The key to smart casual is knowing what should be smart and what should be casual. Your coat is invariably the first thing people will see and should therefore be smart. Use the one you’d take to work normally, not the one you’d throw on to go and replenish your stash of McVitie’s Yog Fruit Digestives.
Kudos for donning a shirt, but immediately subtract points for wearing a work shirt as opposed to a casual one. The boxy fit and excess fabric are meant to be hidden under a suit jacket. If you don’t want to fork out for a new shirt, put a V-neck jumper over the top and tuck it in.
Tying a jumper around your waist might remind you of bygone days hurtling around the playground, but in the world of adults it stretches and creases the fabric. Secondly: when we said put a jumper on, we didn’t mean a sweatshirt. Smart casual dressing is about looking presentable without hiding behind a suit. Something you’d wear running in the rain will not help this cause.
Yes it’s smart, but it’s also casual - so try leaving the obligatory ‘casual slacks’ at home. A pair of conservative, dark jeans will look just as good, if not better, and will gain you points with the fit girl that everyone lusts after.
No one’s saying you should wear your best formal shoes, but full-on skate trainers will certainly not cut it. A smart casual outfit should be suitable for everything, from watching sport to eating in an expensive restaurant. Try a pair of brown lace-ups and remember to wear a matching belt.