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How to nail smart casual in 10 steps

How to nail smart/casual in 5 steps

Looking smart but casual at the same time sounds easy, but what does it actually translate to in 2017? Smart/casual is the ideal dress code for every-day life. It should let you show off your individual style but keep you looking sharp and competent.

If you’re working on your modular wardrobe this is the exact look you’ll be going for. It’s great for work because you can stay comfortable, but smart enough to meet clients or go out after work. If you’re in a creative job where you’re coming into contact with a lot of clients that have different dress norms to you, staying smart/casual will make them feel relaxed and not out of place whether they’re dressed up or down.

We’ve put together 10 steps to make sure you’re nailing smart/casual for any season and any occasion.


If you want to make a casual outfit seem instantly smarter, choose your jewellery well. Keep it minimal though and stick to one or two pieces that won’t draw your attention away from the rest of your outfit. The easiest thing to start with is a great watch.

There are some great watches around that won’t break the bank. You don’t need a Rolex or a Patek Philippe to communicate that you’ve got class. Check out watches by MVMT - sleek, simple and design led timepieces that you can wear everyday, with anything.


The best shoes you can wear for a smart/casual look are still leather. You can sometimes get away with trainers but only something that you wouldn’t ever play sport or go skating in. Put aside your Nike’s and Adidas and check out some more grown-up, casual boots and shoes from companies like Timberland or Hudson’s chukka boot. They give some weight and substance to your look without looking like you’re trying too hard.

You could also try a classic brogue with dark jeans or slim chinos rolled to the ankle and paired with a plain white, tucked in t-shirt or shirt and sports jacket.



Forget big flashy brand names. You need something smart, classic and understated but well made. Using a scruffy bag can easily ruin the overall look of an outfit but lots of people still just pick up a bag as an afterthought. Choose your bag well and you’ll be able to use the same one whatever the occasion.

For the office, check out this Wiltshire messenger bag in black (also available in tan leather) perfect for carrying your laptop and anything else you need for work. If you need more space in your bag or if you cycle to work, the Devon backpack is still smart, but has more space and is super comfy on the shoulders.


The modern smart/casual still has one thing in common with the 90’s and that’s the jean. This time around, stick to black or very dark colours and avoid mid blues unless it’s summer. Choose a jean that’s not washed out and is rich in colour with no rips, tears or embellishments. Try a dark black straight leg jean that sits on the hip and can be rolled ankle high without falling down.



Don’t forget your outerwear. If it’s cold or wet, choose a raincoat that won’t look out of place with your overall look. Stutterheim make sleek and simple handmade raincoats in a range of styles to keep you dry and looking respectable at the same time. Try the Stockholm Black . It’s clean lines stop it being too sporty but the hood keeps it practical and casual.