41 Responses to “Dress Code: Smart Casual”

  1. Monster says:

    Thanks for the great tips!

  2. Marry Dosal says:

    Hey! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  3. WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..more wait ..

  4. admin says:

    Hello Sarina!

    Thank you for the question.

    Your look sounds great, but perhaps a little too much on the casual side.
    We would suggest to choose a cocktail dress instead or a classic sleeveless top with a cardigan or jacket and a knee length pencil skirt. If you prefer trousers we would advise to choose black or grey dress pants.

    Hopefully this helps! Have a great time at the event!


    we are invited for a 70th for wine & hors d’oeuvres at the home of friends. time 7pm
    could I wear grey leggings (with side zippers), with matching long top with some studs on the front (outfit is from Armani), with royal blue pumps (for colour) ?

  6. Jade says:

    Hi, I’ll be going for a concert-like event whose dress-code states that we have to dress in smart-casual and I’m a bit worried as I’m very much a casual (jeans + t-shirt) kind of person that can’t really throw things together to create a smart-casual look when it comes to it. I’m looking for something that people won’t comment as being overdressed (I’m 22) nor will make me feel warm as the event is going to be crowded and I’ll be moving about somewhat. Any advice is really appreciated. 🙂

  7. Alona says:

    Hello Jade,

    Thank you for your comment!
    In case of such an event we would suggest something a little more formal than jeans + t-shirt set. At the same time you should feel comfortable in your outfit. If dresses/skirts are out of the question, take a look at dress pants or dark ink (black, navy blue) bootcut jeans. For a top look for an elegant silk or satin blouse. Also you could wear a classic office shirt (both long or short sleeves are ok) and a nice jacket. In terms of shoes choose between mid to low heels or dressy flats.
    Also you might want to check some of the looks here Smart Casual Dress Code for Women
    We hope it helps!

  8. Jessica says:

    Where is the beautiful pink dress from?

  9. Hello, Jessica! Thank you for your comment. We found this dress at dorothyperkins.com, but it was one year ago, so most likely this dress is already sold out. Here is the similar dress that we could find for you: http://bit.ly/HwCnsQ What do you think?

  10. casie says:

    wondering where you get your ‘do not’ dress from, also the bag & heels.

  11. Julia says:

    Hi, Casie! Thank you for your comment. The dress you are talking about is not the “do not”, it is actually the best example of smart casual dress code 🙂 I found it on dorothyperkins.com last year, now it is most likely sold out, but maybe you will be lucky to find something similar. The bag is by Valentino and the shoes are by Christian Louboutin and I found them on net-a-porter.com also a year ago. I hope this helps. Do not hesitate to let me know if you have any further questions.

  12. Tigger74 says:

    Help!!! Im off to Henley Regatta next week (not in the enclosures) but on a private boat trip and the dress code is “Smart Casual”. I do have a Coast Jacosta Shift type Dress in bright blue that I wore for a wedding and a black belero, but they are both in a satin type material. Do you think that this will be to formal?

  13. Alona says:


    Thank you for your question. Henley Regatta is a great event; we hope you are going to have a wonderful time!

    The set you mention (Jocasta dress + bolero) is a great choice. We would suggest checking the weather though; it might be a little chilly for bolero, especially on the boat.

    An alternative solution would your dress with something more substantial on top. You might want to look for a black blazer with satin collar.

    Here, couple examples:

    Stretch Satin Jacket by Esprit http://etiquette-tips.com/?attachment_id=787

    Satin Peaked Laper Jacket by Balmain http://etiquette-tips.com/?attachment_id=788

    Hopefully this helps! Let us know if you have any additional questions!

  14. Tigger74 says:

    Thank you very much for your help. Always best to ask an expert – as I thought it may be a little too dressy!!! I do have another little black jacket that I could wear with it! Another question do you think high black patent heels ok. Also jewellry – would you go for crystal type (small flowers) or plain black statement necklace etc. Fingers crossed for some lovely British sunshine. Your help is very much appreciated.

  15. Shanade says:

    that coral dress where is it from???

  16. Alona says:

    Hello Shanade,

    Julia found it on dorothyperkins.com last year, it is probably sold out by now, but maybe you will be lucky to find something similar.

  17. Cara says:

    I really appreciated the advice on this subject! I also love the pink dress you show at the end- where is that from? I would love to buy it for the event I am attending.

  18. Alona says:

    Hello Cara! Thank you for your kind words, we appreciate it a lot!
    Last year Julia found the dress on dorothyperkins.com, but it is probably sold out by now.. You might want to try finding something similar on their website.

