual.

Casual-Fashion-Web-1Little changes to your accessories can also make a big difference to your smart casual outfit. Matching your belt to your shoes is always a nice touch and if you’re travelling, a nice leather holdall, like the Columbus from Mahi leather is the perfect finishing touch to a smart casual look. Finally, if you’re wearing a blazer, consider a fancy pocket square to tie your outfit together and add a touchy of quirkiness.

How to get the smart casual mix just right – words Alan Woods



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