Smart-casual – the somewhat misunderstood middle ground between jeans and a t-shirt and a full suit. Previously a catch-all phrase that outlined an office worker’s ‘Dress-Down Friday’ uniform, now the term encompasses a new menswear dress code.
Today, getting smart-casual right will set you free from traditional rules, looking out of place or being either under or over dressed ever again. It’s considered smart enough to be appropriate in a relatively formal situation yet stylish enough to make you look great down the pub.
With raised pressures of style upon us, instead of promoting a relaxed attitude, this ‘freedom’ of attire often polarises the workplace. While some show clumsy efforts led by the idea of ‘anything goes’, others seem to turn Friday into ‘Scruffday’, treating it like it’s a lazy Sunday. The confusion is particularly visible in environments where there isn’t a clear set of dress-down rules. If you relate to the issue, asking your superiors might be a good idea.
Even after you have all the answers, dressing casually without the safety of a uniform isn’t easy. It’s almost like you need another safe wardrobe selection or formula just for that day.
Code by Lifestyle Stores featuring Farhan Akhtar, is one of the brands which is breaking the norms of boring formals. While the collection comprises of summery shirts, trousers and jackets, the colors and prints do justice to what the season is all about. I created two looks which can be easily worn as smart casuals from desk to date. From your office to a pub later at night, try these looks by Code and you will not be disappointed at all.
Look 1- The Smart Jacket
A blazer is a safe bet, jacket wise, but try and choose one which is versatile enough to be worn at work or later. Textured jacket in shade of blue should do the trick. Versatile and easy to wear, it’s smart but not formal, relaxed but not casual. It will pair effortlessly with denim or trousers too.
Pairing it with a printed shirt in similar tones will help you make the look more relaxed. After work or meeting, just take off the jacket and the shirt will do the talking. Try to keep the prints minimal and not so loud to maintain the class of smart casuals. There is a borderline between smart casuals and just casuals, and prints play an important role in the same.
Choose your shoes and other accessories wisely. I chose The code brown oxfords without socks just for that causal fridays feel. A printed pocket square and a matching watch with your shoes are the other add ons which will work perfectly. Keep the sunglasses simple and stylish, choose a wayfarer in the brown tones.
Look 2- A Shirt and a Tie
Treading the line between formal and relaxed perfectly, the classic Oxford shirt is an essential to any discerning wardrobe. Typically with a button-down collar, an Oxford looks smart enough without a tie and, at the same time, retains a sportier downtime feel when worn with one. And what’s better than sporting a minimal printed one with the preppy striped tie. Keeping it cool with the climate, a white polka doted shirt with a relaxed striped tie adds the school boy charm with some class.
Keeping the colors contrasting, pairing the white shirt with a grey slim fit trousers and a blue red and white striped tie makes it a perfect example of smart casuals. When in no mood of a jacket, just go with this look. Perfect dressing from day to night.
To add the right mix of colors, sporting a blue leather loafer will make it little more casual. It matches with the tie and gives the required color in this outfit. When it comes to sunglasses, I chose a vintage framed one, it just lifts the whole mood of this outfit. A classic metal watch is like a cherry on the top.
So here it is, the guide to smart causals, Try these two looks I created from the SS’16 collection of Code. Visit your nearest lifestyle store and check out the collection. I am sure you won’t be going back empty handed. That’s all for some dress down look, keep reading and share your views below in the comments section. Till then Stay Stylish
Full Outfit by The Code, Lifestyle Stores
Look 1 Sunglass- Koovs
Look 1 watch- Timberland
Look 2 Sunglass- Pataaka
Look 2 Watch- French Conncetion
Photography- Keshav Chugh