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The Dressy Casual Attire That’ll Work for Any Occasion

Two young friends walking in a park.
Dean Drobot/Shutterstock.com

Let’s face it—you’re busy. We’re living in a fast-paced society, and you might find yourself going from work to dinner with friends on the weekdays, and hopping around weddings and graduation parties on the weekends, especially throughout the summer. It’s hard enough to keep up with that kind of schedule, but the last thing you should be stressed over is what to wear.

If you want to optimize your wardrobe for just about any occasion, fill it with dressy-casual attire.

Dressy-casual clothes work for a variety of situations and environments, and you don’t have to worry about being uncomfortable in something too formal and stiff. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how you can put dressy-casual outfits together for any occasion.

What Is Dressy Casual Attire?

Dressy-casual attire sits somewhere between formal and ripped jeans. It’s a relatively laid-back style that should lean a bit more into the “dressy” side, especially depending on the occasion.

The style is most commonly found at daytime weddings, where people might not want to go all out in tuxedos and heavy dresses, but it can be used for work events, dinners, and everything in between. Dressy-casual outfits should feature light colors and casual materials.

Women’s Dressy Casual Attire

Woman lounging and laughing in a sun dress, playing with her hair
Look Studio/Shutterstock.com

Obviously, what qualifies as dressy-casual for men and women is a bit different. Women shouldn’t be “confined” to long formal dresses made of satin and sequins. But, if you’re not sure what to wear for your next relaxed event, we’ve got you covered with a few essential pieces.

Dresses and Skirts

Perhaps the easiest way to perfect the dressy-casual code is by wearing a sun dress or skirt that’s lightweight, comfortable, and doesn’t have a lot of frills. Choose materials like cotton or jersey knit, and you’ll stay cool even when you’re at a hot outdoor wedding.

MOLERANI Women's Sleeveless Loose Plain Maxi Dresses Casual Long Dresses with Pockets

Stay comfortable and look classy with a casual maxi dress.

YATHON Women's Spaghetti Straps Party Sundress Casual Beach Summer Dresses

Simple, casual, and perfect for work or a summer picnic---plus, it has pockets!

Womens Casual A-Line Skirts High Waisted Midi Pleated Swing Skirt Brown

A beautiful light-weight skirt that works for the office or a party, especially if you love a vintage vibe.


When it comes to tops, you don’t want anything too frilly or stiff. Depending on the blouse you choose, you might be able to pair it with linen pants or a maxi skirt, and turn around and pair it with jeans for a less formal occasion. Choose blouses that can be repurposed for different outfits with different accessories, and you’ll get more bang for your buck.

TASAMO Women's Printed Flouncing Flared Short Sleeve Blouse Top Shirts Floral

The blouse that goes with just about anything - in 48 different colors and patterns. You'll want to stock up!

Pants and Jumpsuits

Yes, you can wear pants and be dressy! Two-piece ensembles look great, and you can get creative with prints and colors in a dressy-casual setting. Darker colors should be reserved for more formal environments.

Jumpsuits are also becoming more popular and widely accepted at weddings and other special events. Choose light colors and fabrics, and don’t be afraid to choose a “flowy” material that looks and feels comfortable.

ANRABESS Women's Summer Straps One Shoulder Pleated High Waist Casual Wide Leg Jumpsuit Romper with Pockets

A light and loose jumpsuit can be the star outfit of any special occasion

ZESICA Women's 2023 Casual Off Shoulder Solid Color Strapless Belted Wide Leg Jumpsuit Romper

Add a blazer or cardigan for the office and you can't go wrong with this one-piece romper.

Men’s Dressy Casual Attire

Man wearing navy blazer holding coffee and talking on the phone
YURII MASLAK/Shutterstock.com

A dressy-casual dress code means you don’t have to feel like a penguin in a three-piece suit. Men’s dressy-casual attire can be switched up using a few essential pieces, fabrics, and colors, so you’ll have an outfit at the ready for just about any occasion.


You really can’t go wrong with a nice pair of trousers and a button-down shirt if you’re trying to look nice without overdoing it. While you might be able to get away with a pair of dark jeans once in a while, it’s better to have a variety of more “formal” fabrics, like linen, cotton, flannel, tweed, or wool, depending on the season.

When it comes to color, just about anything will work, but try to avoid black as it can often appear too formal. Grays and tans tend to go with just about anything, so you can mix and match outfits easily.

Match Men's Slim Fit Tapered Stretchy Casual Pants

A tailored, casual pant you can dress up or down for any occasion.

Van Heusen Men's Flex Straight Fit Flat Front Pant

A classic brand, classic fit, and a variety of colors.

Tommy Hilfiger mens Stretch Chino in Custom Fit Casual Pants

You can't go wrong when you invest in a few pairs of classic chinos.


Again, you can’t go wrong with a button-down shirt, but make sure it’s not something that looks like it’s been starched into a stiff board. Lighter colors like cream and light blue are great to have in your wardrobe, since they can be used with a variety of other colors and you can finish the look with a sweater or blazer.

Polo shirts, or even crisp t-shirts can also be used for dressy-casual attire when you complete your outfit with a few more polished pieces, like tailored trousers or a jacket.

JMIERR Men's Summer Casual Stylish Short Sleeve Button-Down Shirts Cotton Linen

Mix things up with different patterns and colors that work for the office and for free time.

PEGENO Men's Casual Slim Fit Short Sleeve Henley T-Shirts Cotton Shirts

Even a henley can be dressed up with a sport coat or jacket, so you'll be comfortable and casual all day.

Blazers and Sweaters

Speaking of completing an outfit, nothing pulls an ensemble together like a blazer, sweater, or sportcoat.

One of the great things about blazers and sweaters is that you can dress them up or down depending on the occasion. A light linen blazer is perfect for an outdoor wedding, and a sweater over a button-up is a perfect way to add something special to a holiday party outfit.

The best part? These pieces can be mixed and matched and can be removed to completely change the look of an outfit.

Men's Linen Casual Sport Coat Jacket Slim Fit 2 Button Blazer Camel

A simple, lightweight blazer can pull just about any outfit together.

Amazon Essentials Men's Cotton Cardigan Sweater

You can't go wrong with a classic cardigan to class up any outfit.

COOFANDY Men's Crew Neck Sweater Classic Fit Lightweight Long Sleeve Knitted Pullover for Casual Or Dressy Wear

When cooler weather hits, you'll want a few dressy-casual sweaters in your wardrobe.

Putting together a dressy-casual wardrobe doesn’t have to be complicated. With a few simple, select pieces in your arsenal, you can mix and match and change up your look in an instant. Don’t overthink the “rules” of this dress code. As long as you’re not wearing ripped jeans and t-shirts, you’re probably more on point with it than you think!

Whether you’re putting together a summer wardrobe capsule, looking for a few outfits to wear to weddings, or you want to switch up your look at work, these dressy casual outfit suggestions will go a long way in keeping you cool, comfortable, and classy.

Stacey Koziel Stacey Koziel
Stacey Koziel is a news writer at LifeSavvy. She's worked as a freelance writer for over ten years, focusing on family and lifestyle content. She also has a background in marketing and social media, and is always eager to talk (and write!) about the latest TikTok trends. Read Full Bio »
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