What is Smart Casual? Research from Nordstrom Trunk Club Reveals 2018’s Most Searched Styles and Style Questions

CHICAGO, IL, Dec. 13, 2018 -- Nordstrom Trunk Club, a personal styling service for men and women, examined the most searched fashion styles in 2018 across all 50 states to see what styles and style questions people across the country are searching for.

The study examined more than 400 different search engine queries about specific style questions (such as what to wear with black jeans, how to wear a denim jacket, and how to wear a scarf) and over 200 general style questions (such as professional, athletic, and chic) and noted how their popularity varies from state to state. 

United States of Style

After analyzing search trends per capita, the most searched fashion style in America is smart casual, which was most popular in 21 states (which notably excludes the West Coast).

“Where casual meets formal, you will find the smart casual dress code,” says Lisey Barela, Nordstrom Trunk Club’s head of styling in Chicago. “Use your best judgment depending on the location and event, and don’t be afraid to incorporate your personality into the look. For ladies at the office, this might mean denim with a pump and a structured jacket. For men at work, consider adding a sweater on top of your button-down shirt paired with dark denim and a brown boot.”

Coming in at a tie for second place are the professional and trendy styles, which total at seven states each. Following the professional and trendy fashion styles are bohemian and vintage, which each came in at four states each.

According to search data, it seems like the athleisure trend has taken over Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire, and New Mexico, as they all want to know how to wear leggings.

Faced with this question, Barela responds, “When styled right, leggings can be a versatile addition to your wardrobe beyond the gym. They match well with oversized sweaters and tunics that cover the rear. You can round the look off with a casual, platform sneaker or a knee-high boot.”

Top 5 Style Questions

A few states have most frequently asked questions unique to them. Those in Illinois most searched “How to dress to impress,” while Nevadans most asked “How to dress gothic?” Washington is the only state whose top question is about the best way to wear a scarf, and Utahans need some advice on how to wear a suit. Those in Alaska are also curious about how to wear a dress casually. 

Most popular style questions in every state

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