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Your Ultimate Klassy Guide To Dress & Feel Your Best

What Is The Klassy Casual Code?

"Your Look Is You"

The Klassy Casual Dress Code doesn’t have to induce fear and anxiety though. It can be a good thing. At it’s best, Klassy Casual is sharp and sophisticated but also relaxed and comfortable; it’s able to take you from the office to a date without second-guessing your style, imbuing confidence in the wearer and admiration in everyone else.

But – there’s always a but – if it’s not well executed, it can look boring and, at its very worst, like you’ve just thrown your suit jacket on over a pair of jeans. Smart casual attire is very easy to get wrong, so if you’re stuck or looking for a bit of high-low inspiration, here’s everything you need to know about nailing this ever-tricky dress code.

What Is A Klassy Casual Look

Klassy & Casual Look can be confusing. We’ll come out and say that right away. It combines two words that are essentially opposites and expects you to make sense of the gulf between them. Should you dress on the 'Klassy’ side or place more emphasis on ‘casual’? Who knows, but when smart joggers and casual tailoring fall into the same bracket, one thing you can be certain of is a huge number of interpretations.

It doesn’t have to be complicated, though.

Klassy Casual Look is a stylistic blank cheque and you can cash it in however you like. You can also take it quite literally and combine the best of both worlds: pair a Klassy piece of clothing with something more casual, then you are effectively dressing Klassy & Casual. Think (the right kind of) blazer with jeans, or a T-shirt tucked into tailored trousers.

You’ll often find the Klassy Casual Dress Code being used for events that are relatively laid back yet require some level of class. Think relaxed wedding receptions, graduations or fancy restaurants where guests are expected to display some level of decorum. But to successfully wear Klassy casual it’s not as simple as throwing a blazer on top of your jeans – you have to wear the right pieces that complement each other and don’t look too jarring.


The Different Types Of Klassy Casual

Klassy Casual means many different things to many different people, not to mention the kind of event or destination you’re heading to. Smart casual at a graduation will likely mean something very different to smart casual on date night.

So when dressing for this ambiguous dress code, it’s important to consider where you’re heading and who you’re heading there with. This will inform just how smart, or just how casual you go. For example, if you’re heading to a graduation, a blazer is a failsafe part of that outfit. Graduations tend to be fairly rigid and formal, and those participating will be wearing gowns and caps, so you certainly wouldn’t be overdressed.

Wearing clothes on the Klassy end of the spectrum also acts as a sign of respect for those graduating – you’re showing appreciation for how significant the event is.

For a date however, wearing a blazer might be a bit much, depending on where you’re going. In order to not feel overdressed, you might prefer to go fairly casual on the bottom half, with tailored trousers and desert boots, but keep things more laid back up top, with an untucked Oxford shirt and bomber jacket.

The Difference Between Klassy & Casual Look

While there are many nuances to what is to dress casual, it’s pretty easy to differentiate from casual dress. Dressing casually requires little thought as there are basically no rules to it. Casual might mean jeans and a T-shirt, or sweatpants, sneakers and a hoodie. You might wear casual clothing when working from home or to the pub with friends.

Klassy needs a little something extra. It requires an article of clothing typically associated with formality that elevates the look and keeps it from falling into scruffy territory: a pleated trouser, a button-down shirt, a cashmere sweater. Whereas casual clothing is something you might just wear out and about, Klassy look is a dress code, and as such needs a bit more effort and thought.

Klassy Casual Styling Tips

Remember, the Klassy Casual Dress Code is a spectrum, so when you’re putting an outfit together, keep in mind where on that spectrum you want to jump in. Here are a few key considerations.

Keep Things Simple & Stupid

If in doubt, don’t go overboard. Stick to tried-and-tested wardrobe essentials including dark denim jeans, chinos, Oxford shirts, unstructured navy blazers and simple knitwear. Klassy Casual is often at its best when it’s understated.

Complementary Colours

Klassy casual dress might see you wear separates in place of a traditional suit. Which means, of course, pairing a miss-matching blazer and trousers. If you plan on doing so it’s best to stick to muted, complementary colours – think classic grey wool trousers paired with a navy blazer and white shirt. Or, for something less obvious, try earthy tones including green, stone and brown.

Nail The Details

Because we’d advocate keeping things simple, we’d also recommend that you nail the details of Klassy Casual Wear, as they make all the difference. That means paying attention to the little things, like ensuring your trousers aren’t too long (if they are you should get them tailored to finish just above your shoes); making sure said shoes are clean or polished if they’re leather; matching your leathers, so your belt and shoes don’t clash, and so on. The details matter.

Must-Have Klassy Casual Pieces

Oxford Button-Down Shirt

A true icon of menswear, the Oxford button-down is the do-anything, go-anywhere shirt. Worn by some of the most stylish men of all time including Miles Davis Jr, Paul Newman and James Dean, the button-down began life on the polo field. Polo players in the 19th century struggled with their shirt collars flapping around, so buttons were added to keep them in place, allowing the riders to look smart without compromising their game as they punted balls around on horseback.

Since then the button-down has become an essential piece, favoured as it was by the Ivy League set in the 50s and 60s, before becoming a Ralph Lauren staple in the 80s and 90s. It’s a more informal take on the traditional collared shirt, making it perfect for wearing as part of a smart casual get up.

Unstructured Blazer

An unstructured blazer is very different from your regular suit jacket. Unlike the latter, it features little to no padding in the chest and shoulders, allowing the fabric to drape over your body rather than shape it.

A traditional blazer usually features heavily roped shoulders, which create sharp, powerful lines that are inherently formal and associated with business-wear. An unstructured jacket on the other hand looks more laid back and natural, so it easily combines with casual attire like chinos, T-shirts, polo shirts and knitwear. If you’re going to wear a blazer as part of a smart Klassy look, make sure it’s unstructured.

Drawstring & Fitted Trousers

Up until a few years ago, drawstring trousers weren’t really a thing. But with the casualisation of the way people dress (which accelerated during the pandemic), they’ve arguably become the trousers to go for.

The drawstring offers unrivalled comfort over a traditional, fixed waistband, expanding and contracting with your body in the same way that sweatpants do. Although, of course, they’re made from smarter fabrics including cotton and wool, making them look, from the outside at least, like a regular pair of tailored trousers.

Minimal Sneakers Or Footwear

Minimalist Sneakers aren’t a new phenomenon, but they still remain one of the best options for smart casual footwear. A pair made from leather, with a clean, pared-back design will wear as well with denim jeans as they will with tailoring, which is not something many shoes can claim. Common Projects were arguably the first to popularise the style, but numerous brands with a range of price points produce their own take today, so whatever your budget you’ll be covered.

With the relaxing of dress codes across the board in menswear, sneakers have found a new audience. These sporty staples have graduated from track and field to legitimately being worn with tailoring. Still, it wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the brands that made it their mission to smarten them up.


The loafer is a type of shoe that is easily slipped on and off the foot without any laces to worry about. It is often mentioned in the same breath as the moccasin, as some historical sources say both types of footwear have similar origins.


Klassy Casual Looks Is A Stylistic Blank Cheque That You Can Cash It In However You Like.

Remember, "Your Look Is You"



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