A smart casual summer outfit

A "smart casual" summer outfit: Susan wears a red sleeveless top, Theory cotton twill trousers, red espadrilles.

While I mostly live in jeans, there are occasions when I want to dial it up a notch. Swapping out jeans for a pair of cotton twill pants helps take this summer outfit up to “smart casual.” (And it would be easy to make this look even dressier with different shoes and bag.)

A “smart casual” summer outfit

earrings | top | necklace | necklace | bracelet | pants (similar) | bag | shoes

I’m wearing XS in the top, 6 in the pants. (Pants are from a prior season, purchased on clearance, but this “Treeca” pant style seems to have consistent sizing. I did have them hemmed about an inch.)

We find that we hardly ever need to be more dressed up than smart casual, even when we travel. Everyone probably has their own definition of “smart casual,” but to me it means neat and coordinated, never fussy. The structure of the pants balances the softness of the top, and IMO is what takes this outfit up a level from strictly casual.

A pair of lightweight, tailored trousers is one of those items I’ve often wished I had when we travel. This style fits me well (even better after hemming), and is structured without being stiff. I’ve also purchased a Good Wool pair in in navy, and have fingers crossed that they’ll perhaps add a dark brown in the fall.

Some budget-friendlier pants alternatives:

Chico’s | Talbot’s (Misses/Petite/Plus) | J.Crew | Boden

How do you do “smart casual” in the summer?

Speaking of travel wardrobes…

We’ll be taking a road trip up the coast early next month. I’ll be sharing my travel wardrobe next week, so be on the lookout! You can see all of my previous travel wardrobes (for all seasons) at my Travel Wardrobe Resource Page.

The social scene

I had fun chatting live with Brian on Instagram yesterday. You can watch the whole thing HERE. Brian’s having a flash sale on many of the products mentioned. For a limited time, you can save 20% on the Lip Treatment, Eye Treatment, Neck & Throat Firming Creme, “Underwear” Sunscreen, Liquid Mineral Tint (which I’m wearing in the video and above), and Super Radiance SPF 50.

And the Over 50 Style Team will be going live today at 11am PT / 2pm ET. I’m not sure we’ve settled on a topic yet, but it’s sure to be a good time, so hope you can join us!

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  1. Question: Your pants look a little more refined than mine, but do you think my more relaxed fit chinos would look ok without cuffs in your opinion?

    1. Yes, chinos could work too. It depends on your style, but including one structured item in the outfit is what makes the look more refined, IMO. So if the pants are very relaxed, perhaps a crisper top. But if your usual style is more fluid, you could also add refinement with a silk shirt or tee.

  2. You look absolutely lovely in this outfit. Susan, your new colour scheme is so perfect for you!
    A suggestion for the Over 50 Style team -undergarments. As in, how to stop the drooping and what is best under light summer clothing.

  3. Just want to say that I am LOVING your new colors and am so happy you had them done! When I look back at the travel wardrobes and see the blacks and navys and then look at your current colors it is literally like night and day! It’s lovely joyful change!

  4. Have a lovely holiday my dear. I know you have been wanting to go for so long. We are still chicken to tell you the truth. We were supposed to go to Paris end of September but Ron thinks it is too dangerous with Covid flaring up again. Well, that is still two months to go, we’ll see what happens. Any Paris/London plans developing on your side?
    I would take this outfit with you, if I were you. It looks uncomplicated and really nice.

    1. Thanks so much, Greetje! I will probably bring this outfit, plus a sweater or jacket for the cool ocean breezes.

  5. Smart casual is a great name for the look I want. You look amazing! I love the crispness of the pants. I have never liked the wrinkly look of chinos. What fabric gives this look?