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Smart Casual for Women: What Does It Mean, How Do You Do It?

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Dress code: smart casual. Cue scrambled brains and indecisiveness. The two dreaded words that everyone uses, but few people really understand. We all kind of know what it means, but at the same time have no idea how to explain it. Dressing smart casual for women can be a real pain, and can provoke fears of all sorts of embarrassing situations.

Fear no longer; Flair Designer Wear are on hand to give you a few tips to get you started on choosing the perfect outfit that is smart casual for women.

The Don’ts

When choosing the different parts of your smart casual look, be sure that you don’t simply go either just smart or just casual. It may sound simple, but it’s an easy trap to fall into. While it might be tricky to define ‘smart casual’, it’s a lot easier to explain what ‘smart’ and ‘casual’ mean.

Don’t overdress. Put simply, you shouldn’t wear an outfit you would wear to a formal event, such as a formal meeting or dinner party. Long dresses are generally seen as being too formal, while suits are also a bit over the top. Tone it down a notch from there, and you’ve probably got something that constitutes ‘smart casual’.

Don’t underdress. This one can be easier to fall foul of. Again, though, you clearly want to avoid anything you’d wear to do the gardening in, something you’d wear to the gym, or (sorry to break it to you) your favourite outfit for post-work TV marathons. In short, you want something that fits well, makes you feel presentable, and something that you don’t want to get dirty! Jeans are fine, but try to keep them dark, and maybe save the ripped, whitewash ones for a more ‘definitely casual’ event.

The Dos

Make sure that you wear something you feel comfortable in, and try to pick something that makes you feel good. One of the main reasons people choose a smart casual dress code at a party is that they want everyone to scrub up a bit, but don’t want to feel like they’re at work or a dinner party. Picking something that both makes you feel good, but also comfortable means that you’re probably hitting the smart casual for women look perfectly. Don’t choose anything that makes you feel like you can’t move around a bit, but be sure to pick something you’d hate to spill wine over.

Keep it simple

Whatever you do, don’t stress about it! Stressing will probably make you choose poorly, as you’ll be too concerned with what’s ‘right’ that you’ll forget to wear something you actually like. Smart Casual for women gives you a great chance to look great and feel comfortable at the same time. Choose a straightforward, easily maintained look and nail it. Adding various accessories and contraptions to your outfit is not only over-complicated, but it’s also likely to make your outfit a bit too formal. Bags are fine, but maybe leave the hat behind.

The Pros

Now that we’ve had a good moan about the style, let’s look on the bright side. The fact that the phrase is so vague means that you really do have a lot of room for manoeuvre. You can tailor your look to your own personal taste. If you prefer a skirt to those semi-formal black jeans, wear them. Can’t stand cardigans? Wear a jacket or a cotton jumper. Smart casual for women provides a few more than options than it does for men. While your male friends reluctantly put together the same shirt and jeans combination, you’re able to mix it up and keep everything fresh.


For expert advice on putting an outfit together, please pay us a visit at Flair Designer Wear. If you’re in or near Towcester, feel free to pop by and we’ll be happy to offer you some friendly advice. We have two decades’ worth of experience to draw upon, and smart casual for women is one of the many looks we have helped our customers put together in that time. Please also visit the smart casual section of our website for some outfit ideas.

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