Smart Casual – what does it actually mean?
The phrase has been around a while but still remains a mystery in the minds of many and is so easy to get wrong for the uninitiated. Perhaps because what people consider as truly formal or truly casual has evolved so rapidly, it has been harder than ever to get a grip on this elusive mode of dressing.
Once, in more simple times, men who worked in offices wore a suit, shirt and tie every day and at the weekends relaxed in casual sweaters and denim. But as the world of work has evolved, so too has men’s way of dressing. Work is more flexible, more diverse and more creative than ever before and these changes have been writ large across men’s fashion.
Smart casual once simply meant casualwear but with a neat and tidy appearance but as this became the default office dress code for men, the definition has evolved and become more nuanced. Smart casual itself now takes in a whole spectrum of dressing and here are just a few simple approaches to the genre:
Dress Down Suiting
When it’s really important to make an impression at work, your go to should always be a sharply cut, well-fitting suit. But add a touch of personality to take the 'City Boy' edge off your look. Combine a plain two piece suit with a Mouline-effect print shirt and chocolate brown brogues to balance both worlds but still dress for the job you want.
What happens in the boardroom is only part of your future career, much of the real business goes on in the bar after work. If you’re sipping a few with senior management, it’s important to balance the need to impress with a certain amount of informality in manners and dress sense. Keep it simple by dressing down your pinstripe suit with a pair of our leather sneakers. A warning though: keep your trainers impeccably clean, logo free and as minimalistically unfussy as possible, to get the look right.
Whether its date night, the big lads' night out or dinner with friends at a great restaurant, there are always times which are casual in spirit but the dress code is still very much “dress to impress.” Try one of our “casual suits” – the jacket is styled like a blazer with feature buttons and trim detail but can be worn with a matching trousers for a fully suited look or with denim or chinos for a more casual appearance. This particular casual suit is paired with an elasticated waist trouser, blending the worlds of formal wear with the sports luxe trend in an interesting and youthful way. As an alternative, try a patterned print shirt tucked it into a pair of dark, slim chinos and finished with a pair of oxblood brogues.
Perfect for the morning after the night before. Your look can be much more composed than you feel on the inside if you balance the need for comfort with a touch of smartness. Try a pair of slim-leg jeans, half zip sweater, tailored overcoat and white leather sneakers.
The dominance of smart casual as a look is part of an overarching trend which is blurring the lines between formal and casual clothing for men. Our new film, 'Parallels' looks at the very many iterations of modern men's style and how style can define the type of man we choose to be. Look out for the full film debuting this week on our YouTube Channel @officialRemusUomo or on social media @remusuomo.
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