4 Ways To Dress Down An Outfit

I am that friend. As in ‘we’re just going to grab coffee’ and turns up dressed not quite for the Met Gala, but too much for coffee. As in ‘I’ll go low-key tonight’ turns to a leather pencil skirt with metallic Bardot top and dramatic eye makeup.

Low key just doesn’t seem to be a vibe I can achieve when putting together an outfit, and whilst part of me accepts that this is partly just a result of my love of fashion and partly general #extra-ness, sometimes you just wanna take it down a notch.

Take these trousers I’m wearing here for example; I usually reserve them for work but as the colour is so pretty and I love the way they’re tailored, I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to dress them down. Not to mention this is a fab way to maximise wear of more dressier pieces!

Here’s a few of the tricks I incorporated to style these trousers for a more informal situation:

1. Casual footwear

Trainers (or any flat footwear) are an easy way to relax your look, plus they’re super comfy! I love sporty footwear paired with more feminine pieces like a pleated midi skirt for a cool twist.

2. Play with the silhouette

I’ve mentioned this styling tip before as a way to level up wardrobe basicsbut this easy trick also works well to give an outfit a more laid back feel. Undo a few buttons, roll up sleeves (like I’ve done here with this shirt), fold up trouser hemlines, knot tops at the waist..the possibilities are endless! With this outfit, I think it’s the way I’ve worn the shirt with undone buttons and rolled up sleeves that’s the key to dressing down the trousers.

3.  Size up

Leading on from that last point; oversized, boxier shapes tend to automatically look more casual. This striped shirt I’ve worn here is a few sizes too big which balances out the structure of the trousers. An oversized vintage denim jacket is a great piece to throw on for that effortless feel.

4. Have fun with it!

Of course polka dots and bright colours can work for formal settings, but if you’re not faced with a strict dress code, why not take the opportunity to experiment with bold patterns, contrasting colours and daring textures like leather. For example, the metallic stripe detail of this shirt with the blue trousers may have been a little too much for the office, but I was dying for an opportunity to pair them together so here we are!

As easy as these 4 tricks are to incorporate, I have to say don’t count on me toning down my outfits too much anytime soon!

What are your tips for dressing down an outfit for a more casual look?


Mango via TK Maxx metallic striped shirt // Mango trousers // Claudia Ghizzani embellished trainers [similar here] // Primark embroidered backpack // QUAY Australia sunglasses via TK Maxx

Photos by Sanj

Sinéad xo