Style Guide: The New Smart Casual

Style Guide: The New Smart Casual

For the past few years, menswear has been evolving into a more semi-formal and relaxed style, due to the rise of athleisure, the comeback of workwear styles, and the shift in workplace culture to open offices and shared workspaces. So sometimes wearing a full suit can be abit too stuffy or overdressed for the office or for semi-formal occasions. But you also wouldn't want to dress too casual, for the fear of a fashion / etiquette faux pas. The best solution for a smart casual dress code would be to throw on a blazer, button-down shirt and leather brogues. But besides a traditional blazer, let us introduce to you some stylish smart casual options for the office and special occasions.


The Zip Jacket


This is a very contemporary, versatile and easy-to-wear ( just zip it up! ) piece to have in your wardrobe. It is best to have the jacket tailored to fit you perfectly otherwise it could look a bit sloppy. To make this smart enough for the office, wear with a shirt, tailored formal trousers and leather shoes. Keep the colors tonal and minimal for a more formal look. For a more creative style, mix and match unconventional colors or prints. This jacket looks great in wool, wool-blends, linens and cottons. And to add a touch of luxury, suede or moleskin!


The Utility Jacket


With the workwear trend on the rise, work jackets and cargo pants are popping up on the streets and the shops. This is a rather rugged style but you can make it work in the office and in smart casual settings. Dress up this jacket with shirt and tie, formal trousers or tailored chinos, and leather or suede shoes or boots. It is important to have it tailored to fit you well in the shoulders and sleeves for a smart and sharp silhouette. Fabric wise, choose cotton and linen for a softer shape, while worsted wool or flannel provides structure and sharpness. This type of jacket looks best in natural colors such as beige, stone, navy, brown and green. 


The Shacket


This is a hybrid of the shirt and the jacket: shacket. Extremely versatile for you can wear it on it's own or layered over a tee, but it is considered a rather casual piece of clothing. To dress it up, wear a solid color shacket ( in heavy cotton or linen ) with a polished tee in a solid color or clean pattern ( like breton stripes ). Pair with a tailored pant in cotton or wool, and clean minimal shoes such as leather sneakers or chelsea boot. Or if you want to go all out, have your shacket in bold prints or colors and up the cool factor with this season's hottest accessories and sneakers. 


If you find the blazer a little too traditional for your taste, do try these alternative jacket styles for the office or that special occasion you need to dress smart for. The Q Team will gladly help you step out in style!



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