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What Smart Casual Dress Code Really Means and How to Wear It to Look Cool

What Smart Casual Dress Code Really Means and How to Wear It to Look Cool

Dress codes have their place, especially for business or special occasions. Smart and formal wear is pretty easy to make a decision on, and casual usually indicates jeans are acceptable and everything in between.

But what about smart casual? It can sometimes feel ambiguous and leave us wondering and questioning what exactly is appropriate.

The Smart Casual Dress Code Dilemma

Work is when we have most of these dilemmas. It’s more acceptable to risk getting it wrong at a social gathering, but work and business is where we want to make a good impression.

Suits, ties, smart dresses, and trousers are easy to pick out, but when you get the memo stating smart casual dress code you can start to worry whether you’re going to get it right. It can be hard to identify the subtle differences between smart causal, business casual, and just plain casual.

The Importance of Getting It Right

In work and business, dress code can mean so much more – which is why it’s more important to get it right. Many people dress inappropriately purely because they’ve misunderstood the smart casual concept. While smart may drum up a blazer and casual makes you think of your favorite well-worn jeans, the two together do not make a smart casual outfit. Making a good impression and fitting in with a company’s dress code is paramount, and will save embarrassment on a first day in the office.

What Exactly Is Smart Casual?

While some companies have different variations or leniency on a smart casual dress code, the majority of companies will stick to a certain look that smart casual brings.

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So what exactly is smart casual to most people? And what do we need to know in order to make the most of our wardrobe? What you ultimately want to aim for is a good balance of comfort and effort.

To eliminate any confusion, and not to be left to our own interpretation only to turn up and realize we made a huge judgement error, here is a guide to what smart casual really means.

Smart Casual Dress Code For Men

Shirt

    A good fitted shirt can bring both a smart and casual element to your outfit, depending on what you prefer. A single-colored shirt is obviously the safe option, but it’s okay to pick something more unique and patterned to bring some personality to your look.

    Blazer

      A blazer is a great alternative to a suit jacket because it shouts sophistication as well as casual. Dark colors or light single colors can be versatile and be used in many different combinations of outfits. If you’re bold enough, a patterned or brighter colored blazer or jacket can be the centerpiece and still be acceptable.

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      T-Shirt

        T-shirts can be hard to decipher in terms of whether it’s deemed too casual. However, it’s perfectly acceptable as long as you stick to plain colors; teamed with a good fitting blazer and slacks, it can be both comfortable and professional.

        Ties

          Ties don’t have to be overly formal and a bow tie can add a bit of personality into the mix.

          Trousers

            Jeans can be perfectly acceptable in a smart casual setting, but make sure they’re well fitted or dark in color – no holes or rips. Chinos are a good option, as they’re comfortable and always manage to look pretty smart, especially when teamed with a good blazer and shirt.

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            Shoes

              You can pretty much get away with wearing anything on your feet as long as they’re not trainers. Slip-ons are a good option, or some smart boots are a good way to compliment an outfit.

              Smart Casual Dress Code For Women

              Tops

                Women probably have a better array of options when it comes to different tops. The key is to keep your top-half on the smart side, and you can pretty much get away with what you choose for the bottom. Keep it conservative with floral or an elegant plain blouse, shirt, sleeveless, or flowy option.

                Blazer or Jacket

                  Of course, a light fitted blazer or jacket can instantly make an outfit look a bit more smart, and any color goes.

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                  Skirts and Dresses

                    Again, skirts or dresses are a great option for a smart casual dress code, as you can’t really go too wrong. Make sure the skirt is not too high above the knee and is teamed with a smart top. As for dresses, summer or floral is a good choice, but make sure it’s not too strappy or flimsy like you’re ready for the beach.

                    Trousers

                      Tailored trousers or chinos are acceptable as smart casual wear. A nice pair of fitted jeans with no rips or holes can be a staple part of your wardrobe because once teamed with a blazer or pair of heels it can instantly become chic.

                      Shoes

                        Most shoes are good to go as long as they’re not dirty or tatty. Sports trainers are considered a bit of a no-no unless they’re plain and fashioned, but pumps, slip-ons, and heels can all make an outfit fit the brief.

