What to Wear to Casual Events

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This year I would love to see posts on what to wear for occasions outside of your normal everyday wardrobe. I know you have done posts on what to wear to weddings etc. but I would be interested to see posts on what to wear for more casual events where you still want to look nice but everyone else has pretty much just gone for practical comfort (e.x. sporting and outdoor events, BBQs, a weekend at a lake house). Thanks for all you do and Happy New Year!

what to wear casually

Casual events and occasions such as bbqs and sporting events don’t require a whole extra wardrobe. The thing to remember is that you want to put together your outfit with the same kind of thoughts as you’d put into a work outfit.

1. Make sure it’s your personality style.  It needs to be you – rather than what other people are wearing (if that’s not what you like).  If you’re the kind of person who likes to dress up, then dress up rather than down, just relax it a little more than usual.

2. Think about fabrics – more casual fabrics such as denim, corduroy, jersey and cotton are all great for more casual occasions.

3. Accessorize – just because you’re going somewhere more casual, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t add a necklace, scarf, hat, sunglasses etc.  Just think about leaving the diamonds at home and wearing the wooden beads, the cotton scarf rather than the silk one.

4. Shoes matter – rather than opting for sneakers (unless you’re planning on running), look for some great flat shoes or boots that will add style to your outfit.

You can be comfortable but still stylish.  Just remember, casual doesn’t mean sloppy!

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7 Comments

  • Regarding the work outfits, what I dont understand about them is the cut of pants and style of boots. I asked you earlier about wrap dresses (which is easier to adjust the dresscodes with), but Im wondering whats your opinion about Tall Boots (below knee, semi-shiny leather) and Slim fit trousers to a Relaxed Workplace (in my case retail)? Is this Smart- or Busines Casual Territory or a No-No according to you? I often hear that its consider “too sexy for work” when I search online but at other website, people think its professional enough so I cannot make a final thought about it.

    An outfit like this eventually a tailored jacket or cardi?
    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7301/12081378233_62d34e243e_b.jpg

    Why I ask is that Ive searching for years after a pair of bootcut slacks that are for people with long legs and tiny waist (mine is 23½” and regulare inseam so most adult sizes are out, even kids section are too short for me, despite being 5’5″/168cm average height :S) and got myself a pair of skinnier style (hybrid of dresspants and treggings, they has the dresspant material but no zipper) that I wear with tall boots (to make them less noticeable, I blend them into the slacks color since they are low heeled). I can fit into bootcut dressier jeans but I feel that its more of a “night out smart casual” look?
    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7301/12081378233_62d34e243e_b.jpg

    I wear these outfit for evening social functions that are more relaxed, but often wondering if they are professional enough for Retail. 😛

    • I don’t see anything wrong with these outfits for retail in general. They wouldn’t work in a corporate office, but for every day – in a non-corporate more casual environment they seem great. Knee-high boots over pants are fine to wear both day and night.

      • Yeah, I know it isnt corporate but didnt know if they were suited for any work that isnt…well “garage/gardening/housework” type. (e.g. my mother work with disable people and wear longue clothes. lol) Also, I live in a fairy small town and rarely see women wearing suits or 3-4″ heeled pumps, but I dont have any work experience so I prefer ask people before wearing it. 😛 There is alot of debate about tall boots and slim fit pants to work in general (that they are too casual, night-out-ish) online and people take the *Something*-casual dresscodes so loosely, so I got “lost”. I usually use them as a guideline when I decide what to wear, since the “terms” of them are not so know where I live (not English person, Im Swedish). Been experiences where I wore a too fancy dress to a pizza resturant at the beach where everyone else wore shorts and walking sandals and that was really awkward… 😀
        Thanks for replying. :3

        • Context of where you live is so important. New York is very different from outback Australia for sure! Knee-high boots are a daytime staple for many women who are in casual environments – particularly in winter when they keep you warmer! Flat boots are more casual than those with high heels too – if you’re thinking about the whole day/night issue.

          • Regarding that issue, I cannot wear high heels due to medical reasons (they cause to much pressure on my ankles/calves. Slim wedges and low heels are bearable but not the dressy “skinny”/chunky high heeled kinds). I think Ive donated a half dozen of shoes that I wanted to wear for more dressy social functions and I havent find any solution for it yet. :S Either wearing them and go to hospital frequently or being slightly underdressed, Im not sure which one is better. My feets was damaged for a month when I wore 3” chunky ankle booties for 2 hours once, so this isnt a “small” problem that can be fixed with inserts. Even thin soled flats give same problems. However, living in rural area, the boots in the outfits shouldnt be too underdressed when you just eating dinner at an after-work restuarant or casual evening outs I think :-P. ( Because of the ankle injury, I always end up going dressier with my garments and keeping my footwear more “smart” , like dressing down a simple cocktail dress with tall boots & classic cardigan! I wouldnt wear those furry winter boots and sporty combat boots however… 😛
            Contrary to this post, i struggling with dressier events (dressy casual parties and semi-formal wedding kinds) because of my footwear issue. x_X

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