Will Field on Smart Casual

Yuri & Yuri co-founder and author of the Savile Row Journal, Will Field gives his insight into the tenets of smart casual.
Will Field on Smart Casual
With companies like Goldman Sachs giving the formal suit the sack, the media increasingly focuses on the “smart casual movement” with an almost liberating tone. With the emergence of this new style trend, I thought it would be valuable for me to make some suggestions based on my own experience. This is not a “what to wear” guide, as I trust you know how to dress yourself already, but maybe you’ll find something valuable here that can keep you always looking your best.
I certainly don’t think it’s time to abandon the suit. Actually, quite the contrary. Whilst most of the customers on Savile Row are not from Generation Z, we cannot ignore constantly evolving consumer habits. People are shopping with contradicting values more than ever. I recently read an interesting report in which noted that a vast number of people are shopping for instant gratification and for sustainable, ethically produced products. With that said, I don’t think Savile Row should be abandoned either. Smart casual does not mean dressing like a Silicon Valley tech guru, flouncing about the office wearing mismatched gym clothes paired with sandals and socks. Smart casual bespoke is the perfect opportunity to nail all of the above.
Getting clothes handcrafted from proper tailors will last almost a lifetime and will always be relevant. Shopping sustainably and intelligently will not only help save the planet—it will also save you money in the long run. (Some time in the not-too-distant future, I’ll do a post comparing bespoke garments to most ready-to-wear clothes point by point.) To add a more casual vibe to your outfit, you can either ditch the tie or the shirt altogether and opt for some half-decent knitwear. I personally prefer the latter, as it not only creates a nice contrast without compromise, but also saves a bit of hassle on the ironing. Knitwear can come in many forms and sizes. Made-to-measure options are also available if you want to go one step further. 

There’s a myth that knitwear is only for winter but there are many options for summer too. The use of high-twist yarns, open weaves, linen and silk blends help make knitwear highly relevant to wear year-round with smart-casual tailoring. The broken suit is also a good option, mixing and matching blazers, trousers, etc. Speaking of which, trousers can also be a great staple piece and in the correct cut and style, really bring an outfit together without much effort. It’s a kind of reverse notion to wearing a slightly rowdy sports coat. Think neutral tones like browns and creams, blues and greys, with a focus on details. Having a Ghurka waistband or double pleats finished with hand “Travetta” bar-tacks can both be achievable good options. 

Smart casual is a golden opportunity to dress both elegantly and intelligently in a non-ostentatious way, an evolved form of classic understated style in the work place or wherever you like.