Smart Casual.....What does it mean?

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Smart Casual....What does it mean?

It’s that time of year again. Whether it’s for parties or work’s do’s one phrase on the invite can strike fear into the heart of all men when they read or accept an invite “dress smart casual”

          What is smart casual? After all, smart is a world apart from casual. And while you can sometimes be over-dressed, you can always be under-dressed for an occasion or event. A lot of men feel pretty confused about the idea of ‘Smart Casual’ often wondering.... Do I need to wear a shirt and tie? Is a jacket required? Can I wear jeans? So let’s take a look at how to make the smart casual look a less daunting.

The Oxford dictionary defines smart casual as, ‘neat, conventional yet relatively informal in style, especially worn to conform to a particular dress code.’ The main clue here is in the order of the wording. Smart first; casual second. It’s not about perfectly combining smart with casual; it’s about choosing smart clothes which will appear relaxed and casual as a whole outfit.

 The most obvious solution (which let’s be honest, most of us opt for) is to pair up an old well worn shirt with some fitted jeans and leave it at that– but you can always mix it up a little bit more. For the top it’s always a good idea to choose a shirt or block coloured T-shirt and then splurge out on a smart, single breasted suit or tweed jacket over the top. Remember we are trying to aim for casual as well as smart so why not add a little colour or neat pattern? Remember you’re not going to work, so instead of reaching for the ‘ole faithful’ plain white shirt, why not a blue, salmon or a sage green instead?

          In most cases we would recommend opting for a shirt as the best way forward. You may end up taking the jacket off as the evening progresses. This means that the shirt becomes the forefront of attention and if you are wearing a plain T-shirt you could then end up being more on the casual side of smart casual. Our range of Douglas & Grahame shirts fit these purposes perfectly, with either a neat check or stripe design and clever finishing touches you cannot go wrong.

Trousers or jeans? It’s worth pairing the outfit with some dark wash denim, or chinos. Make sure they’re not too baggy or indeed too tight, or again, you might end up looking more casual than smart.

Finish the look with some Chelsea boots or brogues and – there you have it, congratulations you’ve achieved the smart casual look.

At OH Bigman we have had over 40 years experience in large men’s fashion and  we stock everything you will need to achieve the style you desire. Simply get in touch we are ‘Always on hand to help’

Email us at sales@oxfordhousemenswear.com or pick up the phone and call 01656 870211 or alternatively 01656 871848 and one of our experienced, friendly and professional members of the team will be more than happy to help with your enquiry.



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