At the airport recently I noticed there were two groups of people; t-shirt, comfy pants and track-shoe wearers were group one and the business suit attired made up group two. Now you can change comfy pants for jeans and t-shirts for casual polo style tops but that summed up a plane load of people!
The sad part of it all was the business suited lot looked like a really boring group of people with a strong ability to make you fall fast asleep if you were in a presentation with them. As for the other lot... Shabby, mumsy, unloved. I understand some people where there for work and felt they needed to be "suited" (more on that one later) but surely for the others this was a great chance to see some smart casual dressing... Nope!
The term Smart Casual - is mostly reserved for celebrities like Sienna Miller, Jessica Alba, "IT" model Carla Delevigne (who is in her 20's so she doesn't really count) and ONE in the "36 + GST" years old category Elle Macpherson. I find this "style" very hard to get right. I understand suit/business dress dressing and I get exercise gear but there is a grand canyon in between those two! I would love to say I've mastered shabby chic but in reality I find it very hard to look cool without loosing my personality or looking a bit more hobo than bo-ho! So for me I stay away from shabby chic.
For me that look is reserved for those individuals who are naturally shabby chic! You know who you are.
Thus I find myself stuck in a no mans land of "smart casual". Who knows what they really mean by smart casual when it's on an invitation? At one recent event smart casual was jeans and a jacket. At another it was business suit minus the tie. I do LOVE the fact that we are not samey samey clones but our preference NOT to stand out in a crowd and our nations culture of black is best has many in style limbo.
Given my own style personality and LOVE of dressing up, I'm still defining my personal views on this "smart casual" ethic but here 3 main pointers that I've learnt about smart casual so far:
Just think if you turn up in distressed jeans and a great tailored jacket with your favourite shoes and everyone else is wearing black pants, black top and black jacket - they might just be thinking how cool, comfortable and stylish you look!
NO one really has the perfect body. Some get close but not as close as I think, apparently…
Husband and I were looking at a magazine article on a favorite model citizen of mine and I casually mentioned that she had an amazing body. Husband at that point grabbed the magazine and looked at her, hard, a lot, from all angles, then flicked some pages and after quite an inappropriately long period of time (in my opinion!) he said, its ok but its not very real. A BIG discussion was then entered into about what is a great body, how men view women’s bodies and so forth.
Later that week I took the mag to a girls catch up and casually mentioned the same thing. Totally different result – “ooh yes her thighs are amazing”, “she has such a flat stomach”… “I wish I had her figure” was really the general consensus. Summing up several hours of discussion with both groups – it seems men just think differently and women are way too hard on own body image.
So yes I still would love thinner thighs, a flatter stomach and no double chin but without a lot of surgery I don’t think I’m going to get there. Thus I have decided we need to take a concrete pill, put on our big girl pants, harden up (which ever statement suits you best) and learn to dress so our positives are accentuated.
Now the first think I hear you all say is “positives”??? YES we all have great areas. You might need to ask your friends (your really good friends) what they are, but find them and LOVE them.
Whether you subscribe to the theory of dressing for your body shape (pears, apples, rectangles and hourglasses unite!), or whether you like to follow the theory of dressing your body shape so it looks more like the ultimate hour glass figure, choose a theory and stick to it.