No, not Casual…It’s Smart Casual
Ever got confused with the term “Smart casual”? Welcome to the club!
A month or two ago, I was invited to an office dinner at a Peruvian restaurant. Obviously, I did not want to mess up by wearing the wrong outfit! You know how they say, “Making the right impression will take you a long way in your career”. The way you dress plays a very important role in making that impression.
The dress-code on the website to the restaurant read “Smart-Casual“. Hadn’t I heard the term ever so many times before? There’s a conference, “Smart Casual”, is the attire. An office get-together, ” Smart-Casual” again! A weekend brunch with colleagues at a high-end restaurant, “Smart Casual”, is what you need to don. High tea with friends, “Smart casual”. A job interview, “Smart Casual“, it is.
The list is endless. Though the occasions are as diverse as the spectrum of light, yet, It’s funny how the entire plethora of occasions listed above, call for the same dress code- ” SMART CASUALS”. One word. Many meanings depending on the occasion. You know it in your head and that’s what’s confusing.
Well, coming to me and my present predicament, since I did not wish to take chances and I had absolutely no desire to stand out like a sore thumb, the internet was my first refuge. And I managed to put together an outfit that was comfortable, chic and did not call for attention of the wrong kind. That’s “Smart Casual” for you in a capsule.
So here is poem based on my research, on “smart casuals” that hopefully should provide some clarity to this rather ambiguous term. This goes out to everybody who has fretted over what to wear at some point in time(celebrities and fashionistas included).
Neither casual nor formal. Something in between,
Good taste and wisdom in your dress must be seen,
Not too loud, not too bold, not too dressy, not too fancy,
Thoughtful yet relaxed, classy yet, must look easy,
Not confrontational, clean and light,
Fresh and laundered, it’s fine if it’s white,
No dark make-up, no screaming hair-do,
Elegant accessories – but keep them few,
Have I cleared your doubts now or have I got you more confused?
Maybe if I called it semi-formal, would that help instead?
Let me give it another try, it’s perfectly fine, don’t be silly…
Jeans and a blazer is fine for men but Jeans or T-shirt won’t fit the bill,
A pair of chinos and a checked shirt, a pair of converse shoes and you have the look to kill,
Or maybe a pair of khakis and a polo shirt would do as well,
Not so confusing for the men – you can tell
A little more complex when it comes to the ladies,
No oversized clothes, no denim please,
Would a dress work or a skirt?
A linen suit or a pair of trousers with a silk shirt?
It could be any, just follow the signs,
Keep in mind the weather and the location,
Don’t forget the spirit, the people or the situation,
Neat and comfortable, that’s the secret,
Look great, Feel Great and you’ll nail it, I bet!
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