Mixing Casual and Formal: Creating a Laid Back Yet Polished Look

It's always nice to have more style options and mixing casual and formal clothing is another trendy look you may want to try out. The great thing about this style is that it defies a singular dress code. So, let's jump in and see the possibilities for creating a unique look.

What Is the Semi-Formal Vibe?

The basic vibe is a well-put-together outfit made up of pieces intended for a casual look or an upscale business or formal outfit. Let's say that you have three nice suits in your closet. You also have a collection of dress shirts, blouses, tops, jeans, khakis, chinos, blazers, semi-casual shorts and a couple of vests. This is enough to create an endless variety of semi-formal outfits, especially when you add accessories such as suspenders and an assortment of casual and dressy shoes.

Mastering the Art of Mixing and Matching

There are no hard and fast rules to follow when it comes to creating a business formal or dressy/casual look. This means that you will have to pay closer attention to fabrics, patterns, colors and textures for every piece you choose.

The best way to learn what pieces complement each other is to pull out a bunch of clothing from various styles and start mixing and matching. You can simply lay out different combinations on the bed to get some initial ideas. Bold colors and patterns are fine, as long as you use them tastefully by pairing them with solid neutrals. You also want to avoid colors and patterns that clash with each other. The outfit should be chic, well-coordinated and laid-back.

Choosing the Best Suspender Styles

Suspenders are perfect for semi-formal attire because they come in many styles and colors, giving you dozens of additional ways to enhance your outfits. Here are some suggestions for what kind of suspenders you can choose for unique looks.

Add Flair with Patterns

Wearing suspenders with patterns is an easy way to give any laid-back look more visual pizzazz. Striped suspenders in various colors are always popular, and they can be your go-to pattern when creating ensembles quickly. Other suspender patterns that pop with lots of visual appeal are floral/paisley, polka dots, geometric, checks and plaids.

Make a Statement with Color

Suspenders come in a wide range of color choices and can add depth and a dash of excitement to your mix-and-match outfits. The best color options for any particular outfit depend on the style and color of clothing pieces, seasonal preferences and your mood. Suspenders come in classic neutral shades such as tan, brown, white and grey. You can find them in primary shades like blue, red and purple, earthy green, bright orange or yellow and soft pastels.

How to Create Laid-Back Elegance

Start getting the hang of creating outfits with laid-back elegance by combining suspenders with easy wardrobe pieces. Create a rugged, polished look by layering a denim shirt over a basic white t-shirt and adding a navy blue blazer. Bottoms are a pair of black or navy blue slacks followed by brown or black dress or casual shoes or "like new" sneakers. Striped or jacquard checkered suspenders are going to look good with these pieces.

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