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December 2023

What is Smart Casual Dressing? | Off The Cuff - Levi'sWhat is Smart Casual Dressing? | Off The Cuff - Levi's

It’s the dress code we all dread. What does smart casual mean? How can a look be smart and casual at the same time? With this kind of look, the trick is to look smart while staying on-trend and true to your personal style.


Looking smart (but not too smart) is all about showing that you’ve put in the effort, but in a totally effortless way. It sounds complicated, but with our help, you’ll be nailing smart casual dressing in no time.


A smart casual dress code is a step between a formal outfit like a suit and the casual styles you wear day to day. But what does that mean? Creating the perfect smart casual outfit is all about mixing up your casual and formal pieces for a look at works in a more dressy setting without compromising your personal style.


Smart casual outfits are usually made up of everyday pieces, combined with classic, smarter items for a look that works in formal settings. Smart jeans, chinos, bomber jackets and shirts are great examples of more formal items that you can use as a foundation for any smart casual look.


Jeans can definitely feature in any smart casual look, but you need to choose the cut and colour carefully.

If you want to wear jeans in a smart casual setting, opt for a straighter, slimmer fit rather than anything too relaxed or baggy. Darker washes usually fit better in a more formal setting, too. Any ripped or distressed jeans should sit this one out, too.

Our 512™ Slim Tapered Jeans in black are the perfect option for a slim, straight fit that looks formal enough for smart casual settings, with all the cool of Levi’s® jeans.

Shop our full collection of men’s jeans and women’s jeans for the latest denim addition to your smart casual wardrobe.



You might need to add a few pieces to your wardrobe to have enough options to take a look from every day to smart casual. Even if you already own a few smart casual items, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to one of the trickiest dress codes.


Adding a jacket to any smart casual look really helps to complete your outfit. You don’t need to wear a blazer, either. A well-fitting Trucker or bomber jacket is a great way to show that you’ve put some thought into your look without getting too overdressed. Our Made & Crafted® Union Trucker Jacket is the perfect option for a timeless outer layer that’ll add a cool twist to any smart casual look.


Wearing neutral shades is an easy way to work with a smart casual dress code. And it doesn’t have to be boring either. Lightly patterned shirts like our Sunset 1 Pocket Standard Fit Shirt balance neutral, smart casual dressing without looking plain.


Like a jacket, shoes can make or break your smart casual look. Shoes set your outfit's tone, so leave your old trainers at home and switch them for a pair of crisp white trainers. If you need to look smarter, a pair of boots or brogues never fails for a smart casual look.


If your office has always had a casual dress code, you probably have Levi’s® to thank for that. In the ‘80s, Levi’s pioneered the smart casual workplace style that’s been super popular for decades. And with a new focus on working from home, there’s been another big shift in office attire.

If you want to wear jeans to the office, any colour or style will work as long as they fit well. Opt for well-fitting slim or straight jeans and avoid anything too baggy, or anything with rips.

If you’re going for a more relaxed fit, make sure you balance out your top half with something smarter so that you still look well put together. Or, stick to monochrome colours like black, white or cream to keep your jeans looking smart, even if they’re on the looser side.


Now you know how to nail smart casual dressing, nothing is stopping you from being the best dressed guest everywhere you go. With a few Levi’s® pieces in your wardrobe, it’s easy to switch out your everyday items for smart staples and create endless smart casual looks that don’t compromise on style.