Our Guide to: Smart Casual

Smart Casual Looks, done with a Chino. From left to right:   White sneaker, gravel chino, blue Oxford shirt under a cotton silk crew in navy with a heavy woollen Overshirt in navy worn on top.  Black suede sneaker with black chino, worn with an untucked Oxford shirt in white beneath a Mocca coloured blazer.  Black dress shoe, with gravel chino, and tucked blue denim button down worn beneath a Navy topcoat.  Brown leather brogues worn with navy chino, navy cotton silk crew and layered on top with a khaki rain Mac jacket.

Smart casual, two words that mean the complete opposite, yet when done right, make so much sense. This often-called for dress code has the ability to set the most seasoned dresser into a state of outfit anxiety, and while there are differing opinions on the do’s and don’ts, we present a guide that'll have you nailing it every-time.

What is it? and why do we like it?

The general idea is to build a look from pieces that are smarter, and blend them with casual pieces to strike a balance somewhere between the smart, and the casual. Context is everything, and the key to mastering it ultimately depends on the occasion.

Smart casual, when executed well, will take you from desk to dinner without any necessary wardrobe changes or second-guessing, and the versatility it offers will stand you in good stead for managing an efficient capsule wardrobe to save you time otherwise painfully-spent changing outfits before and between events.

Can I wear a tee shirt?

Model wears a Black tee layered underneath a Mocca coloured Blazer.

There’s an assumption that smart casual precludes tee shirts - which isn't true. As an extremely versatile staple, tees are a great way to take the ‘overdressed’ out of an outfit.

A tee and jeans alone together are too casual but add a blazer, and now you’re ready for dinner. A fitted suit can be overdressed, but replace the shirt with a tee, and now you’re ready for that cocktail party. The crux to nailing a tee in a smart casual ensemble is to make sure there are no distressing, fading, loud colours or logos.

The occasion is everything with smart casual, but a tee, when paired well, will always get a ticket to the party.

Bound Pima Daily Tee - White
Bound Pima Daily Tee - White
Bound Pima Daily Tee - White
Bound Pima Daily Tee - White
Bound Pima Daily Tee - White
Bound Pima Daily Tee - White
Bound Pima Daily Tee - White
Bound Pima Daily Tee - White
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Navy
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Navy
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Navy
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Navy
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Navy
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Navy
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Black
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Black
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Black
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Black
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Black
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Black
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Black
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Black
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Grey Marle
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Grey Marle
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Grey Marle
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Grey Marle
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Grey Marle
Bound Pima Daily Tee - Grey Marle

Are jeans smart casual?

Smart Casual Looks, done with Denim. From left to right:   Brown leather dress shoe, worn with Raw Blue Denim jean, with a tucked-in white tee, layered with a Navy Blazer.  Navy Suede sneaker worn with with Raw Blue Denim jean with a tucked Oxford Shirt in White, beneath a Cotton Silk Crew in Navy.  Black Suede Sneaker, worn with black Jean, black Tee and black unstructured blazer.  Black Leather dress shoe worn with black jean, white Oxford untucked, and a Heavy Woollen Overshirt in Charcoal worn on top.

In short - Yes. Jeans work well in smart casual getups, especially in the colder months. Make sure your jeans are of a darker wash and have no distressing on them (our Raw Denim Jean is a good example of this).

Most guys will have opted for either dress pants or chinos on the lower half, but jeans offer you creative license to play around with something a bit more formal on the top half, like an untucked oxford, knitted sweater, or an unstructured blazer.

