A great season is arriving, Spring is already here and Summer well, around the corner in a blink! which it means a season full of events, and most of them alfresco – which I love.

It might be stressful to receive an invitation indicating certain Protocol / Dress Code as “elegant”, “elegant sport”, “casual elegant”, “cocktail”, “white tie”, etc. The fact is that depending on the person, the meaning of “sport” or “elegant” may change.

Let’s get it right, how does The Cambridge Dictionary defines Protocol? “the system of rules and acceptable behaviour used at official ceremonies and occasions” A Dress Code refers as well to indicate the type of clothing by a series of rules that a group of people should wear according to specific circumstances.

My main advice for any type of Dress Code is: always use colours that give natural and youthful light to your complexion. It is of vital importance to choose the best shape and length of the garments for you because what might be fashionable, might not look the most flattering on you according to your height, personality or the impression that you want to give.

This time I’m going to talk about the most well-known Dress Code for daytime and/ or alfresco: “Casual Elegant”.
The Casual Elegant dress code, is NOT “casual sport” which could include jeans and sandals, the word “elegant” should be taken as it is, because although this kind of elegance requires being natural and comfortable -casual-, the combination of fabrics and shapes will be the key at the time of achieving an accurate outfit.

It is important to maintain your own style and essence, and feel yourself properly dressed without feeling “a character” that you are not, this gives a plus of style and personality.

Jeans do not count as an option in this category. If you choose to wear pants, the best option are formal trousers suit, with a loose fit and a fabric that doesn’t make a crease at the first movement.

Skirts or dresses: elegant, good looking and quality fabrics should be above all. The most convenient lengths are: by the knee or a few centimetres above if it is a cocktail, below the knee a midi length (personally it is what I like the most when I attend to this type of events), and in the case of an event at evening, it could be a long length.

Colours and patterns in light and bight shades during the day, as the darker palettes, will look more sophisticated towards sunset/evening. For example, a crêpe pencil skirt in white, at daytime would look amazing with a silk shirt in pastel shades and statement earrings, but for an evening event, the same skirt would be more appropriate with a sequin top in black or wine or dark blue with a pair of some more discreet earrings.

Shoes: wearing stilettos or classic sandals depending on the season and the outfit that has been chosen, is the easy way. But if you want to go a step further, the shoes can become the star of the outfit if they are statements, in a vibrant colour or with an original detail.

To elongate the legs, the pointed shoes or the nude colour on stilettos and sandals (the most similar colour possible to your own skin tone) are the appropriate ones to create that optical illusion of length.

I strongly suggest avoiding platforms and wedged shoes. Lean by thin high heels or medium height that are also very fashionable. The “flat” options that I like the most for this type of outfits are the mules, which come in a great variety of models and heights. I tend not to use ballerinas for these occasions.

Different print patterns it can be combined with others (a trend that is here to stay), but they should always be matched strategically, having a coherence in the range of colours-palettes to make it seems nice to the eye.

Here are some pictures of my favourite example of “Casual Elegant”.

I hope this gives you a bit of help and inspiration!

Mariana de Guevara
London trained
MUA & Fashion Stylist
instagram @mariangmakeup.style