How to Dress Down Your Special Occasion Pieces

Written by: Lisa Patulny

Dressing down special occasion pieces

If the intention of a capsule wardrobe is to maximise the wear of all your clothes and accessories, where does special occasion wear fit in? Those formal pieces – like a flowy silk dress or sharp tuxedo jacket – that are perfect for evening events, parties and weddings usually feel too dressed up for your everyday life. Often we invest the most in our special occasion pieces but wear them the least. The good news is that with a few thoughtful style tips, it’s possible to style them more casually to work them into your day-to-day wardrobe.

By wearing everything you own regularly, you drive down the cost per wear, giving you more value for your wardrobe investments. Plus, you will no longer have pieces (that you probably spent a bit of money on) collecting dust at the back of your wardrobe. Ready to stop saving ‘special’ clothes for a special occasion?

Here are our four simple tips for dressing down your special occasion pieces.

Dressing down special occasion pieces

Tip 1: Invest in classic occasionwear

First thing’s first, when buying formalwear or dressy workwear, choose timeless pieces that will stand the test of time. For maximum versatility, skip trendy styles for wardrobe staples like a beautifully cut blazer, silky separates or pleated trousers. Classics that always look and feel good will be in your closet for a long time.

Tip 2. Mix in casual essentials

The key to dialling down your special occasion pieces? A tight edit of wardrobe essentials. These are the pieces you can mix with formalwear for a casual vibe. Pair sharp suiting with a linen t-shirt or tank and leather sandals for an effortless look, or style a long dress with a white button-up and sneakers to dress it down.

Need help curating your capsule wardrobe? Shop our edit of timeless wardrobe essentials for effortless style, here.

Dressing down special occasion pieces

Tip 3. Wear your ‘good’ jewellery

Jewellery is a quick and effective way to dress an outfit up or down. Just as you can elevate a white top and jeans with statement gold earrings, a special occasion ensemble can be made more casual with simple jewellery. From a fine pendant to a smattering of rings, use your good jewellery in your everyday outfits.

Tip 4. Find the balance

Use antonyms to help balance your outfit in line with your personal style. If a cocktail dress you’re wearing reads prim or feminine, introduce a sporty or boyish element like an oversized bomber jacket or loafer. Hair and makeup play a role in dressing down special pieces too – keep things casual with a packed-back vibe.

Read next: Why French Girl Style Will Never Date

Shop the trend
Shopping Bag