Have you ever made a dinner reservation where the dress code said, ‘casual elegant’ and you were totally lost on what to wear? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there! The concept of dressing casually elegant is actually much simpler than it may seem, and it might be even your normal day-to-day wear! Today, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about dressing for casual elegance and the styles you’ll want to have in your closet to achieve that!
What is casual elegance?
As the name states, casual elegance is somewhere between casual clothing and formal attire. Typically, you’ll see a casual elegance dress code at upscale restaurants, country clubs, and some parties or celebrations. Casual elegance is similar to business casual attire in the sense that it’s put together but not to the level of a ball gown or suit.
While the exact details of casual elegance are fully up for interpretation, it really depends on where you’re going! If you’re attending a nicer party or an upscale restaurant, you’ll want to opt for a black dress, nice trousers, crisp blouses, and beautiful accessories. If you’re on vacation and are heading to a more relaxed dinner or event, casual elegance could mean a flowy dress or a stylish tunic with dressier leggings and great shoes. Vince happens to offer great casual elegant shoes that work for many occasions.
When it comes to colors, many people recommend opting for lighter shades in the daytime and darker colors during the night. With this being said, nowadays, dress codes are usually more relaxed for most events so don’t feel like you’re not able to wear a certain color or pattern just because it’s a specific time of day! If you’re thinking of wearing a dress, the best lengths are right above or below the knee for a classy, yet more casual look. Lastly, shoes are definitely something to consider when dressing casually elegant. Ballet flats, heels, and nice sandals can all be considered casually elegant.
The best part about casual elegance is that many of us dress in this style on a daily basis whether it be for work, social events, or other activities. At least this was the case before the pandemic and we are heading this way once again, now that we are gradually recovering from it! Most casually elegant garments can be worn many different ways and can even be transformed to more formal or casual attire based on accessories and layering options.
Styles to add to your casually elegant wardrobe
At Stella Carakasi, we pride ourselves on crafting clothing that makes getting dressed in the morning a lot easier. Most of our designs can be worn in many different settings whether it be casual, business, or casual elegance! We’re going to share some of our top casually elegant styles that you can add to your collection to wear to work, a date night, or to your next party!
Who said casual elegance had to be boring? Our Illusion Tunic features a bold printed pattern with subtle color accents to take any outfit up a notch. When dressing casually elegant, we love wearing this top with the Slimming Ankle Pants, our Go To Cardigan, and a statement necklace to finish it off! The best part? Our Illusion Top was designed to flatter many body shapes and it is made from recycled polyester georgette! Plastic bottles that could have ended up in landfill or further polluting our environment have been turned into a great fabric. Better to throw on than to throw out!
Speaking of cardigans, you can never go wrong with a classic cardigan (and look how nicely it works over our Illusion Tunic!) The Stella Carakasi Go To Cardigan can be worn on any occasion and can be dressed up or down based on the dress code. What makes the Go To Cardigan special is that it features a classy accordion-style design around the hem which makes it more dressy and fashionable than a traditional knit cardigan.
Our Slimming Ankle Pants are like no other—and we mean that! We designed the Slimming Ankle Pants to be insanely flattering and comfortable for most body types because they are made from a stretchy Tencel® blended Ponte knit. On top of that, these pants look elegant but feel like you’re wearing leggings. Try wearing the Slimming Ankle Pants with any tunic top, cardigan, or button-up shirt for a perfect casually elegant look!
As the name already suggests our Lounge Dress Pants were created to blend comfort and style. This is a pant that will take you anywhere from running errands, to the office, yoga class and a date night out. There is no need to give up the comfort of your beloved sweats just to look nice. You’re going to love our Lounge Dress Pants that literally work 24/7. They’re made of a stretchy, blended Tencel® Ponte knit to provide ultra-comfort, while looking like a pair of classic tailored pants. Talk about a win-win!
If you’re more of a dress person, we’ve got you covered! Our Day After Day Dress is a great addition to any casual elegance collection because it’s the perfect length and the pleated front and back design offers style and ease! What’s great about our Day After Day Dress is that while it looks sophisticated, it feels super soft and comfortable so you can dance your night away without wanting to change! Throw a cardigan on over this dress and pair it with some heeled sandals and you’re ready to go.
Bags can be a difficult choice when dressing casually elegant because you want something that is functional to hold your belongings but also looks put together. If you’re struggling to decide on a style of bag, a small shoulder or crossbody bag is always a great option. Shoulder bags are convenient, functional, and can go with any outfit or event! We’re currently loving some of Kate Spade white crossbody bags to wear during any occasion whether it be a nice dinner or date night!
When it comes to jewelry, you can choose pieces that are understated or bold to complement your outfit and your style. One of our favorite jewelry collections is Stella & Dot because they offer a huge variety of styles, satisfying a wide spectrum of tastes. We love pairing any outfit (whether it be a dress or a blouse and pants) with a necklace in either gold or silver but don’t be shy adding earrings, bracelets and rings.
While dressing casually elegant may seem like an intimidating or daunting task, it’s important to think of the event you’re attending and don’t forget to incorporate your own personal style! What you wear is a reflection of you and your personality, so always remember to have fun and feel confident in the outfit you’re rocking!
Still not sure what to wear?
For more inspiration we invite you to check out our Looks We Love Page where you will find many looks that fit the casual dress code category and where we show you how to create many different looks with only a handful of styles.