Casual Comfort

27 January 2017

A casual dress code can mean different things to different people. To some, it's a fitted pair of jeans and a blouse, to others, it’s activewear and leggings.Casual Friday in the office often requires something slightly different to casual Friday on the couch.
Given the etiquette protocols that used to guide decisions on what to wear when have been all but been done away with, it can be tricky to know what to choose when it comes to dressing in a casual manner. ‘Smart casual’ in particular usually means you should look polished and presentable, but not formal.
If you’d like to feel stylish rather than sloppy even while dressing for your down time, a good rule of thumb for casual dressing is to choose something classic, fuss-free and comfortable.

  • Select slim silhouettes and lightweight fabrics
  • Denim is ideal, but if you’re uncertain, avoid anything too distressed, too tight or ultra-trendy. A dark wash will often pass for trousers when needed, and can be dressed up easily with an on-trend top and heels.
  • Shop for good quality knitwear. Cotton and bamboo knits in summer and merino and cashmere in the winter will keep your core temperature stable while keeping you comfortable. They also retain their shape and wash and wear well, with a bit of laundry care.
  • Choose separates that can be layered as well as mixed and matched. Modern prints can be used to add interest on your top or bottom half, but avoid overdoing it with both.
  • Don't underestimate the ease of a simple knee-length print dress and flat shoes.
  • Don’t pile on your jewellery, but do choose pieces carefully so they co-ordinate and complement your outfit.
  • Leave any very casual footwear - think jandals or running shoes - for the home, beach or your workout.

Wardrobe Winners:
  • Ballet flats, brogues, loafers or simple slip-ons in a neutral colour or bold bright.
  • Plain slim fit pants cropped at the ankle bone
  • A good white shirt. They’re flattering for most complexions, comfortable to wear with skirts, trousers and jeans plus they can be worn tucked or untucked with the sleeves rolled or fastened.
  • Simple but special tops in a striking print or with a detailed or embellished neckline
  • A tailored jacket or soft blazer.
  • A knit top and jumper - a striped Breton knit is always in style.
  • Shorts that aren't skimpy, flimsy or denim
  • A pair of well-fitting jeans in a dark wash.
  • A good quality tee-shirt Look for styles boat or V-necks.
  • A fine silver or gold necklace and watch

Outfit Ideas
BBQ A button up shirt-dress or long printed dress and jacket with sandals.
Casual Friday in the office Dark jeans, loafers, a colourful print top or blouse and coordinating handbag
A brunch catch up Fine knit top, denim skirt or jeans, and metallic sandals.
A movie date Printed trousers or jeans, shell top, soft blazer, colourful handbag and flats
A weekend shopping trip A shift or wrap-dress and ballet flats