How To Dress Up A Casual Outfit: 5 Tips

Wondering how to dress up a casual outfit? It’s easier than you think, with these 5 easy tips!

By Diane Small

Don’t you love spontaneous nights out? Maybe you get a call from a friend just as you’re about to leave the office, and a casual drink after work turns into something a bit more special. Or an afternoon at the pub goes on longer than planned and turns into a memorable evening.

But sometimes, you just don’t have the time to go home and get completely re-dressed. Other times, you just don’t want to (or is that just me?). But not to worry! It’s easy to make a casual outfit suitable for a night out. Often you only need one or two items to dress up a casual outfit- in fact, it’s a bit surprising how much difference one thing can make.

Not sure you to do it? Here are five ideas for how to dress up a casual outfit.

How To Dress Up A Casual Outfit: 5 Easy Tips

1. Plan Ahead

If you know – or at least, hope – that your typical, casual day may turn into a more exciting evening, you can plan for it a bit. Slip on a slinky camisole under a button-down cardigan that you can wear closed up to the office before whipping off your top layer when the sun sets, for example. Or at the very least, pack another pair of shoes (taller, sexier) in case you’re going from work to drinks.

2. Try Some Layering

Jazzing up casual jeans, tees and office wear can be easy with layering. Try throwing a smart jacket or brightly coloured coat over the most basic of outfits and see how it transforms. Premium fabrics and a really good shape will scream ‘fancy’ no matter what it’s thrown over.

Alternatively, wrapping yourself in a pretty scarf – lighter materials for warmer months or a thick woolly scarf in winter – can make a new statement for an old outfit. And of course, a delicate pashmina or beautiful alpaca shawl can elevate your look from office-to-5 star restaurant in an instant. 

3. It’s All About The Shoes

The easiest way to dress up a casual outfit? Swap out your comfy flats for a stunning pair of heels. It’s an obvious way to dress up an outfit, but it’s so effective. Even jeans – hell, even track pants! – can get an upgrade with a great pair of vegan heels.

Whilst I get that slides and running shoes are trending and being worn with everything from skirts and dresses to suits, there’s no doubt that adding height and colour by slipping on some nice vegan heels (like these ones below) will take any outfit to the next level in seconds flat.

How To Dress Up A Casual Outfit

4. Do The Jewels

Use a statement accessory or two to make a bold statement and dress up a casual style. Funky and colourful will always draw eyes and add style – think big hoop earrings, chunky bracelets, sexy chokers and bold necklaces. But don’t constrict accessories to jewellery – they can work in your hair, too! Try tying your ponytail with a velvet bow or adding a delicate headband to take your look from day to night.

How To Dress Up A Casual Outfit

5. Add A Bit Of Lippy Or Liner

Every woman knows this: light makeup is for day, and darker hues are for night. So if it really is a last-minute decision to go out and you don’t have any ‘evening’ clothes with you, dig into your handbag and see what makeup you have on hand.

A bit of lippy or a smokey eye goes a long way towards looking like you’ve made that extra effort to go out. Strong colours are a great way to glam up your look: for lips, think bright reds and deep pinks, and to even further make a statement, dab on a touch of gloss, like this one below by Kjaer Weis. Not into lipstick? Line your upper eyelids with a liquid liner instead, to add a bit of nighttime drama.

How To Dress Up A Casual Outfit

All image credits here except for last image; credit here.

Diane Small
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