A smart-casual dress code includes a variety of options for men and women. Smart-casual dress is a step up from business casual, but not as dressy as formal work attire. It implies that employees have kicked their dressing up a notch from business casual into a smart and well-pulled-together look.
The smart-casual look allows flexibility for personal taste in fashion and includes jackets, outfit-enhancing jewelry, dress pants, dress shirts, skirts, tailored sweaters, vests, ties, matching leather accessories, and leather pull-on shoes and boots.
Smart-casual dressing is often adopted by employees who want to look ready for their next promotion. Senior managers in a business-casual environment may wear smart-casual clothing so that they look appropriate for their assigned management role. Other employees appreciate the professional look of smart-casual attire.
Smart-casual dress codes are followed in workplaces such as academia and workplaces that serve customers but don't need to create the same impression of competence and reliability that lawyers and financial planning advisors need to project.
Presenters at business conferences, where attendees attend casually dressed, often wear smart-casual clothing to look professional and competent when they provide information to their attendees. On any occasion when you want to project an aura of competence, smart casual attire places your business attire one level above the people who are generally dressed in business casual attire.
Browse through these photos to appreciate the look of a smart-casual dress. You will note how smart casual attire is a step up from business casual.
Find all of the sample dress codes and images in this collection.
A Smart and Confident Look
This man's outfit is an excellent representation of a smart-casual dress code. With a textured jacket that looks great, his outfit is well-coordinated and appropriate for the office.
His personal style and confidence shine through, enhancing his professionalism. This is a polished example of smart-casual dressing.
Sharp but Not Too Formal
This man's ensemble is a great example of smart-casual dressing. With his sport coat, tie, and dress shirt, he looks pulled together and professional, which is a key part of dressing smart casual.
He can get away with wearing these attractive, well-kept jeans to project a smart-casual, professional image even when the dress code is smart casual. The rest of his outfit brings his jeans up a notch.
Stylish and Professional
In this example, the women are dressed slightly less formally than in a formal workplace. One wears a casual top with dress pants, another wears a sleeveless, though stylish, dress and the third wears a jacket over her casual top.
The men are also dressed less formally for a smart-casual workplace. They wear light-colored suits with casual neckties, casual belts, and collared shirts.
Casual, Classy Comfort
This man's semi-dressy sweater is another choice for men and women dressing smart casual at work. It's a great color, and when paired with well-fitting, dressy pants, it's a high-quality and reliable look for a smart-casual dress code work environment.
Not Quite Formal
These men and women are dressed attractively and professionally, an excellent embodiment of the smart- casual look. These men and women wear suits and a shirt with a tie.
All of the outfits are slightly less formal than you would find in a formal dress workplace. They are professional and pulled together for the smart-casual look at work.
A Coordinated Look
This woman displays another facet of smart-casual dressing. With a silk camisole and scrunchy arm jacket, her clothing coordinates well and looks professional. She complements her jacket with nonmatching dress pants. She looks well-dressed and nicely put together for a smart-casual workplace.
Plenty of Options
In this example, this woman's jacketed dress is a good representation of smart-casual dressing. The two men present elements of a smart-casual look as well. One man wears a jacket without a tie and the second man is wearing a formal gray sweater.
The three employees look well-dressed and professional, yet not overly formal for a smart-casual work environment.
A Blend of Casual and Formal
The man in this image is dressed appropriately for a smart-casual dress code. For men and women, smart-casual dressing can often include textures such as tweed, corduroy, and suede. This man's sport coat coordinates nicely with a denim shirt and tie.
Another characteristic of smart-casual dressing, in contrast with the formality of black and navy blue in a formal dress code environment, is the prevalence of colors such as gray and brown.
For women, the smart-casual dress code can include attractive slacks and a jacket or a jacket over a dress, as seen in this example. The men in this photo are wearing components of formal workplace attire but they have dressed them down for a smart-casual environment. They are well-dressed and look pulled together, wearing clothes that are attractive and professional.
Options for Men and Women
These people are dressed professionally and appropriately for their office's smart casual dress code. Dresses, slacks, shirts with jackets, and no ties are all appropriate for the smart-casual look for men and women. Additionally, the women's distinctive jewelry is attractive and professional without being too formal.
The men wear shirts with dress pants and the women wear a short jacket over a nice shirt, a jumper, and a smart blouse. Their outfits are good looking and pulled together, a complete look that may be a bit much for a business-casual environment, but right on the mark in a workplace that espouses a smart-casual dress code.
One man wears a tie that, while not required in a smart casual workplace, is not out of place either.
More Colorful Than Formal Attire
This business team standing on the stairs is dressed in smart-casual attire. The women wear attractive blouses with dress pants and one woman wears an informal jacket. The men are dressed in dress shirts and pants with leather accessories.
The jewelry worn by the women is low key and enhances the attractiveness of their smart-casual work attire.