It's the dreaded part of that exciting invite that's landed in your inbox - the dress code. The term that instills an equal amount of excitement and terror whenever one appears. They seem to be either incredibly simple to decipher, like when the event is a classic black tie occasion or they seem to have a million different connotations - like the dreaded smart casual.
Smart. Casual. Smart and casual. What does that even mean?!
If January has taught me anything it's that I have a uniform when it comes to my day to day style and it just so happens that it's the ultimate smart casual look. A little crisp tailoring, a sleek silhouette and accessories that are versatile beyond simply one dress code.
A smart blazer and a casual knit, some smart boots and some casual jeans. They most certainly tick the dress code box with gusto but they're also key pieces in any wardrobe, especially mine. Date night, work meeting, travel day or even a day off like this day in Paris.
It turns out; I am smart casual.
I have a love love relationship when it comes to blazers. They are possibly the one item of clothing I could never do without in my weekly wardrobe. From being a teenager and styling a white blazer for my high school prom, to hitting my 30's and realising blazers are still my 'go to' piece for the majority of occasions. So many cuts, materials and detailing to choose from making them as versatile and as necessary as your most loved blue jeans. The cherry on top of the cake to put the smart in your look.
My name is Victoria and I'm addicted to knitwear, especially if there's mention of a roll neck. Chunky, sleek, ribbed, cashmere, neutral - I'll take them all! Well in hindsight probably not all of them, that's not really in my plan for this year of being more mindful but you certainly get the idea. I love a great quality knitted piece and when it comes to smart casual it's the basis for my look. Layered under a chic darted blazer it becomes the perfect combination for a successful take on the dress code.
It was only last week I declared my adoration for a great pair of jeans, with 5 brands in particular I've fallen in love with over the years (you can read that post here) but when it comes to my standard smart casual uniform? I like to keep things simple. You'll most likely find me in a skinny cut and quite often I'll opt for classic black over blue when the event is smart casual. The reason? Leg lengthening (especially when teamed with my fave black boots), comfortable (with a little elastane for a dinner date) and easily transitioned from day to night.
I will freely admit that if I had to choose between my beloved Dior sling backs and my collection of Dior boots, any of my boots in fact - then my boots would win hands down. I feel my most confident in a killer pair of heeled boots and if they're pointed toe, 3 or 4 inch heels and black then they're more than welcome in my wardrobe and on my feet. The ultimate finishing touch for any smart casual look will always be a closed toe boot that blend seamlessly into my favourite jeans.
Images taken in Paris while attending Couture Week in January 2020.
My Dior boots were purchased at Bicester Village and are no longer available.
Watch Me Style My Favourite Blazers