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?
October 12, 2011