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The Mystery of smart casual

Finding the meaning of “smart casual” can quickly become very confusing. The dictionary defines it as “neat, conventional, yet relatively informal in style, especially as worn to conform to a particular dress code”. But what does that actually mean in practice and how should you dress smart casual?

It is apparent that anything can be considered as ‘smart casual’ from rolled up chino’s to shorts (that seems too casual for me). A suit, open collared shirt and shoes also seem to fit the bill. So where are the boundaries? What should you be looking for when dressing smart casual?

It is safe to say that what was considered smart casual in1998 was very different to what it is today. That is part of the joy

of fashion, it refuses to stay the same, it is always moving forward. It will happily take influences from years past but it will always be ‘of its time’. One thing should never change when choosing your outfit, be comfortable in what you wear. Trust your own judgement because there is no right or
wrong answer to this conundrum, nothing is set in stone.

It is hard to guage the level of formality needed for any party or event with a smart casual dress code. One way of not being caught out by this social sudoko
is by being able to change an outfit as you go. You may turn up to a party, you have jacket, shirt, cotton trousers and a nice pair of loafers for example. As you get there, you realise you are a little over dressed, but don’t worry. The situation can be resolved easily by simply taking off your jacket and rolling up your sleeves. It is always easier dressing an outfit down on the go than it is trying to dress one up. With that in mind the most important thing is that you enjoy every event you attend this summer. Don’t let the dress code hold you back.