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Dress Code Dilemas: What on earth is Smart Casual?

miroslava-duma-1Miroslava Duma via Pintrest 

Congratulations! You’ve been invited to an exclusive event this week. The occasion is one which will elevate your social status to the most sought after heights. You’re undeniably thrilled yet there’s one issue – the dress code is Smart Casual!

There’s possibly nothing that can make you want to renege on accepting an invite like having to abide by this uncommitted dress code. Depending on the level of your sense of style – you are probably always ready for a great night out and you feel any invite is an opportunity to amp things up a little. In this case – you probably should just slay the event with your outfit however this does not mean wear a ball gown!

Smart Casual is a guideline for those whose style is usually extremely relaxed. If pairing beach sandals with ripped denim and t-shirts is your thing the following will help you figure out exactly what to wear to your next event. 

Ideas for Afternoon events

  1. Floral Pyjama Suit


          Bonang Matheba – Instagram  

The look of spring on the trendy pyjama suit,  coupled with gorgeous accessories is a definite a great nod to the day time smart casual dress code.


2. The Maxi Dress


A maxi dress is easy and breezy. Elevate the look with stunning heels and a hard-edged leather jacket.

3. Structured Monochrome

olivia-palermo-nightOlivia Palermo via Instyle

The Structured Monochromatic look allows you to blend with the crowd while also standing out. The focus will be on the high quality and quirkiness of your chosen pieces. Pop out more with a great hair up-do.

Rule of thumb:

Your relaxed home clothes can pass for smart casual at daytime events. Elevate the look by wearing amazing heels, great statement jewellery and fresh make-up.


Ideas for Night Time events 

  1. The Little Black Dress

monse-netaporterMonse at Net-a-Porter 

 While it may seem cliche to rock up in a black dress – the LBD is still pure magic. Try different dress shapes and drapes to avoid looking simplistic.

2. Statement Shoes

anna-dello-russo-shoes-nightAnna Dello Russo via The Zoe Report 

Sometimes all you need is “out-of-this-world” edge in order to take your look from casual to smart casual. One significant statement piece says you came with a real interest in the event. 

3. Bright Colours

miro2 Miroslava Duma via Pintrest

Simple lines in bright colours make for the perfect smart casual look. 

Rule of thumb:

If you feel a garment is far too fancy – dress it down by wearing less accessories, gorgeous sandals, boots and even sneakers (make sure these are on trend).


Words: Kwanele Kunene

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