How to Create A Smart-Casual Capsule Wardrobe For The Fall Season: 10 Pieces / 9 Outfits

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In recent years, a style has emerged that is growing in popularity, especially in the workplace. It’s called “Smart Casual”. The term can be kind of confusing, since is a mix of two words that are opposites of each other! So what is “Smart Casual” style and how do you wear it? Let’s define what “Smart Casual” is, where you wear it and look at a capsule wardrobe with several outfits.

I created a Smart-Casual Spring Mini Capsule Wardrobe a few months ago using a few core closet essentials, so be sure to check out that post as well!

What Is Smart Casual?

Smart Casual is a blend of two styles. The “Smart” is refers to business workwear style and the “Casual” refers to everyday, comfortable style. Smart Casual gives you more flexibility with your outfits and is suitable to wear more places that just the workplace.

Smart Casual style includes well-fitted, neat and office-appropriate pieces that are slightly less formal than a business-casual or business-professional dress code. Smart casual is much more elevated and put-together than just casual wear.

What Pieces Do You Wear?

When you put together a Smart Casual outfit, you want to include both “smart” and “casual” pieces.

SMART CASUAL GRAPHIC

Here are a few “Smart” example pieces you can include in your outfits:

  • tailored blazer
  • sweater blazer
  • trench coat
  • blouse
  • trousers
  • skirt
  • flats
  • pumps
  • loafers
  • structured bag or work tote
  • simple leather belt

Here are a few “Casual” example pieces you can include in your outfits:

  • t-shirt / tee (a slim-fitted one looks best)
  • non-distressed jeans (medium wash or dark wash)
  • button-down shirt
  • sweater
  • pants
  • casual sneakers

Smart Casual Style Tips

  • Opt for well-fitted, polished casual pieces (slim tee rather than a baggy tee, avoid distressed jeans for the workplace, avoid baggy clothes).
  • Rather than flashy and too trendy styles, focus more on foundation essentials that are timeless and classic.
  • Use at least one piece from both smart and casual in your outfits.
  • Neutral colors look best in smart casual, but colorful pieces are acceptable, depending on the occasion and event.
  • Avoid wearing chunky jewelry, but opt for simple jewelry.

Where To Wear Smart Casual

You can wear Smart Casual style mostly anywhere! Here are a few places to wear your outfits:

  • Workplace – Some workplaces allow smart casual in their dress code, so check to see if you can wear smart casual to your workplace.
  • Events – like luncheons, conferences or meetings.
  • Weddings and Graduations
  • Shopping
  • Restaurants

Do I Need To Create A Smart Casual Wardrobe?

Your answer depends on how often you will wear the outfits. If you need an outfit just to wear to an event, then you can pull a few pieces from your closet to put together an outfit using the example pieces listed above. But, if you plan on wearing Smart Casual outfits to your workplace throughout the week, you will need to create a wardrobe.

Number of pieces to include: The amount of clothes and shoes to include in your wardrobe again depends on how often you will wear your outfits. To have a Smart Casual wardrobe to wear to work everyday, you should include 20-25 pieces for a season.

SMART CASUAL OUTFIT ON CLOTHES RACK - BLAZER TEE JEANS CAP TOE PUMPS BELT BLACK BAG

Outfit Details:
white tee
black blazer
similar blue jeans
black bag
black reversible horsebit belt
cap toe pumps “pudding nappa w/black fabric” color Chanel-inspired pumps!
clothes rack (similar)
wood hangers (similar)

How To Create A Smart Casual Wardrobe For The Fall Season

Step 1 – Choose A Base Color

Black or Navy:  Black and navy are the two most commonly used colors in capsule wardrobes, but you can use other neutral colors as your base color, like brown, gray, tan or camel.  Black is an all-around great base color to use because it goes with so many other colors.  If you would rather not use black, then navy goes well with several other colors as well.  

Step 2 – Select a Few Layers

Start with your layers first, since those will be the statement pieces of your outfits. Choose tailored blazers, sweater blazers, trench coat, cardigans and structured coats/jackets. Depending on the weather where you live, you can choose materials like cotton, knit, wool, cashmere, etc. Darker colors and Fall-themed colors, like camel, tan, olive, burgundy, etc. look great in the Fall season!

