Whether you’re going to a job interview, client meeting or first date, nailing the smart casual dress code is a must. The good news is, once you understand the basics of how to dress smart casual, it’s a breeze.

Smart casual is all about mixing and matching elements of both formal and casual wear to create an outfit that looks put-together but isn’t too formal or stuffy.

To help you master the art of smart casual dressing, we’ve put together a handy guide with all the need-to-know info, from what to wear and what to avoid, to smart casual dress code tips for every season.

Although the term smart casual may not have any real meaning, this does not release you from all responsibility.

Finding a happy medium between the two extremes of the formality spectrum can be a challenge in this murky no-land.

In the end, as the very naming of the dress code suggests, you should seem professional first and informal second.

Always err on the side of caution, and this is advice that should guide you in every aspect of your life, including how you choose to dress.

There is logic to the common sentiment that it is preferable to be overdressed rather than underdressed.

It would be really embarrassing to show up to an event wearing a t-shirt, fitted shorts, and some fresh white sneakers, for example, when everyone else is dressed in chinos, a shirt, and a blazer.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we’ll go over the essentials of a well-stocked closet to give you a notion of what will and won’t look the part for the smart casual and help you ace your next outfit.


Shirts for a Relaxed Atmosphere

A single-colored shirt in a classic shade is a reliable choice to make when it comes to shirts to wear in the context of smart casual attire; nevertheless, this is by no means the only choice available to you.

Patterned casual shirts, such as stripes or fine houndstooth, or even printed shirts, bring personality into your style.

If you are concerned about going over the top with your look, you can balance it out with more traditional pieces elsewhere.

Even shirts with prints on them are acceptable in today’s society; nevertheless, you should avoid wearing too many different colors together.

If you do want to wear a printed shirt, the best way to do so while still being reasonable is to match it with a solid-colored blazer and chinos.

This will convey the message that you are ready to party while still maintaining your sense of style.

When it comes to shirts appropriate for smart casual settings, the button-down shirt is the obvious choice for men to choose.

If you want to wear a smart-casual shirt during the summer, choose one that is either lighter or brighter.


Casual Pants & Jeans

When it comes to putting on some pants, just as with your upper half, you may make the most of the more smart casual nature that is intended for your outfit by dressing in an appropriate manner.

This indicates that you can completely dispense with the use of suit pants or formal trousers and instead opt to purchase chinos or a pair of slim-fit denim jeans.

Despite this, there are still a few guidelines that must be followed.

To avoid unsightly folds over your shoes, you should wear your pants and chinos with a tailored cut, stick to muted or solid colors, and keep them on the shorter side.



The smart casual dress code is all about mixing and matching elements of both formal and casual wear to create an outfit that looks put-together but isn’t too formal or stuffy.

To master the art of smart casual dressing, remember to keep your shirt simple and tailored, choose pants with a slim fit, and accessorize with understated pieces.