Guide to smart casual office wear

Are you starting a new job and the office dress code is smart casual? It might sound like a fun, relaxed place to work, but when you're new it can be a minefield to figure out how casual is too casual, or how formal is too formal. Here are some tips on smart casual office wear...

Smart casual office wear for men

As with many dress codes, things are a little more straightforward for men than for women. Smart casual generally means a nice pair of jeans or slacks and a shirt without a tie. Shirts can be long sleeve or short sleeve. Trainers are appropriate if they're not bright white or scruffy - although it's probably a safer bet to wear a pair of leather shoes until you know what other guys in the office generally adhere to.

Smart casual office wear for women

Things can be a little bit more complicated for women. On men, jeans can be dressed up with a nice shirt. However on women, jeans often look a little too casual for the work place, even if worn with a nice top and boots.

Dark jeans usually look smarter than light coloured jeans, especially if worn with heels or tucked into a good pair of boots.

However if you're new to the office, it's a good idea to play is safe and opt for something a little less casual until you know what the other ladies typically wear to work. Some options for smart casual outfits include a tea dress with ballet pumps or linen trousers and a nice top.

Still not sure about smart casual office wear?

Why not scope the building out to see what most of the employees are wearing? Choose a busy time like 8.50am or 5.10pm when there will be a lot of people around. Or make a quick call to the HR department for a little more information - it's probably a common query among new hires.

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