Dressy/Casual Outfit

I have a lot of these kinds of outfits in my repertoire. I call them Dressy/Casual. They’re those kinds of outfits that consist of some casual pieces and some dressier elements. All together, they give off a not-quite dressed up, but still put-together vibe. Austin is a dressy/casual kind of city if it’s not just casual/casual. I have always admired people that can pull off this kind of (dare I say) “effortless” type of look. People who can pretty much show up anywhere short of a gala or wedding and look exactly right for the occasion.

Well, guess what? It takes effort to look effortless sometimes. Here’s my recipe for a dressy/casual kind of look:

1. Start with a casual base. Are you gonna wear jeans and a t-shirt? A jersey dress from Target? Great. Go for it. Here, I am wearing black skinny jeans and a slouchy printed tank. I think jeans work well with dressy/casual, but dressing them up works best when they are dark.

2. Add one dressier layering element. If you’re wearing a slouchy top, add a structured layer, like a tailored blazer. If you’re wearing a tank dress or top, you can wear a slouchy overlayer in a nice fabric, like this or this.

3. Simple jewelry. Just adding a necklace or even a belt will take your outfit from “who cares?” to “Look! I tried! (but it was easy).” Look for pieces that are simple, and maybe have a little color to them. A nice light gold, silver, or brass goes with a lot and doesn’t scream “look at me” like some brighter golds do.

4. Casual shoes, with a little heel or wedge. A little heel or wedge can go a long way, and can make a casual outfit look pretty polished, just on their own. Right now menswear-inspired shoes are really big, and a high-heeled loafer can look pretty perfect with your jeans, but are still comfortable enough to walk around in all day. A suede pump kind of gives off a similar dressy/casual vibe, too.

Those are just a few ways you can think about dressing up your casual attire to elevate it into dressy/casual/effortless territory. What are some ways you achieve this kind of look?

Dressy/Casual Outfit

Dressy/Casual Outfit

Blazer: F21, Tank: Anthro, Jeans: Madewell, Necklace: Kendra Scott, Boots: Swedish Hasbeens

Dressy/Casual Outfit

October 12, 2011

12 Responses to Dressy/Casual

  1. laura says:

    Awesome tips, Laurel. I love how that blazer can be dressy and casual, too, depending on how you wear the sleeves!

  2. I just love your tips! :) x

  3. Jamie Rose says:

    I love the color of your blazer! Blazers make any outfit look more polished and put-together.

  4. I am dreadful at looking dressy/casual! I am one of those people who can’t pull it off at all. I wish I was better at putting together cute looks.
    Your outfit is fab, love that gorgeous blazer :)

  5. Rlutz says:

    I am in love with that blazer! Dressy/Casual is how I try to dress for work when I don’t have meetings, but I tend to veer more dressy, probably because I am not a fan of jeans on me!

  6. Sabrina says:

    I adore your pink blazer! And I totally agree with the addition of jewelry- a little effort can go a long way!


  7. Sarah says:

    I love the blazer and skinny jeans look. I am actually sporting it today off blog because it feels professional enough at work and yet casual enough to get a little dirty if I have to. I especially like the peachy/pink colors you used in the blazer and tank. It makes me want to try a few pastels.

  8. Kristin Wyly says:

    HOLY SNAP I love that blazer! It looks so boss with that pattern.

  9. Linda says:

    Your pink socks peeking out from your boots are so divine! I love how everything is color-coordinated without being too coordinated. You are awesome. :o)

  10. Tanvi says:

    Love your jacket! It is my current fav. color :)

    ♡ from © tanvii.com

  11. This is pretty much my everyday dressing m.o. and I think you got it just right. I think your outfit is perfect for a business casual setting. It’s young and fresh, but still professional looking.

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