Smart Casual for Women - Work Clothes, Outfits, Dress & Shoes (2024)

DO stick to the sort of pieces you usually feel good in. Start by picking one item you love – maybe it’s a pair of black skinny jeans or a printed blouse or a floral midi dress that makes you feel amazing – and then work around it.

DO look for fresh ways to wear items. For example, you might automatically assume that tracksuit bottoms are off the table, but these days there’s great jogger shaped trousers which are made from smarter materials. Team these with a striped top, black blazer and pointed flats and you’ve nailed your smart casual outfit combo.

DO think about accessories. They have the power to absolutely pull an outfit together, so think about what bag, shoes or jewellery might work. There’s no hard and fast rules on which accessories count as smart casual, so again, think about what’s practical, what’s comfortable and what goes with your outfit. It could be a simple black tote bag or a colour pop cross body bag, or you might want to add some wow factor to a white sleeveless top with a statement necklace or keep things classic with sentimental metal jewellery.

DO consider the weather and the temperate when working with a smart casual dress code. You might need a light jacket – a blazer or biker jacket, or even a trench coat would be perfect for this – or you might need something heavier. A wool winter coat would look great over any smart casual outfit, whilst something like a puffer jacket would be great if the rest of the outfit is smart.

DO take into consideration workplace rules if you’re choosing a smart casual outfit as part of a workwear or office look. Some places won’t allow jeans or trainers, whereas others will.

DO look to some of your favourite celebrities and influencers for inspiration. There’s of course people like Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle who always tip onto the smarter side, but fashionistas like Olivia Palermo, Alexa Chung and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley are renowned for their smart casual wardrobes. Take a look at their Instagram pages for more ideas.

DO think about the type of event you’re going to with the ‘smart casual’ dress code. Jeans are usually fine, but probably wouldn’t be right for a wedding. Whilst figure-hugging dresses would work well for an evening event but might not be as ideal as work clothes.

DO wear colour. Gone are the days when smart casual had to just mean sticking to beige, navy and black. The modern take on the style means you can venture into gorgeous pastel shades or even add a pop of something brighter if the rest of your outfit is relatively simple. For example a jewel-coloured jumper might look amazing teamed with black trousers and brogues in the cooler months. Whilst a sunshine-bright bag might finish off a smart printed dress and block heels in the summer.

Smart Casual for Women - Work Clothes, Outfits, Dress & Shoes (2024)

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