What Is Smart Casual Attire for Women?

Updated April 17, 2017

Smart casual attire for women can work for casual Fridays at work, weekend meetings or anytime the occasion doesn't specifically call for business attire. Smart casual attire fits well, is flattering to the wearer and the pieces can be mixed and matched with pieces the wearer already owns.

Blouses / Tops

Smart casual attire starts with a great top. Blouses, button-down shirts with 3/4 sleeves, shell tank tops or spaghetti strap tops layered with a matching cardigan are all good choices. Colorwise, black or white never go out of style, and pastels in green, blue or lavender can work well and tend to look good on a variety of skin tones.


Trousers for the smart casual look can vary. A dark denim jean looks chic and sophisticated paired with any one of the aforementioned top choices. A dress pant can work as well, though a dark rinse denim jean is more casual.


For shoes, almost anything goes except sneakers. A boot in black or brown with a heel, clogs in black or brown, sandals with a jewelled strap, or kitten heels all work well.


Depending on the occasion, various types of bags will work. If you're just going out for cocktails, a clutch purse in a fun colour such as periwinkle is smart looking. A small or medium-sized handbag that's more structured (as opposed to the currently trendy hobo bag look) works well also.

Make Up

Make-up for this type of attire should focus on one of two features, the eyes or the lips and with minimal blush on the cheeks, if any at all. A shimmer on the eye in gold or green looks good on various eye colours and skin tones. A gloss in pale pink, clear or bronze also looks good on various skin tones.

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About the Author

Jessica Nelson has been writing for various publications since 2000. She has contributed to "The Village Voice," "L Magazine (New York)," "Phoenix New Times," "Venus Magazine (Chicago)" and "San Diego City Beat." Nelson holds a Bachelor of Arts in music from Arizona State University, as well as a Master of Fine Arts in performance and interactive media from Brooklyn College.