Invite to Sunday lunch today. An anniversary celebration. Dress code – smart casual.  What does that mean? For me, confusion!

I’ve worked in fashion for over 15 years now and I still don’t understand it. Which way do I go? More to the smart or more to the casual? Aaargh!

As usual, with only an hour until I need to be there, I’m drowning in discarded clothes ranging from jeans and a top to a posh frock. Not to mention a mountain of shoes. So, do I do high heels, kitten, boots?  Do I look too smart? Do I look too casual?


How to crack the smart casual dress code

Finding that in-between look which is smart without being over the top is tricky.  As a buyer for my own boutique, it’s only been in the past few years I’ve found designers that fit this dress code requirement.

Through the year now, there are some fabulous day dresses out there I’m pleased to report. I’m a great fan of Frank Lyman  and Michaela Louisa . Not only are their dresses so easy to wear ( machine wash and no ironing needed), but also great for fitting that smart/casual dress code.

Both these designers have listened to what women want. Many of their styles have those much sought-after sleeves. Most look great with flat shoes, heels or boots at this time of year.

Jazz up the plain looks with jewellery or go for a stunning print dress and let that do the talking.

A stylishly cut dress will always look great in any situation.

So for me, I’ll always err on the smart side. I like to dress up.  And if I’m in doubt, I remember the words of film star  Mae West “It is better to be looked over than overlooked!”  That’s one lady who never did the casual of smart casual!