  19. Alona says:

    “Another question do you think high black patent heels ok. Also jewellry – would you go for crystal type (small flowers) or plain black statement necklace etc. Fingers crossed for some lovely British sunshine. Your help is very much appreciated.”

    Please accept my apologies for the delayed answer, I only noticed your comment now, hopefully it is not too late.
    I believe high black patent heels will be the perfect addition to your look. In terms of jewelry, it does depend on whether the crystal type accessories are sparkly or not. If they are too shiny, I would rather go with the black statement necklace.

    Have a wonderful time at Henley Regatta!

  20. Maria says:

    I’m invited to a boat party and the dress code is smart casual. I’m 17, female. I want to wear a dress but I do not know how it should look like. Covering the shoulders, how short can it be? , would it or could it not should my back? I don’t usually go for dresses so I don’t have much of an idea..in general. Help please? It would be much appreciated.Tthank you for your time

  21. Julia says:

    Hello Maria! Thank you for your comment. To wear an elegant dress to a boat party is a great idea! The best choice would be a dress with a length till your knees or even a little bit higher, but make sure it is not a mini. You can also wear a sleeveless dress with a bright print. Pretty much any dress would work, as long as it is not too casual or too dressy. If you want me to find some real examples of perfect dresses, please let me know.

  22. Sue says:

    Hi, we are going to a garden wedding and the invitation says the dress code is Smart/Formal. Would a cocktail dress be okay?

  23. Alona says:

    Hello Sue,
    Absolutely, a nice cocktail dress is exactly what you need! You might also want to check our article on cocktail attire😉 Have a great time at the wedding!

  24. Michelle says:

    Invited to wedding in November(Kroonstad)Free State, On Game Reserve small Chapel, I am 42, and size up(28)Donna Claire, what can I wear to look femine and smart?Was thinking of long pants with short sleeve Long Jacket, not to sure what type of style?Colour ?

  25. Alice Phua says:

    I notice that one of your example given for ladies’ smart casual attire is a ladies dark blazer/jacket with dark knee-length tight skirt. To me, dark jacket with dark knee-lenth skirt is like formal business/working attire already. Then in that case, how is smart casual different from formal business/working attire? Where to draw the line for these two types of dress codes?

  26. Julia says:

    Alice, thank you for your question. I would say that business attire is more polished and professional-looking than smart casual. But it always depends on a specific situation, of course.

  27. Christinenyirongo says:

    Can a white shirt with jeans be ideal for a cocktail party?

  28. Alona says:


    Thank you for your question. It sounds as a decent choice, we would suggest dark colour jeans though.

  29. Pablo says:

    Would it be okay to wear a stiped dress shirt with white and berry( thats the color it says on the tag, its a purple color)-no tie with a dark brown pants. and for shoes, sperry style shoes-light brown

  30. Allison says:

    Going to lunch on a Monday at the Four Seasons in New York. Can I wear Jeans and a blazer

  31. Etiquette Tips says:

    Hi Allison,

    If you are wearing jeans we would suggest dark blue ones. Although trousers or a skirt would probably be a better choice.

  32. Valerie says:

    Christmas Wedding on a Boat in a posh Marina? Help! Stilettos are out.

  33. sindiswa miya says:

    Thnx 4 de great tips loving de clothes n accerories

  34. monica says:

    is smart casual attire the same as business casual? I was also wondering if it was acceptable to wear button up shirts with the sleeves rolled up for both men and women (at an office with a smart casual dress code)?

  35. Etiquette Tips says:

    Hi Monica! Thank you for your questions:)

    Smart casual and business casual differ; you can take a look at the business casual essentials here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_casual
    As to button up shirts with rolled up sleeves – it does sound a little more casual than smart, but really depends on the rest of your look. For example, if worn with light blue jeans – that’s a casual outfit, but if mixed with dark formal trousers – could be a good solution for smart casual dress code.

  36. shindy says:

    Smart dress code

  37. Shereen Lemon says:

    What should i wear for a baby welcome.dress code smart casual

  38. Sue says:

    this is tricky I am going to an evening football match, then dinner afterwards in the club house . I dont want to look ridiculous at the ground in high heels but, dont want to look to casual for the dinner

  39. Shilpa Gupta says:

    Hi…..can u pls help me? I m lill confused about the dress to wear on my nephews bday party……as I want something in Indian dress style and m lill fat n short in height.

  40. Mary says:

    We are invited to a wedding in Delhi, India. Our host mentions that we are to dress formal for one event. Smart casual for the next and suit formal for another.
    My husband and I are from the USA. Any suggestions? Thank you!

  41. jack says:

    Its funny how things are different from countries to the others in my country all of the style u have listed are for people who are going to give presentation, or interview or married people in that case i wont be stylish koz jeans are my favourite