STUMPED BY SMART CASUAL? DIRECT THE DRESS CODE WITH BUSINESS AT THE BOTTOM, PARTY AT THE TOP
Christmas parties, New Year’s and weekends away — our social calendars are overflowing with summer celebrations. Along with festive functions comes the ambiguous “smart casual” dress code, a term that can be perplexing for women and often even more bewildering for men.
Tarocash head of product Victoria Chumbley-Weiss agrees the attire standard can be confusing, but that’s no reason to rethink your RSVP.
“Smart casual is tricky to define and it requires thought to co-ordinate,” Victoria says. “It’s mixing tailored and relaxed pieces in a way that still looks smart but not stuffy or formal.”
Victoria says to start by considering the venue and checking out what’s on trend. This season’s style is all about prints and florals, so fit the bill by teaming staple pants with a fun shirt.
“The location can help to decide the dress code,” Victoria says. “I would suggest always to aim for the smarter side, opting for a well-ironed collared shirt rather than a tee, a pair of lace up shoes instead of trainers and a tailored chino instead of jeans.
“Floral shirts are one of the biggest trends for summer. If you want to do a pop of colour or pattern, choose one piece, not both, otherwise there could be a risk of looking garish.
“Starting with a neutral base and adding in extra details can help you construct an outfit that’s both stylish and laidback.
“Neutrals are always the safest option, such as sand, navy with tan or chocolate accessories, but the shirt can be the pop of excitement.”
If the temperature is expected to rise, Victoria recommends a breathable material on top and smart shorts below.
“Linen is a great cool fabric for summer and still looks dressy in a tailored piece,” she says.
“The chino short can also be a contender for a smart casual look, teamed with a crisp long sleeve shirt and relaxed rolled-up sleeve.”
For those attached to their tees and denim, this combination can make the smart casual mark if it’s dressed up.
“For something a little more informal the humble T-shirt can cut it but must be paired with a smart tailored blazer and neat chinos,” Victoria says.
“You could also get away with jeans, but they must be dark and clean.”
As for shoes, neutral loafers with a delicate lace-up detail always look the part. But it doesn’t have to be business all over — Victoria says rolling up trouser cuffs to reveal a pair of novelty socks is a cheeky way to add personality.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: 1 . TAROCASH PINK ELLIOTT LINEN BLEND SHIRT, $89.99, TAROCASH.COM.AU 2. SPORTSCRAFT SHORT SLEEVE REGULAR BRENCHLEY SHIRT, $99.99, AND HEWETT SHORT, $99.99, SPORTSCRAFT.COM.AU 3. TAROCASH NATURAL CASTRO LINEN BLEND BLAZER, $199.99, WHITE ANTONIO PAISLEY SHIRT, $89.99, AND SAND BENNY STRETCH CHINO, $99.99, TAROCASH.COM.AU 4. HUDSON PRINTED SHIRT, $129, AND BAXTER CHINO PANT, $149, SABA.COM.AU