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Gentleman’s guide to the smart approach to workwear

Gentleman’s guide to the smart approach to workwear

19th August 2019

More and more workplaces are ditching their super formal dress codes in favour of smart casual. But, when you’re used to donning a blazer Monday to Friday, what do you wear when the office style turns more relaxed? Here, Christopher Legard from quality menswear retailer Joseph Turner shares his top tips for nailing smart casual workwear.

Long gone are the days when getting ready for work meant donning your best suit and tie, with a study from Travelodge revealing that over three quarter of British workers (76%) work at a company that embraces a relaxed dress code. And, while some companies may allow their workers to wear whatever they like, others still want their staff to look put-together and professional by sticking to a smart casual style. But what exactly does this mean?

The term smart casual has been a point of confusion for many years, so if you’re unsure about it, you’re in luck! In this article, I’ll be sharing my top tips for how to achieve the look.

Layer up your clothes
The smart casual dress code still warrants one sophisticated element with the rest kept more relaxed. Layering is a simple way to tick the boxes of this dress code, so why not team a smart shirt unbuttoned over a basic T-shirt? Although there are no rules for which colours will work best, if you want to stay professional consider sticking with solid colours that are relatively neutral. Try pairing a white cotton shirt over a pastel T-shirt for a subtle pop of colour that still looks smart.

Choose tailored trousers
With suit trousers no longer a necessity for plenty of workplaces, many men are opting for more comfortable options like chinos. These are casual and smart in equal measure and look undeniably stylish when paired with a casual white shirt.

In most cases, I’d generally advise avoiding jeans unless they are a plain dark wash, as other styles can look too informal in a professional environment. Replace these with dark twill or flannel trousers for a sophisticated alternative to denim.

Swap dress shoes for loafers
The shoes you pick can make or break your outfits, and when you’re trying to achieve the perfect smart casual aesthetic, it’s important that your footwear strikes the balance between the two. Instead of dress shoes, I’d recommend going with something that’s a little more relaxed but still looks sophisticated. Loafers and moccasins are renowned for their ability to effortlessly combine style with comfort, meaning you will look and feel great. For some extra fashion points, pair them with some ankle grazer trousers, a relaxed shirt and a V-neck jumper.

Opt for a tailored jacket
Just because blazers are off the cards, it doesn’t mean that anything similar is. A tailored jacket can be the perfect finishing touch to a smart casual dress outfit and given the amount of fabrics you can buy them in, there’s sure to be something for each season. For example, linen and wool will be a cool and comfortable option for summer, whereas tweed will be a more suitable option for the winter. Any of these will look great teamed with a casual white shirt and a pair of chinos in a complementary colour.

A smart casual dress code can seem confusing, but with my top tips you’ll be dressing to impress your work colleagues in no time.  

Category - Blog

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