How to Do Dressy/Casual
When you aren't sure what the event will be like...
1. Keep the number of dressy and casual items balanced
2. Try to have a piece that is both dressy and casual within itself (like dark wash jeans).
3. Finish the outfit- Make sure to think about the whole picture, how the makeup and hair affect the look, as well as what kind of jewelry will work well to complete the outfit. "Matching" is not as important as what the mood of the outfit is.
4. Don't give up when it comes to the shoes! Try on lots of different styles with it to see what works. Sometimes a sexy shoe can really finish the outfit, or maybe a sweet shoe can tone it down. Wedges are a great option for moms, find one that fits your style!
5. When in doubt... add a blazer! ;) A blazer that is fitted at the waist makes any outfit a bit more chic.
Some friends of mine mentioned on facebook that they are needing to dress up and feeling like their wardrobe is lacking. It inspired me to come up with some boards for... inspiration! ;)
This first outfit is great because it is simple and sophisticated, but still festive enough for a Christmas party or work function. Also, it is still pretty comfy! :) I have one pair of snowman earrings that I wear in November, December, and January, and then they go back in the box until next year. It's fun to add playful jewelry to a nice outfit. I would probably wear simple eye makeup and a dark lip with this, maybe with my hair in a loose, low bun or chignon (to balance out the structure of the top and pants).
This next outfit is a fun way to use a piece that might normally be worn in the summer. This is the kind of thing I would wear to a party (I am seriously swooning over this dress). The dress is feminine and romantic (as well as being a great color for my pale skin), but I toughened it up with the leather (sexy) boots and the motorcycle jacket. Wearing the brown tights with it keeps a long leg line and makes it look appropriate for winter. The jewelry is simple, and plays up the neckline, as well as adding the suggestion that you did indeed purposely wear a lace dress in the winter ;) I would probably wear my hair in a bun or something simple because the dress makes such a statement. My makeup would be a smoky eye and a nude/light lip to keep it modern and a little bit sexy.
This look is really great for when you are not quite sure how other people will be dressed. You say, "Husband, how dressy is this event?" and he says, "Uh, I dunno.. nice?". You don't want to be overdressed... you don't want to be underdressed... The best thing is to just be chic! What makes this outfit work well is that the elements are very balanced between casual and dressy.
The blazer is dressy but can be worn casually, especially if you try rolling up the sleeves a bit. The jeans are jeans, and therefore inherently causal, but because of the dark wash, they are easily dressed up. The wedges are dressy because they are black patent, but the fact that they are wedges keeps them casual in a way that says you aren't trying too hard, and that low heel is still comfortable with kids (a great pair of booties would work well here too, if you live somewhere that you would be concerned about your toes...) I love the jewelry because it is a little bit glamorous and feminine to balance out the professional-ish vibe here.
With this outfit, I would wear my hair down in curls or waves to soften up that blazer (I don't want to look like a "professional", I want to look almost edgy) and either a smoky or cat eye, probably with no lipstick.