When it comes to looking stylish and feeling comfortable, it can be tricky to know what outfits to put together. For fashion-conscious individuals who want to look good and feel at ease, smart casual attire is the perfect choice.
In this article, we’ll explore what smart casual attire means for women and what to wear to different events requiring this dress code. We’ll also cover steps that will help you confidently put together your own smart casual outfits for a number of different occasions.
What is Smart Casual Attire For Women?
This dress code incorporates sophisticated clothing items, such as business attire, that are then combined with elements of casual clothing. Smart casual is often classified as a type of outfit or clothing that is both comfortable to wear but looks stylish and elegant all at once.
Since smart casual outfits are usually a balance between casual and formal wear, it may require a little more thought and effort to create the perfect outfit. However, once you know what garments and accessories to piece together, achieving a smart casual aesthetic will be a breeze.
Navigating the Dos & Don’ts of Smart Casual Dress Code
At Cable Melbourne, we’ve put together a list of do’s and don’ts for smart casual attire to help guide your outfit planning:
· We recommend avoiding clothing pieces that are distressed, baggy or known to be loungewear or athleisure, such as joggers and hoodies.
· Staying away from very casual t-shirts or any tops that would not fit within an office setting, such as spaghetti strap tops, is a good decision.
· Common footwear choices that don’t reflect smart casual attire include running shoes, sandals, thongs, and other shoes reserved for more relaxed settings.
· Build the foundations of your outfit with either a chic short or long-sleeve blouse or a collared shirt.
· Wear neutral-coloured or black dress pants, wide-legged pants, or chinos. If the setting is more casual, you can select a pair of form-fitting jeans that is either dark-washed, black or white.
· If you prefer one-piece outfits, a tailored jumpsuit or midi dress are an excellent choice.
· Layer up with a sharp blazer, fashion-forward jacket, knit or woollen coat.
· Reach for your favourite pair of heeled or ankle boots, flats, or loafers to complete your look. If the event permits sneakers, ensure you choose a pair of neutral-coloured ones that will maintain the balance of your ensemble.
· Tie your entire look together with minimal and polished accessories.
Smart Casual Essentials
Now that we’ve covered the key do’s and don’ts of smart casual outfits, there are several wardrobe staples that always work for any smart casual look.
A blazer is a great way to add a sense of style and professionalism to any outfit. Add a blazer on top of work pants and a chic blouse for corporate or office attire. Alternatively, style up a more relaxed smart casual look that involves dark jeans or monochrome sneakers with either a neutral-coloured blazer or a check print blazer for visual interest.
When it comes to choosing pants for a smart casual outfit, there can be many styles to choose from. Tailored, wide-legged, dress, or work pants are always a good option to select. Opting for these pant styles will bring a sense of chic and timeless elegance to your look, that is sometimes missed with jeans.
A midi skirt is an item of clothing that every woman should have in her wardrobe. Midi skirts are extremely versatile and can be worn in every season and they can be paired with both tops and warm knits. A flowy midi skirt with a timeless dotted or plaid pattern can further add to the aesthetic of your outfit while also being effortlessly comfortable to wear. For a more casual look, pair with white sneakers or for a formal occasion, pair with heeled boots.
A classic linen shirt is a perfect top for a smart casual outfit, in particular during the warmer months of the year. It can be styled tucked in or out depending on the occasion and worn underneath a blazer or on its own. A linen shirt is more formal than a regular shirt though just as comfortable to wear and can also be styled with a knit cardigan or coat for cooler days.
What About Accessories?
Accessories are a great way to dress up your smart casual outfit while adding a sense of sophistication and individual style to your look. Enhance your look with the following jewellery options:
Common Smart Casual Occasions
When it comes to different occasions, you may need to alter your smart casual outfit depending on if it is a slightly more formal or casual event.
For days at the office, and depending on each different profession, your smart casual outfit can be a little more flexible. For a more casual office setting, try wearing a pair of wide-legged pants with a comfortable blouse or linen shirt and sneakers. If you work in a more corporate office, a mid-length skirt with a short-sleeve or cashmere top and loafers will fit your office’s dress code perfectly.
For a party setting, like an engagement party or office Christmas party, your smart casual outfit can encompass a little more style and creative flair. At an engagement style party, try wearing a pair of black skinny jeans and a white top with a pair of heels. Depending on the season, you could also add a trendy blazer or a leather jacket.
A smart casual outfit for going out to dinner can, again, be dressed up or down depending upon the venue. If the setting is more on the casual side, try combining a pair of dark or light-coloured jeans with a chic turtleneck, and a pair of sneakers. If the venue calls for a more refined smart casual look, select a pair of fitted pants, a flattering blouse and pair with classic knee-high boots.
When it comes to smart casual, the number of outfit creations and pairings are limitless. At Cable Melbourne, we understand that putting together an outfit that meets a specific smart casual aesthetic can be daunting. Though, with the tips above, you’ll be able to create easy to wear and fashionable smart casual outfits with confidence.
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