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Whether you’re going on a museum date, attending a friend’s day brunch, or adventuring in a new town, a dressy casual dress will strike the perfect balance between refinement and comfort. The dress code invites you to feel comfortable, but not so much that you attend an office party in jeans, a t-shirt and a flat. If in doubt, a one-piece dress is an easy way to achieve a dressy casual look because they don’t require much hard work. A full-print sundress or midi slip design attached to the strappy sandals gives the impression that you have spent more time wearing the dress.
Some popular trends lend themselves to dressy-casual themes. Festive fashion, for example, features crochet and cropped separation, fringe and gem-embellished pieces, denim staples and an array of eye-catching accessories. The soft girl aesthetic, meanwhile, takes a pastel approach to a wide range of dress codes. A lavender halter knit dress paired with wedge sandals or a yellow pearl button-front cardigan that is the ideal dressy casual dress worn with black jeans. Elsewhere, the pearl trend is still strong this summer, giving a more elegant look by sewing pearl strings over a regular blouse or denim jacket.
The secret to dressy casual secrets is to balance fancy pieces with more laidback items and accessories. Your favorite pair of cat heels or your go-to beaded clutch will always help you reach a glamorous new level. Flat sandals, alternatively, can give back a dressy combo of matching trousers and a satin blouse.
Read on to learn how to master the casual way of dressing.
What is a dressy casual?
Also called smart casual, the dressy casual dress combines casual, everyday basics with more formal, office ready items. Think of wearing a silky blouse with your favorite pair of jeans, styling a festive-ready mesh-line maxi dress with flat sandals, or wearing tailored trousers with a linen shirt. Depending on the dress code of your office, you can move away from the casual look of the dress every day. These are usually one step above jeans and graphic tees, but they are not as formal as tweed suits or sheer dresses.
How can I style a dressy casual dress?
The key to achieving a dressy casual look? Balancing more refined pieces with an item or accessory has a more laidback vibe. For example, a linen shorts set with strappy heels and a designer bag. Or, try pairing a chunky gold necklace with a simple cam to decorate dark denim jeans. Another brunch-ready look: a satin slip dress with flat sandals and colorful bangles. If you need more guidance, scroll down to our curated picks.