One of my go-to styling tactics is contrasting dressier pieces with my casual staples. When done properly its a fool proof way of feeling polished without looking over done. It also enables you to wear more of your wardrobe on a regular basis, which is always top of mind for me. That being said, no one wants to end up looking like their crazy Aunt, so my advice for achieving the right balance falls under these 3 simple tips:
- Keep it simple. My general styling advice with everything is to keep it simple, but when reaching to the dressier end of your wardrobe this becomes increasingly important. While you are looking for contrast you still need to ensure the pieces work together, so stick to a simple colour pallet and limit the number of pieces you mix into the look. This will keep you from crossing that line between cool and eccentric.
- Use denim. Denim is synonymous with casual, and therefore the easiest tool for dressing down any look. Swapping a blazer for a denim jacket, or dress pants for jeans is the simplest way to add ‘edge’ to an otherwise polish. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the buttoned up dress shirt with a pair of jeans. If I ever wrote a cheat sheet to style, this would be on it.
- Choose the right shoe. Shoe’s are essential with this kind of styling, I would even go as far to say they define it. I live in sneakers, and one of the reasons I love them so is their ability to take an inherently dressy piece and instantly chill it out. On the other end of the spectrum, throwing on a pair of heels is the easiest way to contrast casual – especially with denim.
ASOS Blazer (similar here)