Smart Casual Attire Guide for Women – 32 Outfits for 2023

Summer is easiest for smart casual, as a polished dress can often suffice. For something different, go for a collared shirt paired with a sleek slip skirt and a pair of chic sandals.

What To Wear When The Dress Code Says Smart Casual

Smart casual is one of the hardest dress codes for women. Not quite cocktail and not exactly casual, a smart casual dress code can require a little thought. Picking out the perfect outfit won’t be hard — you likely already own all the elements required — but it can be daunting.

The first thing to consider with a smart casual dress code is the type of event. Is it during the day? Is it for work? Once you’ve sorted out the feel of the event then you can decide what sort of clothes best work. For something outside of work, a more casual dress will work, whereas a professional event is probably best supplemented with a blazer.

We’ve rounded up the do’s and don’ts of choosing the perfect smart casual dress code outfit below — because getting dressed shouldn’t have to be painful!

The do’s

Smart casual outfits are all about finding the perfect balance between relaxed and still professional. Opt for smooth materials like silk and viscose and steer clear of off-duty or too-casual types of cotton or denim.

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Add in a blazer. When in doubt, just add a smart blazer to dress up the outfit. I’ll usually do the trick!

Shoes don’t have to be heels, but steer clear of sneakers or anything dirty. The aim is to look professional without being too overdressed.

Olsen-Twins

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen

The don’ts

Don’t wear too many prints. Unless you’re going to a creative event, a smart casual dress code usually means muted neutrals. Blacks, whites, creams and beiges are always a safe bet.

Don’t just wear business clothes. Smart casual doesn’t always mean a pencil skirt and white shirt. If attending a wedding or other non-work event, opt for a polished knee-length dress or chic pair of trousers — both of which can be just as dressed up as a blazer in the right context.

What do I wear to a smart casual wedding?

Smart casual at weddings is one of the most popular dress codes. Although it offers a fair amount of freedom, be sure not to get too dressed up — it’s not quite cocktail. But also don’t go too casual. Depending on the time of day, a failsafe outfit is a knee length to midi cut dress, paired with a favourite pair of shoes and a dressy bag.

Paloma-Elesser

What do I wear for a smart casual dress code in summer?

Summer is easiest for smart casual, as a polished dress can often suffice. For something different, go for a collared shirt paired with a sleek slip skirt and a pair of chic sandals.

What do I wear for a smart casual dress code in winter?

In winter, smart casual can mean anything from a warm dress with coat to a pair of trousers and a shirt. Take cues from the invite and go with your gut. If you want to wear jeans, make sure they are black and not ripped — this will cheapen the look. Plus, a classic blazer or coat will instantly dress up a more casual outfit.

I still need more inspiration!

We’ve rounded up some of our favourite celebrities wearing various forms of the smart casual dress code below.

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Smart Casual Attire Guide for Women – 32 Outfits for 2023

Smart casual attire can always be a little tricky and confusing because it combines two elements that are quite the opposite of each other. It has elements from both the parallels and is usually an upgrade of your casual outfit.

It is not as proper as the business formal style of clothing, nor is it as casual as street style is. Being so neat and put together, these outfits are perfect and versatile for any event or a day or night look.

You can always experiment with your ensemble to make them more fashion-forward than your formal business looks.

Today we guide you through smart-casual outfits you can wear and get inspiration from.

Smart Casual Attire Guide for Women - 32 Outfits for 2023

How to Wear Smart Casual Outfits?

This clothing style is not as restricted, giving you room to experiment more. Picking items from the smart and casual side and putting an outfit together is the best way to achieve the perfect look. Try wearing neutral shades, ranging from creams, beige, and browns to black, white, and navy.

You can even wear color, but it depends on the event you are going to, and if done right looks great. Wearing blazers and button-ups with straight jeans or a flirty top with a blazer is a great idea. Replace the heels with pumps and flats, sneakers, or block heels, as it tones down the dressiness of the outfit.

Wear a cute, vibrant top or a printed t-shirt with black bottoms. Replace the suit pants with baggy jeans or trousers, leather pants, and palazzos! The options are endless, and we will guide you through all the ones you can explore!

Styling Tips

  • Incorporate at least one element that belongs to the smart, or casual category.
  • Opt for collared shirts, button-ups, and blazers.

Smart Casual Attire Guide for Women - 32 Outfits for 2023

  • Bright colors are acceptable but opt for more neutral shades. You can wear them depending on the event and if it is done right.
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Smart Casual Attire Guide for Women - 32 Outfits for 2023

  • Wearing sweatpants for the casual element is not appropriate because the outfit still needs to be semi-formal.
  • Simplify the accessories: wearing chunky jewelry and big statement earrings is not recommended so try these Trendy Office Jewelry Ideas.

Smart Casual Attire Guide for Women - 32 Outfits for 2023

Keep scrolling to find all the phenomenal ways you can pull off your outfit!

Celebrity Edit

↓ 32 – Emily Ratajkowski Giving Preppy Meets Athleisure

If you are bold enough to pair navy blue with a hint of hot pink, like Emily, this is the way to do it!

↓ 31 – Solid Serves by Selena Gomez

You can never go wrong with black, regardless of the occasion, and Selena Gomez in this outfit proves just that! The tiny contrast of gold accessories with the black compliments and elevates this fit to make it more dramatic.

Smart Casual Attire Guide for Women - 32 Outfits for 2023

↓ 30 – Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Stuns in Creamy Tones

This creamy-beige jacket and trouser set is the perfect addition to a staple wardrobe because the ways to style this set are endless. Rosie showed us an excellent way to pair white and black with it while serving a major look.

↓ 29 – Step Out in Style With Millie Bobby Brown

The peeking collar adds the loveliest touch to the overall look. The pattern on the dress brings an easy-going vibe to the fit and is paired with white block heels. The color palette is stunning!

Smart Casual Attire Guide for Women - 32 Outfits for 2023

Spring and Summer Fits

↓ 28 – Button-Up for the Meeting

Going for a smarter look? This look is perfect for all your corporate meetings and presentations. The black and white combo always looks great to pull off that smart look.

The rounded collar instead of the usual collar and the frayed jeans add the most subtle touches of casual to your outfit, without going too over the top. Pair this look up with black pumps and you are good to go.