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Transforming Your Outfit from Casual to Dressy

The festive season means that most of us are overloaded with social commitments. Sometimes this means dashing from one party to another, or having about twenty seconds to get ready before you have to be out the door and on your way. When you?re faced with clashing dress codes, this can become a logistical nightmare. Here are some practical tips for turning your casual outfit into a fancy one with a few expert changes.

Start with the basics

You have no hope of transforming a sloppy jeans and moth-eaten tee shirt combo into a polished formal outfit. Be prepared by starting with a basic outfit which is passable as either formal or casual. A button-down shirt is an ideal starting point. Go for one with a simple, subtle pattern and few colors. This will be stylish for a casual outfit, but not too extravagant for a dressier outfit.

It is a little more difficult to choose transitional pants. Jeans are a no go for formal attire, but suit pants look strange in a casual outfit. Try chinos for an intermediate style of pants. Similar to jeans but in a finer fabric, you can get away with wearing them for dressy occasions. Hold them up with a leather belt so you?re all set for your formal transformation.

Add a jacket

Instantly give any dowdy outfit a touch of upmarket style by adding a well-fitting jacket. Doing it up will disguise that the shirt underneath it is a casual one. Depending on how formal you are trying to look, you may want to match the jacket color to your pants so it looks like you are wearing a suit.

Tuck your shirt in

A rule of thumb is to wear your shirt untucked casually, but tucked in for more formal occasions. It is best to do this with a shirt that is not designed to be tucked in, so it doesn?t look weird while you are wearing it untucked.

Get bow-tied

A bowtie is a small touch which will completely overhaul your outfit. It helps if your shirt has collar buttons, so it won?t look sloppy with a bowtie. Best of all, a bowtie is small enough to fit in your pocket so you can transform yourself whenever you need to.

Shiny shoes

The finishing touch to any outfit is the perfect pair of shoes. A shiny leather pair of oxfords will make your outfit instantly fancier. If you don?t want to bother with a change of shoes, a pair of fun colored brogue is appropriate for both casual and semi-formal style.

Purge the ugly accessories

Sunglasses, a functional but hideous watch, and a cloth belt may be acceptable for casual attire, but you should ditch them if you want to look dressier. It is better to have no accessories rather than ugly ones.
Of course, transforming a casual outfit to a formal one is not ideal. You won?t be able to nail the formal look by starting with less-than-formal basics. However, being able to quickly switch between the two can save you from making a huge fashion faux pas when you turn up to an event in an outfit that is far too informal.

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About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at:

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