Cotton Silk Crew - Navy
Cotton Silk Crew - Navy
Cotton Silk Crew - Navy
Cotton Silk Crew - Navy
Cotton Silk Crew - Navy
Cotton Silk Crew - Navy
Cotton Silk Crew - Navy
Cotton Silk Crew - Navy
Cotton Silk Crew - Navy
Cotton Silk Crew - Navy
Cotton Silk Crew - Navy
Cotton Silk Crew - Navy
Cotton Silk Crew - Navy
Cotton Silk Crew - Navy
Cotton Silk Crew - Black
Cotton Silk Crew - Black
Cotton Silk Crew - Black
Cotton Silk Crew - Black
Cotton Silk Crew - Black
Cotton Silk Crew - Black
Cotton Silk Crew - Black
Cotton Silk Crew - Black
Cotton Silk Crew - Black
Cotton Silk Crew - Black
The Asuwere Jean - Navy
The Asuwere Jean - Navy
The Asuwere Jean - Navy
The Asuwere Jean - Navy
The Asuwere Jean - Navy
The Asuwere Jean - Navy
The Asuwere Jean - Navy
The Asuwere Jean - Navy
The Asuwere Jean - Navy
The Asuwere Jean - Navy
The Asuwere Jean - Navy
The Asuwere Jean - Navy
The Asuwere Jean - Navy
The Asuwere Jean - Navy
The Asuwere Jean - Black
The Asuwere Jean - Black
The Asuwere Jean - Black
The Asuwere Jean - Black
The Asuwere Jean - Black
The Asuwere Jean - Black
The Asuwere Jean - Black
The Asuwere Jean - Black
The Asuwere Jean - Black
The Asuwere Jean - Black
The Asuwere Jean - Black
The Asuwere Jean - Black
The Asuwere Jean - Black
The Asuwere Jean - Black

Are dress pants too formal?

Smart Casual Looks, done with dress pants. From left to right:   Model wears Black Suede Sneaker with charcoal dress pants, with a grey tee and charcoal topcoat on top.  White sneakers, grey dress pants, with Black Polo.  Black leather dress shoes with black dress pant, white Oxford shirt underneath a Grey 1/4 Zip sweat crew.  White Sneakers worn with black dress pants, and Black Cotton Silk Crew

Not always, it all depends on how you style them. You can incorporate a pair of dress pants into a smart casual outfit with ease - and they pair quite well with both sneakers and dress shoes.

If you are wearing more formal shoes and want a smart-casual finish, we’d suggest using a more casual layer on top, like a tee, sweat crew, or vest, to tone down that formality. Remember, you can always add a topcoat, and dress it down with a tee - or vice versa with an oxford, and an overshirt when wearing your dress pants with sneakers.

