Have you ever been invited to a party, gotten all excited, only to be told that the dress code is “smart casual”? We get it. What even is smart casual? Is it jeans or is it a skirt? Is it heels or flats? And somebody please tell me whether or not I need fake lashes because I need to emotionally prepare myself for that.
Here’s what the heck we’re talking about when we say “smart casual”:
At this stage, it’s a few hours before the event is going to start. We know you’ve already spent your entire paycheck on several different outfit options, and you’ve hit the “THAT’S IT, I’M NOT GOING” stage six times already. It’s okay, we get it.
Don’t hate us, but jeans may be a no-go, depending on where you’re going and what you’re doing. If you’re going to wear jeans, dress them up a little bit with some fun accessories, and pair them with boots or some other cute shoes.
A pair of culottes are always a good idea. They have stretchy waistbands, they come in funky patterns, and you can dress them up and down! They’re good for all seasons, and any store that knows what they’re doing has a good pair of culottes with them. Have I convinced you that culottes are great? Because they are. Really great.
Dresses are also super easy to style, and fit in well within the guidelines of a smart casual dress code. You can dress them up with some boots, or dress them down a little (without going too casual) by pairing them with some little white sneakers or tan brogues.
A good rule to follow is a ‘dress up, dress down’ rule. If you’re wearing something casual like jeans or stylish sneakers, dress them up with some accessories, a dress, or a nice top. If you’re wearing something smart, like a dress or skirt, dial it down a little bit by wearing flat shoes and simple accessories.
Look up the location of the event or party you’re going to. You’ll be able to get a gauge of the type of clothes you should wear based on the type of place you’re going. If it’s at a regular restaurant, you can probably get away with something a little more relaxed like some mom jeans, boots and a cute top.
If you’re really not sure, there’s nothing wrong with hitting up a group chat and seeing what all your friends are wearing. Just remember, the best thing you can wear is your own confidence. So long as you’re feeling good, and you’re comfy, that’s the only thing that matters!