Style guide cheat sheet: How to dress smart casual

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) 

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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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