If you’ve never heard of smart casual, you’re probably a little confused as to what that means. Strangely, you have this in common with many people who have heard of it before. So don’t fret – you’re in good company. It’s considered one of the most complicated wedding attires as it lies between formal and informal.
Dressing appropriately for a wedding with a smart casual theme can be difficult as you try to find the line between being over- and under-dressed.
Masterclass defines Smart Casual as “a dress code that combines well-fitting, polished business wear with elements of casual attire.”
This kind of wedding dress code usually revolves around skirts, dresses, or even slacks for women, whereas men might choose chinos, dark wash denim, or suit pants with a casual shirt.
It combines casual and formal wear beautifully and is equally good for business meetings and wedding ceremonies. However, make sure to tweak the elements per the wedding venue and overall vibe.
For example, a short suit without accessories except for a minimalistic pair of earrings would be the best for a woman attending a meeting. On the contrary, you may wear a midi dress with a few finger rings to a wedding. The concept of smart casual is to keep it classy and presentable without going overboard with the hairstyles or accessories.
It also means that such styles must accompany minimal makeup and suitable footwear. Excluding stilettos and platform heels can be a good choice for starters. Block heels, ballet flats, or flat sandals are among the top options for smart casual wedding attire.
What is Smart Casual Dress Code for a Wedding?
A smart casual dress code for weddings gives you a guest-like look without being overly fashionable.
Nina Ma’Belle Wiener of Nina Ma’Belle weddings says, “Although it presents a fair amount of freedom if you get invited to a wedding where the dress code is ‘smart casual,’ be sure not to get too dressed up. I would always recommend asking yourself questions like, ‘Where is the wedding being held?’, ‘Who will be attending?’ and ‘Is the wedding being held in the day or the evening?”
She added, “That being said, a great midi cut dress with a comfortable pair of statement flats or tailored pants with a sleek blazer, and the luxurious bag will tick all of the boxes. Just to be clear, if the outfit you are choosing ends up feeling more cocktail, then change the direction of your look.”
Smart Casual Wedding Dress Code Ideas
Now that you have an idea of what smart casual for a wedding might look like, here are a few outfit ideas to make dressing up effortless for you.
Have you ever thought of wearing a colored pleated skirt to a wedding? If not, the time is now!
With smart casual wedding attire in fashion, you can wear a long or knee-length skirt to a wedding any day.
For a gorgeous wedding day ensemble, get your hands on a solid-colored pleated skirt in green, pink, blue, or any other shade of your choice.
Next, you need a solid-colored plain shirt to go with the skirt. Light blue, blush, white or black can be good options depending on the bottoms.
Pair it up with a formal belt in gold or silver to complement the outfit. Add a necklace, a bangle, and neat nail art from a professional, and you are ready to go!
Photos by Lauren McCormick
Whether it’s Meghan Markle, Julia Fox, or you, no one can go wrong with midi dresses.
If you’re looking for something easy, look no further. You can get ready with three simple steps for a smart casual-themed wedding without spending a lot of money, time, or effort.
- Search your wardrobe to find a suitable, gorgeous midi dress that you can wear to a wedding (or order one now!)
- Pair the dress with a statement belt and clutch for the look that turns heads.
- Lastly, put on light makeup with solid nail paint.
Who thought going to a wedding ceremony could be this easy!
Casual Wedding Attire for Women
We’ve handpicked the best casual wedding attire for women, from whimsical sun dresses to stylish jumpsuits. Keep scrolling to view our go-to picks for every season and wedding guest style.
Abercrombie & Fitch Puff Sleeve High-Slit Midi Dress
This navy wedding guest dress is available in petite, standard and tall sizes, has a stylish sweetheart neckline, puff sleeves and a playful side slit. Translation: It’s the perfect casual outfit for a summer wedding or springtime event.
Torrid Midi Washable Crinkle Gauze Ruffle Surplice Dress
Here’s a classic look you’ll have on repeat all wedding season long. This stylish midi dress features a floral print and comfortable wrap waist. Pair it with a rattan purse and a pair of mules for the perfect plus size ensemble.
Quince 100% Washable Silk Skirt Black
Not feeling a dress? We can relate. Coordinate a fashionable skirt with a nice blouse or sophisticated sweater depending on the weather and wedding vibe. This midi-length option is made from 100% washable silk and comes in 10 chic color options.
Lulus In the City Olive Green Surplice Sleeveless Jumpsuit
Maybe pants are more your style. In that case, you can always opt for dressy separates or a stylish jumpsuit. This olive green option is the perfect mix of trendy and timeless. Oh, and did we mention it has pockets?
Petal + Pup Aimee Top and Deaville Skirt
Looking to switch things up a little bit? This playful set is the perfect alternative to a dress, and is a great option for any casual dress code wedding on your calendar. The best part? You can mix and match both pieces to create new looks after the wedding (a.k.a. multiple looks for the price of one. . .score).
ELOQUII Shirred Mini Dress Purple Potion
A casual dress code gives you the green light to experiment with shorter hemlines, so go ahead, show off those legs. We love this tiered mini dress to rock at a spring or summer event. Pair it with neutral-toned accessories like a pair of kitten heels and a leather shoulder bag.
Casual Wedding Attire for Men
Ready to shop for men’s casual wedding attire? Check out our go-to casual wedding outfits that’ll look dapper for your next occasion, from printed suits and dressy button-down shirts to elevated polos.
ASOS River Island Checked Suit Jacket and Pants
While there’s no need to suit up for a casual wedding, you totally could if you wanted to. To make it more laidback, try a set in a fun pattern, like this plaid option. Wear the coat open to show off a neutral white shirt, and feel free to skip the tie.
Banana Republic Luxury-Touch Polo Navy
We have a feeling you’ll get plenty of use out of a classic polo, whether we’re talking wedding season or not. This navy blue option is made from 100% cotton, so you’ll feel cool and comfortable throughout the day. Wear it tucked with a belt and chinos for an effortlessly cool vibe.