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Dress Code: Smart Casual

Smart Casual dress code is one of the most confusing, mainly because of the word “casual” which people usually interpret as just another way of saying that you can wear whatever you like. This is a big misconception, as smart casual dress code has certain rules and you need to take them into consideration when choosing what to wear for an event. Keep in mind that if the host host bothered to think about the dress code and specified it on the invitation, it means you should think over your outfit choices carefully.

Just follow the basic rules for smart casual dress code listed below and you will always look appropriate and smart.

 

Smart Casual Do’s For Men:

- jacket or blazer
- cardigan or jumper
- dark trousers
- long sleeved shirt
- tie is optional
- closed shoes
- dark socks

Smart Casual Do Not’s For Men:

- jeans
- denim jacket
- shorts
- flip flops or sandals
- trainers
- t-shirts
- caps
- sports wear
- logos and slogans on the top

Dress similar to the given example, and you will always be right:
smart casual dress code men

 

Smart Casual Do’s For Women:

 

- mid-length dress
- trousers
- skirt
- jewelry
- accessories
- blazer or cardigan
- shawl
- clutch bag
- shoes
- ballerina flats

 

 

Smart Casual Do Not’s For Women:

- flip flops
- t-shirt
- slogans or logos on the top
- large tote bag
- evening gown
- sportswear

Dress similar to the given example, and you will always look fabulous:

smart casual dress code women

The main thing to remember when dressing up for a smart casual event – try to look smart but not overly formal, and make sure that your clothes are neat and clean; shoes are freshly polished.

When you are in doubt what exactly is expected from you to wear to a certain event, it is always better to ask the host. This way you will be on the safe side. As long as you follow the basic rules and don’t out-dress the host of the event there should not be any problem.

March 7, 2012 update:

Great News: We just published a new article – Smart Casual Dress Code for Women. Take a look!

October 28, 2012 update:

If you are a guy you might want to read Smart Casual Dress Code for Men

Julia is the co-founder of Etiquette Tips - an online magazine that features articles on business etiquette,  communication, dress code, table manners, international code of behaviour, gift giving, events & celebrations and more.
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