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How To Dress Up Or Down An Outfit

The best wardrobe is a versatile wardrobe, so knowing how to dress up or down an outfit will really help you stretch your closet so that you look and feel great. Who doesn’t want to be able to wear the same dress to a wedding or to the office?

Dress up that casual day look for a night out. Wear your business casual during the day and be able to go for a midday walk. These versatile simple tips will help you spruce up a simple look or dress down that formal wear.

I have some great suggestions for both sides of the coin. Learn how to dress up or down an outfit with these easy everyday tips.

dawn posing in front of fire place
Jeans can be worn dressed up or down, here is a fun outfit for day or evening and perfect for fall or spring since it is a little sweater.

How To Dress Up Casual Wear

There are definitely some days when I was yearning to sport those cute joggers into the workplace. The great news is that with the right styling, you can totally make this possible! Dressing up casual wear will make your entire wardrobe more versatile. This is what high low fashion is all about.

Add Some Heels

Heels are classy and dressy. Pick something neutral or go for a bright colorful heel to dress up your casual outfit of the day.

Tuck In Your Top

Simply tucking in your shirt will elevate your overall look. I love a good half tuck look which helps draw your eye in for those with smaller waists.

Try Layering

Layer your casual wear with a classy kimono or fun cardigan. I love pairing a fitted blazer with a tucked in top and my favorite jeans for a great elevated look that’s easy to wear.


Choosing the right accessories can help to dress up any outfit. Pick something simple, shiny and elegant.


A belt will make you look more put together and can change the look of your skirt or pants.

Shiny Simple Jewelry

Some teardrop earrings or the perfect necklace will frame your face and add classic flare to a simple, casual look.

Pick The Right Handbag

Pick a fashionable fun yellow handbag or a dainty clutch to elevate your casual wear to be a classy outfit of the day.

legs wearing jeans with a pink bag
A fun bag not only adds style to any outfit – it can dress it up or down.

Dressing Down Formal Wear

Tired of seeing that amazing cocktail dress sitting in the back of the closet only to be worn once or twice a year? Once you learn how to dress up or down an outfit, you’ll be able to keep that special piece dust free.

Start With Shoes

Shoes can really change the look of your outfit of the day even in the fanciest little dress. Here are some suggestions of what to try.

Casual Flats

Heels tend to dress a look up, so look for some comfy casual flats to dress down an outfit. Don’t be afraid to wear a cute ballet slip on or some flip flops to make your formal wear extra versatile.

Chunky Boots

I love adding some big chunky boots to a cute dress or some rolled up slacks. This is also great for cooler weather to keep your toes warm and still be able to show off some skin.

Tennis Shoes

Tennis shoes are amazing, especially if you’re on your feet a lot. Taking a walk in the middle of my work day is one of my favorite ways to decompress. Why not keep those tennis on all day? Sounds amazing, right?


Layering formal clothing with more casual pieces is a creative way to dress down a classic look.


Denim is definitely a more casual material. Who doesn’t love a denim jacket over a cute summer dress? Or the perfect jeans with an elegant top.

Casual Sweater

Layer your upscale clothing with a casual sweater to dress down the outfit and really get comfortable.


I love a sweatshirt tied around the waste. An oversized sweatshirt also looks cute paired with an elegant strappy top.


Of course we’re going to talk about accessories in both sections here. They’re a simple way to really change the overall look and impression of what you’ve got on.

Backpack or a Fanny Pack

Backpacks or fanny packs are super functional and definitely more casual than that perfect little clutch you save for nights out.

Fun Jewelry

Bright, exciting jewelry or some neutral boho pieces can dress down an outfit in a fun way. Try some chunky colorful earrings with your neutral look.

Hair And Makeup

Keep your makeup nude, neutral and simple to dress down an outfit.

These tips can be applied year round and can really help stretch out all your clothing.  Don’t be afraid to mix casual with dressy for an unexpected look and remember to always make sure your items fit.  Fit is everything, if your clothes fit well you will look like a million bucks.

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