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Are T-Shirts Smart Casual? How To Wear A T-Shirt In Smart Casual Dress Code

Men's Style Guides
Monday, 25th July, 2022

Are T-Shirts Smart Casual? How To Wear A T-Shirt In Smart Casual Dress Code

If you want to look smart but dress shirts aren’t your thing you might be wondering:

Are T-Shirts smart casual?

The answer is yes. T-Shirts can be worn as part of a smart casual outfit, but not just any t-shirt. Your T-shirt should be good quality, plain, freshly ironed and crisp as well as a good fit.

Here’s how to wear a T-shirt in a smart casual dress code.

Plain T-Shirts Can Be Smart Casual Clothing

There’s no doubt about it, the humble plain t-shirt is a wardrobe staple. It’s a basic fashion item, and can be worn a number of ways.

Usually when we think of a t-shirt we think of it as a casual and laid back item of clothing. This is true, but as with a lot of menswear, a t-shirt can be dressed up.

When it comes to wearing a tee as part of a smart casual outfit, there are some rules. The T-Shirt should be good quality, and it should also be fresh. That means freshly iron, clean and crisp, not grubby and old.

As we know with all clothing, the fit is key. Wearing the right fit of clothing is important, and it’s no different when it comes to a t-shirt.

For a smart casual look, the t-shirt should be fitted. Think of this as a smart shirt without the buttons. You’ll want it ironed, fresh, clean and crisp, and fit you perfectly.

When it comes to smart casual, you should avoid large logo and printed t-shirts at all costs.

Throw A Blazer Over The T-Shirt

The easiest way of dressing up a t-shirt is wearing a blazer with a t-shirt.

A blazer or suit jacket is often seen as a smart piece of clothing, so wearing a t-shirt under a blazer will instantly upgrade the tee to smart casual wear.

Still, the same rules apply. You should wear a plain or smart t-shirt under the blazer, which will keep the outfit smart casual.

Wear The T-Shirt With Plain Jeans

When it comes to your lower half, you can wear a pair of jeans with the t-shirt to maintain a smart casual outfit.

Since jeans can be smart casual, both can go together well. But we have to also remember that the jeans should follow the same rules as the t-shirt.

Smart casual jeans should be plain, preferably dark, and fit well. Avoid ripped or distressed jeans, or the lighter shades of denim.

Wear The T-Shirt With Smart Chinos

If jeans aren’t your thing or you just want an alternative, you can wear the t-shirt with chinos.

When it comes to wearing chinos, there’s plenty of different colours on offer.

A white T-shirt will go with almost any colour chinos. Lighter shades such as beige will keep the outfit looking light, while navy or olive will add some contrast to your outfit.

If you opt for a different colour t-shirt, that can work too. Stick to the staples of white, black, grey and navy, and pair with a complimenting colour chino to complete the look.

Finish Off With Smart Casual Footwear

Don’t forget your shoes. You’ll want to wear smart casual footwear to keep your outfit looking it’s best.

This depends on the style you’re going for. A pair of smart trainers will put the outfit on the edge of casual, while a pair of brogues or Derby shoes will swing it more formal.

Stick to a classic colour that goes well with the outfit. Different shades of brown will work, and black should work too.

Summary: Are T-Shirts Smart Casual?

Yes, T Shirts can be smart casual if worn correctly. Wear a plain t-shirt that is fresh and crisp and fits well, and pair it with a solid pair of jeans or chinos. This will give you the smart casual outfit you’re looking for.


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Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger and T-shirt designer from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

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