Leather Low Sneaker - White
Leather Low Sneaker - White
Leather Low Sneaker - White
Leather Low Sneaker - White
Leather Low Sneaker - White
Leather Low Sneaker - White
Leather Low Sneaker - White
Leather Low Sneaker - White
Leather Low Sneaker - White
Leather Low Sneaker - White
Leather Low Sneaker - Black
Leather Low Sneaker - Black
Leather Low Sneaker - Black
Leather Low Sneaker - Black
Leather Low Sneaker - Black
Leather Low Sneaker - Black
Leather Low Sneaker - Black
Leather Low Sneaker - Black
Leather Low Sneaker - Black
Leather Low Sneaker - Black
Navy suede leather Asuwere sneakers
Navy suede leather sneakers heel detail with embossed Asuwere logo
Navy suede leather low Asuwere sneakers
Navy suede leather low Asuwere sneakers
Navy suede leather Asuwere sneaker on model
Navy suede leather Asuwere sneaker on model
Model sitting down wearing Asuwere navy suede leather low sneakers with shorts and striped shirt
Model sitting down wearing full Asuwere outfit including navy woollen shacket and navy suede leather shoes
Model sitting down wearing full Asuwere outfit including light blue denim jeans and navy suede leather shoes
Navy suede leather Asuwere sneakers
Navy suede leather sneakers heel detail with embossed Asuwere logo
Navy suede leather low Asuwere sneakers
Navy suede leather low Asuwere sneakers
Navy suede leather Asuwere sneaker on model
Navy suede leather Asuwere sneaker on model
Model sitting down wearing Asuwere navy suede leather low sneakers with shorts and striped shirt
Model sitting down wearing full Asuwere outfit including navy woollen shacket and navy suede leather shoes
Model sitting down wearing full Asuwere outfit including light blue denim jeans and navy suede leather shoes
Top view of Asuwere suede leather sneakers in navy
Side view of Asuwere suede leather sneakers in navy
Inside view of Asuwere suede leather sneakers in navy
Back view of Asuwere suede leather sneakers with embossed logo
Close up shot of Asuwere embossed logo on suede leather sneakers
Model shot of black Asuwere suede leather sneakers
Close up shot of Asuwere leather sneakers in black
Model wearing full Asuwere outfit with charcoal topcoat, black jeans and black suede leather sneakers
Model wearing black Asuwere suede leather sneakers
Suede Leather Low Sneaker - Black
Close up detail shot of Asuwere black leather sneakers with washed black jean
Top view of Asuwere suede leather sneakers in navy
Side view of Asuwere suede leather sneakers in navy
Inside view of Asuwere suede leather sneakers in navy
Back view of Asuwere suede leather sneakers with embossed logo
Close up shot of Asuwere embossed logo on suede leather sneakers
Model shot of black Asuwere suede leather sneakers
Close up shot of Asuwere leather sneakers in black
Model wearing full Asuwere outfit with charcoal topcoat, black jeans and black suede leather sneakers
Model wearing black Asuwere suede leather sneakers
Suede Leather Low Sneaker - Black
Close up detail shot of Asuwere black leather sneakers with washed black jean
Oxford Shirt - White
Oxford Shirt - White
Oxford Shirt - White
Oxford Shirt - White
Oxford Shirt - White
Oxford Shirt - White
Oxford Shirt - White
Oxford Shirt - White
Oxford Shirt - White
Oxford Shirt - White
Oxford Shirt - White
Oxford Shirt - White
Oxford Shirt - White
Oxford Shirt - White
Oxford Shirt - Navy
Oxford Shirt - Navy
Oxford Shirt - Navy
Oxford Shirt - Navy
Oxford Shirt - Navy
Oxford Shirt - Navy
Oxford Shirt - Navy
Oxford Shirt - Navy
Oxford Shirt - Navy
Oxford Shirt - Navy
Oxford Shirt - Light Blue
Oxford Shirt - Light Blue
Oxford Shirt - Light Blue
Oxford Shirt - Light Blue
Oxford Shirt - Light Blue
Oxford Shirt - Light Blue
Oxford Shirt - Light Blue
Oxford Shirt - Light Blue
Oxford Shirt - Light Blue
Oxford Shirt - Light Blue
Oxford Shirt - Light Blue
Oxford Shirt - Light Blue
Oxford Shirt - Light Blue
Oxford Shirt - Light Blue
Oxford Shirt - Green
Oxford Shirt - Green
Oxford Shirt - Green
Oxford Shirt - Green

What should I wear with chinos?

Smart Casual Looks, done with a Chino. From left to right:   White sneaker, gravel chino, blue Oxford shirt under a cotton silk crew in navy with a heavy woollen Overshirt in navy worn on top.  Black suede sneaker with black chino, worn with an untucked Oxford shirt in white beneath a Mocca coloured blazer.  Black dress shoe, with gravel chino, and tucked blue denim button down worn beneath a Navy topcoat.  Brown leather brogues worn with navy chino, navy cotton silk crew and layered on top with a khaki rain Mac jacket

Chinos are incredibly versatile and because they sit in the sweet spot between smart and casual, you might find yourself looking for some inspiration for the top half. Depending on the occasion, you can pair a classic chino with a blazer to elevate it or instead wear them with a button-down on top, layered with a more casual outerwear piece like a topcoat, vest, or shacket.

You can’t go wrong with a classic chino, like our Daily Chino, which punches well above its weight as an interchangeable staple. These go with almost everything, which is going to save you a lot of time when it comes to putting outfits together.

