Is it just me, or is picking out a casual outfit usually even more challenging than putting together a dressier look? If I'm leaving the house in a plain tee and denim, I could easily try on 10 different pairs of jeans just to land on the right look that's casual and laid-back but still says I'm a fashion girl without saying I'm a fashion girl, you know?
Since I find myself mulling over these casual looks more than I probably should, I figured it would be useful to create a fail-safe guide to casual wear for those moments when you want to be easygoing but still look cool. To me, the seven outfit formulas below do just that. Whether they feature the simplest basics in our closets or riff on a few trendier elements, putting together one of these ensembles is a can't-lose scenario.
Neutral Blazer + White Tee + Jeans
A structured blazer—especially one in a neutral tone—works wonders to make a simple denim outfit look polished.
Denim Shirt + Jeans
Double denim, or the Canadian tuxedo—whatever you want to call it—is a never-fail formula. I'd take a cue from Jen and pair a denim jacket with jeans in the same wash and your favorite flats.
Floral Dress + Sneakers
A pretty dress with athletic sneakers is a calling card for fashion girls everywhere, and it's actually so easy to re-create. Style a fun frock (bonus points if it involves elements like ruffles or puff sleeves) with your favorite kicks and add in whatever accessories suit your mood.
Relaxed Suit + Ribbed Tank + Sneakers
Take a dressed-down approach to suiting by wearing a relaxed set with a simple ribbed tank and "dad" sneakers.
Printed Skirt + Tee + Flat Sandals
Hinge your outfit around one piece—in this case, a printed skirt—and fill in the look with your favorite basics.
Nobody does '90s-inspired pieces quite like Réalisation.
Tank Top + Wide-Leg Trousers
When you're not feeling jeans, relaxed trousers are a chic alternative. Wear them with a simple tank for an easy summertime 'fit.
Sweat Set + Structured Jacket + Sneakers
Thanks to 2021, coordinating sweats are an outfit you actually want to be seen out of the house in. A structured jacket pulls the look together.
If you're going to invest in outerwear, you can't go wrong with a classic wool coat.
Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.
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