Sometimes smart attire can feel too stuffy or formal, whereas full-blown casual clothing can appear too relaxed. If you want to consistently look stylish but achieve that fine balance between the fashion realms of smart dress and casual wear then you need to put a little thought into it. It needn't be difficult and the results can be beautifully versatile and wearable. Here are three coveted looks that achieve the smart-casual balance to perfection:
Suit with a Cashmere Beanie
A beautiful fitted suit can be worn for all manner of occasions, from professional engagements to social events. There is no denying that a good suit adds instant sex appeal. However, there are times when a suit alone can look too rigid. The simplest way to add a dash of character is to accessorise your suit with a beanie.
The suit needs to be beautifully tailored and fitted. This look is all about contrast, so you need a crisp shirt, a neatly knotted tie, a well-tailored suit and some quality smart footwear. The beanie alone is the quirk, so avoid opting for anything too patterned or adventurous in your choice of tie or footwear. A fitted black suit and tie with a white shirt is perfect, or you may choose navy for a softer look.
The beanie needs to reflect a sense of quality, which is why cashmere is ideal. The soft texture is the perfect contrast to the sharp cut of the suit. Cashmere is also beautifully breathable, so you won't feel too hot. A ribbed or cable0knit beanie is a nice way to add extra texture. Our simple Black Cashmere Beanie Hat is ideal if you decide to keep things monochrome with a black suit. With a navy suit our Denim Blue Cable Knit Cashmere Beanie looks fantastic and for a subtle dash of colour our Burgundy Cable Knit Cashmere Beanie is a great choice.
Denim/Chambray Shirt with a Suit
A soft denim chambray shirt looks deliciously masculine and adds a welcome relaxed feel to the stiffness of a suit. Opt for a suit in a rich inky midnight blue or navy. Choose a shirt that has cool, grey tones rather than anything too pale blue. Leave your suit jacket open and ensure the shirt is a good fit, to avoid any billowing fabric.
You can simply accessorise this look with a quality leather belt such as our Denim Blue Italian Nubuck Leather Trimmed Woven Belt which will also add a variation in texture. For additional sartorial flare, tuck a patterned pocket square loosely into the suit jacket pocket. It's important not to go for anything too stiff or precise. Something like our Navy and Grey Check Wool and Silk Pocket Square is perfect.
Tie with Jeans
Jeans are the ultimate way to portray a casual air. However, if they are poorly fitted then you have no hope of looking stylish no matter what you pair them with. Ensure that your jeans fit snugly over the bum and are fitted at the waist. As with your suit trousers, the length of the leg is important. Denim shades work well with all sorts of colours which is why jeans are so beautifully versatile.
Try wearing dark grey/navy jeans with a charcoal grey shirt. This look works especially well with woollen ties. Opt for a subtle pattern, to add interest to the look. Our Navy and Red Check Italian Wool Tie is ideal for this look or you might like to try Grey and White Houndstooth Wool Tie with a white shirt. This look lends itself well to a solid pair of boots. Finish the look off with a pair of braces and a hat. Our Herringbone Wool and Leather Braces and our Mayfair Grey Wool Felt Fedora are the perfect combination.
These looks are ideal for social occasions, dates and weekend wear. If there is no dress code but you still want to look sophisticated and unique, you can't go wrong with these smart-casual solutions.