Front of Asuwere Woollen Topcoat in Charcoal
Model shot of Asuwere outfit featuring Woollen Topcoat in Charcoal and Cotton Silk Crew in Khaki
Close up model shot of Asuwere outfit featuring Woollen Topcoat in Charcoal and Cotton Silk Crew in Khaki
Back model shot of Asuwere Woollen Topcoat in Charcoal
Model shot of Woollen Topcoat in Charocal
Woollen Topcoat - Charcoal
Woollen Topcoat - Charcoal
Front of Asuwere Woollen Topcoat in Charcoal
Model shot of Asuwere outfit featuring Woollen Topcoat in Charcoal and Cotton Silk Crew in Khaki
Close up model shot of Asuwere outfit featuring Woollen Topcoat in Charcoal and Cotton Silk Crew in Khaki
Back model shot of Asuwere Woollen Topcoat in Charcoal
Model shot of Woollen Topcoat in Charocal
Woollen Topcoat - Charcoal
Woollen Topcoat - Charcoal
Front of Asuwere navy woollen topcoat
Model shot of Asuwere Woollen Topcoat in Navy with navy hoodie and orange beanie
Close up model shot of Asuwere Woollen Topcoat in Navy with navy hoodie and orange beanie
Detailed shot of buttons on Asuwere Woollen Topcoat in Navy
Model shot of Asuwere Woollen Topcoat in Navy with navy hoodie
Full model shot of Asuwere Woollen Topcoat in Navy with navy hoodie and orange beanie
Back of Asuwere Woollen Topcoat in Navy
Front of Asuwere navy woollen topcoat
Model shot of Asuwere Woollen Topcoat in Navy with navy hoodie and orange beanie
Close up model shot of Asuwere Woollen Topcoat in Navy with navy hoodie and orange beanie
Detailed shot of buttons on Asuwere Woollen Topcoat in Navy
Model shot of Asuwere Woollen Topcoat in Navy with navy hoodie
Full model shot of Asuwere Woollen Topcoat in Navy with navy hoodie and orange beanie
Back of Asuwere Woollen Topcoat in Navy
Asuwere navy woollen overshirt
Model wearing Asuwere navy woollen mens overshirt
Model wearing Asuwere navy woollen mens overshirt
Model wearing Asuwere navy woollen mens overshirt
Model wearing Asuwere navy woollen mens overshirt
Model wearing Asuwere navy woollen mens overshirt
Close up detail shot of scalloped hem on Asuwere navy woollen overshirt
Asuwere navy woollen overshirt
Model wearing Asuwere navy woollen mens overshirt
Model wearing Asuwere navy woollen mens overshirt
Model wearing Asuwere navy woollen mens overshirt
Model wearing Asuwere navy woollen mens overshirt
Model wearing Asuwere navy woollen mens overshirt
Close up detail shot of scalloped hem on Asuwere navy woollen overshirt
Rain Mac Jacket  - Khaki
Rain Mac Jacket  - Khaki
Rain Mac Jacket  - Khaki
Rain Mac Jacket  - Khaki
Rain Mac Jacket  - Khaki
Rain Mac Jacket  - Khaki
Rain Mac Jacket  - Khaki
Rain Mac Jacket  - Khaki
Rain Mac Jacket  - Khaki
Rain Mac Jacket  - Khaki
Rain Mac Jacket  - Khaki
Rain Mac Jacket  - Khaki
Rain Mac Jacket  - Khaki
Rain Mac Jacket  - Khaki
Rain Mac Jacket  - Navy
Rain Mac Jacket  - Navy
Rain Mac Jacket  - Navy
Rain Mac Jacket  - Navy
Rain Mac Jacket  - Navy
Rain Mac Jacket  - Navy
Rain Mac Jacket  - Navy
Rain Mac Jacket  - Navy

Learn more:

Why Asuwere -select here to read more about the brand
The Plans - Select here to learn more about the plans
Why you need a capsule wardrobe - and how to build one - select here to read