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5 Smart Casual Outfit Ideas

03 Apr 2024 |

Smart-casual occasions can range from anything from job interviews to a family meal out. It’s often the most difficult to choose an outfit because you don’t want to be too casual but equally, you don’t want to dress up too much. However, with a few key pieces and outfit formulas, you can have a few go-to outfits that will see you through every smart casual event.

There are few ways to go with a smart-casual outfit. You either dress down a more formal outfit with casual shoes or a T-shirt or you can dress up a casual outfit, such as jeans and a T-shirt, by changing your shoes and adding a smarter jacket. By collating a few key pieces, you can have your go-to smart-casual outfit formulas without having to even think about what to wear! Here are our top 5 smart casual outfit ideas that will see you through any season.

Jeans and a nice/smart top

This is a formula that’s worked for women for years but it also applies to men too! Think of formalwear but simply switch out the suit trousers for a pair of jeans. This formula works for most smart casual occasions. You can always dress this look down with trainers or dress it up with a suit jacket or a pair of heels. Whilst it’s not a look for some office jobs, many have a less formal dress code nowadays where this outfit would be perfect. Jeans tend to look smarter in a darker wash or black and that’s also the most versatile style too.

You can always add in accessories to make it smarter. For men, a country tie will always give off more formal vibes, even if you’re wearing jeans and sneakers. Pair with a smart, collared shirt for nights out with the family. Smart shoes, such as brogues, lend themselves to an outfit on the smarter end of the spectrum and always give off a sleek look.

For women, a pair of heeled boots always add to a smart-casual look as they instantly dress up any outfit. When it comes to accessories, a smaller handbag always gives night out vibes, just the right size to fit in the essentials. A leather long-strap, crossbody bag is both practical and luxurious and you can add some personality with a brightly stitched strap. 

The nice top element for both men and women could be a checked country shirt. You can go for a gingham-style check or a tweed-style check but either version still fits the smart-casual look. Pop on a tweed blazer over the top for smarter occasions or why not wear a wax jacket if you won’t be wearing your jacket as much? 

Ladies Jeans & Smart Top

A tweed skirt

One of the easiest ways to instantly smarten any outfit is to add some tweed. Our tweed skirts are one of the most popular items on our entire website and we can see why. The fitted style is flattering on any body shape and because it’s made from our best wool blend tweed, it’s going to last a long time. Purchase in your favourite colour of tweed and this will be a piece that you’ll wear forever.

To style it for smarter occasions, why not treat yourself to a matching tweed blazer? Trust us, two piece suits are not just for men. Women can look and feel just as powerful as men can in a suit. Plus it’s the ultimate smart look too! For cool casual vibes, wear a plain white T-shirt underneath and pair with clean white sneakers. If you prefer something a little smarter, switch the sneakers for ankle boots, such as Chelsea boots, and wear a heeled pair if you want the extra height! 

For occasions on the smarter end of the smart-casual spectrum, a country collared shirt is an item that every country lady should have in her wardrobe, possibly even in multiple colours and patterns! Because you want your tweed skirt to be the standout piece, wear a collared shirt in a plain or more muted pattern or colour to let the tweed take centre stage. Try picking out one of the colours in the tweed and wear a shirt with that colour running through it too.

Ladies Polo Dress

A chino skirt

Another staple for country ladies to have in their wardrobe has to be a chino skirt. It's the perfect item to bridge the gap between smart and casual fashion. If you work in a relaxed office setting, you might even be able to wear one there too! 

For the ladies, our chino skirts have been one of our best-selling items for years. Ours come in khaki, sorbet pink and dark wash denim and because the length sits just above the knee, it’s flattering on all figures. The A-line cut and stretchy cotton material make our chino skirts not only stylish but incredibly comfortable, ideal for if you have plans after work and will be out of the house all day. All you need to do is switch up your jacket, shoes and/or handbag and you can go from casual to smart in a maximum of three steps!

Our chino skirt looks best with bare legs so it’s best to wear it when the weather improves and it’s warm outside. That means wearing footwear that’s ankle height or lower. Ankle boots look great, especially with a low heel such as Chelsea boots, but you could also wear trainers, deck shoes and loafers!

A summer dress

Being a country lady means looking chic all the time, even when you’re simply running errands. However, that doesn’t mean getting dressed up to the nines every time you plan on leaving the house. That’s why we love a dress in the summertime because they’re so easy to just pop on and head out of the door! 

Ladies Tweed Skirt

Even better, they’re a great piece to dress up and down. To dress them down, stick on a pair of canvas sneakers, grab your tote bag and you’re ready to go. If it’s cooler outside, throw on a tweed jacket or gilet for the ultimate ‘cool woman in the country’ look. To dress them up, switch the trainers out for a pretty pair of deck shoes or loafers. Smaller handbags will make any outfit look instantly dressier and our long-strap bags are both stylish and practical. 

A general rule of thumb is that polo dresses are more casual than other styles but can still be dressed up for smart-casual occasions, provided there isn’t a strict dress code. They might not be right for the office but for a night out with friends or family? They’re perfect!

Chino jeans or trousers

We’ve not forgotten about the country gentlemen out there! You should know by now that a pair of chino trousers will see you through just about every smart-casual occasion happening and they’re so easy to change up your look every time.

Ladies Rugby Shirt

Chino trousers are best bought in a standard tan shade, mostly because they’re the most versatile. It’s a standard countryside look but we say that’s timeless style! These trousers should be fitted but not too tight or loose as you don’t want them to sag or stretch around the knees or thighs. For smart-casual occasions, they’re best paired with a collared shirt or even a fitted rugby shirt if it’s simply for a night at the pub. Wear with brogues or leather Chelsea boots for a smarter look or opt for deck shoes or canvas sneakers for a casual outfit.

The jacket you choose can make or break the outfit too. We love a traditional wax jacket or an insulated jacket for more casual events or adding a tweed blazer for smarter occasions. For everyday wear, you might need a more practical jacket so your regular waterproof or bomber jacket should do the trick. In fact, chino trousers are so versatile, you can pretty much wear them with any jacket in your wardrobe!

A smart-casual dress code can be anything from going to the office to a night at the pub and just about everything in between. It doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might think as long as you have a few key pieces at your disposal. For most outfits, to make them on the smarter end of the scale, simply switch your shoes and jacket. By collating just a few key pieces, you can take any outfit from casual to smart almost instantly!

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