Ever wonder what the term “Smart Casual” really means in the workplace? The fact that the ambiguous word “casual” is thrown in there often causes a lot of confusion. You may want to roll into the office in jeans, a nice t-shirt and sandals but we highly discourage this.
What it means in your workplace truly depends on the work environment and office itself and remember the definition is ever evolving. In most cases smart casual in the office is somewhere between business casual and boardroom attire. Let’s start from the top and work our way down so you don’t show up on Day 1 in the office under-dressed.
In most cases, a jacket is expected. That being said you are open to go with a sport coat with or without a tie. The shirt should be a long sleeve dress shirt and we prefer it without the button down collar. A nice crisp brightly colored shirt works well and can bring some fun to your smart casual wardrobe.
When it comes to the pant, smart casual means you should choose a darker colored slack. We would recommend a lined wool pant or wool blend rather than a cotton slack. A matching dark leather belt and shoe will always be the right choice.
Things to avoid include anything denim, shorts and short sleeved shirts, open toed shoes of any kind, sneakers and tees. As stated previously, your office may have a bit of a different mindset of what smart casual means. It is safe, however to show up without any of the above. On the second day of that new job, feel free to make different choices based on what others are wearing in the office.