What to Wear When Your Workplace’s Dress Code is Smart-Casual

Whether you are starting a new job or simply shopping for a fresh work wardrobe, finding apparel that satisfies your employer’s dress code can be difficult. These days, more and more businesses are moving towards smart-casual policies – a type of clothing that is cause for confusion for many people. It can be tough to know whether the piece you like is work-appropriate or whether it may be too casual or too formal. Hitting the nail on the head with a smart-casual dress code requires walking a fine line, or you may end up risking an awkward day at the office THML.

What is Smart-Casual?

Just what exactly does this phrase mean? Smart-casual can mean different things for different people. For some, a nice pair of jeans might do the trick for a client-facing meeting, while for others, that would be entirely unacceptable. Trying to navigate this space can be immensely anxiety-inducing if you are not yet comfortable at a company and cause many mornings spent changing in and out of outfits.

Luckily, the rise in workplaces moving towards smart-casual dress codes means that more stylish people than ever are talking about this trend. Offering advice to the masses, a number of experts have given their input into what people should be donning when their employers are calling for this type of wear.

Smart-casual is a dress code that requires individuals to think carefully about every piece in an outfit. While it implies flexibility with the rigidness that sometimes comes from business attire, smart-casual clothing still calls for a professional presentation. For some, this means dressing-up of basic wear; a higher-quality shirt, accessories added to an otherwise plain-coloured look. Smart-casual is primarily about dressing for your role, of presenting professionalism while looking approachable and friendly.

Smart-Casual Clothing Items for Women

  • Tailored dresses
  • Blazers
  • Form-fitting pants
  • Cardigans
  • Khakis
  • Boots
  • Heels
  • Jackets
  • Smart-Casual Clothing Items for Men
  • Tailored pants, shirts, cardigans and blazers
  • Some sneakers
  • Jackets
  • Button-downs
  • Chinos

If you are somebody that prefers a workwear uniform over having to dress yourself every day then the idea of a smart-casual dress code may be extremely unappealing. However, with a little pre-thought and additional planning, being able to choose what you wear each day can be fun and give you the opportunity to express your personality – while continuing to uphold professional values. Take the time to research outfits and don’t be afraid to ask your workplace what’s expected from your clothing, you will get the hang of this style in no-time.

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