Casual dressing is all about striking the perfect balance between comfort and style. Whether you’re off to a coffee catch-up with friends or simply a supermarket run, the right casual outfit can have you feeling great in more ways than one. Of course, casual dressing can be tricky to nail.
If you go too casual, your outfit may end up looking a little sloppy. Too dressy, on the other hand, and your look won’t be casual at all. Luckily, we’re here to help you nail the perfect outfit that is both laid-back and stylish. Here are our 10 casual style tips for women.
1. Think comfort first
The beauty of casual dressing is that it puts comfort first. So, forget too-tight jeans, uncomfortable tops, and feet-swelling high heels. Instead, lean into comfy separates that move with you. We’re talking lounge pants, jeans, tees, jumpers, and relaxed dresses and skirts.
2. Choose your fabrics wisely
A casual outfit calls for the right fabrics. After all, rocking a chiffon dress and leather jacket to school pick-up just doesn’t work. A cotton t-shirt dress and denim jacket, on the other hand, will look perfectly in place.
We recommend opting for fabrics such as comfy cottons and breathable, high-quality linens that are soft instead of scratchy. For fitted pieces, such as jeans, look for fabrics that feature at least a little elastane for stretch.
3. Opt for relaxed layers
When you’re in need of a little extra warmth, remember to keep your look on-point with relaxed layers. Not sure where to start? Why not layer a classic, crew-neck jumper over a tank or throw a cosy cardigan on top of a tee? Casual jackets, such as denim and bomber styles can also work well. As for what not to wear, we recommend avoiding tailored blazers and structured coats, which are better suited to more formal styles of dress.
4. If in doubt, go for denim
If you’re not sure what to wear for a casual outing, know you can always rely on denim. Denim has been a casual essential for decades and can do no wrong.
From your favourite pair of jeans to a flattering denim skirt or wear-anywhere denim jacket, there are plenty of options to choose from. Just add a basic t-shirt and sneakers to complete your look!
5. Don’t forget your shoes
Footwear can make or break an outfit. For a casual look, choose shoes that suit the overall style of your ensemble. For summer, sandals can make an excellent option. Dressier than thongs and more relaxed than heels, sandals offer a chic yet understated appearance that’s perfect for smart-casual looks. Likewise, sneakers are another fabulous option. We love a clean, white pair for a fresh take on off-duty dressing.
Perfect year-round, you can wear them with anything from jeans to shorts, dresses, and even casual dresses. While sandals are great for summer and sneakers are ideal for all seasons, boots make a great choice in winter. In particular, a classic ankle boot with a flat or low heel is a wonderful go-to for all your weekend looks during the chilly months.
6. Know your colour palette
Casual dressing comes more easily to those who have a go-to colour palette that easily mixes and matches together. We recommend stocking up on key basics in neutral colours that pair well with anything. These pieces will provide the foundation for your casual closet. We’re talking items like tees, tanks, cotton jumpers, and lounge pants in colours like white, grey, black, and navy.
These pieces can then be worn on their own for a minimal style or enhanced with a fashion colour or print for a more dressed-up look. To do so, select one item to be the focus of your look, such as a purple top or striped pants that you can then ground with your base garments for a balanced, casual look.
7. Invest in a flattering cotton tee
Comfy and classic, a cotton tee is the base of so many great casual outfits. Whether teamed with jeans and boots or a relaxed skirt and sneakers, this timeless essential always looks and feels great. Of course, your old, stretched-out and faded tee won’t always cut it when you’re after a stylish look, so invest in one that fits and flatters your body.
If you have a small bust, you may want to try a crew-neck style for a smart look, whereas if your bust is large, a V or scoop-neck style may suit you better.
Want to build the perfect wardrobe? Discover the 15 wardrobe basics every woman must have here.
8. Highlight your assets
While your casual outfit should be comfortable, it should also be flattering. To ensure it is, try using your clothes to highlight your best feature. For instance, if you love your legs, a relaxed t-shirt dress that finishes at or above the knee makes an excellent option.
If you love your bust, try some loose, lounge pants paired with a fitted tee or low-cut tank instead. Either way, the goal is to add some definition to your silhouette and avoid swamping your frame in loose fabrics. If you do prefer a loose top and bottom, consider adding definition by tucking your top in at the front or by showing a little skin, such as with a V-neckline or ¾ pants.
9. Find the right balance
As we’ve already mentioned, a stylish casual outfit is all about striking the right balance. To do so, aim for a look that’s equal parts relaxed and fashionable. Something that you feel comfortable in but that also looks chic will nail the aesthetic.
As mentioned, denim is always a safe bet, but it isn’t your only option. Everyday basics with an elevated twist can also look fabulous. From lounge pants with striped waistbands to printed tees, there are plenty of options to choose from.
10. Finish with accessories
The right accessories can really make an outfit. For a casual look, leave your blingy jewellery at home, and instead, opt for delicate pieces that are understated yet stylish. And don’t stop there. A chic cross-body bag or printed scarf can really enhance an everyday ensemble and take it to the next level.
Casual dressing needn’t be boring. For everyday essentials with a twist, check out whiteandco.com.au.
I am the head of digital & e-commerce at White & Co. A Melbourne local, I have spent my career working in the fashion industry and love what I do. Outside of work, I love a good cup of coffee, a walk in the sunshine, reading a great book, and shopping online.