Smart Casual Dress Code

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Man Dressed in Smart Casual Attire for Work

Studio Portrait of a Smiling Young Man in a Red Jacket
A Smart Casual Look for the Workplace. Digital Vision. / Getty Images

Clothing Options for a Smart Casual Dress Code

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. Smart casual implies that employees have kicked their dressing up a notch from business casual in 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.

Smart casual dress codes are followed in workplaces such as academia; presenters at business conferences, where attendees attend casually dressed, often wear smart casual clothing.

Browse through these photos to appreciate the look of smart casual dress.

This man's outfit is an excellent representation of smart casual dressing. 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 great example of smart casual dressing.

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Man Dressed in Smart Casual Attire for Work

Studio Portrait of an Elderly Man Sitting in a Corduroy Jacket
A Smart Casual Look for the Workplace. Simon Puschmann / Getty Images

This man's ensemble is a great representation of smart casual dressing. His sport coat isn't "formal," but with a great corduroy texture, it's perfect for smart casual. With a coordinating striped button down and tie, he looks pulled together and professional, which is a key part of dressing smart casual.

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Woman Dressed in Smart Casual Attire for Work

Portrait of a Serious Thirty something Woman
A Smart Casual Look for the Workplace. Digital Vision. / Getty Images

In this example, the woman's tweed sport coat and coordinated turtleneck are a great combination for a smart casual look. Her clothes are appropriately professional, a step up from business casual, but not too formal. Her look is pulled together and smart, and her outfit is attractive, too.

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Man Dressed in Smart Casual Attire for Work

Businessman at desk, portrait
A Smart Casual Look for the Workplace. Stephen Marks / Getty Images

This man's semi-dressy sweater is another choice for men 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.

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Man and Woman Dressed in Smart Casual Attire for Work

A Smart Casual Look for the Workplace. Copyright Digital Vision / Getty Images

This man and woman are dressed attractively and professionally, an excellent embodiment of the smart casual dress code look. The man's textured sport coat and sweater are common in smart casual dressing. His clothes are classically stylish, yet still appropriate for the workplace. The woman's tailored turtleneck sweater is a perfect option for women, and set off by her coordinating earrings, it looks smart, too.

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Woman Dressed in Smart Casual Attire for Work

Smart casual dressing.
A Smart Casual Look for the Workplace Smart casual dressing. Copyright Absolut 100

This woman displays another facet of smart casual dressing. With a turtleneck and jacket, her clothing coordinates well and looks professional. She is able to express her personal taste in earrings and a matching necklace that certainly complete her look. However, she still looks well-dressed and nicely put together.

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Woman Dressed in Smart Casual Attire for Work

A Smart Casual Look for the Workplace. Copyright Julie de Leseleuc

In this example, this woman's suede sport coat is a good representation of smart casual dressing. In addition, her dressy turtleneck sweater is also common in a smart casual look. With jewelry that complements her outfit, this woman embodies the smart casual look, appearing well-dressed and professional, yet not outfitted too formally for smart casual.

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Man Dressed in Smart Casual Attire for Work

A Smart Casual Look for the Workplace. Copyright Dawn Liljenquist

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 tweed sport coat coordinates nicely with a button down 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 brown.

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Woman Dressed in Smart Casual Attire for Work

A Smart Casual Look for the Workplace. Copyright Richard Bowden

For women, the smart casual dress code can include nice slacks and a jacket, as seen in this example. The woman in this photo is wearing jewelry that complements her outfit another characteristic of smart casual dressing. She is well-dressed and looks pulled together, wearing clothes that are attractive and professional.

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Man and Woman Dressed in Smart Casual Attire for Work

A Smart Casual Look for the Workplace. Copyright Sang Nguyen

This man's textured jacket and slacks are fashion forward and reveal his personal taste yet are still professional and appropriate for the smart casual dress code. Textures such as tweed, corduroy, or suede are appropriate for the smart casual look for both men and women. Additionally, the woman's sleek wool jacket, slacks, and mid-height heels are attractive and professional without being too formal.

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Man and Woman Dressed in Smart Casual Attire for Work

Man and Woman Dressed in Smart Casual Attire for Work.
A Smart Casual Look for the Workplace Man and Woman Dressed in Smart Casual Attire for Work. Copyright Sam Jordash

In this example, the man and woman are both dressed well. The man's sweater, tie, and gray slacks are pulled together, a complete look that may be a bit much for a business casual environment, but is precisely smart casual. The woman is also well-dressed, and her nice sweater and skirt is a look that's professional, though still flattering. In addition, their leather accessories are also representative of a smart casual look.

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Woman Dressed in Smart Casual Attire for Work

Woman wearing smart casual clothes for work.
A Smart Casual Look for the Workplace Woman wearing smart casual clothes for work. Copyright Sam Krisel

In this example, a brown skirt and textured blouse are a great option for women. This woman looks pulled together, well dressed, and professional. Brown is a good option in smart casual dressing as opposed to the dark navies and blacks that characterize a formal dress code.

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Woman Dressed in Smart Casual Attire for Work

Woman dressing in smart casual dress code.
A Smart Casual Look for the Workplace Woman dressing in smart casual dress code. Copyright Jack Hollingsworth / Getty Images

This woman's smart ensemble represents the flexibility employees may have with their clothing in a smart casual dress code. For example, because she still looks professional and is dressed appropriately for the workplace, she can express her personal taste in a fashionable tweed dress and leather pumps. Albeit this look is too dressy for business casual and wouldn't work in a formal business environment, it's perfect for smart casual.