What is the Difference between Casual and Smart Casual

Casual and Smart Casual

Don’t you want to get your dress code casual and smart casual just right every time?

Yes, it’s true that fashion is an expression of your persona and lifestyle. And yes, a lot about your culture and society.

Still, some factors or norms regarding dress codes never lose relevance. Not even in the midst of all these factors that define fashion for a person and the constant changes we witness in styles and trends.

For instance, the term smart casual seems to blur the line between formal and casual codes of dressing. However, even today, casual and smart casual are two different dress codes suitable for different occasions.

You Need to Know the Difference between Casual and Smart Casual Dress Codes

You may ask what makes comparing casual and smart casual dress codes so essential. See, you don’t need to be a fashion expert, designer, or an ardent follower of fashion to know this difference.

Knowing the factors that make these dress codes different will be of great help in your everyday life. When you have a basic idea about these styles of clothing, you will be more confident about what you wear.

Also, by dressing right, you can create the perfect “Aha” moment when meeting someone for the first time. The right dress code always gives you the edge, especially when going for a job interview or attending a business meeting.

What is the Casual Dress Code?  

Now, what do you understand by a casual dress code? No, it’s not just any T-Shirt or pants you wear while chilling on your couch. A dress code is always associated with a public appearance. So, even casual, it has to be respectable and maintain a certain decency.

Also, since you can leverage your outfits in a casual dress code, you must factor in the comfort quotient. By comfort factor, I also mean the freedom to layer your outfits according to the temperature and aesthetics.

Some basic outfits for an amazing casual look are denim jeans, chinos, jackets, T-Shirts, and polo T-Shirts for men. They can pick sneakers, loafers, moccasins, and Velcro shoes to step out in style.

It’s a lot of fun for women with basic tops, pants, dresses, tunics, and skirts as options. They can even wear smart denim shorts and capris to flaunt their style. Sneakers, flats, wedges, pump shoes, and peep toes will be great choices as their footwear.

And wait! How can I not mention the recent rage of athleisure outfits, making a grand entry into the arena of casual dress code?

Just keep your eyes and ears open, and there will be no dearth of inspiration. From Marlon Brando in the 1950s to Jennifer Lopez in recent times, many people have been acing the game.

What is a Smart Casual Dress Code?

Will you believe that the concept of a smart casual dress code is almost a hundred years old? If the casual style dates back to the 1950s, the smart casual style came even much earlier, in 1924. Of course, evolution happened with heavy Western influence and taking inspiration from the prominent trends of different eras.

Nevertheless, a smart casual dress code is a fusion of formal and informal modes of dressing. However, despite some liberties, convention, and neatness are some important factors in smart casual dress codes.

Women can wear peplum tops, crop tops, and shirts teamed with a blazer, skirt, or pants to score well on the style meter. Also, dresses without being too plunging or sassy are great choices for a smart casual dress code.

For men, chinos are the best options as bottom wear. However, there is no harm in wearing denim jeans, provided they flaunt dark wash and straight cuts. They can team their chinos or jeans with simple T-Shirts in sober colors, jackets, and blazers. Well, for shoes, it is safer to go the formal way when wearing smart casuals. So, the ideal shoes are moccasins, formal loafers, brogues, or Oxford shoes.

Need some inspiration? Have a look at the dressing style of Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg.

The Difference between Casual and Smart Casual

Brief accounts on casual and smart casual dress codes highlight their main differences. So, let’s have an understanding of why they are different. I have decoded the differences based on the choice of outfits and shoes, the suitability for occasions, and the type of appearance one is going to get.

Outfits and Shoes Ideal for Casual and Smart Casual Occasions

The options for casual outfits are many. Some popular choices are jeans, shorts, chinos, jackets, hoodies, skirts, tops, dresses, hoodies, and whatnot! Unless it’s a micro bikini, you can almost wear anything respectable for a casual dress code. In smart casual, pants, mid-length skirts, chinos, dark-washed jeans, jackets, and blazers are popular.

Men can wear sneakers, flip-flops, loafers, and funky moccasins for a casual appearance. Women can also experiment with their style by  taper haircut, picking kitten heels, wedges, flats, and flip-flops.

However, when it comes to a smart casual dress code, men must wear brogues, Oxford shoes, formal moccasins, or loafers. Ballerina flats and peep toes are great choices for women.

Suitability for Occasions

The casual dress code suits occasions like a dinner date, hanging out with your gang, going for a trip, or shopping. However, parties, informal business meetings, or visiting an organization need dressing up in a smart casual dress code.


A certain degree of neatness is always expected in casual and smart casual appearances. However, casual outfits give one a more relaxed and laid-back look.

However, because of the little quotient of formality, smart casual outfits with dragon tattoo will make you look upright, classy, and suave.

Final Words:

Do you want your fashion game to be on-point? Know the thin line between casual and smart casual dress codes. Both styles of clothing have some basic elements in common. Still, the casual dress code is laid back and more lenient, with no restrictions imposed by convention.

Smart casual, on the other hand, is more about keeping it relaxed but formal. So, take your freedom but remember to keep it classy and minimalistic.

watching movies in her free time.

Author Bio:

Oriana Raven is a professional content writer with 3 years of blogging experience. After graduating from Princeton University in California, She began her career as a blogger. She writes for a number of well-known blogs, including theglobalmagazine, womenmagazine. She enjoys writing to multiple international journals and magazine articles. Besides She likes listening to song, watching movies in her free time.

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