5 tips for smart-casual dressing

A style class with Lu Yan

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It’s not every day you can get styling tips from one of China’s top supermodels. Here, model/fashion designer Lu Yan offers advice on how to dress for the smart-casual dress code. 

Lu Yan at the 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize
Asia regional final.


Casual elegance

What are the trans-seasonal basics every woman needs to base their wardrobe around?

A lightweight sweater, a pair of jeans and a casual blazer are good choices for trans-seasonal basics.

What’s the trick to finding the perfect balance between casual and elegant with clothes?

My advice is to always play with different styles, I don’t recommend dressing in just one style from head to toe. Another piece of advice is to always show off your best asset - that is what makes you look most attractive.

What do you wear to an event when the dress code is ‘smart casual’?

Pretty much like what I wore to the International Woolmark Prize Asia Regional - a pair of black skinny jeans, white tee and a smart casual blazer.

The all-important jacket is an essential. What is the must-have style to cross all occasions? And what the key quality signifiers to look for?

Like the Chanel jacket, it must have classic elegance. These types of tailored jackets don’t usually have a very complex design, which is why fabric and cut are so important.

What are the styling tips you would recommend to achieve casual elegance?

You must be unafraid to experiment; many Chinese women don’t feel particularly confident about their figures, so they don’t try out different styles, which is a shame. Asian women are usually slimmer from the waist up and heavier at the bottom. My advice is to wear something fitted at the top paired with wide-leg pants or a long skirt, along with a pair of heels. This will elongate your silhouette as well as hide the curvier parts of your body.

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