Ask Away...: How To Nail Smart-Casual

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

How To Nail Smart-Casual

I get asked quite often how I perfect my smart casual look, and how I know what items will and won’t work well. Let’s be honest about it, of all the dress codes, smart-casual has to be the hardest. It’s a dress code that’s open to interpretation and so is quite variable, which can make it seem almost impossible to get right.

To perfect the art of the smart-casual dress code, it’s a case of mixing relaxed wear with items that are a little dressier and more formal. Not only do you have to think about correct outfit combinations, but also the event itself, the time of day, and, of course, the venue.

Smart-casual might be a challenge to get right, but I have a few tips that should help. For everything that you need to know, keep reading below. Hopefully, these tips will make dressing for future events, much easier.

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Understand what smart-casual means

It doesn’t mean wear whatever you like, it means your look should be sophisticated and well put together. However, what you opt to wear shouldn’t be so dressy that you end up dressed formally, it needs to have a few relaxed elements to it. For example, a smart-casual look that’s ideal for an informal interview is smart black jeans, a nice top and a tailored blazer.

Dresses are best

For smart-casual events, dresses can often be the safest bet. Well, just as long as you pick the right design, that is. Cute sundresses are a big no-no, as they’re far too informal. Cocktails dresses and evening gowns are also inappropriate as they are too smart.

A dress that fits the smart-casual dress code should be elegant and simple, and no longer or shorter than knee length. For some stylish dresses (and skirts) that are ideal for smart-casual events, check out the New Look range online. If you’re not a dress kind of girl, a stylish pencil skirt can also work well as part of a smart-casual look.

Always add a cover up

For smart-casual events, it’s not appropriate to have your arms on display. That’s why, unless you’re wearing a long-sleeved dress or top, it’s best to wear a cardigan or blazer over your outfit. If you opt for a cardigan, make sure that it’s a smartish design. For a blazer, don’t go for a tailored fit, instead, opt for a more relaxed design.

Be selective about shoes

The key to smart-casual shoe success is bearing in mind what isn’t acceptable. For instance, informal shoes like flip-flops or trainers aren’t suitable. It’s also important to steer clear of any shoes that are old or worn, as these will take down the look of your outfit. Your shoes should be neutral colored, in good condition, and nice and smart. Heels, ballet pumps and wedges are all good options for smart-casual looks.

So there you have it, everything that you need to know about perfecting the smart-casual look. Take note of these tips, and you can make your next smart-casual event much easier and less stressful.

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