You might like to consider yourself the adventurous type; a “yes” person who loves to take advantage of any exciting opportunity that pops up. But if you’re anything like us, when a friend texts you with very last-minute plans, it can take everything not to throw a “new phone, who this?” message back. And usually it’s because the thought of piecing together an outfit in under two minutes is not ideal. We’re here to change that.
We consider the smart casual outfits ahead as ones that don’t feel overly styled or contrived. Instead, they feature a mix of easy classics and statement pieces that come together to feel special, cool, and ready for most impromptu adventures—think along the lines of brunch or a friend of a friend’s birthday party. (Formal affairs and theme parties, not so much.)
Scroll down for the outfit inspiration and then to shop a few key closet essentials that make putting together outfits simple and, most importantly, fast.
An unexpected color combination instantly makes any outfit a bit more interesting. And the touch of a satin bag says, “Yes, of course, I dressed for this occasion,” even if “Why, yes, this bag was closest to the front door” is a bit closer to the truth.
A ruffled slip dress is not exactly lounge-at-home gear, but it’s so easy to pull on when last-minute plans come up. And go ahead—skip the heels.
Why do fashion girls love a caped jacket? Capes can make an ensemble look elegant in a flash even if you’re really just wearing a classic denim jacket.
You can put on jeans and a simple tee in your sleep. But tossing on an slightly shiny outer layer feels way more intentional.
Same goes for a sharp, tailored blazer.
One of our favorite go-to combos is a crop top and high-waisted pants.
When in a rush, keep at least one laid-back piece in your look like a plain white tee. It guarantees comfort and feels effortless.
When in doubt, let your trench do the talking.
Treat leopard print as a neutral and your ensembles will aways pack a punch.
Are last-minute plans making it hard to decide between dress or jeans? Don’t.
Sometimes it’s what on the outside that counts.
Coordinating sets were made for easy, quick outfit making. Keep one on hand.
Fact: A great pair of statement earrings can make a whole look.
Track pants and a blazer: Maybe it shouldn’t work together, but it very much does.
We adore this mixed inspiration piece. It makes for a cool head-to-toe ensemble that’s pretty much up for whatever plans your friends throw at you next.
A classic white-and-black ensemble is always good in a pinch.
Pay attention to textures—they make even the simplest pairing look special.
No one has to know you’re wearing your pajama top in public.
Or the vintage band tee you’ve owned since childhood.
Shop Key Pieces for Easy Outfit-Building
Available in sizes 4 to 12.
Available in sizes XXS to XXL.
Available in sizes XS to XL.
Available in sizes XS to L.
Available in sizes 24 to 33.
Available in sizes 0 to 12.
Available in sizes 14 to 28.
Available in sizes IT 36 to IT 44.