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In the past, menswear consisted of formal wear like suits or casual wear for men comprising jeans and a tee. However, in recent years, menswear has changed considerably, leading to options like business casual for the office and smart casual outfits.

While business casual and a smart casual outfit for men may sound the same, the two differ. Business casual for men offers a slightly more relaxed take on formal office wear, foregoing the suit and tie. While these ensembles provide a more professional look and feel, smart casual outfits blend informal and formal wear, dressed up with accessories and a blazer.

Understanding the ins and outs of smart casual attire for men makes it easier to put together an outfit that looks sleek but is comfortable, too. So, let’s take a closer look at this checklist of great smart casual outfits for men.

Men’s Smart Casual Outfit: Basics

Smart Casual Attire For Men

A smart casual outfit for men is a relatively new look, favored by younger generations. It provides the perfect middle ground between very formal and informal.

How To Master The “Smart Casual” Look

Mastering smart casual attire for men is relatively simple, provided you know what to look for. So let’s look at some of the essential rules and a few things not to do when putting together a trendy look of your own.

Essential Rules

Typically, a smart casual dress code for men includes well-cut pants, a blazer, and a pair of loafers. Putting this together is quick to master by following two simple rules.

Firstly, ensure that your clothes are cut to fit – the items must be fitted and shouldn’t be too tight or baggy. Secondly, stick to muted tones like navy, black, charcoal grey, and chocolate browns. Deeper tones give any outfit a more sophisticated edge.

Common Mistakes: How To Avoid Them

When piecing together a smart casual outfit for men, there are a few common mistakes to steer clear of to ensure your look is sleek and stylish without being overly dressy or too simple.

Firstly, steer clear of logos, branding, and excessive patterns. The key here is to keep neutral colors while staying in line with the concept that less is more. Pairing vivid patterns and bold logos can appear tacky and deter from the sleek look you’re after.

Secondly, ensure the items you’re wearing are in a good state. For example, wearing a crisp white tee with chinos can be just as smart as a collared shirt. However, it won’t have the same effect if it’s the old white tee you wear at home. As a rule of thumb, if you’d wear it casually around the house, it isn’t good enough for your smart-casual outfit.

Great Smart Casual Outfit: The Must-Haves

  1. Pants – Opt for classic jeans with a straight-leg, perfectly cut from high-quality fabric. Alternatively, try Chinos in beige, navy, or khaki. These add a classy look and are simple to match with other garments.
  2. Shirts – For that sleek look, long-sleeve shirts are essential. But, you can always roll up the cuffs for a more relaxed look.
  3. Accessories – Often underestimated, accessories can make or break a look. Use them to add a touch to your personality and enhance the overall look. For instance, a high-quality leather wallet boosts your image, and it will last for years to come. Belts and watches also add a touch of class to an outfit.
  4. Blazer – When curating smart casual for men invest in a blazer cut from high-quality material that will last. Further, choose a shade of fabric that is neutral enough to wear on all occasions and that combines well with other shades.
  5.  Shoes – Pair your clothing with high-quality shoes to tie your look together. You can use high-end sneakers or classic leather shoes like loafers.

Where to Wear Smart Casual

As with any other style, a smart casual outfit for men has its place. Typically, this dress code is kept for those events that require more than jeans and a T-shirt but where a formal suit and tie would be too much. Prime examples of where smart casual for men is acceptable include the office, a date, dinner with friends or family, and in some cases, weddings.

However, if you’re ever unsure of the dress code for an event, contacting the organizer to find out what is most appropriate is always best practice.


When putting together a smart casual outfit for men, keeping the style simple by using well-fitted garments in neutral tones without excessive patterns or logos will set you on the right path. In addition, ensuring you have the basics accentuated with a few key accessories and a high-quality pair of shoes will perfectly tie everything, ensuring you are perfectly dressed for every occasion. So, put your best foot forward by using this checklist to assemble the ideal smart-casual outfit.