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Dressing down a dress

woman wearing an embroidered jean jacket over multi-color print dress

The hot weather requires breezy outfits to keep cool. Dresses, with their flowy fit, are a great option for beating the heat, but some women stray from these fabulous frocks because they may look too formal. Going to the grocery store in a dress doesn’t have to be a fashion faux pas. In fact, during this season, it’s quite appropriate to wear a summer gown to even the most relaxed venues. If you’re feeling a little insecure about donning these fashion-forward pieces to not-so-stylish places, follow these tips to make a dress look more casual:woman wearing a jean jacket over a dress

Start with the right base

Admittedly, there are some dresses that send a formal vibe just from the fit. Skirt suits, for example, typically have a narrow, pencil skirt and are paired with a sharp-angled jacket. Not only do these items limit the breathability factor a dress can provide, but the straight lines and professional flair are more appropriate for the office than a day at the beach.

Therefore, it’s important to start with a dress that already fits the swing of summer. Maxi dresses and sundresses are both excellent choices for keeping cool in warmer weather, and their flowing form matches the relaxed air of the season. Vibrant, tropical colors especially coincide with a more casual style, so select a dress with vivid patterns or your favorite hue.

Dress it down with denim

Not only do denim jackets look ultra chic when paired with a summer dress, but the casual nature of this fabric effectively drops the formal factor of any piece. As a neutral, jean jackets or vests can be paired with any color or style. So, whether you opt for a patterned maxi dress or mono-colored sundress, the jean jacket will work with your outfit. Additionally, adding an extra layer is a great way to keep warm on chilly summer nights.

Include bold fashion accessories

If the weather is too warm for wearing a jacket, you can also make a dress more casual by adding bold accessories. Fine jewelry looks rich and luxurious, so opt for larger, colorful pieces to downplay the formal elements of the dress. Oversized, multi-colored beads make a statement, and the vibrant hues will play up the relaxed summer vibe.

Carry a bigger bag

Small purses exude an elegant and dainty vibe suitable for a dinner date or formal affair. To make your dress more casual, avoid these tiny handbags altogether. Instead, carry a hobo bag or a cross-body purse. These larger handbags looks more relaxed and will easily hold any summer gear you’re carrying.

Lower the level with shoes

Instead of going with heels this summer, opt for gladiator sandals or thong-style shoes. With the flat style, you’ll not only be more comfortable walking, but the outfit will look more relaxed. However, if your stature requires a little lift, go with a pair of wedges. You’ll get the benefit of the added height, but a wedge is much more casual than a heeled sandal.

 

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