How Women Can Master the Smart Casual Dress Code?

women smart casual dress code

Deciding what to wear is always a task when you are presented with a wardrobe full of clothes, meaning sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start.

The smart-casual style is even harder to define and can differ depending on the person. Here we will discuss some of our favourite staple smart-casual items that will help you dress the part in no time.

What is a smart casual dress code?

There are so many questions on what is classed as smart casual; many would agree that it encompasses comfort, integrated with smart wear to create a polished appearance.

One way to look at this is if you are wearing a white t-shirt that is paired with a pair of trousers, rather than jeans. If your top is casual, make your bottom half-smart, and vice versa.

If you are planning on dressing smart-casual for work, always make sure to check with your employers for any specific guidelines or requirements – turning up to meetings with clients in a t-shirt may not be the greatest first impression you can leave them with.

What simple items can help build my smart casual wardrobe?

Choose your base colour

Black and Navy are always safe base colours, with camel, white, brown, and grey becoming popular trends around the globe.

Basic tops, blouses, and shirts

There are countless items of clothing usually found in our wardrobe that can create a smart causal look but the best place to start would be to find yourself some suitable tops and blouses. Starting with a top of your choice will make it easier to then pair with trousers or another form of legwear.

When choosing these pieces, it is important to think about quality, as cheaper shirts and blouses can start to look tired after several washes, especially if you are wearing the same items most days of the week.

Trousers and bottoms

When it comes to the bottom half of your outfit, silky trousers and chinos are always safe options. Even a trouser set with a matching top can be an effortless way of building a smart casual look, so consider looking at Co-Ord options.

You can style Co-Ords simply with a base layer underneath in a variety of colours like white, black, or navy – don’t forget to pair this with a simple pair of shoes.

Can we get away with wearing jeans?

That is the question many ask but yes would be the short answer, so long as you choose the right pair. Jeans can work well under certain circumstances, like ones that are darker in colour, as these are considered smart. Some jeans come with rips and bleach marks, which are a definite no for the workplace.

A lot of women stray away from buying jeans, with a recent survey finding that 46% of women said that denim is the most difficult item to buy. There’s no harm trying a few pairs on and seeing whether they work for you, why not give it a chance?


Dresses are one of the easiest ways to build your smart-casual wardrobe – you can buy a long-style dress and pair this with either smart trainers or boots, particularly in the colder months. Make sure to stay away from anything too short, longer dresses always look smarter and can be more appropriate for the workplace.

Footwear and shoes

Loafers, pumps, smart boots, smart trainers and even heeled mules are your go-to’s. Depending on what you are wearing, you may want to pair your black jeans with a pair of heeled mules or boots. In the summer months, you could go for some slingback flats, which are both comfortable and stylish.

Gretchen Walker
Gretchen is a homemaker by day and writer by night. She takes a keen interest in life as it unfolds around her and spends her free time observing people go about their everyday affairs.