Smart or Casual, How to get it right

Smart or Casual, How to get it right

It’s the dress code that’s guaranteed to confuse … but what exactly does smart casual mean? LISA
PIDDINGTON, from Harvey Nichols Birmingham, offers advice on how to get it right.

Whether it’s a business lunch or a garden party, “smart casual” is more often than not the directed
dress code … but does that mean you veer towards casual or play it safe and go smart? Some people
interpret the term as meaning they can wear what they like, while others will turn up feeling a little
overdressed. The definition of both “smart” and “casual” are quite different; one calls for a suit and
tie while the other suggests comfy jeans and a favourite T-shirt. So, is it casually smart or smartly
casual?

The easiest way to get it right is to plump for a great selection of wear-anywhere basics and then
add a final flourish with your choice of accessories. A blazer or sports jacket should be your starting
point as this is the easiest way to take any casual outfit over the smart threshold, adding an instant
dash of style.

Invest in a great pair of brogues in suede or leather – they work with a suit, a pair of chinos or designer
denims and add an air of English eccentricity. Feel free to leave the tie in the office and instead go for
an open-collared shirt teamed with a plain jumper or cardigan for an on-trend preppy feel. Express
your personality with super stylish accessories.

Aspinal of London briefcase, £525

Barena cotton blazer, £285

Fendi striped tote, £1180

Grenson brogues, £215

Gucci loafers, £495

Harmony pin-striped shirt, £185

John Smedley cardigan, £170

Larsson & Jennings watch, £215

Paul Smith floral-print shirt, £155

Polo Ralph Lauren chinos, £125

All products featured are available from Harvey Nichols Birmingham, either in store or via the Style
Concierge service.