When the invite says “Smart Casual” what do you wear? Read on for some smart casual style tips particularly for Autumn, or mid-season wherever you live.
I think it’s a fashion term which offers us a huge amount of choice, but also some restrictions too.
It’s got lots of connotations, and I bet you’ve had to ask someone else what they’re wearing to an event which says “Smart Casual” (I know I have) because in reality it doesn’t mean wear what you blimmin’ well like.
It actually means, don’t wear what you put on to pop down to the corner shop, and probably not what you wear to the ‘Footie’ either.
This has me scratching through my cupboards for things that aren’t frayed or tatty and that actually go together.
I can do cocktail okay because certain things seem to stay ‘best’ and can be dragged out on several occasions.
Although smart casual sounds easy, it’s not always simple to figure out how to pull this look together.
You want to be stylish, but not overly so, you want it to be causal but not thrown together with old bits and bobs, and you know you’ll need to put in a little extra thought and polish to carry it off well.
Accessorising is definitely your friend with this look because the base items may be classic, and therefore smart, but the accessories can add the casually definitive and interesting.
For autumn in the southern hemisphere and spring in the northerly climes, here’s a look which for me signifies the right amount of smart with a simple touch of casual elegance.
I’m a firm believer in the peplum top, which I think hides a multitude of sins but is very flattering.
The one below has a little detail on the shoulders and flattering longer length sleeves, ideal for the autumn.
Worn with great fitting pants, a felt hat, waterfall coat and some eye catching accessories it’s just the ticket.
I’m also not afraid of mixing and matching different shades of the same colour.
The camel, beige, and toffee colours below all work well together with the black breaking them up.
As I’m in England right now, these prices are in Pounds Sterling. Currently you could double them to get an approximate amount in AUD$. Black Top: £36 BEAUTIFULHALO.COM, Camel Jacket £71 ZAFUL.COM, Pants: £71 ZAFUL.COM, Boots: £71 ZAFUL.COM, Hat: £70 VERYEXCLUSIVE.CO.UK, Scarf: £74 DVF.COM, Sunglasses: £4.30 HM.COM
Smart Casual Style Tips
If you’re going to wear jeans, make sure they are freshly laundered, crisp and fit well.
For smart casual, you’re probably better off with a dark coloured pair of jeans, teamed up with something sharp, like a tailored classic white blouse.
The idea here is that although jeans are considered a casual item, the snazzy shirt is dressy, so a middle balance is created.
Accessorise wisely with a gorgeous scarf or signature jewellery, a pair of comfy white or silver pumps, perhaps some strappy wedges or your favourite ankle boots.
There is nothing more boring, than wearing a printed top and tailored pants for smart casual. It’s fine, but it’s predictable.
So in order not to fade into the wallpaper make sure your printed top is unusual or designer (if you can!) and make sure your pants fit to perfection.
If it’s chilly add a blazer rather than a cardigan, and if you’re outside grab a floppy hat for a little pizazz.
For a smart casual event I’d consider a good fitting jersey dress with a bolero jacket. I’ve written about jersey dresses here : What’s so great about Jersey Dresses?
Smart casual means looking well put together but in a way that seems as if you haven’t spent too much time and effort doing so don’t pile on the jewellery, but do co-ordinate accessories to add a little snap.
And Lifestylers, always let your Fabulousness shine through!
What’s your go-to outfit or look for smart casual?
Well you definitely look stylish, I love the neutrals with the nice accents and print scarf – great collection.
Thank you Noel!
Jo ~ Lifestyle Fifty
Hello Jackie! Yes, I am constantly confused by the time and seasonal differences too! I love the idea of smart casual in Seattle! Would love to visit!
Oh I must get my bearings. . .I was reading along and saw the reference to ‘autumn’ and thought to myself, no, please no, we’ve had enough winter and rain and dreary – I want spring. Then I remembered that you are heading into autumn while we are clamoring for spring! Love these colors though and they’d still work a bit longer here. Afraid ‘smart casual’ around the Seattle scene may mean you washed your jeans and put on a scarf to wear with your fleece jacket! 😉
Life Images by Jill
I love those boots and the top puts me back eons when I was in my late teens and working, a top like this would have been all the rage. Fashions are rolling around again and flares too! What is the world coming too! I love to accessorize with a scarf in autumn and winter. And every year I’ve promised myself a coat. I hope the weather is being kind to you in the UK Jo, you are missing the heat here. 🙂
The boots are really cute, hey Jill, and yes it’s amazing how fashions roll around again. The weather is bitter here and the wind is howling – the heat sounds rather nice 😉
Haha yes … “smart casual” is a *very* wide term! My (German) husband wondered long and hard about this when he first came across it!
Hi Amanda, yes, it’s a conundrum of a term really isn’t it. English is a funny language!
This would be nice for an English spring day, when it’s not raining! I like anything that covers my tum, so peplum tops are something I’ll look out for.
Peplum tops are great, aren’t they Gabrielle! I actually feel that I don’t see enough of them in the shops.
I love the jacket. Not sure that I wouldn’t have gone for black bootees though.
Yes, that jacket rocks! Black boots would certainly ring the changes.
I love this ensemble, if only the weather in North Queensland would accommodate it. 🙂
Aww … I think you are just going to have to do an autumn or winter hop to WA Jan!
What a lovely thought Jo!