                        If you’re ever in doubt of what smart casual entails, always lean on the side of smart when picking your outfit to be on the safe side. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed when work and business are concerned. But teaming up a good balance of comfort with that professional vibe will more than likely be a winner.

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                        Jenny Marchal

                        Freelance Writer

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                        Last Updated on December 7, 2018

                        10 Steps For Success: Applying The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

                        10 Steps For Success: Applying The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

                        How big is the gap between you and your success?

                        What is the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people?

                        It is as simple as this: successful people think and talk about what they are creating, and unsuccessful people focus on and talk about what they’re lacking.

                        So how do you bridge that gap between wanting success and having your success? Let’s make an important distinction. You see, there is a big difference between “Wanting” and “Having” something.

                        Wanting: means lacking or absent. Deficient in some part, thing or aspect.

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                        Having: means to possess, to hold, to get, to receive, to experience.

                        You can have one OR the other, but not both at the same time with any particular object of your desire. You either have it or you don’t.

                        When it comes to your subconscious, if you’re focusing on the “wanting”, i.e. the not having, guess what, you will build stronger neural networks in your brain around the “wanting.” However, through the power of your subconscious mind, you can focus on the “having” as if it has already happened. Research has shown that your brain doesn’t know the difference between what you’re visualizing inside your mind versus what is happening out there in your reality.

                        This is a regular practice of elite athletes. They spend as much timing creating the internal mental imagery of their success playing out as they do actually physically practicing. This helps create both the neural pathways in their brain and the muscle memory to consistently deliver on that success.

                        Here are 10 “brain hack” steps for success that you can take to create your version of a happy life. Make these steps a regular habit, and you will be astonished at the results.

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                        Step 1: Decide exactly what you want to create and have

                        This is usually the biggest problem that people have. They don’t know what they want and then they’re surprised when they don’t get it.

                        Step 2: Write down your goal clearly in every technicolor detail

                        A goal that is not written down is merely a wish. When you write it down in full detail, you signal to your subconscious mind that you really want to accomplish this particular goal.

                        Step 3: Write your goal in simple, present tense words

                        …that a three year old can understand on a three-by-five index card and carry it with you. Read it each morning after you awake and just before you go to sleep.

                        Step 4: Backwards planning

                        See your goal achieved and identify all the steps required that it took to bring it to life. Making a list of all these steps intensifies your desire and deepens your belief that the attainment of the goal is already happening.

                        Step 5: Resolve to take at least one step every day from one of the items on your list

                        Do something every day, even if it is just one baby step, that moves you toward your goal so you can maintain your momentum.

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                        Step 6: Visualize your goal repeatedly

                        See it in your mind’s eye as though it were already a reality. The more clear and vivid your mental picture of your goal, the faster it will come into your life.

                        Step 7: Feel the feeling of success as if your goal were realized at this very moment

                        Feel the emotion of happiness, satisfaction, and pleasure that you would have once you have achieved your goal. Visualize and feel this success for at least 20 seconds at a time.

                        Step 8: “Fake it till you make it!”

                        Confidently behave as if your subconscious mind was already bringing your goal into reality. Accept that you are moving toward your goal and it is moving toward you.

                        Step 9: Relax your mind

                        Take time to breathe, pray or mediate each day. Disengage the stress response and engage the relaxation response. A quiet state of mind allows your brain to access newly formed neural pathways.

                        Step 10: Release your goal to your subconscious mind

                        When you turn your goal over to the power of the universe and just get out of the way, you will always know the right actions to take at the right time.

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                        Starting today, try tapping into the incredible power of your subconscious mind.Start with just one goal or idea, and practice it continually until you succeed in achieving that goal. Make it a game and have fun with it! The more lightly you hold it, the easier it will be to achieve. By doing so, you will move from the “positive thinking” of the hopeful person to the “positive knowing” of the totally successful person.

                        Hit reply and let me know what you’re creating!

                        To your success!

                        Featured photo credit: use-your-brain-markgraf via mrg.bz

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