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Rock a Smart-Casual Dress Code

A Style Guide: How to Rock a Smart-Casual Dress Code

The smart-casual dressing is a more-than-casual dress code that switches up your look. It requires a lot higher level of sophistication than your casual wear. Take note, though, that it is not to be compared to your formal business professional style. It’s that style you think of when you think of taking a flight with a first-class ticket to a luxury hotel somewhere in the Bahamas.

As such, it’s important that you carefully consider how to put together your smart-casual outfit. It is important to make sure that your clothing helps communicate who you are, what you stand for, and what you intend to accomplish.

When you’re invited to an upbeat event, smart-casual wear should be your go-to. However, the smart-casual outfit should not be limited to special occasions or events alone. It can easily become your day-to-day costume too depending on your liking. See it as elegant, stylish, and mature wear that can easily be adapted to different locations and occasions.

Getting a smart-casual outfit is not necessarily calling for a higher budget for clothes and dressing. Except you are interested in luxury and designer specials, your casual wear can be as minimal in cost as you desire.

In this guide, we’ll get you completely familiarized with the best practices in choosing and preparing your smart-casual dressing. Whether you like your dressing with a touch of a luxury watch from Tissot for a perfect look or just a hands-free, dressed-up style, we got you covered.

A smart-casual dress code had me stumped but these tips made building my wardrobe a breeze!

What Is a Smart-Casual Dress Code?

Giving a definite definition to the term can be contradictory, due to several factors. Those include location, season, individual, and society may influence such definition.
This variability may bring about difficulty in using smart-casual dressing.

Generally, smart-casual suggests a mixture of well-set chinos or a pair of dark jeans, a blazer, a shirt, and a pair of leather shoes. Your combination should be very fitting but must not be any close to business casual or business professional formal styles. Smart-casual should be much smarter than a tracksuit but less formal when compared with a suit.

Different occasions decide which type of smart casual dresses fit. For instance, assuming you received a wedding or a birthday invitation that calls for smart casual attire, you may not need to go with jeans. Choose the chinos instead. You sure don’t need a tie but it’s okay to pack one should you be required to wear it for any reason during the event. Add up your blazer or jacket with a pocket square.

Alternatively, assuming you’re going to a smart-casual house party, wearing a dressy pair of jeans with a tucked-in shirt will just be fine.

The perfect rule is to always be conscious of the location and occasion when you’re preparing to dress up. Going to an after-work party often requires a smart casual that can be as simple as a pair of navy jeans and a blue checked shirt.

In case you’re invited to an event but are unsure about the dress expectations, it is ok to ask the event planner to give a few instances of what the smart dressing should entail. You could also check it out with friends or just go formal. Going formal is better than going casual in case you made a mistake in dressing. Being overdressed is much better than being underdressed.

The smart-casual style is person-based and as such, fashion trends and changes have little or no influence on it. Therefore, it is a good idea to stock up your wardrobe with the right wears for smart-casual.

Below are essentials that you can combine for your next smart outfit:


Chinos are a great idea when it comes to choosing a perfect mix. The choice of chinos works better always with other outfits when compared to jeans. That is, the chinos always give a more unique look over jeans.

Select the best in classic colors such as beige, navy, and khaki which are always easy to match. Aside from being comfortable and stylish, chinos also help you achieve a smart casual appearance. Chinos are a perfect choice for a good number of occasions.

Denim Jeans

The jeans make the first on the list of choices for informal wear since the 1950s. Getting a pair of great-fitting jeans can be a lot helpful when thinking of going casual.

Always go for a more polished, quality pair of jeans.


Getting a good number of well-fitted long-sleeve shirts would surely do your wardrobe a lot of good in keeping it up for your smart-casual wear.

Start with easy-to-match colors such as white. Be sure to take note that the collar remains fitting when left open to the third button and when fully buttoned up.


A blazer is a must-have item in your combination list and is a piece that conveniently sets your smart-casual dress code apart from any other casual wear. It’s common to use a classic navy blazer that will be easy to blend in with any other items in your wardrobe.

Selecting a blazer is very much worth it, so it would be ideal to dedicate enough resources to get the best quality and design.


Choosing the right shoes when dressing smart casually will impact your overall look. For instance, wearing a pair of high-end sneakers will give you a dressed-down look. A pair of classic Oxford leather shoes will do the contrast.

Accessories and accents

The importance of accessories cannot be over-emphasized. They are needed to give a touch of uniqueness to your outfit and upgrade your overall outlook. You can decide to change accessories from time to time. Or you may simply stay tuned to a set that you’ve grown interested in. Whichever way, don’t evict this important aspect from your smart-casual dressing.

You can keep these smart-casual dress codes for years to elevate your look. Your smart-casual dressing must not be confused with other styles of dressing including casual, business casual, business professional style, and cocktail attire style.