The term ‘smart casual’ is one that often causes confusion - sort of polished but relaxed!!
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!
You want to be elegant but retain the comfort factor.
Consider dressing in a classic style but include at least one dressy piece that elevates the look into something more special. makes the outfit appear more special.
For example, a classic pair of black pants can be dressed up with a more exciting and dazzling blouse. Or you it might be a stunning pair of high heeled boots, a softly pleated skirt or a beautifully cut blazer.
You can select your dressy piece and then build the rest of your outfit around it or, alternatively, just elevate an ordinary outfit by substituting one special piece.
So, let’s say you’ve chosen to wear a beautiful silk blouse with ruffles or the red top below with extravagant applique. Teaming it with plain pants and quite plain accessories makes it more laid back and the blouse is allowed to shine and take center stage.
Choose to wear a pair of eye-catching jeans with gold and pearl bead embellishment. You need nothing more than the simplest of tops as, anything else, will detract from the star of the show.
Jeans and boots might be considered far too casual alone but topped with a sassy beaded ruana or a sparkly cardigan jacket as your ‘dressy’ piece you’re adding class - and the required balance!
This is how party separates earn their keep. The odd sparkly top or slinky blouse in your closet will get you through many a party or Christmas season for smart casual occasions.
A smart pants suit may appear too tailored for an evening event but you can make it more on-trend by introducing a unusual wrap instead with flat shoes. The unusual top brings the classic to life!
A dress with high heels is perhaps too ladylike, but teamed with sneakers or trainers for a modern vibe it brings a smart but casual comfort!
Adding jewelry is another easy way to lift your daytime casual and enhance your look to something special.
Match the shape of your necklace to your neckline and layer two or three fine chains together for stunning effect.
A bold statement necklace or dramatic earrings (though not together) also turn it into an occasion!
Jeans are now considered acceptable as smart casual 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 put together smart casual outfits more easily in the future. Outfits that not only look good and are appropriate, but that make you feel special.
Why not take a photo of an outfit you were pleased with. Recognizing the colors and styles that suit you allowing you to feel confident and beautiful will make a huge difference to your self esteem.
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