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Style guide cheat sheet: How to dress smart casual

Bobby Schuessler is a beauty writer for SheKnows and is one of the resident experts on hair care and celebrity hairstyles. Bobby is currently a New York City style editor and writer. For inside fashion and beauty trends, follow him on Tw...

Smart and sophisticated

Headed to after-hours drinks or a not-too-fancy date night? Ensure you have smart casual dressing down to a science. And, guess what? Our style guide below makes mastering the dress code as easy as one, two, three.

Whether you're headed to happy hour with your colleagues, getting ready to enjoy a night out with your husband or on your way to a holiday party, you want to make sure your ensemble is smart and sophisticated, but still casual at the same time. Not sure if you can ace that look? Don't worry — it's simple! As long as you use our dos and don'ts checklist below.

1

Do wear your LBD

An LBD is the easiest item to make any look either appear really dressy or more casual. If your event isn't too formal, pair your LBD with sensible shoes (like a kitten heel) and simple, non-glitzy jewelry.

Do wear your LBD
Do

Photo credit: Daniel Deme/WENN.com

Do wear your LBD
Don't

Photo credit: WENN.com

2

Do wear a blazer

If you want to appear instantly smart, always go for a blazer. And if you're simply going out on the weekend (no work or business meeting), a fitted, embellished jacket works just as well.

Do wear a blazer
Do

Photo credit: Lia Toby/WENN.com

Do wear a blazer
Don't

Photo credit: revolutionpix/WENN.com

Marl Blazer (Zara, $90) 
Buy

Marl Blazer (Zara, $90) 

3

Don't go for basic

If you want to appear smart, yet still stand out, don't wear your most basic duds. Instead of that go-to plain gray or blue sweater or tee, go for a stunner that has fun detailing like stripes or a vibrant pattern.

Don't go for basic
Don't

Photo credit: WENN.com

Don't go for basic
Do

Photo credit: Michael Wright/WENN.com

MSGM Long Sleeve Shirt (The Corner, $295)
Buy

MSGM Long Sleeve Shirt (The Corner, $295)

4

Don't forget your satchel

A clutch may seem too formal and a cross-body bag too laid back, so when you're going for the smart casual look, test out a structured top-handle bag instead. So ladylike!

Don't forget your satchel
Don't

Photo credit: Alberto Reyes/WENN.com

Don't forget your satchel
Do

Photo credit: WENN.com

Carlita Mini Satchel (SoleSociety, $40)
Buy

Carlita Mini Satchel (SoleSociety, $40)

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