7 smart casual looks to help you navigate the tricky dress code18.08.2022
It is not easy to compile smart casual outfit ideas. Even the most seasoned dresser can be thrown off balance by the mere mention of smart casual. It takes practice to get the right line.
Smart casual was originally an expression that was first used in the mid-twenties. It meant suits made of lighter fabrics and more unusual colors that could be worn to certain events. The term has been used for all types of events and can be bounded to suit all occasions, causing plenty of outfit anxiety. Natalie Robinson, a celebrity stylist believes that the term is too broad and it can be daunting to dress for occasions that require smart casual.
Smart casual is confusing because they are opposites, like chalk and cheese. Smart casual does not have a specific meaning, so we can experiment with different styles. She says it is difficult to find the right balance between smart and casual attire.
It is open to interpretation. The invite also has to be considered. Jeans could be appropriate for a casual party but would not work well if the invite was for a wedding. It’s about finding the right balance between casual and professional when dressing in smart casual attire. It is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “neat, traditional, but relatively informal in fashion.” However, if you are unsure, take a safe bet and don’t wear it in an office setting.
We’ve put together seven smart casual outfits to help you get through this difficult dress code.
1. SMART CASUAL DRESS OUTFITS
A midi or knee-length gown is a good option. Midi dresses that are made of silk or viscose are better than those made from casual cotton or jeans. The wrap dress, a favorite of Kate Middleton, is great for casual occasions. The occasion will dictate how you style your wrap dress. However, a pair heels, pumps, or smart boots are all great options. Avoid short, revealing dresses.
A styling tip: Accessories can make or break an outfit, as well as enhance smart casual looks. My three top tips for making a dress casual-smart include adding a belt to create a cinched waist and wearing a leather jacket with ankle boots.
2. SMART CASUAL JEANS OUTFITS
Jeans are not appropriate for formal events like weddings, but you can incorporate denim into smart casual outfits under certain conditions.
Natalie suggests pairing items with different formalities to create a smart casual look. She recommends making jeans casual by pairing them with tailored pieces like a blazer, or a fitted shirt.
Look polished is always a good way to show your professionalism. If you choose jeans, make sure everything else is neat and formal. A nice top and jeans are the best option. A crisp white shirt, or a blouse made of chiffon with a Peter Pan collar is a smart choice.
It is also important to consider the fit and wash of the jeans you choose. For smart casual, the best jeans are in darker or black denim. A slimmer fit is better for smart casual. Straight leg or flared jeans work well. Rip jeans are not an option. These jeans are great for casual events but not for smart casual.
Styling tip: A darker denim can make an outfit look smarter and also lengthen your legs. For smart casual style, flared jeans can be worn longer than usual and paired with high heels.
3. SMART CASUAL SKIRT
A skirt is always a great choice, as you can dress it up or down according to what you are wearing with it. You should avoid anything too short or body-con, but you can have fun matching colors and styles. For events that are more conservative, you should stick to muted colors such as creams, blacks, navy, creams, and beiges.
A smart blouse or shirt tucked in looks great. However, a sweater worn with a French tie, which allows you to tuck the front, is a better option. It’s casual and chic, but also very smart casual. You can also add a denim skirt to this outfit in a dark wash. Similar to jeans, you will want a slim-fitting A-line version.
Styling tip: Heels don’t have to be worn with a smart casual skirt. In fact, you can wear your heels in this situation. Ballet slippers, loafers and mules, as well as brogues and brogues, with a midi skirt.
4. SMART CASUAL BLAZER OUTFITS
A blazer can be worn over a dress to add a touch of sophistication and style to your outfit. If you are unsure how to style your blazer according to this dress code, try pairing it with something less formal, like your favorite skinny jeans, a pleated skirt, or tracksuit bottoms. Blazers can also be worn over dresses, even if you aren’t sure what your outfit should look like. You can always remove it if the rest of the group is wearing something more casual.
If you follow a casual dress code at work, you can keep a tailored jacket on the back of your chair so you are ready for any last-minute meetings.
Styling tip: For a chic finish, match your blazer with your accessories.
5. SMART CASUAL BLOUSE OUTFITS
A pretty blouse is more casual than a tailored shirt and can be worn with most smart casual outfits.
First, choose the blouse and then make the outfit around it. If the blouse is embellished, patterned or has ruffles on it, ensure that the bottom half of your outfit is more sleek, such as dark jeans or color block culottes. A blouse with a smaller volume can be more flattering for a slimmer silhouette. It would look great with a full skirt or wide-legged pair of trousers.
Styling tip: A monochrome palette is a great option for a chic, smart casual look that’s easy to wear. A black chiffon blouse tied into a white skirt is modern and fresh, perfect for smart casual wear.
6. SMART CASUAL JUMPSUIT
Jumpsuits are smart and casual, but they can also be worn for formal occasions. Avoid anything too formal or casual when looking for the best jumpsuit for casual smart events. You can’t go wrong with black and navy. However, a subtle or bright-colored pattern is a good option. With the right accessories (such as a necklace or handbag), you are good to go.
Styling tip: Choosing a plain jumpsuit? Add some color to your look with bright shoes or a bag.
7. SMART CASUAL COORD OUTFITS
A co-ord sets the perfect tone for smart casual wear. There are many styles you can choose from. However, a coord skirt or trouser is the best option. This is one of the many trends that 2022 will not abandon. For a more sophisticated look, choose subtle patterns and silky fabrics.
If you do not want to wear a suit, pair it with box-white trainers and a fitted shirt to make it more casual. To make your suit feel more business-like, you can also pair it with a sleeveless jacket and trousers.
Styling tip: Natalie suggests that this look can be enhanced by cleverly choosing accessories.
She explains that classic white trainers could be used to add casuality to a smart coworker outfit. You could also add a pair open-back loafers, earrings, and a clutch bag to make the outfit more casual.