“Baby. What happened to the new suitcase!?”
Europe’s most notorious airline has smashed my new gorgeous wheely case that made me feel as stylish as Victoria Beckham at the airport.
I’m never, ever flying Ryan Air again.
I hate packing.
It’s not because of the painstaking job of rolling my clothes to avoid wrinkling and placing the shampoo bottle in a plastic bag in case it leaks.
It’s because I’m going to a glamorous conference in New York to finally meet my wonderful clients, coaches, and mentors and I have NOTHING to wear!
Why did I not go shopping last week and get some chic but comfy shoes?
Why did I not get a pencil skirt that goes with everything?
I’ll end up buying something boring and overpriced at the airport again, and then I’ll feel icky and strange as if I’m wearing someone else’s clothes.
How did this happen?
I’m a hard worker. I set goals. I reach them.
Why haven’t I planned my wardrobe for the trip?
The problem is classic.
I don’t know how formal I should dress so I ignore my wardrobe needs until I have a meltdown trying to fill my suitcase.
Nightmare number one would be to show up in “Boardroom Chic” (sweaty nylons, backbreaking high heels, and a matchy, matchy suit.)
You feel as sexy as a grandma while the young, cool crowd look glamorous in something trendy you’ve never seen before.
Is that a thing now?
You won’t be making that mistake again so next time you’re chill and laid back in jeans and a top from the pile on the floor.
Then everyone asks you which college you go to.
Nightmare number two!
Stay calm everyone.
There is an answer to this dilemma and it’s called Smart Casual:
A style that’s dressy enough that you feel confident walking into any type of swanky hotel or venue, and casual enough that you feel cool and comfy talking to young bearded techies who build apps in coffee shops.
So what is Smart Casual or Business Casual?
She’s the beautiful love child of Mrs. Business Chic and Mr. Casual Cool.
She’s got her mother’s laser sharp suit jacket and her father’s crazy printed shirt.
She’s confident and put together but not afraid to show her colorful personality.
Let’s take a look at a typical outfit that her mother Mrs. Business got her:
Suit jacket with matching skirt, pants, or shift dress all in the same color and fabric. Pumps and pantyhose.
The outfit from her father is very casual: Jeans, tank top, leather jacket and sneakers.
You might already have all these pieces in your wardrobe and the good news is that you can combine them to create a beautiful Smart Casual love child.
The idea is to dress down your formal pieces and dress up your casual pieces into a perfectly balanced outfit that signals professionalism, warmth, and creativity.
Suit pants can be worn with a fashionable top, trendy leather jacket, and bright pumps.
Your suit jacket looks cool with a casual jersey top and a printed skirt.
The printed pencil skirt is a smart casual love child in itself: A formal shape with a fun pattern.
To be honest I wasn’t sure if I should recommend jeans at all, but I created an outfit where the jacket, top, and shoes are dressy enough to balance the casualness of denim.
There are definitely places where you will feel under dressed in jeans so if you’re uncertain I would go the safe route and opt for smarter pants.
The most important thing for the casual pieces you include is the fact that they need to look fresh and pristine:
– No fading colors, wrinkles, and spots.
– Shoes should be crispy clean and well polished.
I prefer dark denim without holes and worn out effects since this looks streamlined and professional.
Let’s take a look at the very many ways you can combine your clothes to create gorgeous Smart Casual outfits.
We start with basic pieces such as:
Blazer, skirt, dressy pants, pristine jeans, blouse, cardigan, top, and a dress.
I have chosen a few very classic items and colors but you can pick clothes that are a completely different style.
Now it’s time to play dress up and try to find as many combinations as possible.
I bet you can combine the clothes you already have in lots of new fresh ways that make you feel like you have a brand new wardrobe.
Notice how all of these outfits work with a lot of different types of shoes: Flats, heels, wedges, and even sleek boots.
Pick beautiful shoes that make you feel chic and comfortable.
There is no correlation between success and the height of your heels so don’t ruin your day by wearing stilettos if they kill your feet.
You also have a wide choice when it comes to your bag and accessories.
When your main outfit is in place you can play around with accessories that give off the vibe you’re after and pick a bag that’s big enough to hold everything you need to have an amazing day:
Water bottle, snacks, charger, note book, lap top, make-up…
When it comes to style I encourage you to create your own unique look and just OWN it.
Being a fashion lover I always tend to be over dressed and probably will be at my next conference as well.
This is because the desire to look on brand for my business overrides the need to fit in at the conference.
The most amazing look is created when your personal brand style meets clothes that are suitable for the occasion.
As the face of your business you want people to instantly understand who you are, what you do, and how you do it.
Just like a logo.
So if you’re a rock chick turned web designer you could create a look that revolves around the world’s most amazing designer leather jacket and if you’re lawyer you can go for a striking classic ensemble in a surprising color.
As a speaker you can own the room in one of those power woman shift dresses that look amazing on stage and if you’re a yoga teacher you might love a soft flowy dress in harmonious natural colors.
I’m dying to show you how nail your look so please leave a comment below and I’ll be there to help out in any type of fashion emergency.
Get my 3 Outfit Formulas for Women Entrepreneurs for more in depth ideas on what to wear to a conference.
- How to look slim and sleek by altering your clothes.
- How to get gorgeous legs by choosing the right hemline.
- How to look professional in an easy way.