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!