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Decoding The Dress Code: What is Smart Casual?

Perhaps smart casual is one of the most confusing dress codes we’ve ever encountered. What does one wear when the event calls for it?

While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to smart casual dressing, think of it as something you would wear to a date: smart casual requires a certain amount polish to make the look outfit together.

Other things to consider before planning your outfit:

Where is the venue? Is it in a popular club? A museum, perhaps, or a hotel? Get a feel of the vibe of the venue and dress up accordingly.

What is the occasion? Have you been invited to a movie premier, a product launch, or an intimate concert?

What time will it be held? Will it be at lunch, or during the evening? This could dictate your outfit’s color palette.

Here are some essential pieces to smart casual dressing.


Slightly above the knee and knee-length pencil skirts are a no-fail smart casual option.

Smart Casual Skirt

Feel free to play around with patterns and textures.


A selection of tailored pants in your wardrobe will go a long way. Pair with a silk or chiffon blouse and you’re all set.

Smart Casual Pants

If you live in jeans, go for dark washes like black and indigo. Nothing faded or ripped, please.

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Where there are tailored pants, a smart blazer should not be far behind.

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Save your sparkling and intricately embellished dresses for a friend’s wedding or the company party. For a smart casual event, keep your dress sweet and simple. If you’re a fan of maxi dresses, consider the fabric – light and airy material might be more appropriate for a beach getaway.

Smart Casual Dress

Smart Casual Dress 2


Ballet flats, loafers, and brogues look too laid-back; heels are the way to go. Step into pumps or something strappy.


Finish off your outfit with a statement piece, like a bold necklace or a pair of hard-to-ignore earrings.

smart casual 1


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