HOW TO DRESS CLASSY FOR ANY OCCASION

Eke Esther

Is it time to switch up your everyday outfits and add a touch of elegance and class? Maybe you’ve got a new business casual outfit you need to step out in dapper style? Maybe you’ve just moved into a new city and need a new look to reflect who you’ve become? If so, you’ve come to the right place. 

In this article, I’m going to walk you through all the steps on how to dress classy and create a sophisticated, chic and classy look that you’ll be able to wear for years. 

The beauty of classy styling is that it’s timeless. The same navy shift dress you wear now will still be in style ten years from the time you buy it. The same camel-coloured camel pumps you buy now will still be good for you ten years from then. 

Putting together a classy outfit is all about putting together the key elements you need and making sure that your confidence and style shine through. So, if you’re ready to dive into a new, classy look and want to answer the question, “how to dress classy?”

DEFINE AND KNOW YOUR PERSONAL STYLE

How to dress classy

Every single one of us has a personal style. We just have to recognize it, comprehend it, and live it. It reflects your mood, your personality, and who you are as a whole. It reflects your hobbies, lifestyle, passions, and past.

If you have a personal style, you know you look good and feel good when you leave your house. Whether you like bohemian or street style, high fashion or minimal, you can create a classy look when the occasion demands it.

A lot of women tell me that they don’t have or don’t know what their personal style is. I always encourage them to take a look in their closet. Here is a quick tip for finding your personal style.

Take out your favorite items from your closet. Lay them on your bed. Look for patterns. Are they mostly solids or patterns? Bright or neutral colors? Dresses or pants? Flirty or conservative?

THE 7 BASICS OF CLASSY STYLE

WEAR ITEMS THAT ARE MADE OF CLASSIC FABRICS

How to dress

If you’re looking for classic, timeless clothing that will last for the next ten years, then you should be adding these four essential fabrics to your wardrobe. These are cotton fabrics, wool fabrics, linen fabrics, and silk fabrics. If you take good care of them, they will last for decades if you keep them clean and pressed.

There are also variations of these fabrics that you can add to your wardrobe. For example, denim is made from cotton, which cuts across all styles, from the street to the boho to the minimalist. 

Chino cotton is great for pairing with pants, blouses, and moto jackets. Cashmere, on the other hand, is a wool fabric that feels amazing against your skin and won’t fade with age. Whether you’re looking for a cardigan, V-neck, or a classic pullover, cashmere will look great with jeans, tailored pants, and skirts.

IF IN DOUBT WEAR SOLID NEUTRALS

Wearing solid neutrals

Neutrals are a great way to add a touch of sophistication and class to your look. Bold patterns and prints may be too bold for you if you’re just starting out with your chic style journal. In this case, neutrals are the way to go. 

You’ll find plenty of neutrals in stores (and maybe even in your closet), they’re easy to mix and match, and they’ll help to fill out your wardrobe. Common neutrals include white / beige / cream, navy blue / black / gray, and so on. 

Don’t feel like you have to wear black (or any other neutral) all the time. You can also go monochromatic, which means you can change up a color but still stay classy. You can also add small details that can turn a solid into a statement piece, such as a slim burgundy belt, a panda scarf, or red pumps.

FIT IS KEY

Fit is key

Clothing that is classy and sophisticated is usually tailored and loose fitting (not too loose, but show off your curves). Skirts should fall just above or below your knee, as do your classy dresses. 

Classic pants are straight, slightly wider, slightly bootcut or menswear inspired and should be at least ½-inch from the floor in the rear. Wide-leg and skinny trousers in classic fabrics are acceptable. Ankle pants (think Audrey Hepburn) are also acceptable. 

Blazers, blouses and sweaters follow the curves of your waist.

NEVER OVEREXPOSE

How to dress

Don’t wear tops that show off your midriff, low-cut tops, or mini skirts that show off your décolletage. Keep your cleavage and belly button covered. Also, don’t wear necklines that show off your bra.

