6 Key Elements to the Perfect Smart Casual Outfit



Smart-casual – the somewhat misunderstood middle ground between jeans and a t-shirt and a full suit. Previously a catch-all phrase that outlined an office worker’s ‘Dress.

Today, getting smart-casual right will set you free from traditional rules, looking out of place or being either under or over dressed ever again. It’s considered smart enough to be appropriate in a relatively formal situation yet stylish enough to make you look great down the pub.

However, you don’t need to worry about them, as we’ve outlined the key pieces that will help you find the perfect balance, no matter what the occasion…

1. The Jacket
jacket - news on hunt
A blazer is a safe bet, jacket wise, but try and choose one you wouldn’t wear to work. Textured wool in light blue should do the trick. Versatile and easy to wear, it’s smart but not formal, relaxed but not casual. It will pair effortlessly with denim or trousers too.

2. The Trousers
Trousers - news on hunt

When it comes to smart-casual, what you wear on your legs will vary according to what’s on top.

Remember though, jeans are fine as long as they’re dark, clean, rip free and well-fitting.

3. The Shirt
Treading the line between formal and relaxed perfectly, the classic Oxford shirt is an essential to any discerning wardrobe.

Typically with a button-down collar, an Oxford looks smart enough without a tie and, at the same time, retains a sportier downtime feel when worn with one.

4. The Shoes
rounded toe shoe - news on hunt
Probably the most important part of an outfit, in terms of defining just how smart it is.

Ideally, try a pair of Chelsea boots with a rounded toe. Classic tan works well with navy/grey trousers and indigo jeans.

5. The Accessories
You’ll need a watch that isn’t digital to compete the look, but it doesn’t have to be eye-wateringly expensive. Any of the pared-back offerings we recently profiled will suffice. If you’re carrying a bag, make it a leather document holder rather than a rucksack. Finally, think about your belt – matching it to your shoe colour (not too precisely, mind) shows you pay attention to the finer details.

6. The Finishing Touches
finishing touch
These are the same rules for pretty much any outfit. Polish, brush or clean your shoes, iron your shirt and see if your jacket is complemented by a pocket square.

It might seem like a bit of an effort, but when it comes to a subtle smart-casual look, these little flourishes leave a lasting impression.

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