What to Wear for a Smart Casual Dinner Out

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Depending on the reason for the invitation to dinner, dressing appropriately with style is easy. Choose colors that are neither too bright or dull, and neither too tight nor loose fitting. Comfort and style are the key to a casual dinner out with friends, a business meeting or that special someone. A classy look says a lot about a person, so choose clothes that are neither too revealing nor too covering. Find a balance.

A casual business dinner can mean an open shirt and suit jacket for comfort.
A casual business dinner can mean an open shirt and suit jacket for comfort.

A Dinner With a Special Someone

Look in the closet for feminine and flattering, with colors that suit skin tone, hair color and the weather. Black is the first choice for most women, but try plum, navy blue or dark green as a change. During the warm months, a light-colored dress with a sweater or shawl will be both appealing and comfortable. Slacks with a narrow bottom at the ankles with high heels and a feminine top is a real winner for any time of the year. If the weather is cold with rain or snow, try high-heeled boots with a simple, long-sleeved wool dress. Add a piece of eye-catching jewelry, such as a bulky bracelet or heavy necklace for interest.

Look for feminine and flattering.
Look for feminine and flattering.

Out With Close Friends

With friends, the dinner may go on for a few hours, so comfort and style are a must. If you're at a friend's home, layering is a great idea in case the weather turns cold or too warm. A classy open-collar shirt with the tails out and a feminine short-waist sweater looks great over slender pants and heels. Add a lightweight, multicolored, skinny scarf to freshen the look. In a restaurant, try skinny jeans, short, high-heeled boots and a jersey top. Add long candelabra earrings and a funky, chunky bracelet to finish the look.

Dining with friends requires comfort and style.
Dining with friends requires comfort and style.

A Casual Business Dinner

Sometimes, an impromptu meeting is called to make decisions on a big business deal. Look professional, but comfortable and feminine at the same time. Wear a shirt dress with boots or heels. Add some flair to a suit with a printed scarf to show a little personality. A pair of dark blue slacks, a white shirt and a baby-blue sweater looks smart, practical and feminine. Add a metal bracelet and chunky earrings to finish the put-together look. A black pencil skirt with a cream-colored scooped-neck sweater and a pair of black boots would be tailored and casual. A trench coat is always comfortable and professional looking. Wear a trench coat over any outfit to stay warm and stylish.

Look comfortable and professional at a casual business dinner.
Look comfortable and professional at a casual business dinner.

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