How to Be Stylish While Being Casual

Three Methods:Looking Sharp in Casual WearMatching ColorsShopping on a Budget

Whether it’s for school, work, or a family function, many people prefer the comfort of casual clothes over more formal wear. The good news is you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort! With a little creativity and the right eye for materials and colors, you can easily make yourself look sharp with casual wear, even if you can’t afford those high-end $99 jeans!

Method 1
Looking Sharp in Casual Wear

  1. 1
    Choose the right material. Avoid clothes made from fabrics that wrinkle easily, like cotton, rayon, and silk. Remember: you want to look casual but stylish, so you still want to look sharp. So unless you’re able to change outfits throughout the day, stick to fabrics like:[1]
    • Cashmere
    • Denim[2]
    • Knit
    • Leather
    • Lyocell
    • Polyester
    • Wool
  2. Image titled Be Stylish While Being Casual Step 5
    Wear more than one layer. Rest assured: you don’t need a whole collection of individually stunning garments to impress people visually. Instead, create a more interesting look by simply layering the clothes you do have. Make them work as a team for a “sum-is-greater-than-its-parts” effect. For instance, you can layer:[3]
    • A vest or sweater over dress shirts.
    • A blazer or light jacket over a t-shirt.[4]
    • Tasteful bras and bralettes under any tops or dresses that offer a glimpse underneath.[5]
    • Stockings, tights, or leggings under skirts and dresses.
  3. 3
    Use contrast to make your outfit pop. Catch people’s attention by avoiding a totally uniform appearance. Vary your look by adding one or two touches that will either stand out from the rest or juxtapose other elements. For example:[6]
    • If, say, you dress all in black, wear a pair of white shoes (or a belt, or a tie, or all three).
    • Pair a skinny pair of pants with a loose-fitting top.[7]
    • Wear a tighter top or jacket with a billowy skirt or dress.[8]
    • Pair dark bottoms with light tops, and/or dark tops with light bottoms.[9]

Method 2
Matching Colors

  1. 1
    Fill your closet with neutrals. Make things easy for yourself when you’re trying to pair one piece of clothing with another. Buy lots of clothing in neutral colors so just about everything you own will match each other.[10]
    • Perfectly neutral colors include white, black, and gray.[11]
    • More earthy tones include camel, cream, brown, gold, navy blue, olive, and silver.
  2. Image titled Be Stylish While Being Casual Step 4
    Use accents. If you have a favorite color that you want to be known for, buy several articles in different shades. Or, if you’re less picky, buy a variety of bolder colors. Then perk your otherwise neutral outfits up with one of these articles, like wearing a bold red shirt with navy blue jeans and a black leather jacket.[12] In addition to clothes, you can also accent your outfits with accessories like:[13]
    • Ties
    • Belts
    • Jewelry
    • Suspenders
    • Purses and bags
  3. 3
    Be sure to match colors that aren’t neutral. If you find neutrals too boring, go ahead and dress in something bolder. Just make sure one element of your outfit doesn’t clash with another. Be aware that even though you personally like two different colors, people are hardwired to look for harmony in colors.[14] When you assemble an outfit, start with one article as your base color and pair other items that match.
    • If you’re having trouble, go online and perform a keyword search with “matching colors.” The internet is full of helpful sites that show you colors that go with any base color you select.

Method 3
Shopping on a Budget

  1. Image titled Be Stylish While Being Casual Step 1
    Stick to simple garments. If you need to make your clothes last, check out their construction before you buy them. Keep in mind that any extra little add-on (like unnecessary buttons, sequins, or silkscreens) is just one more thing that might fall off or fall apart. Don’t get stuck with, say, a t-shirt that looked stylish on the rack but now looks like a hand-me-down because the silkscreen flaked off! Put it back on the rack and pick out a simpler item instead.[15]
    • ”Simple” doesn’t have to mean “plain.” Remember: a pair of black-and-white striped pants isn’t constructed any differently than a pair of solid black pants! If you want a little more jazz in your clothes, look for items made with different prints and materials.
  2. 2
    Avoid clothes that need to be dry-cleaned. If budget is an issue, check the care label for each item while shopping. Only buy clothes that say, “Machine Wash.” If the care label tells you that the item needs to be dry-cleaned, put it back. Bear in mind that dry-cleaning is often pricey, so get the most wear out of your purchases by sticking to items that you can afford to wash regularly.[16]
    • Give your machine-wash clothes a longer life by only using cold water to wash them. Then dry them in a machine with low heat, or simply let them air-dry.
  3. 3
    Don’t rely on belts. There are exceptions to every rule, but beware: a cheap belt often looks cheap. Don’t spoil your casual-chic look by holding up those stunning pants with a dinky-looking belt! Only buy pants that stay up just fine on their own, even if you already have a good, quality belt at home (just in case it gets lost or ruined).[17]
    • If you do need a belt for pants, don’t worry about it. You’re aiming for stylish but casual, so keeping your shirt untucked is a perfect way to hide it.[18]
    • If you like to wear loose dresses and draw attention to your waist at the same time, wear a more form-fitting top or jacket instead of a belt.
  4. Image titled Be Stylish While Being Casual Step 3
    Forget high heels. Obviously, high heels are pretty chic, but if you are going for a more casual look, look for something else. Get more for your money with a pair of shoes that is perfectly stylish and a bit more versatile. Instead of high heels, shop for an eye-catching pair of flats, low heels, or sneakers.[19]

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Categories: Personal Care and Style