Home » Outfits » Dress It Up vs Dress It Down

Dress It Up vs Dress It Down

Have you ever seen an outfit you liked but decided it was too dressy for an event or activity you planned to attend, or in the reverse, saw something you liked but thought it was a bit too casual for your event?

Try taking the elements you like, whether it be color, or a certain style top or pants or the materials, texture, etc and using them for inspiration instead of just copying the outfit as you see it. Make it your own and adapt it to your needs. Look at it in terms of a formula.

Let me show you what I mean. I’ve done Work to Weekend posts before where I take an item I typically wear to work and use it in a dressed down weekend outfit. I thought it would be fun the take a similar concept with an outfit, whether it be for work or play, and either dress it up or down.


The outfit formula- Bright solid top+ chambray bottoms+ cognac shoes

Even though I chose red for my bright solid top, thinking of this in terms of “bright solid top” lets you choose any color you like without being boxed into thinking you have to use red.

For my dressed up version I chose a tie front top, wide leg chambray pants, and block heel sandals. The heeled sandals dress this up a bit. I wore this to church recently on a Sunday morning.

dress it up red top chambray pants outfitPin
wide leg pants outfitPin
dressy casual summer outfit, dress it up with block heel sandalsPin

Top- JCrew Factory; pants – JCrew Factory; sandals- Old Navy; necklace- ; earrings- Amazon; bracelet- Alison+ Aubrey; purse- Amazon

To dress this down to a casual lounging at home or even a backyard BBQ outfit, substitute a tank for the top and flat slides for the shoes. Colors and elements stay the same basically but one outfit has a dressier feel and one is more laid back casual.

dressed down outfit versionPin
summer outfit wide leg pantsPin

Tank- Loft Outlet; pants- JCrew Factory; slide sandals- Old Navy;option option option earrings- Amazon; sunglasses- Amazon; bracelet- Alison+Aubrey

This concept should be more clear now. I hope to make this a frequent series on the blog. Would you like to see more of this particular concept?