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My way

Even when there are no more secrets, fashion remains a mystery. If you wear things you adorn, you just look better. The style is putting our own signature on the things that we wear and the way that we live. The dress must follow the body not the body following the shape of a dress. Fashion is like eating, you should not stick to one menu. Fashion should reflect who you are.

"Fashion is art, culture, history, and everything one can love, combined."

Nothing screams elegance like formal attire, but often occasions don't call for a full suit. With the smart casual dress code being admired by many, how does a man pull it off? Recent advice has often made things confusing but I'm here today to strip it right down for you, giving you the foolproof principles to follow effortlessly.

Want to pull off the smart casual dress code? Here's how:

1. The 80/20 Balance

Have you heard of the 80/20 principle by Pareto? Not to worry if you haven't. It simply means 80% of the outcome comes from 20% of the input.

The issue most guys have is when trying to pull off the smart casual look they go for a completely even balance. Typically 50% formal attire, 50% casual attire. It doesn't have to be even. In fact, the 80/20 rule makes it a lot simpler to understand. I tend to stick with 80% formal, 20% casual. Why? Because 20% of casual will dramatically bring the formality of the look down. You can see in this look, the addition of jeans instead of a full suit and remove the tie dramatically reduces the formality of the look. It still heavily consists of 'smart clothing' but it now bridges that gap between smart casual. Getting the balance is the most important thing but don't strive for an even 50/50 balance.

2. More Smart Than Casual

As stated in the previous point, it's easier to strike the balance but injecting a small amount of casual attire into the look. Piece together your formal attire first and then inject some casual clothing to pull off that smart casual dress code. The smarter clothing will, of course, carry more weight, it will create more of an impact and typically always be the focal point the outfit. Therefore put your emphasis on this, and then decide how you want to dress down the outfit.

Your options? Here are a few ideas:- 
Replace suit trousers/formal trousers with jeans of chinos. 
Swap formal shoes for casual (white sneakers work well 
Replace your shirt with a t-shirt/polo shirt 
Lose the tie 
Swap your blazer for a more casual jacket (Bomber, Harrington, Leather Jacket) 
Add in knitwear.

Using the options above you can easily start to strike the balance between smart and casual. Remember, the more casual clothing you introduce the more dressed down you'll be. Personally, I recommend opting for more smart attire over casual.

3. What's The Occasion?

The occasion obviously plays a big factor in how you strike the balance as well. Is it a date? Dress down Friday's at work? An interview? A night out? What kind of formality does the occasion call for? A good example of this is sneakers. You can easily dress down a look by replacing your trusted formal footwear with a pair of sneakers... but what if the venue doesn't allow them? A night out with friends might not call for you to wear a blazer, so it's trying to strike the balance between smart and casual without overdoing it for the occasion.

4. Why It's Important

Personally smart casual is something I always strive towards. Too formal often makes your style look to corporate, and in some instances, it looks like you've tried too hard. Bridging that balance isn't difficult, just don't overthink it.

"Fashion should be a form of escapism, and not a form of imprisonment".

My way

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