How To: Laid-Back Style

Getting dressed doesn't have to be hard.

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The rise of casual wear is one of the greatest gifts to getting dressed in the last 20 years. Athletic apparel, jeans, yoga pants and even pajama dressing have emerged to give us some sweet relief from pant suits, pencil skirts and fitted dresses.

To us, laid back style doesn't mean wearing sweatpants out of the house because you just don't care. It means having a sleek and easy capsule wardrobe of casual basics that you can wear on any ol' day of the week. Sure, that might sometimes include yoga pants and a baseball hat, but mostly it means comfortable jeans, a soft top and shoes that you can wear (and walk in!) all day long.

Click here to see our 5 Essential Pieces For Laid Back Style.

Depending on your lifestyle, laid back style might mean different things. It could be what you wear to run errands on a Sunday, it could be what you wear to work from home any day of the week, or it could be more of a "corporate casual" wardrobe to wear on Casual Friday and beyond.

How To Dress Totally Casual & Be Stylish, Too

Whether you're going for "soccer mom chic" or college dorm comfort, the trick to dressing casually everyday with style is how to avoid looking "sloppy" at all costs. No oversized sweatshirts and sweatpants. No overly-messy hair. 

For those lucky enough to dress comfortably every day, the challenge becomes: How do you build a core wardrobe of basics with enough variety to keep it from getting boring? For weekend casual wearers, you face the same challenges of looking pulled together with ease, just less frequently.

Here are some tips to help with your casual look:

  • Buy your casual clothing the same way you would buy career clothes. Think about building wardrobes. For example, choose cohesive pieces built around basic styles and three colors for the best mix-and-match wardrobe. (We love black, white, grey and navy blue, for example.)
  • Find great casual shoes because nothing kills an athleisure look like a pair of bulky, dated running trainers. Go with a cool pair of Nike lifestyle sneakers or classic Converse Chuck Taylor low tops, for example.
  • Focus on simple, unfussy accessories and handbags. While we do think diamonds and white t-shirts happen to make a great juxtaposition, for the most part a laid back wardrobe should include "casual" accessories like a timeless leather tote, aviator sunglasses and even a bandana for a little something extra.
  • Keep your casual clothes in tip-top shape. Like we said, nothing sloppy! Laid back doesn't mean wrinkled and dated or in need of a new hem.
  • Avoid casual cliches like baggy sweats and leggings. The former is for lounging around the house only and the latter will always look lazy. Instead, opt for trousers with an elastic waist and a cuffed hem (Zara always has them) or even a pair of super-soft jeans or jeggings.
  • Don't get ridiculous about style. If you're working in the garden or cleaning the house, you can wear whatever works for you. As a matter of fact, keep some grungy clothes just for those down-and-dirty tasks. Unless you live next door to Mr. Blackwell, no one's going to hold it against you.

How To Master "Corporate Casual"

With suits and traditional "business attire" becoming a rarity in the workplace, "corporate casual" is a widely welcomed and accepted new form of dress at offices around the world.

Even though it's been around for years now, corporate casual can still leave otherwise clued-in workers scratching their head about what goes and what doesn't.

Here are our best tips:

  • Corporate casual doesn't mean you can let it all hang out. While some office environments may allow jeans, many consider them too casual for the workplace. As a general guideline, t-shirts, sneakers and baseball hats are probably not a good idea.
  • For men looking to maintain an air of authority in a casual setting, try pairing a jacket with your jeans and shirt.
  • Change your shoes and accessories to go with casual clothing. Khakis with pumps? Don't think so! Find polished flats, braided belts and more.
  • Ladies, "corporate casual" doesn't give you an open door to take liberties with hemlines and necklines. Some fashions just weren't made for the workplace including spaghetti-straps, tube tops, overly sheer tops, cutouts, and too-tight mini skirts.