How to Dress Down a Dress

How to dress down a dress - dress outfit with sneakers

How to Make a Dress Less Dressy

There are many ways to make a dress less dressy so you can wear it more casually or rewear it for another event. If you are looking to wear a dress casually, whether it be long, black, or a bodycon, you can try different accessories and shoes. Check out these 8 styling tips to dress down a dress and 5 example outfits that will show you how to dress down a more formal dress.

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8 Ways to Wear a Dress Casually

Here’s 8 ways to wear a dress more casually. Keep scrolling down for some outfit ideas.

  1. Add a sweater
  2. Add a pair of ballet flats
  3. Add a pair of sneakers
  4. Add a denim jacket and sandals
  5. Add a long sleeve shirt or turtleneck
  6. Add a belt
  7. Add a baseball hat and bomber jacket
  8. Add a pair of ankle booties.

1. Add a sweater

Sweaters are a key piece for making an outfit with a dress more casual. When picking out a sweater to wear with it, there are a few things to consider. If it is on the dressier side, you’ll want to choose a sweater that is more casual. For example, a knit cardigan or turtleneck would be a good choice. If it is already pretty casual, you can choose a more dressed-up sweater, like one with embellishments or made from a nicer fabric. 

2. Add a pair of ballet flats

By adding a pair of ballet flats, the look is less dressed up and more casual. This can be great for days when you want to feel comfortable, but still look put together. Ballet flats are also versatile and can be worn with many different styles of dresses.

3. Add a pair of sneakers

Adding a pair of sneakers to a dress can help make it more casual and comfortable. This can be a great way to make the outfit more comfortable and wearable for everyday. Sneakers can also help to add a pop of color or print to an outfit. When choosing sneakers to go with a dress, it is important to consider the style of the dress and the sneakers themselves. For example, if the dress is flowy and feminine, pairing it with sporty sneakers may not be the best idea.  You can never go wrong with a classic pair of white sneakers. Try this styling idea:

flower dress with sneakers and jean jacket
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4. Add a denim jacket and sandals

If you have a dressier dress but don’t feel like dressing up, try adding a denim jacket and sandals. The denim jacket will help transition the outfit to a more casual look, while the sandals will add a touch of comfort. This look is perfect for days when you want to feel dressed up, but still be comfortable and casual.

5. Add a long sleeve top or a turtleneck under

Adding a long sleeve top or a turtleneck under a dress will provide more coverage of your skin, which gives a less formal and dressy look and feel.

6. Add a belt

Adding a belt to a can change an entire look. With just a few simple adjustments, such as adding a belt, you can turn a dress into something more casual and relaxed.

7. Add a baseball hat and bomber jacket

Add a baseball hat and bomber jacket for a more relaxed and casual look. This look is perfect for a day spent running errands or for a more casual night out. The baseball hat adds a fun and relaxed vibe, while the bomber jacket keeps you warm and comfortable. A formal dress doesn’t have to be reserved for special occasions – with a few simple additions, you can wear it any time you want.

8. Add a pair of ankle booties

Adding a pair of ankle boots to a dressier dress can help to make it more casual. They are also perfect for transitioning a dress between seasons.

Outfit Ideas: How to make a dress and heels more casual

If you are wearing a dress and heels and want a less formal look, you can add a bomber jacket and baseball hat for a more casual look. A bomber jacket will lend to a more casual, edgier look, while also adding some additional warmth that you can wear it when the weather turns cooler. Add a baseball hat to add to the casual, urban feel to the maxi and heels. Try this styling idea:

maxi with a baseball hat
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How to wear a maxi casually

When dressing down a long maxi, it is important to keep the look simple and comfortable. Try layering a t-shirt or denim jacket. Choose a casual strappy sandal to for an effortless but stylish and easy way to make a long maxi more casual.  Try this styling idea: 

long maxi with shirt and jacket
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How to make a black dress more casual

Black dresses can be dressed up or down, but there are a few tips to make sure the look is still pulled together. Heels can easily dress up a black dress, but if you’re looking to dress it down, opt for flats or sandals instead. You can also add a denim jacket or blazer to give the look a more casual feel. To really make it casual, try pairing the dress with a plain white t-shirt or tank top. Accessories are another easy way to give a black dress a casual vibe. A simple necklace or bracelet can elevate the look, while adding a belt or scarf can make it more laid back. Try this styling idea:

bodycon with bomber jacket and hat
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How to wear a casual dress to a wedding

One of the best things about summer weddings is that you can often get away with wearing a dress that’s a little less formal than what’s called for in the winter. But if you’re not sure how to wear a it more casually for a beach wedding, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. 

If your outfit has a lot of lace or embellishments, try pairing it with simpler accessories. For example, wear a plain necklace instead of something with lots of sparkle.

If your dress is on the shorter side, try pairing it with sandals or flats instead of heels. And if it’s sleeveless, consider wearing a cardigan or shawl to cover up your arms for less formal look.

Try this styling idea:

Long black maxi with sandals
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How to Wear a Bodycon Casually

With the weather getting colder, it’s time to retire those bodycon dresses and bring out the sweaters and boots. While a bodycon can be dressed up or down for a formal look or a more casual look. To make a bodycon more casual, add layers such as a cardigan, blazer, or jacket. You can also add accessories such as a scarf, hat, or necklace. Another way to wear a bodycon more casually is by wearing different shoes such as sneakers, flats, or ankle booties. Be sure to wear the right bra for this neckline to ensure the perfect fit. Try this styling idea:

bodycon dress with jacket and sneakers
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