"Smart Casual" dress..??

Sep 19th, 2003, 08:08 AM
  #1  
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"Smart Casual" dress..??

okay everyone,

What is "smart casual" dress? I would assume that they mean, for a woman, a nice casual outfit, (no jeans or sneakers). Would a nice dress trouser outfit with flat shoes be acceptable? Or should it be dressier (skirt and blouse??).

We are going to Brown's for afternoon tea and I want to make sure we dress appropriately. We are trying to get a 3:45pm reservation and will probably be finished by around 5:30-6:00.

We will be going to the theatre afterwards to see Mama Mia, so I want to make sure whatever we wear will also be appropriate for the theatre. (I had heard you no longer need to dress formally for theatre??)

Dinner will be late that night, after the theatre.

Any suggestions?

erinb is offline  
Sep 19th, 2003, 08:34 AM
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"Smart casual" has really no meaning for women. It just means that jeans, if worn, must be stylish, pressed and tastefully accessorised (I'm serious). Anything an American would regard as remotely smart would be acceptable.

The classic definition for men is dockers, Timberland shoes and an open-neck formal shirt. What venture capitalists used to wear in Silicon Valley in the dotcom era.

What the phrase really means is "no scruffy jeans.

There is absolutely no kind of code for theatres, except the requirement on first nights to be stylish. Blouses and skirts are, frankly, rare.


flanneruk is offline  
Sep 19th, 2003, 09:52 AM
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Can't go wrong with "basic black" but add a colorful scarf or interesting item of jewelry (inexpensive pin or earrings).
auntgrapes is offline  
Sep 19th, 2003, 10:33 AM
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""smart casual"" is a rather naff concept. Fundamentally it is what comes between casual and formal; i.e. between casual: trousers (jean-cut) and a collarless shirt, and formal: a suit, with collar (i.e. shirt and tie) or sport jacket and trousers (suit-cut). A classic ""smart casual"" look can be anything from a jacket with collarless shirt with jean-cut non-denim trousers to a suit with a tshirt underneath. Nicole Farhi, PS by Paul Smith, Jil Sander, Christian Dior, Duffer London by Duffer Of St George, Martin Margiela, Clements Ribiero are several examples of collections which illustrate the ""smart casual"" look.

If a woman is wearing "dress trouser (sic)" shoes with some heel i.e. not flat ones should be worn. "Basic black" is out this season, with charcoals, browns, plums, and black with similar tones - not bright colours, how naff!

Don't be too self-concious though, people always have this obsession that other people are watching them, I assure you that in most cases this is not the case! Enjoy Brown's, although this is not the best place.... won't go there though.

m_kingdom is offline  
Sep 19th, 2003, 10:43 AM
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Like anything to do with clothing or taste, opinions vary. For me, it does have meaning, and indicates a compromise between backyard casual and business attire. I see it as polo shirts and sport shirts or blouses, cardigans and blazers rather than sweatshirts, non-logo tee shirts, cotton or wool pants or skirts rather than shorts and jeans, tailored jeans with a jacket, etc. As a woman if the mood strikes I add a silk scarf as an accessory sometimes. It's a choice, assuming you care, to not look like you're going to a barbecue, "not that there's anything wrong with that".

That said, some of the hotels that offer a formal afternoon tea do indicate a dress code, such as jacket and tie, or no jeans. The outfit you are suggesting for yourself would be absolutely appropriate.

You will see people at the theatre dressed across the full spectrum, from jeans to business attire. Whatever you wear to tea will be more than fine for the theatre.
elaine is offline  
Sep 19th, 2003, 03:07 PM
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hi everyone,

Thanks for your posts. I had an inklng of what they were saying but just wanted to verify it.

erinb is offline  
Sep 19th, 2003, 03:23 PM
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After years of extenisve research I may have found the answer to what some women are happy to wear.
Basically any ripped,old, scabby, threadbare, clothe available "AS LONG AS THEY HAVE SHOES ON WORTH MORE THEN $500" or.. a diamond ring, so large, oncoming traffic flash their headlights - is that it? am I there?
playlad is offline  
Sep 19th, 2003, 04:18 PM
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Playlad
You got it!!
Scarlett is offline  
Sep 20th, 2003, 08:08 AM
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Shoes and jewellery are items one must never compromise on - always buy the best one can afford.

There is nothing worse than a woman wearing lots of cheap jewellery, when for that money they could have purchased one relatively respectable piece.
m_kingdom is offline  
Sep 20th, 2003, 10:14 AM
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But do you want to take expensive jewelry on a trip? There are nice looking faux pieces that are good for traveling. There was a thread dealing with this issue a few months ago.
auntgrapes is offline  
Sep 20th, 2003, 10:23 AM
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I remember the other thread about the jewelry !
I always wear whatever I wear everyday at home, my watch, wedding band and a pair of earrings.
As for Smart Casual, I have always thought that it meant NO jeans..that is the whole point of adding Smart to the phrase.
Scarlett is offline  
Sep 20th, 2003, 10:49 AM
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Yes, Scarlett, it does mean NO jeans--pressed, starched or otherwise. Heels are not required, but dressier flats are fine. Certainly no sneakers.
Jayne11159 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2003, 12:59 AM
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If one's jewellery is insured for everday wear, then it is usually insured for wear whilst travelling - this therefore presents no problem when abroad.

Paste (faux) jewellery is very obviously not the real thing. Flat shoes, unless you are taller than 5'10 should be avoided - heels add a certain elegance to most wearers when worn properly.
m_kingdom is offline  
Sep 21st, 2003, 05:44 AM
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m kingdom~yes, personal possessions are insured anywhere in the world. However, sentimental value isn't insurable and unless the good jewelry is specifically insured there is a theft loss limit. This is standard in a typical homeowners policy written in the USA. Also, why waste precious vacation time reporting a theft to the police and having to deal with lots of paperwork afterwards?
auntgrapes is offline  
Sep 21st, 2003, 06:16 AM
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One should never be afraid to live. On my policy all items over a certain limit are listed and insured individually.

Sentimentality should not really be attached to objects - after all it is the person who one should think of without reference to objects!
m_kingdom is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2003, 05:41 AM
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I respectfully disagree with the "no jeans" definition of smart casual(though I don't travel with jeans myself unless I'm going hiking or something)

Even in chic Paris, I have seen, daytime weekends, fashionable-looking women or men wearing great-looking jeans, perhaps with a fantastic blazer or leather jacket, boots or shoes with stiletto heels (on the women that is), and perhaps an Hermes scarf around the shoulders (again, the women.) They looked pretty "smart" to me.
elaine is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2003, 09:03 AM
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Very few American women can carry off jeans with the flair of a Parisienne.
m_kingdom is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2003, 09:15 AM
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How true; Catherine Deneuve will look chic in jeans, while most other women will not.
Tulips is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2003, 09:35 AM
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... am I to take it stupid casual allows for (gulp) jeans? One question though - is a docksider a shoe or pants or shirt? Does it come with a loop? Can you wear them or it even though you might not be near water? And this I just must ask - what exactly is a "nice dress touser outfit with flat shoes." Taken literally, just what the hell would that get-up look like, I wonder!! Is THAT smart casual?
 
Sep 22nd, 2003, 10:03 AM
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Hi
"smart" can be a comment on intelligence, but in a clothing context my dictionary also offers "fashionable, elegant."

"Docksiders" may refer to flat casual shoes with rubber soles, at least that's what it means to me.
"Dockers" are a brand of casual trousers.

"A nice ...trouser outfit" is pretty straightforward, imo.

elaine is offline  

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