Go for a collared neckline, a boatneck neckline, a crew neck neckline, or a V-neck neckline. You can also wear square necklines, cowl necklines, scoop necklines, asymmetrical necklines, sweetheart necklines, halter necklines, and more formal necklines.

Keep the armholes of your blouse and dress from showing off your bra.

DON’T GO OVERBOARD WITH ACCESSORIES

How to dress stylish

When it comes to looking classy and sophisticated, simple jewelry is the way to go. I suggest 

  • earrings: small silver/gold hoops, pearl/diamond studs.
  • Bracelets: silver/gold bangles (heavy/dense), tennis bracelet/watch (gold/silver with metal/leather band). 
  • Necklace: long pendants/ pearls/ diamond solitaire/cross. 
  • Ring: Not required, but if it is, go for a delicate/statement ring. Thin bands/diamonds/heirloom rings are okay. 

Everyone should have at least one cocktail ring for events or to dress up their jeans. Keep ring/middle fingers only.

STYLE YOUR HAIR

How to dress classy

Now that we have gone over colors and fabrics, fit and accessorising, let’s talk about your hair! I know this goes without saying, but I want to cover all the bases. Make sure to style your hair! If you want to look classy and add a touch of sophistication to your outfit, make sure you spend some time styling your hair!

If you don’t have time to style your hair in the morning or just don’t feel like it, opt for an easy cut or a short cut that you can easily put up. By “stylish and chic” I mean a sleek low bun or ponytail! I have long hair and I know I need at least 30 minutes to wear it down, but that’s the hairstyle I go for when I don’t want to spend hours on my hair. Find a hairstyle that you can style every day and that you love!

MAKEUP MAKES A DIFFERENCE

How to dress classy for any occasion

We’ve reached the final item on the list, “How to Dress Classy”. Congratulations, you made it this far! I left this last item for last because honestly, I have the worst time with this one. I rarely do “makeup” and this is one of the things that I work on all the time. If you’re like me, and you’re not spending a lot of time on your make-up, focus on these 3 things that will change your classy look:

If you have less than 5 minutes to put on your makeup, focus on your eyes, cheeks and lips. Put on mascara to open your eyes and bring some color to your face. Add some blush to add some life to your cheeks and add some colour to your lips. These three touch-ups are subtle but will make a huge impact on the overall look of your classy outfit.

YOU DON’T NEED A LOT OF MONEY TO DRESS CLASSY

Dressing classy

Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need to break the bank to look classy. Sure, you can splurge on a designer-brand button-down shirt for $200, but you can find one of similar quality and style for as little as $68 at a secondhand or thrift store like Banana Republic or the Gap, or even Ann Taylor. Classic, well-made clothes last for years, even decades, so you’ll often find good deals on them.

Don’t forget to invest in quality basics that fit right and that you can wear multiple times. Accessories—much less expensive than clothing—can also help change up your look and stretch your basics even further.

HOW TO DRESS CLASSY AND YOUR PERSONAL STYLE

Personal style

It doesn’t have to be hard to dress classy, but it’ll take some time to match your personal style with this new sophisticated style of dressing. Don’t be fooled by the clothing you have in your closet, you may be able to incorporate items in ways you never thought possible.

I’m more of a classic and minimalist dresser, but I love to add color whenever I can. In this outfit post, you can see that I’m wearing a classy dress with a pattern that really speaks to me. The little bits of color don’t overpower the dress or me, but they do enhance my look.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I hope that I have provided answers to all of your classy outfit queries and that you now have a better understanding of how to wear classy. Please let me know if I missed anything and I will be happy to answer directly!

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Eke Esther is a professional content writer that focuses on fashion and lifestyle. She has worked as a freelancer for years, helping several organizations achieve remarkable results. Giving you the newest fashion designs and trends is her main goal. You'll get blogs of the highest caliber that fit your tastes.
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