FASH­ION.

STUMPED BY SMART CA­SUAL? DI­RECT THE DRESS CODE WITH BUSI­NESS AT THE BOT­TOM, PARTY AT THE TOP

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - CONTENTS - WORDS: AM­BER MACPHER­SON

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

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