Step 3 – Select Several Tops

Choose several tops like slim tees, button-down shirts, blouses and sweaters. Once again, choose your tops depending on the office temps and/or weather temps (long sleeves, short sleeves, etc). You can include neutral colors, other colors and patterns (stripes, floral, plaid, etc).

Step 4 – Select Several Bottoms

Add several bottoms like jeans, casual pants and trousers, skirts. You can include neutral colors, other colors and patterns (plaid, houndstooth, etc).

Step 5 – Select a Few Pairs of Shoes

Add a few pairs of shoes like pumps, flats and loafers. Neutral colors, like black, beige, camel or tan look great and you can also include Fall color and/or pattern shoes, like burgundy, olive, plaid pattern, etc.

Step 6 – Add Accessories

Complete your outfits with simple jewelry, belts and/or scarves/bandanas.

Expand this mini capsule

You can expand this smart-casual mini capsule by adding more tops, bottoms, and/or layers to make more outfits! Just add more neutral color and/or accent color pieces from your closet that will coordinate with the pieces in this mini capsule.

HOW TO CREATE A SMART CASUAL FALL MINI CAPSULE WARDROBE

The 10-Piece Smart-Casual
Fall Mini Capsule Wardrobe

SMART CASUAL MINI CAPSULE WARDROBE FALL 2022 - COLLAGE

Layers:
1. houndstooth pattern blazer
2. tan sweater blazer

Tops:
3. white button-down shirt
4. black slim tee
5. white slim tee

Bottoms:
6. black pants
7. blue jeans
8. ecru jeans

Shoes:
9. black pumps
10. beige loafers “soft beige leather” color

Accessories:
Portland Leather Triangle Bag in “black”
Use my promo code “CLASSYYETTRENDY” for 25% your order!

black belt
CZ earrings
hoop earrings
CZ necklace

Shop The Capsule Wardrobe:

9 Outfits:

SMART CASUAL MINI CAPSULE WARDROBE FALL 2022 - OUTFIT 1
SMART CASUAL MINI CAPSULE WARDROBE FALL 2022 - OUTFIT 2
SMART CASUAL MINI CAPSULE WARDROBE FALL 2022 - OUTFIT 3
SMART CASUAL MINI CAPSULE WARDROBE FALL 2022 - OUTFIT 4
SMART CASUAL MINI CAPSULE WARDROBE FALL 2022 - OUTFIT 5
SMART CASUAL MINI CAPSULE WARDROBE FALL 2022 - OUTFIT 6
SMART CASUAL MINI CAPSULE WARDROBE FALL 2022 - OUTFIT 7
SMART CASUAL MINI CAPSULE WARDROBE FALL 2022 - OUTFIT 8
SMART CASUAL MINI CAPSULE WARDROBE FALL 2022 - OUTFIT 9

How Fashion Influencers Wear Smart Casual Outfits

See how these fashion influencers wear their Smart Casual outfits…

image source – Fashion Jackson

image source – @Cocobeautea

image source – @ewelinakanty

image source – @hellokimlet

image source – @nenaevans

Thank you for visiting the blog!
I hope enjoyed this post!

A Bit Of Inspiration For Your Day:

“Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” Psalms 100:2

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4 Comments

  1. I am so glad I discovered your blog. I am trying to curate my closet and have a quasi capsule wardrobe. I already have most of these basics. Thank you so much for what you do and time you spend. It is certainly helpful.

  2. This is perfect timing Leanne! We are going to Boston in early October to visit our grandson and nephew. We will be seeing the sights and going to dinners. I have been pondering what to pack/wear…..this combination is perfect!

  3. Leanne- I just love this ‘smart/casual’ look! As a retired teacher, I do have lunches out with friends and also enjoy two days a week in the city. (Most days, work clothes go on first thing but I try and always change for trips to town.) Thank you so much!

  4. Hi, I know you did not have us men in mind but I am about to head to Paris and your blog popped up on my Google feed.
    Just want to say your advice is great and applies to us too. I want to just use carry-on and your visuals really made the concept stand out for me. Thanks John

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