Expressing your style while still meeting a dress code can take practice. When it comes to dressing smart-casual, the key is to strike a balance between looking polished and relaxed. It’s about choosing pieces that make you feel confident and give off the right vibe.
Start with a solid foundation
We recommend basing your look around solid colours and simple styles. Choose well-fitting trousers or chinos, and pair them with a collared shirt or polo shirt for a smart look, or opt for a plain long-sleeve tee for a minimal base.
Pick a colour palette you’re comfortable with, maybe paired with a strong contrasting colour or black. Grey is always a great go-to for keeping your style casual, and earth tones are also a great neutral option. A khaki-green tee and dark brown chinos, is an elevated combination as opposed to going for a classic white t-shirt.
Add a layer
Depending on the occasion and the weather, you can add a blazer, shirt or a jumper to your outfit. Layering brings depth to a look and is the perfect point to bring in understated patterns. For example, a softly pinstriped blazer over a light grey t-shirt is a minimal look that is stylish yet casual.
Wearing an open shirt over a tee, or layering with a knitted v-neck jumper can give a sophisticated outfit, while also giving you the option of removing layers in warmer weather. A patterned shirt can be a great way to inject some colour into your look, but remember to make sure any contrasting colours complement your base layers.
Pick your jewellery
As rule of thumb, to keep your look smart and casual your jewellery should be simple and understated. A watch, cufflinks, or ring adds elegance and a classic style to your outfit. A chain necklace or bracelet gives a bolder look, but make sure not to go overboard with layering too many chains if you want to keep your look polished and smart.
Pay attention to details
Fashion writers often forget this, but shoes always matter. Whatever you’re wearing, making sure your shoes are clean and polished makes a world of difference to finishing an outfit. Opt for leather or suede loafers, derby shoes or brogues for a more formal look, or create an edgier style with a fresh pair of trainers.
If you choose to wear a belt, making sure it matches or complements your shoes. It’s the little touches of co-ordination that are going to bring your look together.
Consider the dress code
Smart-casual can mean different things depending on the occasion, so make sure to dress appropriately. For a work event, stick to classic colors and conservative styles, while for a date or a night out, you can experiment with bolder patterns and colors.
Remember, smart-casual is all about finding a balance between formal and informal, so don't be afraid to mix and match styles to create a unique and stylish look. For accessorising your outfit, check out our Style section; for handpicked jewellery sets suitable for every occasion, or shop our full range online.