Chambray Shirt Oxford button-down shirts are equally at home in business casual as they are smart.
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But not all blazers are created equal: As also previously mentioned, a blazer with some texture will rub up the right way with jeans. As will one cut a little shorter, perhaps also with slightly slimmer, more contemporary lapels. Finally, ripping out the padded shoulders and canvassed chest found in smart blazers will also make them feel more casual, not to mention comfortable. But upgrading to a polo shirt will instantly smarten a casual rig.
It also commonly comes in fabrics such as Oxford cloth or chambray, which are less smooth and shiny. But substituting a fine-gauge knit in merino, cashmere or even cotton for these thick, casual and sporty pieces can lend a soupcon of sophistication. A knitted blazer is somewhere between the two.
A word or 23 on roll necks: Legwear is usually a smart casual sticking point. Your pins are an oft-missed opportunity to not formalise an outfit, but also flex.
Going back to the bomber jacket, T-shirt, jeans and trainers example, swapping the jeans for tailored trousers can not only look smart, but also fashionable. Which is why most guys stick to jeans or chinos. What makes a smart shoe more casual? For those reasons, wingtips , Derbies , loafers , Chelsea boots and chukkas are better bets than office-y Oxfords. But some examples can be very smart, some very casual. But a more formal dark colour is smarter in more ways than one: In terms of fabrics, shiny, smooth leather is smarter than matte, coarse canvas, and suede is somewhere in the middle.
A blazer will make you practically bulletproof. Outside of work, smart casual almost never calls for wearing a tie. A grandad shirt, polo, or roll neck will remove any ambiguity, or the impression that you forgot your neckwear. For formal smart casual events, you might want to keep your blazer on, so wearing a removable overcoat over the top might be better than a knit underneath. With the exception of corporate pinstripes, patterns make pieces such as blazers and shirts look more casual, and you less like you came from the office.
T-shirts are already casual, so avoid patterns, logos, slogans or shudder jokes. As outlined above, silhouette also determines formality. So ensuring that casual pieces fit correctly is one way to convey smartness. A blazer in the same material? A plain sweatshirt can also substitute for a knit under a casual tailored jacket.
Trousers or chinos with sporty drawstrings or cuffs are one thing, but jersey sweatpants are just barely permissible as casualwear. Smart casual is also about how you wear it. Take the formal edge off by rolling up your sleeves and the hems of your chinos to expose a touch of mankle. Switch your leather dress watch for a sports one with metal bracelet or Nato strap, and your leather belt for a woven one, maybe in a colour other than brown.
How many times can we advocate a blazer? At least one more. So get you a blazer that can do both, ideally. For it to fly as smart casual, the blazer should be made from a more textured fabric than an average suit jacket, cut slightly shorter and constructed less rigidly.
This also makes the process of throwing it on a whole lot easier. Yes, a blazer is the alpha and omega of both business and formal smart casual. But what about the occasions when a tailored jacket, however unstructured, is too smart? The style comes from the uniform-wearing armed forces, so packs a certain formality payload. But for it to pass inspection as smart casual, the bomber jacket should be slimmer than a military-issue MA-1, in a dark colour such as navy or black and made of a more luxurious and less lustrous fabric than the standard shiny nylon preferably wool or cotton.
For informal smart casual missions, this is your wingman. Oxford button-down shirts are equally at home in business casual as they are smart. So, in the interests of variety, our smart casual endorsement is the chambray shirt. Follow him on Instagram mrjamiemillar.
Shop mens blazers & smart jackets mens fashion at M&S. From linen smart blazers to tweed & wool tailored jackets for work & weekend style. Buy online now. Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again. Jackets are different than, say, your denim. Where jeans are concerned, you could conceivably get away with having one favourite pair that you wear over and over. As long as it meets a few basic.