Culture is trending more casual than ever before. Men and women used to dress up just to go downtown and do their shopping. Now – at least in some parts of the world – it’s not at all unusual to see folks shopping in their pajamas.
What comes to your mind when you think of a “casual” outfit? If you think “sloppy,” “thrown together,” or “blasé,” it’s time to redefine this modern style.
Instead, think smart casual. You want an easygoing outfit that’s informal and low-pressure. But you still care about each item in your ensemble. And you’re focused on nailing the fit for a flattering look.
When you find the right upgraded, smart casual style for yourself, you’ll always look modern and stunning – even if you’re wearing a very simple outfit. Here’s how to do it.
Something as simple as jeans and a T-shirt can become a striking outfit with the right accessories. Imagine you’re going out for a casual lunch with friends. What can you do to upgrade your basic look while keeping it fun and low-key?
Bright accessories that add a pop of color to your outfit instantly transform your style. Instead of matching the color of your clothing, go with a bold complementary hue that stands out. Wearing white? Choose a bright red or cobalt blue accessory. Wearing black? Jewel tones and pastels will look great.
Silver and gold accessories may seem more formal, but they pair well with casual outfits too. A simple gold chain and bracelet combo makes a basic outfit feel more refined. Combine shine and color with a gold chain and gem pendant.
The subtle touch shows you gave forethought to your casual attire and makes you stand out for all the right reasons.
Big, bold, chunky accessories are fun and go perfectly with a casual look. Instead of going with multiple understated bracelets, use one with a large band or beads to create a striking look. This is a great opportunity to go bold with color too.
Focus on Fit
Casual shouldn’t mean sloppy. You can look great in a low-key outfit if it fits well and accentuates your natural features.
Unfortunately, this is where many women struggle in their casual style. Finding the right fit can be a never-ending battle – especially if you wear plus-size clothing or you prefer a bit more length or coverage. What can you do to focus on fit in your casual wardrobe?
Shop for Fit First
Even if you love the color or cut, it’s never going to look good on you if the fit is wrong. This applies to casual clothes just as much as formal attire. Purchasing clothes that look nice but fit poorly will only add more frustration to your wardrobe.
Accepting our bodies requires us to be honest with ourselves about them. Instead of trying to dress for an imaginary ideal, we should pick clothes that look great on us… no matter our size and shape!
Know Your Measurements
If you’re shopping online, you need to know your measurements and compare them with sizing guides before you buy. That way you won’t have to deal with disappointing purchases and frustrating returns.
Cookie-cutter sizing leaves most women wearing clothing that doesn’t fit quite right. That’s especially true for plus sizes – they’re often just expanded versions of smaller sizes.
For a better fit, go with boutique plus-size designers that work with handmade clothing. Etsy shops are great places to find unique casual plus-size clothing.
Have a few tops, skirts, or dresses that you absolutely love but don’t fit just right? Have them altered locally by a seamstress. That way you can keep wearing your beautiful casual clothing, but it will fit even better and really make you look amazing.
Keep Casual Fun and Easy
Remember, your casual outfits should be fun, easy, and beautiful. You deserve to feel gorgeous every day, not just when you’re heading to a formal event.
Fashion Isn’t Just for the Young
Older women sometimes feel they shouldn’t bother to follow fashion trends. This is not true. While you certainly don’t want to be slaves to what’s in style, trying new things keeps you young at heart.
Here are some casual outfit ideas.
Must-Have Items in Your Wardrobe
- A jacket or blazer; semi-fitted with two buttons suits almost everybody and every body.
- A pair of flat-fronted, straight-leg pants
- A fitted cotton shirt
- A polo neck sweater
- A pair of plain, low cut, low heeled court shoes (pumps)
- A straight cut, just below the knee-length coat
- A pencil skirt; but only if you can wear one.
Must Not-Have Items in Your Wardrobe
- Anything older than 5 years (unless it’s a Classic)
- Anything trendy. There is an age at which trendy doesn’t work. Stick to what is chic and stylish.
- Anything from the ’60s, ‘70s, and ’80s
- Anything that doesn’t fit any longer; focus on clothes in your new size.
Sixty and Me contributor Penelope Whiteley shares her easy tip when deciding to clean out your closet:
“Hang everything in your wardrobe with the hanger facing towards you. That is, with the open part of the hook facing out. For this to be really effective, you should hang everything. This would include all your tops, sweaters and t-shirts.
When you wear something, reverse the hanger. At the end of one month, you will be amazed at how many of your clothes you don’t wear. In fact, you’re probably not wearing 80% of your clothes!”
It’s always fun to make a new outfit out of clothes you already have in your closet. Have you tried upscaling?
When do you go casual? How do you upgrade your casual outfits? What striking accessories do you use most often to spark up a casual outfit? Please share in the comments below.