For everyday wear, women's casual dresses can fill just about any fashion need except for the most dressy and formal. Where dresses are concerned, there are so many different styles and colors that even the most particular woman should be able to find something to suit her taste.
About Women's Casual Dresses
What makes a dress casual versus a dressier version? One thing you should consider is the fabric. Cotton, jersey and linen are more casual materials than silk and taffeta. Because many women spend much of the spring and summer in clothing designed to keep them cool and comfortable, cotton is a popular fabric in hot weather, which is also the time of year when casual clothing is more apt to be worn.
Length is another factor in how dressy or casual your dress is. Formal wear almost always comes to the floor and features embellishments such as sequins or rhinestones. While a casual dress can be floor length, it's made of a more casual material, such as cotton. Even in hot weather, a long and loose cotton dress can keep you cool. Casual dresses come in a variety of lengths, from very short to very long.
Where to Wear Casual Dresses
While women's casual dresses will carry you through many occasions, there are still some events where you should opt to wear dressier attire.
Some business environments that have a more relaxed dress code may allow you to wear casual dresses, but you should use your discretion when choosing what to wear. Even in a business casual setting, you may need to pair your casual dress with a smart jacket or cardigan to present a professional image. In the summer, a cotton shift dress would be appropriate, but cover it with a blazer to make sure you adhere to appropriate dress policies. Once you leave the office, you can remove your jacket and enjoy the warm summer's day.
For early afternoon weddings, you don't have to wear the more formal-type attire that an evening wedding calls for. You can sport a casual dress for a daytime wedding, but it should still fit into the venue. If it's a church wedding, wear a dress appropriate to the setting. A garden wedding will be more relaxed, however.
For weekends, casual dresses paired with sandals, either flat or high-heeled, are the perfect ensemble. The accessories you choose can dress your look up or down. Higher heels, jewelry and a sophisticated edge lends you a more elegant feel; sneakers or flat sandals and a looser fit will be more casual. If you want to create a very pulled-together look, don't forget a hat. The right hat adds an extra touch that will not only keep the sun off of your face but will add some panache.
Styles of Casual Dresses
- Browse the casual dresses section at Forever 21 for cute, informal styles, including ruffles mini dresses, striped jersey dresses, ankle length sun dresses, and loose floral shifts.
- Shift dresses are easy to wear and care for. Just slip it on, along with a few accessories, and you're ready to head out the door. These dresses work well for the office as well as the weekend.
Where to Buy
Although dresses come in and out of fashion, they're always available. This is a garment that women always need, so even if the season's "It" item is a pair of wide-legged trousers, you'll still have no trouble finding a dress to suit your needs.
Places to look into for the season's latest casual dresses include:
- Local department stores like JCPenney, Belk, Dillard's, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Nordstrom
- Mall stores like Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, and Ann Taylor
Remember, casual doesn't mean sloppy. You can wear a casual dress and still look very pulled together by making the right choices in shoes and accessories. Because dresses can easily be slipped on, you can get ready in no time and be on your way to any occasion that calls for casual chic.