Smart Casual Attire

Smart clothes is a term for casual attire with a polished refined look for work or business.  "Smart Professional" and "Smart Casual" are other terms that basically mean the same.  It's the same as Business casual attire, and has been defined as not as business formal or dressy but still professional and accepted in work and business. 

Smart Clothes and smart casual attire are a combination of trousers, button up shirts, jackets, skirts, tops, belts, accessories and shoes. Smart clothes is refined and not too trendy. Many people prefer a smart casual attire for work because of its ease, comfort and versatility, plus they can add their own fashion style as well. Employees are not the only ones that have this dress code, many restaurants and other business's have adopted this type of dress code for their patrons. 

What is Smart?

"Smart clothes or smart casual" is a term used similar to "chic", it's a pulled together look that is casual because it not formal business, but still very professional and usually preferred nowadays for professional attire. The "casual" comes into play because the requirements are looser than dressy business formal such as a three piece suit, tie and shiny shoes. By no means does smart casual mean clothes you wear to the beach or sporting events.

Smart Casual Essentials 

Building a timeless classic Smart Casual wardrobe is easy once you know the basic 6 items every woman and man should have in their closet. Being smart isn't about designer labels, it's about putting the right outfit together with your own fashion stamp on what you wear and looking polished and professional, smart. Although this list doesn't include every item such as dresses, it's just a beginning list of the basic staples and you can alway incorporate more styles, colors and textures.

The 6 Items for a smart clothes is:

Smart Clothes

Smart casual man

Smart Clothes for Women:

  • Trousers- Black is a no-brainer because it goes with everything. Choose pants that are the most flattering to your body shape. Choose good quality fabrics so they last longer.
  • Silk Blouses- long sleeve and short. Having several blouses is beneficial because a nice blouse and pair of trousers or skirt is very easy to throw together. A good rule of thumb is 2 tops for every bottom.
  • Cardigans or sweaters- Great for layering and creates another look. Cardigans are great all year round, especially in offices when the air conditioning is chilly.
  • Skirts- Pencil skirts are the most flattering. The hemline should be at the knee or a little bit above. Same rule applies to dresses.
  • Jacket or blazer- You can't go wrong with one. 1-2  blazers is good. Choose neutral colors so you can where with different outfits.
  • Shoes- Round or pointy toes are good, stray away from platforms or too high of a heel. Keep the heel in good condition. For open toe shoes, do not let your toes hang over the edge of the shoe. Go a size bigger. Ballet flats or skimmers are great as well, especially if you are on your feet a lot.

Smart Clothes For Men:

  • Trousers or slacks- Pleats on the front are good, flat front trousers are popular. Chinos are great but make sure it's not a faded worn chino. Tip- Make sure your hem is not too short, the hem should sit on top of your shoe and not above your shoe. If you can almost see your socks when standing, that's a no-no.
  • Button up shirts- Button up shirts are a staple. Try the wrinkle free shirts, you won't regret it, they always look great with no hassle of ironing. The fit is very important, make sure the shirts are tailored and not too baggy or too tight. Try different colors and subtle patterns.
  • Tailored sweaters or vests- Sweaters and vest should have a tailored fit, if wearing a v-neck sweater wear a tee-shirt underneath
  • Jackets or blazers- Jackets over a button up shirt or good quality polo or tee is a great look, a neutral color jacket in black, navy or browns are very versatile.
  • Belts- Black and Brown should be your first choice for colors, they are a good match to everything,
  • Shoes- There's a wide range of shoes now made for comfort. Shoes should always be in good condition. Worn down heels or too many scuffs is a no-no. No sneakers.


We can't get enough of this all-american staple, but  jeans are usually not part of the "smart clothes", but if your employer allows jeans, then choose a dark jean with no holes, tears or distressing.  A dark jean is more dressier. There should be no embellishments or designs on the pockets. Wear the trendy jeans after work. Below are some tips for finding the right pair of jeans.

  • Tighter jeans often look more sleeker, but not too tight. Baggier, slouchy styles look more casual and aren't always flattering.
  • Experiment with different styles- there are so many styles of jeans on the market. Find a style that is the most flattering for you. If you find a perfect pair, if you can, buy a few more.
  • Heels, flats or both?- Consider what shoes you wear with your jeans. Buy different cuts in different lengths. Have at least one pair to wear with flats and one to wear with heels.
  • Worn in, frayed jeans are best kept for casual no work days.


A timeless watch is the perfect practical accessory to a smart casual attire. A classic watch with a leather band or metal band is good choice. Resist on the heavily jeweled watches and save them for the evening.

How to wear jackets

  • Dress around your jacket by swapping one piece, such as a button up shirt or a nice quality polo or blouse. It can change to entire ensembles look.
  • Don't overstuff- Layering can look great, but too many tops or chunky sweater under a jacket isn't flattering. 

For Women

  • Pay attention to proportion- With a cropped jacket, for example, wear a longer shirt underneath or a high waisted skirt or pant. It's okay if your top is longer than your jacket, In fact, it adds dimension to your look. The fuller the pant or skirt, the shorter or more fitted your jacket should be.