What Smart Casual Really Means

Written by ClareWithTheHair

What Smart Casual Really Means

You have bagged the job of your dream but then the email with the job confirmation arrives and you see that they have a Smart Casual Dress Policy and you go into a blind panic! what is smart casual? Is it jeans and a blazer, is it work trouser and trainers, today we explain to you What Smart Casual Really Means.

Chums do an incredible selection of Smart Casual Wear for Ladies and Gents 

We are going to explain the key items for Men and Women and you can mix and match them to best work for you, but if you have there staples then you will nail the Smart Casual Look. The goal is to aim for a polished yet relaxed look with garments that are elegant and comfortable.


For Men there are a few key pieces you need to own to pull of this look:

Trousers – Especially Corduroy Trousers, these scream smart casual, but you may wear suit trouser teamed with a relaxed shirt and no tie, or even a color pant, in burgundy, deep green or navy.

Knitwear – Think fine knits & fitted knits, these work incredible under a relaxed blazer or on the own with a contrasting shade of trousers. You can stick with a block color or mix this up with some pattern but keep it classic and polished.

Shirts – This can really make or break the Smart Casual Look – You want to be polished but something overly tailored can take this from a smart casual look to a full on business look, opt for tailoring but keep it subtle, play with patterns but don’t do anything too bright or crazy. You can pop a shirt under the fine knitwear for a gorgeous smart casual look of you may wear it under a smart bomber, blazer or on its own.

Jackets – This is where your smart casual look can really shine, you have so much choice here and I would say have one of each that I mention: A long-line wool coat, Bomber Jacket and Blazer . The wool coat should be long in line, fit well, and be in a natural shade including black, navy, camel or grey, it should have a high neck line and looks great with any color pant teamed with an office shoe. The bomber is where you can be a bit more adventurous with the color, make sure its a lightweight bomber, little to o padding, and fits well, but I love this look with a color pant and great shoes. The blazer is vital but think less fitted suit and think more David Gandy, open, not matching, great fit but not formal, wear open over any fine knit or shirt to pull of your perfect Smart Casual Look.

Shoes – I am all about the gorgeous shoes, when it comes to smart casual you have so many options with shoes, but trainers, canvas and buckles are not it! think good quality leather, think tan shoes, navy shoes, burgundy shoes, try to avoid black.

Chums do an incredible selection of Smart Casual Wear for Ladies and Gents 



For Women the key pieces I would recommend for the Smart Casual Look are:

Jackets- Ladies you should have a good wool coat, a long line blazer and a duster coat to pull of your ultimate Smart Casual wardrobe – For the wool coat opt for a mid length style 1/2 way  above the knee and below the bum! Fitted and belted is best and go with a shade that you can mix and match the rest of your smart casual wardrobe with, for the blazers keep these long lines, relaxed and wear them open, the duster is perfect for this smart casual look, it is the perfect relaxed long line coat but not as formal as a mac.

Dress – Think versatile here, can it be teamed with many of the other items, can you pop a jumper or shirt under or over it to mix up the look, I personally love a shirt style dress when dressing Smart Casual, I love this because the shirt style while relaxed is also fitted and screams elegance, you can wear a scarf with it, swap up the belts, pop a knit over it, there are literally so many ways to wear and style the shirt dress.

Skirt – I like to go with a a line here, it is perfect teamed with a smart t shirt tucked in, a fine knit or even a blouse but think more lunch with the girls blouse and less office blouse here.

Trousers – Anything goes apart from a ripped jean or short shorts, wear pants with pockets, ankle grazers, belted, just make sure they are fitted, anything to loose or too tight will not create this polished smart casual look we are after.

Shoes – You can have a lot of fun here, I think the ankle boot when worn with any of the skirts or dresses mentioned above works great, especially the sock boot, block heels, nice hard wear details and go for color. Do not wear trainers, canvas, chunky boots or full on business court shoes.

Tops – Fine knitwear, relaxed blouses, t shirts, wrap tops even peplum tops, but when choosing the tops think less Saturday night and more Afternoon tea with the potential in laws. Keep neck line conservative, midriff hidden and don’t go too fussy.


This is what dressing smart casual means to me.

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What Smart Casual Really Means

Chums do an incredible selection of Smart Casual Wear for Ladies and Gents 

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