How To Dress For Every Occasion — A Complete Guide for Men & Women

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Whether you’re attending a business meeting, cocktail party, or meeting a friend for a coffee, how you look affects how you feel. 

There are so many events to attend which can make us panic about what to wear. Rather than dreading an event because you don’t know what to wear, let’s talk about how to dress for every occasion so you’re always covered – just in case.

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How To Dress For Every Occasion

Let’s take a look at ways you can enhance your wardrobe skills with just a few new pieces. Always remember to consider your personal style and tastes, because fashion is about expressing your personality, and not trying to replicate other peoples’ style.

The most important thing when considering how to dress for every occasion is where and what the event is. A wedding requires a different outfit to a business meeting, even though they’re both classified as formal occasions. When in doubt, you can always ask the host or guests for advice on what they’re wearing to prevent any fashion hiccups. Remember that accessories and footwear are your best friends, and these little details can make the world of difference.

Smart Casual

Men

If you’re wondering how to dress for every occasion and you’re male, blazers are certainly a popular choice and are essential for this look. The great thing about blazers is that you can team them with a variety of garments to dress up or dress down. The key to keeping this look smart casual is to choose a lightweight blazer with relaxed elements to it.

For example, ripped sleeves and a tailored look works well. When choosing other garments to go with the blazer, ensure it’s a similar colour code. A pair of jeans work perfectly along with some sneakers to keep it looking smart casual. Shoes are a key accessory when learning how to dress for any occasion. Loafers, sneakers and rough-and-ready boots work well because they add an edgy vibe to the overall look. Keep your chosen pair of shoes clean and presentable or you risk leaning towards too casual and untidy. Opt for a pair of shoes which are minimalistic such as a pair of converse sneakers or leather sneakers which are easy to slip on and off.

We also recommend shirts that come in traditional patterns such as tartan when considering how to dress for every occasion. Choose a loose fit button-down shirt to keep it smart casual. Tuck into your jeans and complete with a smart belt to combine the overall look together. 

Women

It’s not complex for women to learn how to dress for every occasion. They key is thinking about how your different garments match together to create the entire wardrobe.

A sweater with a midi skirt or pair of pants works well for daytime smart casual events. Be bold with the colours and textures you use for this look to give the ensemble more flexibility and presence. When choosing pants, stick to wide leg ones, and opt for a top made of a thick material, such as wool. By creating a variety of textures and materials to your look, it’ll look stylish and on trend.

Dresses are a great go-to for a smart casual look as they can be polished or as casual as you’d like. Firstly, the length shouldn’t be too short or long – preferably around knee length to not look like you’re attending a night club or wedding event. If you’d prefer to wear a maxi dress, a designer brand with a unique pattern works best. Sometimes maxi dresses can be too loud and colourful, which puts you at risk of looking too casual. A shift dress in white or blue will always remain a key look for a smart casual feel. We’re also a huge fan of teaming this look with a pair of polished white sneakers.

Business Attire

Men

The business style for men has become popular over the past two years. Why? There’s an element of wanting to feel visible in the business and office world. Your wardrobe can represent your intelligence and future plan, so you want to dress for the career you want. Jackets are a must-have for a smart look, and the fit is one of the most important things, so invest in having it tailored. A jacket which is too small or too big looks unprofessional and is a fashion disaster. Enhance your shape with a tapered fit, but don’t go too tight.

The jacket should have enough flexibility in it that you can easily move around without looking uncomfortable. Cashmere and tweed fabrics are an excellent choice to help you stand out from the crowd. For a smart look, add more patterns and textures to your shirts. Plain colours are less exciting and too relaxed, but grid patterns and bold colours work well for meetings and office duties. Liven up the dreary office look with a punch of colour with your tie. You can afford to choose a different shade than your shirt, because the layered look is smart and well-thought out.

Women

When creating a wardrobe look for the office, you want to appear professional and sophisticated, so it’s critical that you dress differently from how you would to a cocktail night with friends. Remember, that you’re not trying to replicate how men look, as you want a strong, but angelic look. Consequently, don’t ditch the heels for flats because a pair of neutral silhouettes work perfectly to add a touch of femininity to your smart look.

A well-fit, quality blazer is a must have because it works well with a dress, skirt and pants. A blazer can be slimming if you choose one which fits well and is a designer brand for a great investment for many years to come. Stick to a classic color such as black, grey, or dark blue to give you more choices with what you can wear it with. Team it with a floral blouse or skinny jeans and heels to look like you’re ready for business.

