No one is really 100% sure what the true meaning of ‘smart casual’ is, apart from it is most definitely a complete spanner in the works compared to a more straight forward dress code. The 'smart casual' phrase can often result in feeling completely and utterly baffled.
Smart casual entails a fine blend of two very different dress codes. Something more formal than a tee & jeans, but not quite a suit. Regardless of its vagueness, it shouldn’t be too difficult to pull-off which is why we have put together this guide.
To us, Smart casual screams clean, sophisticated & stylish. See it more as a mood than a dress code, there are no set rules or formula. Something really great about smart causal is that there is a great opportunity to be really flexible & diverse with what shoes you can wear on different occasions. To help you out along the way, we have put together a brief smart casual shoes guide highlighting the footwear that we believe are great all-rounders and should be essential to your ‘smart-casual’ wardrobes this season.
Chelsea Boots That Offer Spring Comfort
We’ve said before & we’ll say it again; Chelsea Boots are the perfect in between choice that will suit most outfits, especially when we are not yet in high summer. With plenty on offer this season, if you are after a toned down smart casual boot that offers comfort in abundance, then look no further than this season's Craven collection. Crafted from premium suede’s that have been individually hand waxed by our team over in Portugal - giving the final detail more of a relaxed aesthetic - a real crepe sole gives you more of a cushioned feel when walking out an about. For the Smart Casual look we recommend this is worn with rolled up denim, or if you are after a look that is more suited to the office, try the Craven in Black or Brown paired with a slim fitting two piece. Both styles will fit within the Smart Casual remit perfectly.
Smart Casual Shoes That Offer Similar Comfort As A Sneaker
We believe an embellished footwear collection has something for all occasions. Lets be honest, sneakers are a given if you are in the need for something truly casual but sometimes the situation demands footwear with a little bit of oomph. This is where the Craven Derby Shoe comes into play which is a perfect alternative to a sneaker, or instead of your formal shoes to keep it more casual. First arriving last month - as a supplement to its Chelsea Boot counterpart featured above - this boot utilises the same hand waxed suedes and Crepe Sole as the Chelsea boot. This results in a comforting shoe that does the same job as a trainer without the need to sacrifice style. Worn with denim or dress trousers, we have found that the style pairs perfectly with a jacket or blazer.
Wearing Formal Brogues Out And About - Brown Is The New Black
Quite simply a British fashion statement, Brogues have been making a comeback for "out of office" wear over the past couple of seasons. With Black being a traditional formal turn to, Browns and Tans are now seen as more casual. As work places are changing and are now more accepting of an informal dress code, we have noticed a large increase in the need for an informal brogue which which is where the inspiration for the Putney collection has come for Spring 2020. Available in a black, brown and a rich tan, pair them with slim fit denim and layered knitwear for a look that can go from the boardroom to the bar.
Alternatively if you are after similar results from a brogue with more of a fashion vibe, check out our James Brogue Shoe which stands out with a cleated sole.
A Formal Chelsea Boot Suited For The Best Of Both Worlds
We think it’s important to include at least two boot options at this time of year. This brings us to our final boot within the Spring Edition of our Smart Casual Shoes Guide, the Putney Chelsea. Made in Portugal, we think of this model as the more versatile boot which will elevate almost any look; whether it be casual jeans and jumper look, or giving a cooler look to a suit. The slimmer sole creates a streamlined kit which will give you a slightly more sophisticated and professional look than our Craven Chelsea boot.
Part of our regular style features, you can read all of our latest blog pieces online or by following us on our Social Media Channels. Don't forget to tag us in your pics showing us how you swap out trainers for something more formal-casual for day to day wear. The best pics will be featured within next week's Walk Wednesday's on Instagram.