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In other words, seek out a stylish blazer that blends with the outfit and exhibits a little—but not too much—personality on its own. After all, you want your blazer to be a piece of the whole, not the whole unto itself. Accordingly, you should pair the blazer with a nice pair of chinos or jeans. You might also layer a collared shirt under a wool sweater, though make sure both are really sharp to avoid steering too close to the casual arena.
Not so fast, gents. Yes, you can rock a nice t-shirt underneath your blazer or jacket, but bear in mind that the t-shirt should still operate as a piece to the broader, stylish whole. Naturally, you should avoid bright colours and loud patterns. Instead, opt for a sophisticated print, classic pattern, or monochromatic colour scheme. And while a slim fit or tailored fit seems like a smart casual no-brainer, you actually have some room to play depending on material, permitted you tuck a longer shirt in to your waistline.
In that regard, you can go with trousers, jeans or chinos and not lose your stylish stride. Again, you want to make sure your pants match the rest of your outfit. And remember, fit is key. Men get scared," says Kirk Beattie.
They run a mile if they see a Bernhard Willhelm top with three hoods. They don't know if it's menswear, women's or aliens'. As co-owner of menswear brand b Store, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in August, Beattie knows what he's talking about. When he and business partner Matthew Murphy first opened their Mayfair shop in , it stocked work by recent fashion graduates alongside their own-brand footwear. The shop gathered a cult following, but it was only when Beattie and Murphy added their own clothing range that b Store made its commercial mark.
What we didn't realise was these were missing from the menswear market. From the first season, buyers from other shops wanted to include the range. The collections stem from Beattie and Murphy's own needs and wants — the current one, London Belongs to Me, was inspired by their old raving days — but trend-driven details never swamp their understated classic clothes. If I buy a checked shirt I won't wear it. The pair feel that their gender is undergoing a quiet revolution, though, thanks to the proliferation of menswear blogs.
They just need help to take something slightly different into the changing room. Though they say you need a big pot of money and very low blood pressure to go into the menswear business, they're proud of their achievements. They're an international brand, but still operate as a small business, employing a tight team, such as Greg Hewitt, who modelled their clothes for us. He got to know the pair as a customer, but now looks after commerical wholesale for them.
Next, they've set their sights on womenswear, but they've hired a new designer to help them with that. I think British culture and clothing has had a huge influence on the rest of the world," says Oliver Spencer. Or men in blazers and open-neck business shirts. Smart casual means nothing, so it can mean anything. There is no one answer, though.
But while it might sound obscure, this last point is perhaps as good as any to start from. Part of the reason that smart casual is so hard to define is that it can mean radically different things in different contexts.
A pristine T-shirt, indigo jeans and box-fresh trainers can look dressier than a wrinkled shirt, stained trousers and scuffed shoes. But smart casual is arguably more a mood or attitude than it is a set formula or combination of pieces. So a more helpful and practical approach is to start with a casual outfit and then change one — or better, two — pieces for smarter alternatives. Now swap in any one of blazer, shirt, trousers or chinos and shoes.
You should be verging on smart casual territory. Swap in two and you should be bang on target. Swap in three and, depending on the circumstances, you might even be too smart.
Darker colours skew more formal, so smartening up can be as simple as turning down the lights. For example, take an olive green bomber jacket, white T-shirt, stonewashed jeans and white trainers.
Now swap the olive bomber for a navy one, and the stonewashed jeans for indigo. Suddenly it feels dressier. Even more so if you swap the white T-shirt for, say, mid-grey or charcoal, and the trainers for navy or black.
The constituent styles are exactly the same, but the overall effect is very different. And the reverse is true: Another major factor that affects the relative smartness or casualness of a piece is texture. Swap the worsted wool for a matte flannel or tweed, however, and you both literally and metaphorically change the feel of the piece. This will also often make the garment seem larger in size, which only adds to the more casual vibe, given that smarter looks are usually sleek and streamlined.
This is a handy rule of thumb and forefinger that you can apply to casualise much any piece: As previously mentioned, throwing a blazer over T-shirt, jeans and trainers is as easy a move as any to nail smart casual. But not all blazers are created equal: As also previously mentioned, a blazer with some texture will rub up the right way with jeans. As will one cut a little shorter, perhaps also with slightly slimmer, more contemporary lapels. Finally, ripping out the padded shoulders and canvassed chest found in smart blazers will also make them feel more casual, not to mention comfortable.
But upgrading to a polo shirt will instantly smarten a casual rig. It also commonly comes in fabrics such as Oxford cloth or chambray, which are less smooth and shiny. But substituting a fine-gauge knit in merino, cashmere or even cotton for these thick, casual and sporty pieces can lend a soupcon of sophistication.
Men's Fashion Features. Fashion Trends The latest men's fashion trends direct from the runways and the streets. Lookbooks Get inspiration for your daily outfits with the latest fashion lookbooks. Smart Over Casual. Smart casual attire can be tricky to master but sometimes a location can help dictate your style options. If you’re at work, for example, Combining them with jeans is a great way to perfect this style. Smart Casual Men’s Clothes. So, the men’s smart casual dress style isn’t too tricky after all, and with so many combinations, there’s no excuse for you to not try out the look from time to time. Each combination has so many options available that you’ll find a look to suit you no problem.