It can be a tricky one…you receive an invitation to an evening event – it might be early evening, straight after work, so it’s not quite night time but the evening is well and truly over. Or it could be a day time event at a really nice venue. The invite says smart casual but how can you wear smart casual without looking very underdone or worse, like you haven’t made an effort at all.
Trust me, there is nothing worse than showing up at an event and not dressing for the occasion, especially with everyone taking happy-snaps on their smart phones!
Following on from last week’s blog post on how to style a smart casual look for day to day, this week’s post is about sharing with you my top three tips on how to dress smart casual for an informal event.
Whether you’re a girl or a guy, a blazer is a must-have in your wardrobe. Classic in style, a simple fitted blazer will work in any smart casual, informal occasion. This season, both structured and soft tailoring overcoats are everywhere, there was a mix-up of styles from one-button finishes to double buttoning, echoing the military trend. Worn over fitted cigarette-style trousers or jeans, and teamed with heels or classic brogues, this look will stand the test of time.
This season, both fashion designers and high street stores have embraced leather. The key to not looking like an aging rocker or bikie, is to choose softly structured styles. Think simple A-line skirts in both short and longer lengths and team it with a simple t-shirt style top and statement necklace or fitted sweater with boots. And don’t just stick to classic black! Camel and tan tones work beautifully when teamed with a feminine floral shirt or Seventies-inspired bow tie shirt.
While the nautical look tends to pop its head up year after year with many of our designers and high street stores, this season was about turning stripes on their head and wearing them vertical. Unlike pinstripe, this season is about bolder stripes or even diagonal patterned fabrics to take this look right up to now. Why not choose a shirt-style dress with this pattern?
Beautiful long sleeved fitted tops with accents of lace are in abundance. The key to wearing lace is in choosing the right colour (think classic black, navy or chocolate browns) to carry this look off in an informal way. Wearing it with wide legged trousers works really well with heels and a simple upstyle and natural makeup. If you do choose to wear a lace dress, keep your colours at the softer end of the palette (powder blues, soft grey or blush red) and choose short capped sleeves to avoid it looking like you’re out for a night on the tiles.
Off The Shoulder
I just love this look and it works well on most of us. Choosing an off the shoulder top or dress with sleeves can disguise a multitude of sins while drawing attention to a beautiful statement necklace or favourite jewellery neckpiece. Showing a little shoulder and skin takes it from a casual look into a more informal, dressier look.
What is your go to smart casual out fit? Let me know in the comments below