Look Your Best: Wear a Smile

Look Your Best: Wear a Smile

My writing a “look your best” piece might seem like a bit of a push to be honest. If I leave the house looking almost symmetrical I call that a win. To be fair though, looking your best isn’t rocket science. It’s likely you’re pretty close to doing so now. If you believe the endless hordes of ideal-entertainment and fashion icon presentations, you might believe that you are anything but someone attractive and magnetic. I say “rubbish” to that.

There are simple changes to your look to make the best of it, some these are mentioned below but the full proof way to make yourself look your best is to feel your best.

Being Self-Assured

People often think that you must wear the highest quality clothes, or put your outfit together in the most perfect manner possible in order to look your best. This is often emphasized by the times in which we attend events, or go out to dinner. We want to look scrubbed up and exceptional in these moments, and we often feel like less of ourselves if we aren’t. However, if we had to keep this standard of excellence each and every time we dressed ourselves in the morning, we would quickly fall out of love with good clothing and feel it as more of a chore than a pleasure. This is where being self-assured comes into play.

Sure, your stonewashed jeans might be a year out of fashion. Sure, you have a tear or two in your layered shirt. OK, your hair might be longer than you usually keep it. But being self-assured and lessening your neuroticism about what makes a perfect outfit helps you wear one with character, and thus helps you look better than you ever might in a three-piece suit. It’s all about self-belief and confidence in yourself. When you have those under your belt, you can pull off any ensemble! I live in jeans and haven’t worn a skirt since my wedding day back in 2003. This goes against all fashion “rules” but I’ve made this look my own and it works for me.

Accessorising to Look Your Best

Accessories often make an outfit. We all have our own preferences when it comes to accessorising. Some wear jewellery, and some do not for example. Sometimes it is just a case of making sure what you do wear is well taken care of.   Having your watch strap replaced if it’s dirty or old, or heading to International Eyewear for a better range of frames for your face shape can all have an extremely profound effect on that which you hope to express, and generally help you feel more comfortable in how you look and feel, if that’s your goal.

I hear that “They” say that the best accessory you can wear is a smile and as cliche as this is, I think it makes a lot of sense. Don’t aim for something off the cat-walk, bit accessories that means something to you and which make you smile.

Trying New Things

The secret of styling is that it’s never static. It’s important to enjoy this fact when taking care of your own fashion options. Try new things out. Switch up your style. Never feel constrained to any one thing. Have comfortable hoodies and dress shirts. Don’t wear what other people expect of you just because your friends do, although of course working uniforms or dress codes are crucial to adhere to.

Give yourself the creative space to wear what you want. It helps reduce overthinking about fashion and helps you enjoy it instead. On top of that, you will build your own style in order to look your best with ease.

With these tips, you’re sure to find comfort and confidence in fashion, and this will help you look awesome, and most importantly feel awesome every day.

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.