How to dress up a casual outfit

Boho chic

I’m a fan of casual clothing

Or maybe I’m just lazy and want my clothes to be comfortable and low-maintenance. Either way, ‘dressing up’ is often a bit of a challenge as so-called ‘formal’ clothes are not to my liking. Especially in summer. I mean, hot weather and clothes that restrict my movements, with shoes that are impossible to walk in… No, I don’t think so. 

So, I decided to see if I could take a very casual outfit and dress it up a bit. Sure, this outfit is a far cry from ‘formal’, but it’s perfect for a dinner in a nice restaurant, drinks after work, or a party. In other words, any occasion that would require me to ‘dress up’ (I don’t even remember the last time I had an event that required anything remotely ‘formal’).

OK, so this is a casual but sophisticated outfit for hot weather (when your really, really don’t want to wear anything tight or restricting). I can easily dress it down by losing the cape and the clutch. And yes, I could dress it up with heels. But I don’t do heels, ever. My feet deserve better: shoes I can actually walk in. In other words, I’m going to wear my comfortable sandals, even though they’re more casual than sophisticated. But I think that in order to look cool, I must feel 100% comfortable and at ease. And in the end that’s all that matters.

boho over 40

clutch bag

sophisticated summer style

cocoon cape

Outfit details:

cape  Jigsaw / linen t-shirt: Monsoon / trousers: OneLife / 

sandals: Clarks / sunglasses: Michael Kors / bag: Diane von Furstenberg
location: University of  Helsinki main building

How do you dress up a casual outfit?



Linking up with: 

Not Dead Yet StyleElegantly Dressed and StylishGaray TreasuresHigh Latitude StyleSydney Fashion HunterThe Pleated PoppyStyle ElixirGet Your Pretty OnHappiness at Mid-LifeA Labour of LifeDoused in PinkCurly Crafty MomFashion Should Be FunRachel the HatSincerely Jenna MarieMore Pieces of MeColor and GraceThe Wardrobe StylistNot Dressed As LambStyle NudgeCoco et La Vie en RoseFashionably Employed,The Fabulous JourneyLiving on Cloud NineA Well Styled LifeElegance and MommyhoodPosh Classy MomNancy’s Fashion StyleSheela WritesShelbee on the Edge 


  1. Shybiker
    August 28, 2016 / 1:40 pm

    Good experiment. Comfort counts, so I understand your attraction to casualwear, and style matters too, so I grasp your desire to improve on it. I've found all it takes is one or two special accessories to grab attention and create the impression you're looking for. These are very nice. The clutch captures my eye and admiration.

    • Tiina L
      August 31, 2016 / 7:27 pm

      Oh yes, accessories make all the difference. And I'm definitely into accessories, big time…

  2. Patti
    August 28, 2016 / 9:34 pm

    i get this – all of it! I think you look terrific – love the clutch. And if your feet hurt, you cannot be happy – that is the law! thanks for sharing, xo-Patti

    • Tiina L
      August 31, 2016 / 7:27 pm

      Thanks, Patti. Yes, happy feet make a happy woman 🙂

  3. Jill James
    August 29, 2016 / 9:23 am

    Cool, comfortable but still with your usual panache Tiina. The added touches of the cape and that pretty clutch make it special. I must agree with comfortable feet.

    • Tiina L
      August 31, 2016 / 7:28 pm

      Thanks, Jill. Well, just like you, I love my accessories…

  4. Suzanne Carillo
    August 30, 2016 / 1:14 pm

    I love the kimonos you're wearing lately. So chic.bisousSuzanne

    • Tiina L
      August 31, 2016 / 7:29 pm

      Thanks, Suzanne. I've been experimenting with kimonos a lot recently. I find them so glam, and that's exactly what my wardrobe needs, a dose of glam.

  5. Jessica Jannenga
    August 30, 2016 / 3:20 pm

    Love this color palette! The burgundy with the blue/grey hues. I am with you on comfort and casual when it is hot out too! Thanks for linking up with Turning heads tuesdayjess

    • Tiina L
      August 31, 2016 / 7:31 pm

      Thanks, Jessica. I love blue and green, or teal shades, especially in summer.

  6. Natalia Lialina
    August 31, 2016 / 7:31 pm

    I think you do such casual-with-a-touch-of-elegance outfits really well, Tiina! Far from boring. Love this kimono, and the DVF clutch is wonderful! I'm almost your opposite in this sense. I don't like formal either, but I love dressing up! But! At the same time staying cool and relaxed. So it's an interesting challenge to have. And I also wear only shoes I can walk in, that's not negotiable. Thank you so much for linking with Midlife Fun!

    • Tiina L
      August 31, 2016 / 7:40 pm

      Thanks, Natalia. Yes, casual with a touch of elegance, I guess that would sum up my style. I'm a casual girl, and dressing down comes naturally. Whenever I try to dress up, to the nines, I feel a bit uncomfortable, as if it's not really me.

  7. Mummabstylish
    September 1, 2016 / 3:30 pm

    You've succeeded – well done. Fab look, good colour choice too. x

    • Tiina L
      September 1, 2016 / 4:10 pm

      Thanks, Jacqui. I love these colours, too.

  8. Doused In Pink
    September 2, 2016 / 11:56 am

    This is such a pretty color combo! Love your kimono and that fun clutch!JillDoused In Pink

    • Tiina L
      September 4, 2016 / 12:58 pm

      Thanks, Jill.

  9. Shellie Bowdoin
    September 6, 2016 / 12:18 am

    I agree with the importance of comfortable shoes! Thankfully, companies seem to be doing a better job of making shoes cute and comfortable. Thank you for adding your style flair to the My Refined Style Linkup.

    • Tiina L
      September 7, 2016 / 5:48 pm

      Ah, comfortable yet cute shoes, that elusive holy grail of a middle-aged fashionista… I think they're still quite rare, so I buy just about every pair I find.

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