What Is a Smart Dress Code?

A smart dress code is a neat, conventional and relatively informal style. It is also sometimes known as “smart casual” or “business casual” and involves dressing well but in a causal way.

A smart dress code is the least understood dress code and the definition of it is loose and open to interpretation. The exact articles of clothing that a man or woman should wear with a smart dress code are ill-defined and vary with location, event and season. Sometimes, jeans paired with a nice button-down shirt or T-shirt and jacket are acceptable for a man. Women should avoid tops that are too tight and may be able to wear jeans, dresses or skirts.

A smart dress code allows individuals to express themselves and wear an outfit that is multipurpose and suitable for work, meeting friends for lunch, or a date at the movies. Clothing in fresh colors with light, soft fabrics such as cotton, linen, fine wool and cashmere are good candidates for a smart dress code. Other suitable garments include those that are relaxed and less structured. Patterns are welcome as long as they are not too loud. The key is not to be too casual or too fancy but to find the right balance between the two extremes.