While the words smart and casual may sound like opposites, you get style, comfort and elegance when they come together. Instead of choosing one type over the other, smart casual attire is a medley of both, and has become quite popular these days. Smart casuals encapsulate many different outfit combinations, usually mixing formal wear with elements of casual wear. What makes this type of attire so much fun to try out is that it allows you to add a bit more personality to your work wear without sticking to the rules of formal dressing.
A smart casual dress code is perfect for the office as it is more versatile, giving you the opportunity to add various prints and patterns, colours and other creative ways to spice up your outfit. And if you do it right, you will look polished and ready for the work day, whether for a meeting or a day behind the desk.
Here are some business casual outfits to get you started:
Smart casuals for women
Give your work wear an ethnic twist
Melange by Lifestyle’s straight kurta with palazzos set is the epitome of smart casuals for work. The simple silhouette is designed with three-quarter sleeves, a band collar and vibrant floral motifs. The matching elasticated palazzos add to the comfort of the viscose kurta set. A pair of pink heels to go with your laptop bag will set this outfit apart from the rest.
Modern in a shirt dress
You can turn to Vero Moda’s smart casual dress for a western version of Melange’s kurta set. The pink and white midi dress is defined by the band collar, half sleeves, button-down closure and a belt to cinch the waist. Slip on a pair of heeled sandals and a bracelet to look ready to take on the workday.
Say it with a skirt
Wear Code Classic’s crisp white shirt with the belted A-line skirt from AND for this outfit. The pastel hues make it memorable, and the flowing skirt will catch everyone’s attention. Club this look with ballerinas and a shoulder bag.
Chic in trousers
Business casual attire for women should include a well-tailored pair of trousers. And no one does it better than Code! The pale beige peg trousers are ankle length, and the pleated waistband looks all the more stylish with the broad fabric belt around it. Team it with the rust orange bishop sleeve top from Code for understated elegance.
Blazers to make a statement
A smart casual dress code for women should also include a blazer. For the times when a plain blouse doesn’t cut it, layering your outfit can make all the difference in giving the right impression. You can make a lasting one with this ensemble – the formal pink shirt from Allen Solly, charcoal grey trousers, and a full-sleeved blazer from Van Heusen. Give it that relaxed touch by adding a pair of minimalist white sneakers to your outfit.
Smart casuals for men
Spruced up in Polo t-shirts
Instead of opting for formal shirts, Polo t-shirts are a great alternative to look neat and polished. And you can take it one notch higher by choosing printed Polos instead of plain ones. It will give your overall ensemble a more personal touch.
Take this Polo t-shirt from Code. The sage green fabric is covered in minute white prints, and the collar and cuffs have white piping too. Tuck this t-shirt into grey slim-fit casual trousers for a well-fitted silhouette. A pair of white sneakers will complete this look nicely.
Suave in all blue
VH Sports’ light blue shirt in a slim fit silhouette and textured finish serves a polished look, especially when paired with the checked casual trousers from LP Sport. The blue-on-blue outfit also adds a splash of colour to your smart casual attire for men. Complete this ensemble by pairing it with black loafers.
Relaxed in a Henley t-shirt
Henley t-shirts are a smarter alternative to regular crew neck t-shirts. If you want to switch up your Polo t-shirts, you can try this style of t-shirt.
Take Indian Terrain’s indigo blue t-shirt, for example. Detailed with a button placket, full sleeves and stripes, it will elevate any smart casual outfit. Pick up Indian Terrain’s khaki beige casual trousers to wear with this t-shirt. Try a pair of navy blue loafers or white sneakers with this smart casual attire.
Formals with a casual twist
If you prefer a formal ensemble for the workday, you could opt for a formal shirt and trousers combination. The mildly textured light purple shirt from Louis Philippe is perfect for a look such as this. Tuck it into Code’s slim tapered formal trousers in black. To make the outfit more relaxed, choose loafers instead of Oxford shoes, leave the shirt’s top button open and roll up the sleeves about halfway. You can add to the smart casual for work look by topping it with a minimalist black jacket instead of the more formal blazer.
Ethnic wear for the win
For a themed day at the office or for times you want to shake up your workwear wardrobe, ethnic wear can add some variety to your business casual attire. Put the outfit together with Melange by Lifestyle’s black regular-fit kurta. It has subtle prints, a band collar and full sleeves to add to its style. Pair it with the black elasticated ethnic pants from Melange by Lifestyle and top the kurta with the muted grey Nehru jacket from Code. A pair of black or brown loafers will complement it well.