Smart Casual Know-How

smart casual

When it comes to fashion, in the past I’ve been rather more of a “leave the house symmetrical” as opposed to a smart casual dresser. As a freelancer, however, running a business and attending numerous meetings, not to mention community events, I have, over time, had to hone my smart casual wardrobe somewhat.

What is Smart Casual?

According to the font of all knowledge (Google), smart casual is:

(of clothes) neat, conventional, yet relatively informal in style, especially as worn to conform to a particular dress code.

“think of a smart casual outfit as one that you’d wear for a movie or dinner date”.

That pretty much sums it up. This is a style that is neither too formal, i.e. full business suit or cocktail dress and yet not too casual i.e sloppy jeans and a t-shirt. Chums have a fabulous clothing collection with items at great prices which shows that this style of clothing is as affordable as it is to put together.

When is Smart Casual Appropriate?

Personally, smart casual is something I would wear to a meeting, a local business event, a networking group or my coworking group (I run a local coworking group that meets twice a month). Outside of work, a meal out, some parties and meeting new people are all on my SC clothing radar.

If you are attending an event and are not sure what the dress code is, just ask. Otherwise, you will be left wondering right up until you arrive if you are properly dressed.

Top Tips for Smart Casual Wear

Your exact smart/casual look will depend on you, your likes and dislikes and where you are going. As a general rule of thumb though these tips should be considered.

No Hat

In my opinion, if you are required to wear a hat, you are at a more formal event.

Blazers are Your Friend

A good quality blazer is a must for men and women looking to pull off a SC look. It dresses up most casual outfits, leaving you free to accessorise to complete the look. If I was investing in one piece, a blazer would be it.

Jeans are Ok

By jeans I mean something fitted, not something baggy and with holes. There are many great examples of smart jeans and if coupled with appropriate footwear (not trainers), they can make a great addition to your SC capsule wardrobe.

Don’t Go Over the Top

Accessories are great; a matching bag, a scarf and so on. Sequins, rhinestone, loud patterns and similar are really not what we’re looking for here.

Use Colour

While smart casual doesn’t usually include neon pink and so on, it is ok to inject some colour into your SC outfits. My favourites are a mustard colour, navy blue, greys and a maroon colour.

Cover Up

Smart casual usually means no midriff out on display, no builder’s bottom and easy on the cleavage. Cold shoulder tops if smart enough are fine and gentleman, please don’t think you have to button a shirt all the way to the top but a little common sense goes a long way here.

No Ties

Ties are not required for smart casual, for men or for women. That will be a relief to many.


Look up the smart casual hashtag #SmartCasualCovered online to find some great examples of what SC can look like. This is a great way to source outfit inspiration. It is fine to put your own individual stamp on your SC wardrobe, however, starting with a more sedate base is often the way to go.

In Summary

Smart casual is my favourite way to dress. I can be comfortable yet confident in what I’m wearing. My SC wardrobe is not all black and grey, far from it, however, it is nice to have a uniform of sorts for numerous events that I can add a little personality to in the form of accessories. Again, if you’re not sure about what the dress code is for a specific event, ask. Smart casual does seem to apply to a number of functions though, which means making sure you have good quality key pieces ready to go is a must.

Common Computer Issues and Solutions

common computer issues

I would be lost if my laptop had computer issues as I rely on it for so much. I work on it, I play on it, I shop and bank on it. That is why understanding common computer issues and solutions is a must. Laptop or PC downtime in my house is not an option.

The blue screen of doom strikes fear into my heart, however, more often than not this, and other common computer problems I (and you) might face can be fairly easily sorted which is essential for those of us running businesses.

Now and again we will all encounter small hiccups and issues such as slow wifi and blank screens. Here are some of the most common computer problems you might face and how to solve them.

Common Computer Issues

The Computer Won’t Start

Sometimes you will be happily in the middle of a video of a cat or you will be writing up some work and the computer will suddenly switch itself off with no warning. This can be a huge annoyance and it can run the risk of you losing all of the work you have just done. The most common explanation for this happening is that the power supply you have in has an issue. Make sure you check that the computer is plugged into the power properly and test the power lead on a different device to determine the cause of the issue.

Blank Screen

If you are trying to turn on your computer in the morning and you notice that the screen remains blank, this is most likely due to the cable not being plugged into the screen properly. A lot of the time a simple wiggle of a cable will set you on your way and you will be back online in no time at all. If this doesn’t work it could be a sign that the internal wires of the machine need to be tinkered with and you will need to call a professional.

Operating System Acting Up

If something seems odd or seems to be glitching with the computer it could be a sign of a virus. Turn off the computer and turn it back on, then run a virus scan to check for issues. If there is a virus on the machine you might need to call a professional to get rid of it.

Windows Won’t Load Up

If Windows doesn’t want to load up at all, you will need to turn off your computer and try again. If it still isn’t working, you will likely need to run a reinstall of the program and start all over again. If you don’t have a download disk for windows you should be able to do it through the App Store. If you aren’t confident, get an expert to have a look first before reinstalling.

Frozen Screen

Sometimes you will be happily in the middle of a browse on the internet and suddenly your mouse becomes unresponsive and the screen will freeze. The main annoyance with this is running the risk of losing your progress work-wise and it can be a pain. You can solve this issue most of the time by restarting your machine, or as Daddy Pig would say “Try switching it off and on again”. Most of the time freezing is caused by issues with the RAM or spyware being present on your machine. Make sure to check for all of this once the computer is up and running again.

Slow Computer

If you start to notice one day that your computer is working slower than usual, this is often a sign that your storage is getting low and you need to clean out some of your old files. When your computer comes clogged up with lots of files it can cause the computer to struggle running its programs and therefore your computer will be slower on the whole. Spend some time clearing out things you no longer need and this will largely solve the issue for you. Make sure you have antivirus installed to keep the computer safe and you should see an improvement in the device.

Annoying Noises

If your computer starts to wurr one day (a technical term) and it becomes very loud while you are trying to work, this is usually due to the fan inside the machine being clogged up with dust or it being about to die completely. The fan inside your computer usually stops everything from overheating and from burning your skin. However, when it begins to make noises you need to either clean it out or get it replaced. No one wants a hot laptop or computer at their desk.

Slow Internet


There will always be times that the internet in your house is slower than usual, and there is often a simple explanation for it all. If you have a family and you all have your own devices, you are all trying to access the WiFi at the same time and this can slow down everyone’s devices. You could also have too much cache built up on the computer which needs to be cleared. Clear cache and cookies to free up space on the browser and this should make your internet move quickly.

In Summary

If you educate yourself about common computer issues and their solutions you will save yourself time, increase productivity and potentially save yourself money on repair bills.

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