Casual long sleeve shirts seem to be the perfect fall and winter accessories for those who want to conform to a "smart casual" dress code. It has become the preferred, more relaxed form of dress for many office environments, business events and academia. A bit of mixing and matching can make this a fun style for most people since it is a little more lenient than business casual. It also makes more room for individual personalities to come shining through.
For men, a smart casual dress code makes casual long sleeve shirts almost a necessity. The unspoken rules generally call for slacks, well-tailored jeans, or chinos or khakis. Trousers help set the tone for the kind of shirt you will wear and determine whether or not you should choose a tie to wear with your ensemble. Ties are optional with smart casual dress.
Shoes are usually loafers, all-weather low-cut boots, dress shoes (although not formal and not too attention-grabbing like patent leather that you might wear with a suit), or nice neutral leather shoes. Trouser socks, a belt and a blazer of some sort usually top off the look you are aiming for. The blazer is particularly important because it is really what distinguishes this style from mere casual.
The all-important casual long sleeve shirt is also very important. Some choose to wear a dress shirt beneath a round-neck sweater, a vest over a shirt, a turtleneck or a casual cotton shirt with no other accents. However you choose to wear it, know that the choice of shirt and the choice of blazer define your look.
Women have the choice of trousers or skirts to create their smart casual look. The rules for shoes, shirts, belts and socks apply the same as for men. Some different options to dress up the look a little more are: choosing a blouse that is a bit more dressy; wearing hosiery instead of socks; choosing open-toed shoes or sandals; and wearing jewelry – rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets. The key to pulling off the look you are trying to achieve is harmony and sharp color coordination.
The reason for dressing smart casual and incorporating clothing like casual long sleeve shirts is to create a comfort level that is a bit informal while still maintaining some level of authority. The two extremes from smart casual do not always foster the right tone for conducting business or creating a successful event. Formal attire makes attendees feel as if they can not relax. Completely casual dress makes the climate ripe for the authority figures not to be taken seriously. Smart casual gives the happy medium that most modern events deserve.