Tips For Men – Dressing for the ‘Smart Casual’ Invite

With Christmas party season in full swing, those invitations that say ‘smart casual’ dress code will have men scratching their heads all over the country. In this article we aim to help those in need and provide advice on what constitutes as smart casual clothes.

Smart but casual dress falls somewhere above business casual but avoids the dressiness of formal wear. It’s a well put together look that can be used for everything from a party, a night at fancy bar or club club, a dinner invitation or a formal event. The style has a lot of flexibility but requires a deft touch. Formal wear is formal, casual is casual and smart is smart, but how does one pull together an outfit that falls in between?

Here are some basic guidelines for ensuring no matter what the event, you’re dressed casual smart.

In general, when you’re looking to dress casual smart, avoid loose fitting and baggy clothes altogether. Technically, if it’s something you wouldn’t wear at work, it’s not casual smart. Clothes should be fit and functional. Go with comfortable fabrics that have clean cuts and lines.

Jeans are fine for most events, but lean toward a darker style. Light colours are okay, but contrast the balance with dark shirts and shoes.

If you’re looking to keep things extremely simple, put on a crisp grey or white t shirt, layered with a knitted cardigan or jumper.

Smart dress leans a little more towards formal. This would be dressing for a nice dinner or attending a party at work. Putting together an outfit will require a little more thought and creativity. Overall, there are two solid options. First, the laid back, casual suit works great here. Skip the tie and utilise a casual, collared shirt unbuttoned at the top.

There’s also the classic blazer and jeans. Again, it’s best to go with darker coloured jeans, a knit or tee with a well lined blazer. Finish it off with a nice pair of leather shoes or boots.

The best aspect of the jeans and blazer combo is its versatility. Changing up the look is as simple as having a well equipped wardrobe. Put away the tee and put on a jumper or collared shirt, turtle or polo. Almost anything works.

For formal events, casual smart becomes a lot more structured. Depending on the event, you may want to stick with classic styling, like a tuxedo. If you want to look relaxed, skip the cummerbund, but stay with the bow tie, black dress shoes and cufflinks.

Casual smart dress has a lot of options. The fashion includes jackets, smart trousers or jeans, a number of shirt styles, sweaters, slim lined ties, vests, shoes, boots and accessories like outfit enhancing bracelets, neckwear and watches. Whether it’s for work or social, casual smart is about being relaxed and fashionable. Always look at the situation when putting together your outfit. Like formal wear, smart casual is different for work versus a nightclub.

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