While the concept of a dressy casual outfit might seem like a little bit of a contradiction, it actually ends up being a pretty perfect mix of fanciness and comfort! While interpretation may vary, the phrase “dressy casual” means that you don’t have to be dressed in full-on formalwear, but that you’d probably feel a little out of place if you wore short shorts and a crop top.
If you have an event on the horizon with a dressy casual dress code, look no further than this page for all of the formalish inspiration you could ever need! From dressy tunics with block heels to ruffle sleeve tops, here are seven dressy casual outfit ideas to help you start planning your look.
1. Style a maxi dress with heels and a structured tote for a look that transitions easily from day to night.
Fall maxi dresses are flattering, fashionable, and really on trend. While they look great during brunch in the daytime, they’re especially flirty and playful on a night out dancing because they move with your body, making it seem as though you’re floating across the dance floor! The special secret about maxi dresses is that they’re actually quite comfortable.
2. Bring a little bit of coziness to a classic cocktail dress by layering a chunky cardigan over it.
Cocktail attire can vary based on the occasion, so if you’re headed to a dressy casual daytime event, you might want to bring a little bit more of a casual feel to a traditional cocktail dress. One way to do this is to layer on a chunky cardigan in a neutral color. You’ll keep warm and look cozy without sacrificing the fanciness of your dress. To keep the ensemble from looking too casual, accessorize with sparkly statement earrings, an envelope clutch and cute shoes.
3. Rock a matching set for a slightly more casual take on the classic cocktail dress.
If the weather’s not chilly enough to dress down your cocktail dress with a sweater, opt for a two-piece ensemble. Whether you’re pairing a breezy skirt with a flowy top or rocking a matching set in a cute and colorful print, separates are an easy way to add some sweetness to your dressy casual outfit. Keep your accessories to a minimum so that your two-piece set can take center stage.
4. Take dressy tunics to the next level with flare leg pants and block heel pumps.
Dressy tunics drape over your body in a way that adds just the right amount of visual interest to an outfit. Instead of styling a tunic with jeans and booties like you might for a weekend of errands, dress it up with block heel pumps and flirty flare leg pants. To add an extra level of peppy playfulness, tease your hair into a sky high ponytail and throw on your sparkliest pair of stud earrings.
5. Get down in a swingy jumpsuit that’s totally on trend.
Jumpsuits are bold without being distracting, trendy without being over the top. Since they’re one pieces, they’re basically instant outfits, which makes getting ready an absolute breeze. For daytime, a pair of strappy sandals and a straw bag make this the perfect look for a summery get together. To transition into night time, tie your hair up into a topknot and put on a pair of dangly earrings. How easy was that?!
6. Ruffle sleeve tops are super feminine when styled with black trousers and wedge sandals.
Ruffle sleeve tops are as comfy as your favorite T-shirt, but look way fancier. These are great for dressy casual affairs because they already have such a flirty swinginess to their silhouette. Pick a top in a romantic color like blush or a sweet print like swiss dot and make it the focal point of our ensemble. Black trousers and wedge sandals are the perfect complements.
7. Accessorize a simple shift dress with sparkly accessories and cute shoes.
Shift dresses are extremely versatile and are a natural fit for any dressy casual outfit. Even if you stick with a basic color like black, navy blue or gray, you can add playfulness to your overall look with the right accessories. Colorful earrings or a jeweled headband draw attention to your pretty face, while cute shoes with flirty details like studs or leopard print are perfectly unexpected.
Formalish Style, Fully Fun Look
Dressy casual outfits let you get super creative, building stylish outfits that are neither too fancy nor too casual. It’s really the perfect dress code, once you know how to plan your looks around it, and literally anyone can pull it off!