*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
If you are headed to a wedding or other function and the dress code is “snappy casual” what excactly does that mean? What should you wear when the dress code is “snappy casual”?
Snappily-dressed people have been around since the 1920s. Their trademark look was “flair,” which meant anything from big hats, vests, jackets, scarves, handkerchiefs, pins, jewelry (usually with lots of rhinestones), and boots. In the 1930s, this trend became more subdued as women experimented with different styles — including wearing pants!
But it didn’t catch on until the 1950s, when celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe started wearing short skirts paired with long puffed sleeves. By the 1960s, fashion houses had caught up with this new style for both men and women, who began pairing simple T-shirts with wide belts.
In recent years, however, snappy casual has come into popular usage.
The term refers to any type of event in which participants want to be comfortable but still look their best. It’s usually used to describe an informal setting like a picnic or beach party. And although the outfits may not include accessories, they should still reflect good taste and fit well together.
If you’re heading out for dinner at your favorite restaurant where the dress code is “snappy casual” then you’ll know exactly what we mean. You might even find yourself wondering how you can pull off this look without looking dowdy. We’ve got some tips to help you do just that.
First things first, there are certain items that simply don’t belong in a “snappy casual” outfit.
For example, if you’re going to a formal black tie affair you shouldn’t wear jeans. They won’t make anyone feel very elegant no matter how much effort you put into them. However, if you’re planning something less serious you could consider bringing along a pair of jeans under your evening gown in case it gets dirty during dancing.
Also, while you might think that turtlenecks qualify as “snappy casual” attire, they aren’t really appropriate unless you plan to attend a funeral. A nice sleeveless blouse would work fine instead.
A few guidelines will also help you decide whether your outfit passes muster as “snappy casual.” First, keep everything fitwell ting. That means leaving behind the baggy clothes and oversized coats.
Second, avoid large prints. These tend to overwhelm guests’ attention spans and take away from the overall appearance.
Last, try not to overdo patterns. While bold colors are OK, too many patterns add bulk and volume all over. Keep accessories to a minimum, especially shiny pieces that draw the eye.
10 Examples Of Snappy Casual
Now let’s get down to business. Here are our top 10 picks for stylish and sophisticated looks perfect for a night on the town or a day at the beach when you want to dress as “snappy casual”
Classic White Shirt Dress
This classic white shirt dress works year round because its fabric drapes nicely across curves or straightaways. Its clean lines and subtle color enhance every woman’s wardrobe. Wear yours belted with a woven wrap or sash. Try adding a ruffle hem detail to give it extra oomph.
Trench Coat Over Jacket
Add instant sophistication to a basic sweater, skirt, and heels by throwing on a trench coat over your ensemble. Whether you choose neutral tones or bright hues, this versatile piece adds warmth and depth to your whole look. Pair one with skinny jeans or slacks; accessorize with a scarf, purse, or clutch.
Black Wrap Dresses/Skirts
Black dresses are timeless and never go out of style. To complement your figure, try wrapping a similar material around your body several times. Choose one made of soft jersey knit cotton, cashmere, chiffon, georgette, or silk. Or pick a shorter version that ends below your natural waistline.
Donate or recycle unwanted clothing to create multiple wraps. Finish off your look with high heeled shoes and earrings.
Crisp Colored Jeans
Crisp colored denim is always appropriate because it goes with so many outfits. Look chic in distressed blue denim cutoffs, worn alone or cuffed above your ankle. Make these jeans stand out by painting your fingernails two contrasting shades of nail polish. Then finish off the look with a retro ’60s ponytail secured with a flower clip.
White Blouses With Blue Sashes
Many women love mixing patterns, and this combo shows versatility and class. Start with a fitted pencil jacket that matches your skirt or jeans perfectly. Then choose three coordinating tops.
One should coordinate with your skirt, another with your belt buckle, and the final item with your necklace. Top off your look with a tailored cardigan or shrug and matching pumps.
Navy V-Neck Sweater With Lace Collar
Navy separates beautifully from dark blues, greens, reds, purples, and browns. Layer this feminine V-neck sweater over a sleek black tank, mid-length skirt, and high heel sandals. Accessorize with gold hoop earrings and a pearl necklace.
Lacy Beaded Camisole Underneath Long Skirt
Wearing a camisole underneath a long skirt gives it a more relaxed look than showing skin through sheer fabrics. Opting for lace makes this design appropriate for almost any occasion. Use a plain tee or polka dot tank top to show off your shoulders.
Pleated Skinny Jean Shorts
Adding comfort to a streamlined silhouette makes these shorts easy to walk in. Instead of being elasticized, pleats gather at the hips, creating a longer leg line. Combine them with boat shoes, ballet flats, and a tailored jacket for a polished summertime look.
Pastels Pink Polka Dot Dress
Bright pops of pink offset each other beautifully against a solid background. Contrasting pastel bows accentuate your collarbone. Slip on a pretty yellow slipover or scoop neck sundress to spice up your everyday look.
Blue Striped Tank Straps
Bold stripes are great accents to soften facial features. Choose a light blue, cream, or tan striped tank with one sleeve removed. Match it with a pair of black trousers, slim bootcut jean legs, or black capri pants. Accentuate your bust area with a colorful bandeau, shawl collared sweatshirt, or floral print maxi dress.
Whether you opt to wear a cocktail dress or a cute little number, remember that you’re trying to achieve balance and proportion. Your hair should frame your face, not compete with it.
So play up your eyes and lips rather than getting carried away with your décolletage. Finally, choose your footwear carefully. High-heeled sling backs can appear overpowering next to strappy peep toe.