Do you ever have an event that is technically casual, but you want to take it up a notch? I’m thinking casual Friday at work, dinner with your friends you haven’t seen in a while, date night with the husband. I feel like pure casual is easy for everyone, but taking it up a notch feels more complicated sometimes. There’s tons of instances where I want to wear jeans, but I also don’t want to look like I totally gave up on the trying to look nice aspect. I call those types of events, dressy casual. Not sure that’s even a thing, but I’m going to go ahead and just use it!
It’s hard sometimes to have the right pieces in your wardrobe to cover those kinds of dressy casual events. You don’t want to necessarily wear something you would wear to work and you don’t want to wear just a tee shirt.
I have a bit of a formula to get me through my dressy casual needs. I thought it might help some of you currently struggling with this category. There are a couple components of my formula, but today we are going to talk about tops. The examples are all plus sized clothing, but many of these pieces come in straight sizes too and the formula is the same.
I personally always wear dark, white or colored denim as part of my dressy casual get up. You can definitely make it work with lighter denim, I just always feel more dressed up in darker denim.
Now that we know what we are going to wear on the bottom, we need to talk about tops. I find that tops with a flow or special detail tend to just feel dressier. I try to avoid knits and go with something with a bit of movement. If I have to go with a knit, I make sure it has something special, a ruffle detail, a knotted bottom, etc. Here are some of my current favorites.
I own this top and it is so much prettier in person than online. It’s really vibrant and I get compliments every single time I wear it. It’s really flowy and just makes you feel bright and awake when you wear it. Highly recommend wearing it with dark denim. (one sizing note, it’s a bit tight across the shoulders so size up if that’s an area you struggle with)
This blouse meets all my criteria for dressy casual. It’s available in both plus and regular sizes!
I think I’m going to have to grab this one for summer. It’s perfect! Also comes in regular and plus sizes.
I have last year’s version of this shirt and I wear it all the time. It’s not only great by itself, it’s also great under jackets. It comes in 14 colors and the Fall/Winter version has long sleeves. It’s a work horse of a top and you have to get yourself one!
Here’s an example of how I put the top, denim, shoes and accessories together recently.
I’ll be back in a couple weeks with some more of my dressy casual go to formula. In the meantime, I’d love to hear how you deal with events where you want to be casual, but pulled together in the comments!