What to Wear To A Dressy Casual Wedding

  • Publication date: 06/29/2023
  • Updated: 06/29/2023

Welcome to the labyrinth that is the wedding attire dress code! Ever been thrown into a whirlwind of confusion by that one small line on an invitation reading "dressy casual wedding"? You're not alone! This is your map out of the maze, your guide to mastering the balance between overdressed and underdressed. So, buckle up, because today we're making sense of the mystifying, and turning the baffling into a breeze. We're talking about casual attire, and answering the million-dollar question: what is dressy casual?

What is Dressy Casual for a Wedding?

Photo by @mariacamaraest

So, let's start by dispelling the fog. What does dressy casual attire actually mean for a wedding? Well, picture this. If the spectrum of wedding outfits were a sandwich (yes, you read that right, a sandwich), then at one end, you've got the caviar – the black tie, ball gown extravaganza. At the other end, you have the peanut butter – the comfy jeans and t-shirt combo. Dressy casual is your turkey and cheese with a bit of mayonnaise, sitting comfortably in the middle. It's a blend of semi-casual wear with a dash of elegance; it's about looking put-together without being overly lavish.

In other words, it's casual elegant attire with a smidge of formality. So, no, you can't just roll up in your favorite sweatpants, but you also don't need to squeeze into that corseted gown or dust off your tux. It's about finding the happy medium, the formal casual attire that whispers, rather than screams, style.

Semi-Formal vs Dressy Casual Wedding Attire

Photo by @abigaillouiserussell

You might be thinking, "Okay, I've got it. But wait a minute, how is this different from semi-formal?" Good question! Let's dive into the pool of semi-formal vs dressy casual dress codes.

Semi-formal is like your sophisticated cousin who always carries a leather-bound book and sips on espressos. Dressy casual, on the other hand, is your cool, bohemian aunt who wears vintage jewelry and has a collection of indie vinyl records. Both are stylish, but one is a touch more relaxed.

If you're invited to a dressy casual wedding, think casual formal attire meets laid-back chic. It's about creating an elegant casual outfit that still allows room for a little creativity and personal flair. In other words, it's the green light to wear those fancy casual outfits you've been dying to show off!

Dressy Casual For Women

Photo by @lombardandfifth

Ladies, you're in for a treat! It's time to throw out the rulebook that says you can't be both comfortable and stylish. Dressy casual is here to prove that you absolutely can. We're talking casual attire for women that's got the perfect amount of sparkle and sophistication.

Photo by @nisshee_stylealbum
  1. A breezy, floral midi dress paired with strappy sandals and a delicate pendant necklace for an effortlessly chic look.
  2. High-waist palazzo pants with a silk blouse accessorized with gold hoops and a sleek clutch.
  3. A flattering jumpsuit that cinches at the waist, paired with a statement belt and your favorite wedges.
  4. A lace skirt matched with a fitted turtleneck and ankle boots for a touch of boho glam.
  5. A flowy maxi dress with a denim jacket and cowboy boots for a rustic wedding.
  6. A satin slip dress that skims your silhouette, paired with kitten heels and a simple pearl necklace.
  7. A tailored pantsuit in a pastel shade matched with an understated top and block heels.
  8. A wrap dress with heeled sandals, complemented by a statement necklace.
  9. A pleated midi skirt with a lace top, paired with heeled booties and your favorite bangles.
  10. A velvet blazer with cigarette pants, a lacy cami, and pumps for a touch of retro elegance.
  11. A high-low dress in a jewel tone, matched with metallic heels and a matching clutch.
  12. A sequined top with black jeans and stiletto boots for a nighttime affair.
  13. A patterned jumpsuit with a statement clutch and strappy sandals.
  14. Wide-legged trousers with a sequin top finished off with a pair of chic mules.
  15. A chiffon maxi skirt with a crop top, paired with sandals and a long, pendant necklace.

These casual wedding guest outfits embody the essence of casual dressy: they're comfortable, they're stylish, and they're oh-so-chic. Remember, the trick is to blend casual and dressy elements to create an ensemble that's effortlessly stylish.

Dressy Casual for Men

Photo by @milou.pasman

Gentlemen, it's your turn! Dressy casual is all about combining comfort with class, proving you can look dapper without feeling stiff. Here are 15 casual wedding outfits for men that hit the mark:

  1. A breathable linen suit in a light color, paired with loafers and a contrasting pocket square. Socks are optional!
  2. Chinos with a crisp white shirt, a sport coat in a complementing color, and brown leather shoes.
  3. A pair of dark jeans paired with a navy blazer, a white shirt, and dress shoes for a look that's both smart and relaxed.
  4. A patterned button-down shirt with tailored trousers, a leather belt, and suede loafers.
  5. A seersucker suit with a pastel shirt, perfect for a hot summer wedding. Pair it with loafers for a relaxed yet polished look.
  6. A turtleneck sweater with a suit jacket and chinos for a sophisticated, cool-weather look.
  7. A casual vest over a button-down shirt, paired with tailored trousers and brogues.
  8. A light-colored suit with a bold tie and matching pocket square. Don't forget your polished dress shoes!
  9. Khakis with a pastel shirt and leather sandals for a beach wedding. Throw on a linen blazer if the occasion calls for it.
  10. A bold-colored blazer with neutral pants and a crisp shirt finished with a pair of loafers and a contrasting pocket square.
  11. Dressy shorts with a crisp linen shirt and boat shoes for a beachy vibe. Add a lightweight blazer to elevate the look.
  12. A polo shirt with a blazer and khakis, complete with loafers and a stylish watch.
  13. A plaid shirt with a vest and dress pants finished off with a pair of dress boots and a leather belt.
  14. A windowpane check suit with a solid color shirt, paired with oxfords and a matching tie for a stylish, modern look.
  15. A knit tie with a casual suit, finished with loafers for a fun, textural look that's both comfortable and sharp.

From scorching summer weddings to cooler winter affairs, these outfit ideas cover the gamut of men’s casual summer wedding attire and beyond. Remember, summer casual wedding attire for male guests should prioritize comfort and breathability, but never at the expense of style.

The goal of the upscale casual dress code is to achieve a balance – to look refined without being overdressed, to be comfortable without looking too casual. After all, a wedding is a celebration, and what better way to celebrate than feeling your best in an outfit that's authentically you?

Photo by @lynnkelly_

In conclusion, navigating the dressy casual wedding dress code doesn't have to feel like a Herculean task. It's all about striking a balance between formal and casual, adding a dash of your own personal style, and above all, wearing your outfit with confidence. So, ladies and gentlemen, it's time to embrace the dressy casual wedding trend and show the world how it's done!

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Natali Grace Levine Editor-in-Chief

Manages The Wezoree's content strategy
Writes and edits articles for the Inspiration Blog