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Smart Casual

From shirt to socks

Smart casual" dress code

The traditional suit with tie and heavy fabrics can be too formal and uncomfortable in some situations, while normal casual wear is inappropriate.

If neither the "casual" nor "business casual" dress codes are appropriate or you don't want to appear over- or underdressed, "smart casual" is the best choice. In many industries, "smart casual" is worn as office attire; for meetings, for drinks and dinner after work or on business trips.

"Smart casual" for men

Some define this dress code as casual and relaxed, yet elegant - with high-quality fabrics to suit the occasion. Others, on the other hand, see it less as a question of the available wardrobe and more as a question of good taste and an understanding of fashion.

Sporty elegance leaves a lot of room for interpretation and freedom of action, which is why it is sometimes difficult to find the right balance with this dress code. A suit without a tie and with an open shirt collar can be considered "smart casual" just as much as trousers with a jacket or blazer.

You don't have to go without a suit to achieve this look. The appearance appears more casual if a pocket square in a contrasting color to the suit is used instead of a tie and the shirt is not buttoned up to the collar.

Shirts, shirts and jackets

Long-sleeved shirts with a basic jacket, jacket or blazer are ideal. There are only limited alternatives for outerwear.

Opinions differ on shirts and polo shirts. On particularly hot days in summer, however, it can get a little hot in a jacket and long-sleeved shirt, so it's best to decide for yourself what might be appropriate for the occasion.

In colder months, simple turtlenecks made of fine materials can be worn. Depending on your preference, round-neck or V-neck sweaters over a shirt are an alternative.

Jeans or fabric pants?

Cloth, corduroy or chinos in subtle colors are all possible options. Don't forget an inconspicuous belt, even if the trousers fit like a glove. Jeans are best left in the wardrobe, unless they are a rich dark blue or black.

It is also important for a professional appearance that they are not too baggy, creased or have special washes. Typical denim jeans are therefore out of the running for this dress code.

Which socks and shoes are allowed?

Not to be underestimated are the socks, which, even if they look inconspicuous, can immediately ruin a carefully put-together outfit if chosen incorrectly. They should create a link between shoes and pants. Accordingly, choose a color that harmoniously rounds off the whole outfit.

The best choice when it comes to shoes are closed models, such as loafers, elegant sneakers or moccasins, while you can never go wrong with lace-up shoes. Sneakers or leather boots are undesirable in this dress code.

Color selection

Because the "smart casual" dress code is rather restrained, no eye-catching patterns or bright colors should be preferred, but brown, blue or grey tones.

If you want to set an accent, you can opt for a subtly patterned shirt or colored socks. The latter have made a comeback in recent years and are no longer taboo if you like things to be a little more eye-catching. However, you shouldn't overdo it with colorful accents, but always coordinate them harmoniously with your overall outfit.

In addition, the feel-good factor plays an important role and it is important to seriously consider whether such a choice is appropriate for the occasion. If you are unsure whether your choice is elegant or "smart" enough, it is better to opt for a style in which you can appear comfortable and self-confident.

Dress code guide

The dress code guide will get you through everyday life in style. With a wealth of knowledge about the dress codes casual, smart casual, business casual, business attire, black tie and white tie, you will be prepared for any situation.

  • All dress codes at a glance
  • Tips & tricks for every style
  • Practical format for on the go

"Smart Casual" for ladies

Although this dress code is less strict for women because they have many more combination options, it is no less complicated. You can't go wrong with a trouser suit or suit, but skirts can also be combined with sweaters or blouses as desired. Closed shoes that are not too high, such as ballerinas or pumps, are always suitable. The same applies to colors as for men: dark colors and subtle patterns bring the outfit to the golden mean between casualness and elegance.


Business casual

Smart Casual

Business Attire

Black Tie

White Tie


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