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How to Wear Dressy Casual for a Wedding

Two women and one man model dressy casual outfits.
  1. Dressy casual attire for a wedding requires a balance between formal and informal elements.
  2. Women can opt for midi skirts, wrap dresses, and jumpsuits for a stylish and comfortable look.
  3. Men should consider blazers, dress shirts, chinos, and loafers for a polished dressy casual appearance.
  4. When in doubt, it's better to slightly overdress than underdress for a wedding.

When attending a dressy casual wedding, it’s important to strike the perfect balance between sophistication and comfort. Unfortunately, that can be easier said than done. What is dressy casual for a wedding, anyway?

You want to look put together and classy without being overdressed or too relaxed for the occasion. The key to mastering this balance is understanding what dressy casual means for both women and men.

Thankfully, there are a few rules and classic outfit choices that can carry you through a men’s dressy casual or women’s dressy casual event.

What Is Dressy Casual for a Wedding

Guests tossing flower petals on a laughing bride and groom.
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

A dressy casual wedding intends to keep things elegant without being too formal and stiff. Dressy casual attire for a wedding is all about finding the middle ground between formal and informal. It gives you a lot of flexibility and freedom to express your personal flair.

Dressy Casual for Women

While men’s dressy casual and women’s dressy casual differ slightly, there are a few rules you can abide by, such as no cut-offs or denim. Jeans tend to be far too casual.

You also want to skip the t-shirts. Go for more refined women’s blouses. A sophisticated jacket and tasteful accessories can go a long way in elevating your whole look.

For anyone choosing a dress or a skirt, make sure they’re an appropriate length–typically at or slightly above the knee, though some maxi dresses and midi skirts are also appropriate.

Regarding footwear, sneakers and flip-flops are out of the question. Choose dressier shoes like flats, boots, or heels. You want to be comfortable, but you don’t want your choice of shoe to drag your outfit down.

Dressy Casual for Men

Just like women, men want to avoid jeans, cut-offs, t-shirts, and anything old, tattered, and wrinkled.

If you wear a suit, make sure it fits you well and isn’t too baggy or snug. Even if you don’t wear a full suit, consider adding a blazer to your outfit for an extra touch of sophistication. This can also help keep you warmer during fall and winter weddings.

While you don’t always have to wear a tie, you can elevate your outfit with one. Belts and men’s watches make for good dressy casual wedding accessory choices, but avoid wearing a hat.

Lastly, men should avoid choosing sneakers or any shoe that’s too casual. Opt for dress shoes, loafers, or even ankle boots in the wintertime for dressy casual weddings.

Dressy Casual Wedding Attire for Women

Three women modeling a skirt, dress, and blouse.

When selecting dressy casual attire for a wedding, women have plenty of options. Here are some outfit ideas.

Midi Skirt and Blouse

A midi skirt is an excellent choice for a dressy casual wedding. It strikes the perfect balance between formal and casual, offering both style and comfort. Pair it with a blouse or a tucked-in camisole, and you’ll look effortlessly chic.

HERBATOMIA Bodycon Midi Skirt

Warning: this skirt may make you feel too confident.

Wrap Dress

A wrap dress is a versatile and flattering option for a dressy casual wedding. It provides an elegant silhouette and is incredibly comfortable. Opt for a wrap dress in a solid color or a subtle print to keep it wedding-appropriate.

PRETTYGARDEN Women's Summer Wrap Maxi Dress

A wrap dress will flatter your body in all the best ways.


Don’t underestimate the power of a well-fitted jumpsuit. It’s a contemporary and stylish choice for a dressy casual wedding. Look for one with a tailored waist and wide-leg pants for an elevated look.

Addkaka Womens Crew Neck Long Sleeve Jumpsuit

If you're looking for ways to feel unstoppable, don't underestimate a well-fitted jumpsuit.

Knit Dress

If you want to ensure you’re comfortable, stylish, and warm, go with a knit dress or a sweater dress. Not only is this something you can look effortlessly chic in for a wedding, but you can wear this dress time and again for different occasions. It’s ideal for fall, winter, and spring weddings.

WEESO Fall Dresses for Women Long Sleeve Sweater Dress

You really can't go wrong with a comfy sweater dress.

A Dressy Shirt and Slacks

If you’re the kind of girl who’s more comfortable in pants, there’s no reason you can’t stay comfortable at a wedding. Pair a dressy blouse with a well-fitted pair of slacks and elegant heels. Make sure you don’t lean too business casual by adding your favorite jewelry and accessories.

LookbookStore Women Tops

The right blouse transforms any outfit.

Dressy Casual Wedding Attire for Men

Three men modeling nice pants and a blazer.
Amazon Essentials/PJ PAUL JONES/Vostey

Men, it’s time to decode dressy casual attire for a wedding. Thankfully, it’s much easier than it sounds to rock this dress code.


Start with a well-fitted blazer in a versatile color like navy, brown, or charcoal. This piece of clothing instantly elevates your look without being too formal or stuffy. You can effortlessly maintain a casual vibe when you pair it with slacks or chinos for a polished appearance.

Casual Blazer Jackets for Men

Sometimes the secret to looking stylish is as simple as a good blazer.

Dress Shirt

Choose a crisp, tailored dress shirt in a solid color or subtle pattern. Ensure it’s properly ironed and tucked in for a clean and polished appearance. This can be a shirt you wear to the office or something you like to save for more special occasions.

Alex Vando Mens Dress Shirts

You can never have too many dress shirts.


Just because you can’t wear jeans doesn’t mean you can’t be comfortable. Every man’s closet needs a quality pair of chinos. They’ll become your go-to for all sorts of events, including dressy casual weddings. Opt for a slim or tailored fit in a neutral color. They offer comfort and style in equal measure.

Amazon Essentials Men's Athletic-Fit Casual Stretch Chino Pant

Chinos are your answer to a perfect dressy casual look.


Loafers are the perfect footwear choice for any man putting together a dressy casual wedding. Loafers are comfortable and stylish, making them ideal for a day of celebration.

Vostey Men's Slip on Loafers

For when you want the comfort of slippers but the sophistication of a dress shoe.

Classic Tie

Add a touch of sophistication to your outfit with a necktie. Choose one that complements your shirt and blazer for a coordinated look. Make sure you master the art of tying your tie, or it will bring your outfit down.

Calvin Klein Men's Black Tie

While a tie isn't a necessity, it's a quick solution to adding class.

Putting together men’s dressy casual looks or women’s dressy casual looks doesn’t have to be difficult. Make a few careful clothing choices to ensure you show up at your best for the event. Show off your style preferences, but remember…when in doubt, it’s better to slightly overdress than underdress as a wedding guest.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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