We live in a world where we have to be prepared for everything and anything, everyday. Our clothes have to take us from school run to commute, to Skype conference call to a meal out. Our wardrobes have to work hard for us and on top of that we want to feel good, feel authentic, feel appropriate all whilst feeling contemporary in our clothes. Sounds like a big ask but the secret to feeling cool and edgier in a practical way is simpler that you may think.
The secret is mastering the art of smart casual dressing.
This is where most people struggle; its the middle ground of dressing that is becoming a bigger part of our lives. With many of us working in increasingly more casual environments we no longer need to be in suits but that can often mean we go too far the other way and we live in the ‘old favourite’ jeans and jumpers with very little variety. It’s no wonder that so many feel disconnected from their style, craving to feel ‘put together’, dreaming of discovering and communicating their contemporary, edgy side.
If this sounds like you then take note:
Secret 1: Opposites attract
Probably the most important element when creating a smart casual look is to put opposites together. This is the tip that all stylists work by. Do as it says; match smart & casual. Dressy skirt with a casual t-shirt and trainers or jeans with a blouse and blazer.
Think about pairing feminine and masculine together, its also important to include a moment of calm with your outfitting. A tailored navy trousers & brogues (masculine) with a white t-shirt (moment of calm), pink coat and a silk neckerchief (feminine) would be a great everyday look.
Secret 2: Everyday luxuries
The better the quality of your clothes, the simpler you can keep it. This will ensure that minimum effort gives you maximum appeal. If you also focus on adding a touch of decadence into your everyday wardrobe you will even make a Monday feel special. This does not mean you have to spend a fortune on cashmere, you can add small touches such as a lace trim or a flash of velvet and you will elevate and feminise your clothing.
Secret 3: Dress to impress yourself
So often our attire shifts and changes depending on who we are meeting up with. We are more concerned about what the other person might think of us rather than what we think of ourselves. Start dressing to impress you, wow yourself and stop getting in the way of feeling gorgeous everyday by putting on the same old clothes.
Secret 4: Dress smarter than you want to feel
Don’t save it for best, wear it now. Make today special and live in your best clothes. If you live in jeans and t-shirts then you can quickly lift your outfitting to the next level by adding in some tailoring. A knee length blazer and a wide leg pair of trousers would be a great addition to every wardrobe.
Secret 5: Do something different
If you want to feel differently in your clothes, wear something different. You can help yourself by moving things around in your wardrobe, see what new combinations you could wear tomorrow and notice how you feel in them.
There you go. Good luck and remember that once smart casual has been mastered you will be amazed at how your wardrobe will open up with so many more options. You’ll be prepared for everything and anything AND you’ll be shimmying down the street with effortless style.
And if you are ever in doubt, just ask ‘what would Garance wear?’ (see photo)
Photo Credit: Garance Dore