MDT's Blog

The do's and don'ts when wearing smart casual in office

Fashion is an important part of our daily lives.

However, we tend to make suicidal mistakes when it comes to dressing for different occasions and the different dress codes available.

The smart casual look has recently become a fashion buzzword among fashion enthusiasts.

It is designed to suit many occasions from a day at the office to a dinner date and even ceremonies like weddings.

But how do you perfect your outfit so you do not look too casual or too smart? What are the dos and don'ts when wearing smart casual in the office?

Before picking out your outfit for the day at work, you need to remember that an office is an official place and your dressing will highly impact on how you deal with clients as well as colleagues.

Smart casual can be hard to pull through but once you do it will mesmerize all your colleagues.

As an employer however, if possible you should clearly dictate what smart casual means so as to avoid the different interpretations people have from making your office into a summer party.

Here are some of the dos and don'ts each person should bear in mind when settling on a smart casual outfit to wear:


  • Have neutral colored clothes as the most in your wardrobe. You can then add color to your outfit by accessorizing.
  • Wear smart shoes preferably leather or suede. No flip-flops please. For the ladies, the heel should be short enough for comfort. They should be well-polished and in good condition.
  • You can put on a jacket or blazer when your other clothes are casual to get the smart look. If you have other official wear on, a cardigan or jumper will do the trick to casualise it
  • For men, a tie is optional but in the office a long-sleeved and collared shirt is appropriate.
  • The color of shoes (preferably dark) and socks should be the same and matching that of the trouser.
  • For men chinos, linen, dockers and khaki trousers are the way to go. For the ladies any tailored trouser or skirt would be appropriate and should be matched with an appropriate blouse.
  • Ladies, do carry a top-handle or satchel bag rather than a cross-body bag that is too casual or a clutch which seems too formal.


  • Never ever wear clothes with labels or logos. This is banned in most institutions to avoid opinion issues among workers as well as controversial wordings with regard to the work the company does.
  • Creased clothes should never be worn to work. The casual part of the outfit should not be taken too far. Actually at the office your outfit should lean more towards the smart side. Iron and repair all your clothes so you look decent.
  • T-shirts are forbidden in the office set up and so are shorts, sandals, caps, sportswear, evening gowns, micro mini skirts and dresses as well as large tote bags for ladies.
  • Jeans are just not for the office. You can wear them for a smart casual look to a dinner or any other occasion but not the office.
  • Belts should not be worn if their colors are too far from the trousers. You should find a belt that is the same color or which complements the trouser color. Overly large buckles should be avoided.
  • For the ladies do not wear socks. Stockings are more preferable for office work.
  • Do not wear makeup that is too formal or too casual. Make it a blend between the two and the same goes for your hair cut or hair design.
  • No matter how hot the weather is hoodies and heavy leather jackets should not be worn. A more appropriate choice is a simple sports jacket.


In conclusion, as much as smart casual office wear can be had to pull off, it is not impossible.

Many have done it and still continue to and you shouldn't be that different. Bearing the dos and don'ts mentioned above you can have a classy a smart casual outfit.

Simply remember that this dress code is all about looking elegant but at the same time not looking too official.

So when next setting apart your outfit for a workday, bear in mind the dos and don'ts of wearing smart casual to the office.