21 effortless ways to achieve dressy-casual looks

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Whether you are on your way to a museum date, to a friend’s brunch during the day or on an adventure in a new city, a dressy casual outfit will create the perfect balance between refined and casual. The dress code invites you to feel comfortable, but not so much that you show up to an office party in jeans, T-shirt and flats. When in doubt, one-piece outfits are an easy way to achieve that dressy-casual vibe because they don’t require much effort. A sundress with floral print or midi-slip design paired with sandals with straps are the kind of looks that give the impression that you have spent more time dressing than you actually did.

Some popular trends lend themselves to the dressy-casual theme. Fashion festival, for example, offers a range of crocheted and cropped dividers, fringe and jewel embellished pieces, denim staples and eye-catching accessories. That soft girl aesthetics, meanwhile, has a pastel-colored approach to a wide range of dress codes. A lavender halter knit dress paired with wedge sandals or a yellow cardigan with buttons at the front, worn with black jeans, are ideal dressy-casual outfits. Elsewhere, with pearlcore trend still going strong this summer, cheer up a plain blouse or denim jacket by sewing beaded strings on it to deliver a more elegant look.

The secret behind dressy casual is to balance the more sophisticated pieces with more casual items and accessories. Your favorite pair of kitten heels or your go-to beaded clutch will always help you reach new levels of chic. Flat sandals, alternatively, can pair back a dressy combo of tailored pants and a satin blouse.

Read on to find out how to master the dressy-casual way of dressing.

What is Dressy Casual?

Also called smart casual, dressy-casual attire combines casual, everyday basics with more formal, office-ready things. Think of wearing a silky soft blouse with your favorite by jeansstyling and festival-ready maxi dress with mesh lining with flat sandals, or wearing tailored pants with a linen shirt. Depending on your office dress code, you can get away with a dressy casual look every day. They are usually a step above jeans and graphic t-shirts, but they are not as formal as tweed suits or sheath dresses.

How can I style dressy-casual outfits?

The key to achieving that dressy-casual look? Balancing the more refined piece with an element or accessory that has a more laid-back vibe. Match, for example, a linen shorts set with strapped heels and a designer bag. Or try pairing a chunky gold necklace with one standard cami to decorate dark denim jeans. Another brunch-ready look: a satin slip dress with flat sandals and colorful bracelets. If you need more guidance, you can scroll on to our selected choices.

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