Dress to Impress

Dress code – ‘smart/casual’ – what does this mean?

Whatever the invitation we have all heard the term ‘smart/casual’ used when there is a specific dress code stated. Smart casual is one of the most common yet confusing dress codes. The simple nature makes it problematic when selecting an outfit.

Smart Casual is a polite way of saying, dressy attire but please don’t wear what you may do grocery shopping in, or watch football games on the weekends.

fashion, smart casual, style, fashion candy style

How should we interpret this?

Smart casual is a defined dress code that is generally a neat yet casual attire. Different venues, events, contexts can have varying interpretations of the dress code.

Smart casual is what is sounds like, a style that’s somewhere between formal and casual. It is what you wear.

Whilst many of us know better than to wear a pair of jogging pants and t-shirts, it still doesn’t make it easier to figure out how to pull this type of look together.

A stylish, casual look can be tricky for work and for weekends because, to give a casual outfit a little extra polish, it does require some styling, particularly through accessories.

When it come to fashion, the term “smart” refers to a look and style that is neat, polished, classy and put-together.

To find the best smart casual outfit for you, use every item creatively. Think about what you would normally wear casually, and then add or change one or two pieces of clothing to make your outfit smarter.

The foundation of a smart look is clothing that fits well and is tailored to the wearer’s shape.

Smart Casual Thought Guidelines  

What is the occasion? 

What type of venue is it?

Work crowd or Social crowd?
Appropriate dress code

Weather outlook

Once you have defined these answers, this will make it so much easier to choose your attire for the occasion.

In a nutshell… it’s what your wear when you can’t wear jeans and a t-shirt, but you are not into suit territory either.

Smart Casual is what it sounds like: a style that’s somewhere between formal and casual.

From the office to a sporting event, or a dinner date, always start with the right foundation of tailored separates and work from there.

Outerwear and accessories bring balance & show personal style. 

The smart casual look allows flexibility for personal taste in fashion and includes jackets, outfit enhancing jewellery, dress shirts, tailored jumpers, vests, ties, matching accessories and pull on shoes and boots.


Most tops are versatile pieces, even if it’s a t-shirt, you can dress this up or down with accessories etc.

Skirts – most of us have these in our “capsule” wardrobe. You can easily pair them with short or long sleeved shirts, add a cardigan or blazer to dress up or down.

Jeans, trousers, pants have the ability to be dressed up or down with most staple items, for both work or play!

Plain tailored dresses can be worked with outerwear printed jackets and bold accessories.


A smart casual dress code is a step up from business casual, but not as dressy as formal work attire.

Men.... your ideal outfit is Chino’s/smart jeans a casual shirt, a textured blazer and brogues.

To suit all different occasions, add a jumper, leather shoes, printed colourful shirts to add a bit of punch to the outfit.

Enjoy the beauty for Smart Casual dressing and make the most out of your wardrobe whatever the occasion!