Another choice for women to wear in the office is a well-fitting dress made from a thick material. This should be an appropriate length - preferably past the knees. Showing a little neckline is flattering and feminine, as we don’t want you to feel like you have to hide your body to look professional.

Summer Wardrobe

Men

These summer outfits will teach you how to dress for every occasion with heat. The summer essentials will take you from a daytime look to a casual pool party hangout. The flat-front shorts are a must-have for men’s summer wardrobe. These usually come in a variety of lengths from seven to nine inches, so depending on your height and preference, we recommend just above the knee to keep you cool and looking stylish. Shorts look best when they’re tailored on the upper leg and not too baggy. Avoid large pockets too, which are often common and can weigh the shorts down.

The secret to perfecting the summer wardrobe is the polo shirt, also referred to as a golf shirt. Polo shirts work well because they show that you care about your personal style, though avoid tucking them into your pants or shorts.

Focus specifically on the fit details, so that it looks tight rather than loose. As a result, this’ll make the overall look appear sharp and modern. A common mistake men make with polo shirts is choosing a cheap brand which doesn’t fit right. Button up all of the buttons to look smart for an evening party, or show a little more neck for a casual occasion.

Women

When learning how to dress for every occasion in the summer, you should have fun with your style and focus on what makes you feel comfortable and confident. For work attire, opt for a button-down shirt, a leather skirt and flats. The leather skirt creates a classic silhouette and embraces your curves, whilst the flats are casual and not too over the top. Avoid socks to keep your feet cool, and think about the material of your shoes to prevent you from feeling sweaty.

When temperatures are high, avoid denim which can make you feel hot and bothered when thinking about how to dress for every occasion. Instead, choose cool, thin fabrics such as linen, though avoid cotton tees as these don’t absorb moisture and might make you feel uncomfortable. Wear an edgy, graphic tee instead with an element of street style to give an urban vibe to your summer wardrobe. Linen trousers with a wide leg work well to allow a breeze up your leg.

For a casual summer’s day, we recommend a pair of sneakers with a dress filled with florals. This gives your ensemble a summertime vibe, whilst the sneakers keep it relaxed and practical. For an evening event, switch up the footwear with wedged sandals.

Special Occasion

Men

There are many outfit ideas for what men can wear to a formal or special event. In this case, we’re using the scenario of an important get-together or a wedding reception. Firstly, consider where the location is so you get a feeling for if you need a jacket or a tie.

For example, wearing a black tie might look smart, but if the event is outside on a summer’s day, you’ll quickly feel uncomfortable and sweaty. A simple, tailored suit in a neutral colour works best. Don’t wear black however, as this can easily look too unoriginal. Dark blue represents business meetings and has too much of a work vibe, so the safest options are greys and light blues.

Wear clothes which show off your best assets. If you are confident with your legs, a pair of fitted jeans or chino pants will flatter your figure. A skinny fit can make you look slightly shorter, whilst a wide leg can accentuate your height. You can’t really go wrong with a long-sleeved shirt neatly tucked into a pair of pants. However, we do suggest that you keep patterns, vertical lines, and florals to a minimum on long sleeves as they can look over powering.

Women

When thinking of how to dress for every occasion which is special, consider the event. A great tip is to consider how your outfit looks from all angles if you’ll be walking around, and how comfortable it feels to sit and stand up in. Use a mirror to look at your figure from all angles to ensure your chosen outfit flatters your body.

Dresses are perfect for special occasions, and generally, the more formal the occasion, the thicker the material should be. Look for classic, long shapes with interesting details on them. For example, block colours, cuffs and a peplum dress enhances your waist.

If you’d prefer to wear a two-piece outfit, you want to combine the fun of fashion with the practicality. A pair of white high-waisted pants look more formal than white jeans. A detailed belt in a light colour complements white pants really well.

To look smart for a formal occasion, carefully consider the length of your top. The longer, the more casual the look will be. If the top stops at your hips, this’ll create a dramatic look and separate the top from the bottom. A pair of silhouettes heels in a similar colour to your top uniforms your look and creates a balance to the overall style.


What Tips Do You Have on How To Dress For Every Occasion?

We hope you enjoyed our above tips on how to dress for every occasion. Many people think that fashion is expensive. However, carefully considering your wardrobe and having just a few pieces which are versatile is the way to go. Limit how many clothes you buy, and instead think about how a pair of pants or dress can take you from a daytime to a nighttime look.

What fashion tips do you have for dressing for different occasions? We’d love to hear! Upload them in the comments, and share this article to spread the word.

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