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Women's smart casual shoes: what even are they? Here's 10 we love

Need inspiration for a movie date, or just want to know what the hell smart casual means? We've got you.

Picture this: you've got an invite to a social gathering, and the dress code says 'smart casual.' First of all, who came up with that term? It sounds like a dress code created by a bunch of smart alecks trying to confuse us. But no worry, I'm here to explain so you don't go into full panic mode.

Smart casual, in a nutshell, is conventional, but planned. Think of something you'd wear to a dinner date, to the office, or to the movies. Depending on the type, it could even be a job interview. Smart casual is always a safe bet unless you're told what the dress code is, in which case you'd take it up a notch. Let's say smart casual is much classier step up from flip-flops and BBQ. Meaning sneakers are allowed, but only if they're nice and look polished.

Now, let's talk shoes. They're the crown jewel of any smart casual outfit. They can elevate your look from 'meh' to 'hell yeah!' But hey, it's not just about parties and social events. These shoes are perfect for those casual Fridays at work when you want to show off your personality without sacrificing professionalism. They're like your work BFF – reliable, supportive, and always there to make you look good! And let's not forget those spontaneous brunch dates, where you want to look effortlessly put-together without trying too hard. With the right pair of smart casual shoes, you can conquer the world and still have time for a mimosa or two.

And with that, let's dive into my smart casual footwear choices for today's blog.

10 Life-Saving Women's Smart Casual Shoes

1.

If you know me, you know I'm obsessed with these black leather ballet flats. The brown ones are lovely as well. These chic and versatile shoes are a must-have for any smart casual wardrobe. They're the perfect choice for a myriad of occasions, from office meetings to casual luncheons with friends. They're great for a mid-day stroll or even just a laid-back office gathering, where you want to look polished without sacrificing comfort. Slip into these ballet flats with a tailored pair of ankle-length trousers and a flowy blouse. Voilà! Effortless sophistication achieved.

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2. Terrane Brushed Nutmeg Brown Leather Loafers

These brown leather tassel loafers are suave and sophisticated, and perhaps more on the formal side, but there's people who will disagree. They're probably just a safe, middle-of-the-road option. These dapper shoes are the epitome of smart casual charm. When you need to up the style ante for a business casual event, these loafers will be your go-to wingmen. For a networking mixer, for instance, they'll work great with tailored chinos, a crisp button-down shirt, and a sleek blazer. For a more relaxed occasion, like a Sunday afternoon stroll, pair these loafers with cuffed jeans, a cozy sweater, and a classic trench coat.

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3. Luke Onix Black Leather Ballet Flats

These beautiful black patent leather ballet flats seem very formal at first perhaps, but the three straps add a little fun to the outfit. Imagine you're attending a cocktail party where you want to stand out without going overboard. These are the perfect shoes for that. For a more edgy look, pair these flats with black skinny jeans, a fitted leather jacket, and a statement clutch. For something more relaxed, wear a pair of bootcut jeans or a denim skirt.

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4.

These black leather ankle boots are probably the smart casual shoe par excellence. They're what you wear when you have absolutely NO CLUE what to wear. Why? Because they always, always work. Gallery opening? Dinner with the in-laws? High school reunion? Literally the supermarket? Anything goes. Slip into these ankle boots with a midi skirt, a tucked-in blouse, and a tailored blazer. For a casual night out with friends, pair these boots with skinny jeans, a trendy oversized sweater, and a chunky scarf. You're welcome.

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5. Roxanne Black

These black leather loafers are great, because they're not exorbitantly tall or anything, so you can wear them in an understated way if you want, but they're also a great way of elevating a casual outfit. They're great for corporate events, job interviews, first dates... Anywhere where you want to look good and will probably have to walk around a little bit. For this, I'd go for a pantsuit, or a monochromatic black outfit. Perhaps a simple jumper and jeans or a black jumpsuit.

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6.

These white cream leather chunky loafers are on the sunnier side, but they're great to wear year-round. Normally, these would go great with a simple dress or a basic pair of jeans, but also as a way to contrast a dark outfit. I'm thinking black roll neck, high-waisted black jeans, and black sunglasses. Another option is For a playful day of exploring the city, pair them with high-waisted shorts, a tucked-in graphic tee, and a denim jacket.

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7. Rivet Black Leather Loafers

These super simple black penny loafers also work wonders for any smart casual outfit. Since they're flat, they're super comfy and can be walked in for ages and ages. When you want a look that's refined yet laid-back, these are definitely a go-to.your go-to choice. For a casual day of exploring the city, pair these loafers with cropped jeans, a tucked-in blouse, and a light cardigan.

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8. Tb.65 Apple Bright White

You know I couldn't forget about sneakers! If you look up for smart casual shoes online, you will literally only see white sneakers. And fairly so – they're a great, safe option, just like the black ankle leather boot. Perhaps that's why these white vegan leather sneakers are so popular – they give a more polished look to your outfit. Casual brunch? White sneakers, jeans, blazer. Bam. Farmer's market Sunday? Crisp jacket, white sneakers. Bam again. Plus, vegan apple leather is definitely a conversation starter, so that's that.

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9. Berenice Coffee Brown Leather Ankle Boots

Couldn't forget about a good old pair of brown leather chelsea boots. These are great for transitional weather especially, but really depends on the climate where you live. I usually rock these with a dress and high knee socks or if it's colder, a cute brown rollneck and a beige trench coat and straight cut jeans. For a night out with friends, pair these boots with a flowy midi dress, a leather jacket, and some statement accessories. These are also a great alternative to heels, because the chunky platform will make you look a bit taller and elongate your legs.

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10. Reggie Onix Black Leather Pumps

These black patent leather slingback pumps are definitely among the most formal of the bunch, but I'm adding them on here because they're actually super comfy and look good in any situation. You can pair them with a stunning evening gown but also with a midi skirt and legwarmers, TBH. A simple jumpsuit and white ankle socks will give it a vintage spin, or just casual ankle jeans and a white blouse or cami top might look just as good.

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