The term ‘smart casual’ is one that often causes confusion.
Whether it's drinks with the neighbors, meeting up with work colleagues for a drink or looking forward to a special Christmas event with your nearest and dearest; you want to look your best but need to strike the right balance between being overdressed and appearing too casual.
If it’s a particularly smart venue and you’re not over familiar with your hosts, adhering to a dress code can be super stressful.
So how do you master ‘smart casual’ so you can worry less and have a great time!
Aim for polished but relaxed so you can achieve a look that’s elegant but comfortable.
Keep the look 'smart' by always including at least one piece that can be considered ‘dressy’ or a bit special.
For example, it might be a pair of high heeled boots, a softly pleated skirt or a beautifully cut blazer. Whatever it is select your dressy piece and then build the rest of your outfit around it.
So, let’s say you’ve chosen to wear a beautiful silk blouse with ruffles. Teaming it with plain pants and boots makes it more laid back. Your blouse, however, is allowed to shine and take center stage.
A smart pants suit or even a tuxedo might be considered very sophisticated for evenings but you can make it more on-trend and pared down by adding some trainers for a modern twist.
They need to be stylish 'sneakers' of course, perhaps even a gorgeous metallic, but they can be teamed with many classic looks.
Jeans and heeled boots might be considered far
too casual alone but topped with a sumptuous velvet blazer as your ‘dressy’
piece you’re adding class - and the required balance!
If you favour simple and classic garments then a pair of quality earrings and a statement necklace will lift your daytime casual and enhance the overall look to something special.
Match the shape of your necklace to your neckline and even layer two or three fine chains together for stunning effect.
You can check out online jewelry stores for a few good-looking pieces to flatter your classic style.
Even jeans are now considered acceptable as long as they are a good fit and a dark wash. But you will need to add the 'dressy' touch and show your unique style with a few stunning accessories.
Add some edge
to your look with fabulous shoes, a hat or hair accessory, sunglasses, a scarf or belt - and certainly carry a quality bag.
Each of these details will add a unique
finishing touch and dress up your outfit.
It all depends on the occasion and how dressed
up you believe the other people in your group will be.
So if you're really struggling to pull your outfit together don't hesitate to ask what other people will be wearing. They may need some reassurance too!
And after the event it’s important
to be objective about the outfit you wore.
Were you happy with your choice? Did you feel good and were you comfortable? If not, why not? This will help you to more suitable outfits in future - outfits that not only look good but allow you to feel good too!
It's easy to forget how you did it so take a photo of each outfit for future inspiration.
Recognizing the colors and styles that suit you allowing you to feel confident and beautiful will make a huge difference to your self esteem.