Dressy casual is a form of attire that involves a slightly more elegant style of normal casual wear, such as dress slacks and a sport coat or blazer. This form of dress is more casual than that associated with a cocktail party. Dressy casual attire is often associated with an informal party or dinner at a nice restaurant.
According to manners-expert Emily Post, dressy casual attire includes a sport coat, slacks and a nice shirt for men and a dress, skirt or elegant pantsuit for women. For men, a polo shirt is acceptable, as is a dress shirt or an open-collared buttoned-down shirt. A tie is optional. A dressy pair of jeans along with an elegant shirt also is acceptable for women.
For women, the choice of shirt or blouse often makes the difference in dressy casual attire. Choose a blouse that is made of a sophisticated material, rather than cotton, or pick one that has decorative embellishments to increase the dressy factor. Additionally, always take into account the season when choosing dressy casual clothing. A lightweight, light-colored sport coat or blazer is appropriate for all spring and summer functions, while a dark-colored coat is more appropriate for colder months.