The definition of formal wear has changed over the years. It has, in a sense, become more relaxed and focused on comfort and personal style. In the past, formal attire meant restrictive long gloves and dresses with corsets underneath for the ladies and a three-piece suit for the gents.
With modernity on your side, it’s easier now more than ever to transform a casual outfit to formal in as just a few minutes.
Of course, it is most ideal to have a few days or, at the very least, a few hours to get ready for a formal event. However, there will be times when you will be needed to appear formal very quickly, like an unexpected event. You’ll be thankful later if you read these tips on how to look casual to formal in minutes.
Before Everything Else
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to pull off this look. In fact, the items that will be mentioned here may already be things you already own. If you haven’t already, make it a point to quickly scan the inside of your closet to be updated on what clothing items you own.
If you find clothes that you no longer wear, you can choose to donate them or sell them online. You can make money off of things you’re no longer using and you free valuable closet space that way. The cash you earned can be used to add investment pieces or added to your savings.
One of the best ways to elevate a boring, uneventful outfit is to wear heels. There’s a reason they are a mainstay item in most formal wear outfits. Heels just make everything classy even when you’re wearing a pair of denim.
Suit It Up
The great thing about outerwear like blazers and dinner jackets is that it can make an outfit look more put together. It can also protect the wearer from the cold. You can choose to wear any colored blazer or suit to your like, but sticking to basic colors like black, dark blue, or gray is ideal.
Solid Neutrals Are Your Friend
Most people have this perception that solid neutrals are more formal than, say, bold prints and patterns. This is true in most cases, and you can take advantage of this by using clothing that is in this color scheme.
Black is a popular and timeless choice, but you can also go for gray, white, cream, beige, or navy blue if you’re looking for options. You can definitely add some pops of color here and there according to the accessories available to you as well.
Skirt It Up
In an ideal world, you should have a workplace locker or extra cabinets where you can stash emergency clothes. It will surely come in handy for you or for others who are in need of a quick change of clothes for a pop-up event. Backup clothes can include an extra set or work clothes like slacks, a white button-up shirt, blazer, skirt, and an extra pair of reliable heels.
If you have access to these things and if you’re debating whether to wear the slacks or the skirt, you can opt for either. A skirt would be a refreshing piece for you especially if you’ve been wearing suits and pants regularly. Additionally, a skirt would be more appropriate in some circumstances.
Stay Safe or Innovate
There are events that you can get away with not necessarily being formal but stylish and put together. Of course, there are huge, once-in-a-lifetime events that have proper dress codes you should follow.
For the latter, as an invited guest, you are bound to your duty to follow protocol because it is important to the invitees.
For the former, you can always make do with what you have and innovate from there. If unexpected events happen often due to the nature of your work, then you should be more prepared than most by having ready outfits to go when that happens.
It can just be a couple of dresses if you want a no-fuss style that can easily be paired with heels or something more hip and trendy according to your taste.
What is your favorite flexible outfit that can both be casual and formal? Sound off in the comments below.
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© Ruchie Verma.
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