This article addresses a specific concern that I receive frequently: how to make a casual outfit look more refined and chic.
There are two scenarios in which you would require this.
First and foremost, you’re going out but don’t want to wear a blazer, suit, or button-up shirt.
Second, you’re staying home, but you still want to seem put-together, because sweatpants and a hoodie don’t exactly scream “chic” after a while.
On several levels, knowing how to improve a casual outfit makes sense.
I’m going to put together a casual outfit for you. I’ll show you how I do it and why I do it, and then I’ll show you how to add some chic to it in a variety of ways, from simple to advanced.
Let’s begin with the outfit.
I want super-comfy pants, but not sweatpants, leggings, or jeans, because denim is a very stiff, tightly woven fabric, especially if the jeans are slim-fitting or high-waisted.
I’d like a cut or shape that doesn’t restrict my movement so I don’t have to change into something more comfortable.
Look for palazzo pants, flared or bell bottoms, and boot cuts.
The most comfortable shape is the palazzo. It’s usually fastened about your waist, and the remainder of the length is quite broad and flowy. In palazzo pants, you could sit cross-legged with no issue. They also visually lengthen the legs.
Then I choose a top that doesn’t require ironing, such as a light knit jersey with a unique shape. Something off the shoulder, for example.
Alternatively, a regular form, such as a tank top. However, I’d like it to be made of something other than basic cotton.
Because the pants are rather baggy, I choose a top that is a little more fitted to bring the outfit into balance.
If I’m in between seasons and need an extra layer, I reach for a soft sweater with a front that can be tucked into my pants or one with a unique shape, such as puffy sleeves.
The pieces I’m looking for are all pretty casual and absolutely comfortable, but they’re a step up beyond essentials, which is a fantastic starting point for the next level.
For a moment, let’s talk about color.
If you’re trying for a more casual outfit, neutrals or harmonious colors are a great option.
Consider beige, cream, gray, tan, and other muted or mid-toned colors.
Neutral colors or a harmonized color palette have a psychological influence. It’s incredibly pleasing to the eye and simple to comprehend. It’s not obnoxious, and it’s really soothing.
If you aim for an all-neutral monochromatic style, you’ll receive the most impact.
Keep in mind that what I’m describing is just one of many possibilities.
Now it’s time to apply the finishing touches.
How to achieve the look of casual chic.
The traditional approach is to focus on jewelry and how you combine it.
If your skin tone is cool and you prefer gray and cool colors, a silver necklace is a good choice.
If you have a warm complexion and are drawn to warm yellows, warm greens, and tan tones, a gold necklace is the way to go.
Personally, I enjoy wearing a large statement necklace alone or with a set of earrings and rings.
It will look more formal and less casual if you add the earrings, necklace, and rings.
But it’s a matter of personal preference, and it’s entirely up to you.
Consider a hair accessory as well. Hair accessories are available from a variety of brands. Because you have so many options, this is an excellent moment to invest in a few pieces.
Hair accessories are usually a bit chic; they give the impression that you put an effort because they are less expected than conventional jewelry. Clips, slides, or a headband can all be used.
Colors are a great alternative to traditional metals. Because the outfit is so neutral, feel free to go crazy with the accessories and experiment with bold colors.
You can wear a voluminous bracelet with a green accent color while keeping the base color close to the outfit’s color palette.
You can also go for colorful accessories if you’re wearing white, gray, or black.
Both bracelets are standout pieces that can be worn on one hand alone. These show that you’ve carefully curated your wardrobe and made clear decisions in terms of accessories. And that you have a clear idea of what you desire. It’s always chic to exude confidence.
The next step is to match colors.
As I previously stated, an outfit appears chic if it appears curated.
Color is the most effective way to achieve this.
For example, if the pants and shoes are the same color. If the lipstick matches the bracelet’s accent color. If the purse’s accent color is the same as the shoes’ primary color.
It can be done in a subtle, almost imperceptible manner, but the brain notices it, and this is what gives the general view of being chic.
Sometimes you’ll see fashion week shots or street style photos when people purposefully combine and clash colors and patterns.
It is, without a doubt, a technique, but it frequently appears to be extremely modern, very trendy, but not necessarily chic.
These are two distinct things in my opinion.
A more advanced version is also available.
You use two colors from the same family instead of matching the pants and shoes.
There are various approaches to this.
If the shoes are red, for example, the pants could be dark red. Even if the two colors are different, it will still look like it belongs together.
The pants might be purple if the shoes are red. What is the significance of purple? On the color wheel, that’s the color next to red.
If you do it with neutrals, it will always look more stylish, modern, and contemporary. However, it can be quite difficult to achieve. It can be difficult to find the correct color pants once you’ve found the right shoes. That’s why being a fashion stylist is a real job.
I’d want to move on to something that is frequently overlooked in styling advice: the texture of our clothing.
It’s not just about how you look when it comes to casual chic. It’s also about how you feel in your clothes. That is why it is critical to investigate materials and textures.
Let’s pretend you’re dressed entirely in black. Very simple.
If the pants are made of a finely woven wool fabric and the sweater is made of cashmere that is worn next to the skin, you feel great. You only need one piece of jewelry to complete the look.
Less is more in this case. Minimalism is often more chic than maximalism.
If you plan, curate, and keep in mind that you want to have a variety of materials and textures in your wardrobe, it will always appear more sophisticated.
You acquire the idea of how to put together and accessorize an outfit to achieve a specific look, in this case, casual chic.
But, before all of that, you must first determine your personal style. It’s a massive and challenging question. (I’ve written an article to assist you figure out your personal style.)
Knowing your own personal style is the foundation for whatever decision you make afterwards when putting together an outfit.