5 Ways to Smarten Up a Casual Outfit

Men wearing a black jumper and green jacket another one wearing a black jumper and black coat.
Smarten up a Casual Outfit - PHOTO CREDIT: Fashion Gum

Struggling to get that right blend of smart and casual? Well, check out this style guide on how to smarten up a casual outfit from us here at The Idle Man

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If we had a pound for every time we’ve heard the question ‘casual or smart?’ we’d all be rich, sitting under a parasol on a beach somewhere, drinking cocktails and getting a foot rub. However, we all know that it’s not quite as simple as just dressing casual or smart. A hybrid of the two is the way to do it in this day and age; it’s the best of both worlds.

If your outfit is on the casual end of the spectrum and you’re looking for ways to add some grandeur to your look without appearing too smart, then look no further than here. Below is a short list of items you can use to your advantage to spruce yourself up!

Item One: The Watch

You can’t just wear any watch. That bog standard, high street watch you had last Christmas won’t cut it if you’re going to revamp your casual look. This particular offering from Komono has a lovely tan leather strap, and is made from stainless steel with a fine gold finish.

As long as you have this on your wrist you can rest assured that you’ll be turning up fashionably late to any excursions you have planned (after all, turning up early or dead on time is far too formal). It’s a very smart choice indeed; but it’s not too smart that it wouldn’t be at home with a pair of jeans.

Smarten up a Casual Outfit - Komono Regal Gold Tan Leather Strap Watch
SHOP: Komono Regal Gold Tan Leather Strap Watch

Item Two: The Shoe

This shoe is no slouch. Hudson is well known for producing a wide range of smart, classic shoes in various shapes and sizes. The Hannuck Calf Slip-Ons are made with high quality leather, in a stylish woven pattern. The lip is elasticated for easy fitting because, let’s be honest, who has time for laces anyway?

What you have here is a formal shoe that looks great with a pair of jeans or chinos, so get your casual on, because you’re going to look smart too!

Smarten up a Casual Outfit - Hudson Hannuk Calf Slip-On Shoes Black
SHOP: Hudson Hannuk Calf Slip-On Shoes Black

Item Three: The Long Sleeved T-Shirt

Okay, so this is more of an alternative to one of the main elements of your outfit, rather than a separate item to add to it. Short sleeved t-shirts are the big daddy of the casual world, and their long sleeved cousins often fall on the wayside as a less popular and overlooked alternative. But overlooking this gem would be a tragedy. What we have here is one of the most stylish t-shirts you’re likely to find.

It’s made from 100% great quality cotton with a regular fit, so it’s comfortable and fashionable. As an added bonus it’s a round-neck style, so you won’t be scaring anyone off with your grizzly chest hair. Make sure you roll your sleeves up when you’re indoors. We wouldn’t want people to miss your Komono! Jeans or chinos? Take your pick.

Smarten up a Casual Outfit - Selected Mel Long Sleeve Striped T-shirt Grey
SHOP: Selected Mel Long Sleeve Striped T-shirt Grey

Item Four: The Jacket

There are jackets and then there are jackets. The difference is far from subtle. This leather bomber jacket from The Idle Man is spot on. A regular fit, two large pockets and an easily adjustable hood are just a few of its features.

It fits the bill as perhaps the perfect jacket; one that every other jacket should aspire to be like. When you turn up to a house party and the host offers to hang your jacket on the peg, they will most definitely ask where you got it from. Although the hood can be useful for light showers, this jacket is far too lovely to ruin in the rougher weather, so keep out of those downpours.

Smarten up a Casual Outfit - The Idle Man Leather Bomber Jacket Black
SHOP: The Idle Man Leather Bomber Jacket Black

Item Five: The Belt

Not much needs to be said about belts. Okay, so their main function might be to ensure that your trousers don’t fall down to your ankles, but they still manage to look smart whilst doing so. You’d be hard pressed to find a proper outfit where a belt might look out of place. This particular offering, from us at The Idle Man, is made from leather in an intricate woven pattern, and is polished off with a shiny silver buckle.

Smarten up a Casual Outfit - The Idle Man Woven Belt Brown
SHOP: The Idle Man Woven Belt Brown

And On That Note

So there you have it. Who ever said that casual can’t be smart? With any or all of the above items supplementing your casual style, you’re guaranteed to turn heads and even rock worlds (steady on), whether you’re off to the theatre, going to a gig or just meeting a friend for coffee. You’re dressed for almost every occasion, so go get ’em tiger!