Smart Casual Clothing Items Every Man Needs

More companies are doing away with suits in favor of a smart casual dress code. Similarly, it has become more common to dress smart casual to events like weddings. But just how do you dress smart casual? For men, there are a few clothing items that you can depend on. Ready to upgrade your wardrobe? Start by adding a few smart-casual clothing items to your collection.

Dark jeans

Some people view jeans as strictly casual clothing, but in fact they’re perfectly suitable in most smart casual settings. Dark jeans tend to have a more formal look than light jeans. This includes dark navy jeans or black jeans. Opt for slim-fitting jeans and consider pairing them with a smart leather belt. Baggy jeans are best avoided as they have a more casual look to them.


Chinos are the classic smart-casual choice of pants - they’re more formal than jeans, but less formal than dress pants. They’re traditionally made of cotton and are khaki and tan in color. However, nowadays they are available in various cotton-synthetic blends in a variety of colors. Tan, khaki, gray and black chinos tend to be the most versatile, while other colors are for making a statement.

Oxford shirt

This is the standard buttoned shirt that many people wear under suits. These shirts make great smart casual clothing options when paired with jeans or chinos. Opening the collar and rolling up the sleeves can create a more relaxed look for more leisurely events (recommended for white Oxford shirts, which may look too formal when fully buttoned up). You can buy Oxford shirts in various colors and patterns. Plaid patterned shirts are very popular in more casual settings.

Dress boots

Dress boots are semi-formal boots that are either black, brown, or tan leather. Examples include Chelsea boots (which have no laces) and chukka boots (which are laced). Dress boots go well with chinos or jeans. With slim-fitting jeans, you can even tuck them into dress boots to show off more of the boot. There are many styles of dress boots available online to choose from.


Brogues are another semi-formal shoe that works well in a smart casual setting. They are typically made from brown or black leather and they have decorative perforations on them. You can pair brogues with jeans or chinos. Many are also versatile enough that you can also wear them in more formal settings with a suit (especially Oxford-style brogues). Some brogues can be very expensive due to the brand, however, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a decent pair of brogues.


blazer is a good smart casual jacket option that can be worn over all kinds of clothing items. They can be paired with a plain tee for a more leisurely look, or paired with an Oxford shirt for a smarter work-ready look. You can even wear them over a turtleneck for a European look. Blazers come in various different styles. Neutral colors tend to be most versatile, while bright colors are more suited for making a statement. You can also explore different fabrics from silk to tweed, as well as various patterns. Leave the buttons open for a more chilled-out vibe, or fastened for a more formal look.

Trench coat

There are a few different smart casual jacket options to explore, however, one of the most reliable and versatile is a trench coat. These long jackets can go just as well with a suit as they do with a t-shirt and jeans, in all cases providing a sophisticated look. Trench coats are typically beige, brown, gray or black. You can however buy them in many other colors. They make great winter wear as they can often be very warm.


Cardigan sweaters are great clothing items for the colder months. They go great with a t-shirt or an Oxford shirt, and can be left buttoned up or unbuttoned. For a smarter look, it’s best to stick to cardigans in neutral colors. Wool cardigans can offer more warmth - especially those made from cashmere. You can explore different styles online.


Turtleneck sweaters are underrated items in a smart casual wardrobe. As with cardigans and trench coats, they are ideal for the colder months. Turtlenecks typically look best in darker colors and should be fairly tight-fitting so as not to look frumpy. A turtleneck can look great under a blazer or a cardigan, or you can wear it on its own.

No comments