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DRESSCODE: SMART CASUAL

DRESS CODE: SMART CASUAL

The long-announced invitation finally lands on the mat. You open the beautifully designed invitation and read: Smart Casual. A dress code that is not necessarily difficult, but highly subject to individual perception.

What is casual for one person is an absolute no-go for another and what exactly is 'smart'? That can cause some uncertainty, unnecessary uncertainty.

Past
Although the name may suggest otherwise, Smart Casual is older than most of you might think. The first time Smart Casual emerged was in 1924 in the Iowa newspaper in the United States.

The Davenport Democrat and Leader headlined: "The sleeveless dress with three-quarter overblouses, in smock appearance completing it for street wear, is accorded various interpretations. It is at once practiced and gives a smart casual appearance." This paragraph was accompanied by a drawing of this style, which means that it can be said with certainty that the style already existed at the time.

Yet it took until at least 1950 before this dress code became commonplace. The style is actually an offshoot of Business Casual which is essentially the office equivalent of Smart Casual. This immediately makes it clear when to wear this dress code: Smart Casual is intended for neat, informal occasions. After all, the Smart Casual dress code also literally means neat leisure clothing.


Smart Casual is not an issue of inventory or classification but rather knowledge and good taste to understand the environment; demonstrating that Smart Casual during summer in Sardinia is different to Smart Casual during winter in Toronto.

Today

Yet today, the exact definition of Smart Casual remains difficult to explain exactly. Throughout the world, various authorities in the field of clothing have tried to establish a fixed definition. The Guardian, GQ and Cosmopolitan have each given their own interpretation. Brioni comes closest. Brioni explains Smart Casual succinctly in English:

“Smart Casual is not an issue of inventory or classification but rather knowledge and good taste to understand the environment; demonstrating that Smart Casual during summer in Sardinia is different to Smart Casual during winter in Toronto.” Amen, Brioni.

Gentlemen

With this dress code, gentlemen prefer to wear smart trousers, chinos or jeans. For them too, the jeans must have a modest character. For example, they can wear classic brogues or buckle shoes made by Santoni. An absolute must is a fresh shirt with a single cuff - so without cufflinks - that is of course worn inside the trousers. If desired, you can enrich this image with a matching jacket. Try to avoid the look of a suit, then you will find yourself in the waters of Tenue de Ville or Business Casual. Therefore, try to think in combinations.

You can also play with a pocket square in a nice color accent. A tie is not necessary, but is always allowed. It is advisable to avoid sneakers and shorts.

As a gentleman, keep it subdued in color, it remains a semi-formal attire. With this dress code you can show off your most beautiful watch undisguised.

If you do not find a dress code on the invitation or are unsure about the nature of the event, please consult your host/hostess to avoid any surprises. You can of course visit Oger or Oger Donna and ask one of our advisors for advice.

Ladies

At Smart Casual, the ladies wear a neat sweater or blouse, possibly a playful jacket with a skirt or trousers underneath. In some cases you can also do well with a nice pair of jeans from, for example, 7 for all Mankind. Brands such as M-Misoni and Armani also have a collection that fits perfectly with Smart Casual. If you decide to wear smart jeans, it is advisable to at least have a jacket with you in case the event turns out more chic than expected. Too much nudity is a no-go with this attire.

Ideal colors for Smart Casual are pastel and brown tones, dark blue with some color accents such as orange, red or white. Avoid sneakers, you don't necessarily have to show up in stilettos, but a nice shoe or boot is an absolute advantage.

When it comes to your jewelry, it is best to choose moderately striking elements. It remains a semi-formal attire.

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