Smart casual is what it sounds like: a style that's somewhere between formal and casual. It's what you wear when you can't wear jeans and a t-shirt, but you're not in suit territory, either.
To find the best smart-casual look for you, "think about what you normally wear casually, and then add or change one or two pieces of clothing to make your outfit smarter," advises Thread senior stylist Alice Watt. To give you an idea, she shares three outfit ideas for guys at different points in the casual-to-smart spectrum.
"Chinos are tailored like formal trousers, but the fabric feels light and comfortable and doesn't crease easily," Alice says. "By subbing in chinos for jeans—and leather shoes for trainers—you're instantly turning your outfit smart-casual without changing your comfort level."
If you normally wear: Jeans, a casual shirt and leather shoes.Your ideal smart-casual outfit is: Chinos, a casual shirt and brogues or Derbies.Why this outfit works: "Again, you're using chinos to make the rest of your outfit look smarter," Alice says.
If you normally wear: Jeans or chinos, a casual shirt and leather shoes.Your ideal smart-casual outfit is: Chinos, a casual shirt, a textured blazer and brogues or Derbies.Why this outfit works: "If you usually dress on the smarter side—or you feel an occasion calls for something more formal—the blazer makes this feel extra sharp," Alice says.