The Official Guide to a Smart-Casual Dress Code



Whether you work in a creative office, a brand-new startup, or somewhere in between, there are a lot of casual work environments these days. Combine that to the elusive definition of a smart-casual dress code and you probably find yourself at a loss as to what to wear to work.

Dressing for the office—no matter what type of environment you’re in—can be tricky. From finding out what types of tops are HR-approved to decoding what casual Friday entails for your office, there are a lot of things to consider. And when you work in a place that has a vague dress code, the task can feel even more overwhelming. Not to worry—that’s where we come in. To make sure you’re dressing the part for an office with a smart-casual dress code, we asked stylist Britt Theodora for her expertise.

“A smart-casual dress code is an elevation of your ideal day-to-day wardrobe,” she explains. “To turn a go-to jeans-and–T-shirt ensemble into business casual, throw on a black blazer and non-ripped jeans with ballet flats.” Theodora’s other favorite pieces for a smart-casual look involve high-waisted cigarette pants with white button-downs and a comfortable pointed heel. And when in doubt, avoid wearing anything too revealing, such as plunging necklines and short skirts or dresses.

Now, scroll down to shop for your smart-casual dress code below.

Black Blazer

The tailored bodice of this will feel so flattering on you.

A double-breasted blazer always feels so chic.

You'll fall in love with this classic blazer.

If you want a more casual option, this style comes with the look of rolled sleeves.

Cigarette Pants

Wear these with pointed mules and a chic anklet.

Swap out your classic black trousers for these checked pants, and pair them with a denim shirt.

These are definitely not your everyday trousers.

To give yourself the illusion of longer legs, opt for pointy-toe pumps.

Sleek Flats

Ballet flats are having such a moment right now. 

The added ankle strap is doing it for me. 

These loafers will be your best friends come fall. 

These are definitely not your everyday flats.

Comfortable Pointed Toe Heels

Trust us, you'll be able to stand all day in these.

A classic pump with a kitten heel will be one of the more comfortable shoe options for the office.

You'll be surprised how comfortable these are.

Whether you wear these with a pair of jeans or a midi skirt, these mules will instantly elevate your ensemble.

Jeans (Without Rips)

Black jeans will feel a touch more polished than your everyday blues.

Pair these with strappy sandals or heels for a more polished approach.

Complement your white jeans with a chic black blazer when you need an instant touch of professionalism.

Skinny jeans will always be a staple in your closet, guaranteed.