Nothing strikes more fear into a person than an invite marked with the dress code “smart casual”.
It’s the fashion equivalent of walking across a minefield.
Will it be the kind of place where they really mean “smart but not quite a ballgown”? Or do they really mean “casual-but-not-pyjamas-you-slob?”.
For something so seemingly harmless and informal, ‘smart casual’ sure causes a lot of angst.
Either way, it's not just us mere mortals who are totally bamboozled by it.
Even celebrities - for whom attending events is basically part of their job - don't have the whole smart casual dress code thing worked out.
Yesterday was the Oscar Nominees Luncheon, a time for all this year's nominees to gather together and celebrate their achievements "informally", with a (you guessed it) smart casual dress code rather than the black or white tie of the official ceremony.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) February 7, 2017