Ian Somerhalder’s outfit at the Teen Choice Awards last night is a great example of the kind of thing a man ought to be wearing when he’s on a night out but it’s not an overly formal event.
Say you’re going to a restaurant but it’s a funky kind of restaurant, not a super-expensive one – this jacket, dress shirt and jeans “look” is just the kind of thing to wear. Not only will you look stylish, you won’t be overdressed.
One key to the smart casual dress code is contrast. Let’s take a closer look.
Firstly, compare the smart (and conservatively navy) look of Somerhalder’s top half with the distressed look of his skinny jeans. The contrast conveys two things about Somerhalder: That he’s stylish, of course – but also, that he knows how to dress for the venue and the occasion. If you can’t dress for either the venue or the occasion, it’s a black mark against your judgment, style and even your sense of fun.
Secondly, there’s the contrast between the scruffy facial hair and the inclusion of a pocket square. If Somerhalder had left out the pocket square, his top half wouldn’t be nearly as “dressy” as it is – hence, less of a contrast with the jeans. As it stands, his pocket square tips the whole outfit beyond smart-casual into something more stylish.
The Teen Choice Awards isn’t the kind of event that requires a complete suit. You may have found yourself in a similar situation: You want to make an effort, but a suit is too much. Next time you’re dressing for the evening and find yourself with this dilemma on your hands, think of Ian Somerhalder and contrast your top and your bottom half.
If you’re inspired by Somerhalder’s look, check out this pre-designed, navy jacket by A Suit That Fits. Perfect for pairing with some skinny jeans, a dress shirt and a tie. Click on the image for more details.
Finally: Don’t forget the tie bar. It’s a simple addition, but like the pocket square, it’s the kind of detail that will send your smart casual style through the roof.