How to make a dress look casual

how to make a fancy dress look casual

Because I live in a place where “dressing up” is pretty frowned upon, I spend a lot of my time trying to dress down instead: by which I mean taking those so-called “fancy” dresses (Which often aren’t actually “fancy” at all, but basically ANY kind of dress is considered super-dressy around these parts…), and trying to make them look just a little more casual.

The key words here are “a little bit”: you’re never going to make a TRULY fancy dress look casual, no matter how hard you try, so the first thing I’d say here is that if it’s REALLY important that you look “casual”, it’s probably better to just wear something casual in the first place. If you think you can get away with something a little more fun, however, here are some ways to dress down that fancy dress of yours…

how to dress down your outfit

01. JUST ADD KNITWEAR

Knitwear is one of my favourite ways to dress down a dress – in fact, if you check out my other blog later this week, you’ll see what I mean! It might sound too easy to be true, but I always find that throwing a cardigan, sweater, or even a denim jacket over the top of a dress will instantly make it look more casual. Of course, you have to make sure that your chosen knitwear is appropriately causal to begin with, for this to work: a sparkly or sequinned cardi, for instance, will probably have the opposite effect to the one intended!

02. AND TIGHTS

I’ve never been a big fan of opaque tights, but even I have to admit they come in handy if you want to make a dress look a little more causal. God bless those trusty black opaques!

03. WEAR FLATS RATHER THAN HEELS

I’ve managed to “get away with” wearing many a prom-style dress to a casual occasion, simply by switching my usual heels for a pair of flats. That’s not to say that flat shoes can’t ever look dressy, obviously, but like that cardigan I mentioned above, they do tend to bring the “dressiness” factor down a notch, and trick people into thinking you’re not THAT “dressed up”!

04. KEEP HAIR AND MAKEUP NATURAL 

I often find that it’s not the dress itself that creates that “dressed up” effect – it’s what you wear with it. I’m not suggesting you give up on grooming here, but if I want to dress down an outfit, I’ll normally keep my hair and makeup pretty simple – wearing my hair up almost ALWAYS looks “dressy”, for instance, and bright red lipstick will also create an air of “effort”. By leaving my hair loose and straight, and keeping my makeup as natural as I can stand, people are less likely to ask me if I’m on my way to a wedding – even if the dress I’m wearing wouldn’t necessarily be out of place at one.

05. LIFE IS SHORT: JUST WEAR THE DAMN DRESS…

Of course, you COULD just ignore all of this, and dress to the nines, if it makes you happy. Life is short, after all…

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