Our Favorite Casual Lifestyle Essentials and Ways To Wear Them

by Stella Carakasi March 12, 2021 7 min read

Our Favorite Casual Lifestyle Essentials and Ways To Wear Them

There is no denying that the clothes we wear affect the way we feel and while this pandemic has changed so many aspects of our daily lives, forever changing our future, it has also changed the way we dress.

In the beginning, we enjoyed living in the comfort of our sweats and PJs but quickly realized that we still needed to look somewhat professional during our never-ending zoom meetings.  Our look evolved into all business on top and comfort on the bottom, certainly not a look we wanted to be seen in public with.

As a designer, this posed a very interesting question for me.  How will we be dressing moving forward? Clearly, comfort has become the most important aspect of daily dressing, but it does not have to be synonymous with athleisure, sweats, or PJs because some of us don’t want to look as if we just stepped out from our imaginary gym. How can clothing evolve into wardrobe essentials that are comfortable and stylish from head to toe, that work from morning until evening and are suitable for staying at home or being in public? High quality, easy-care clothing, sustainably made and flattering for many body types.

This very challenging tall order resulted in creating a new core wardrobe that embraced these values and gave birth to a new casual style philosophy. This new core wardrobe consists of a few designs that collectively tie an entire closet together because they mix and match to create a wide variety of looks. 

Photo by Manifesto Photography via Pinterest

Your essential garments should be wearable in different contexts: for work (at the office or at home), on the weekend, and out to dinner to name a few.

If a style has the ability to perform in various style categories, it is a quintessential closet staple and you need it as a part of your most cohesive wardrobe. We’ve taken a few of our favorite super-essentials that fit many of these categories and show you how we would make the most out of them. Get ready for some serious style inspiration.

1. White Button-Down Shirt

The white button-down shirtis a workwear go-to, and while we love it with a jacket, it also works perfectly layered under a knitted cardigan for a softer and more comfortable look.

Longer shirts or tunics worn with denim leggings are ideal for casual weekends. You can add a red lip or a bag for a fun and sophisticated pop of color.

Dress up your favorite shirt with a statement necklace, awesome pants, and a great pair of shoes for an evening out.

2. Jersey Top

For a no-brainer work outfit, wear your jersey top with your favorite pants or skirt. You can further accessorize with a colorful tote, or a skinny scarf, and great shoes.

For the weekend, your jersey top is the easiest choice. Try it with denim or leggings and casual shoes.
For a cool urban appeal, layer your jersey top with a great vest or cardigan over black leggings and cool boots.

3. Sweater

Sweaters multitask very well for many dress occasions. They add comfort to any work outfit, worn with denim they transform into a casual weekend look and paired with fabulous leggings they get you ready for a night out.

4. Leggings

Pair your leggings with a great shirt, long cardigan, or vest. Leggings are the cooler, updated version of classic work trousers.

A printed tee paired with leggings is a casual-cool look for the weekend. Try pairing the outfit with eye-catching flats to add a pop of color.

Leggings are inherently comfortable, making them an ideal 24/7 choice for work, play, or a night out in town.

5. Denim

Denim has evolved. While there is no denying that we immediately think of jeans when we hear the word denim and everybody should own their favorite pair, there is more to denim that most of us know.  There is super comfortable stretchy knit denim as well as silky soft Tencel denim that creates beautiful jogger-type pants or super casual flood pants that feel like PJs but are definitely not. The various silhouettes create fresh and exciting casual weekend looks. 

Three Steps to Curating Your Closet

Who hasn’t spent a morning in front of her closet, trying on one piece after another, only to end up with a pile of clothes on the floor and still nothing on?

Without a curated closet, it’s easy to fall into this rut. But wardrobe nirvana is attainable, and it’s found by ensuring that your closet is filled with pieces that you love.
Take control: evaluate and streamline your wardrobe by following the three steps we’ve outlined here.

You’ll be on the path to an uncluttered closet (and mind) in no time.

Step 1: Identify Your Front-Runners

  • Start your closet edit by pulling all of your absolute favorite pieces out and putting them aside. You’ll recognize these winners by the fact that you reach for them whenever you want to feel your absolute best.
  • You know the fabulous dress shirt you slip on when you need to nail that presentation, the one that makes you feel instantly more confident? 
  • Or your super comfy leggings you pair with a long button-down and heels, the ones that crush it every time?
  • Seeing this group of go-to faves together, you’ll probably notice these pieces have something in common. Patterns will emerge, and it will be easier to see what colors, shapes, and styles you clearly like to wear.
  • One theme you’ll probably notice among your favorites is comfort. When you’re comfortable, you feel good, and when you feel good, you look awesome and you show up more confident in your daily life.
    Remember that poor girl you saw last night wobbling down the sidewalk in sky-high stilettos, grimacing in pain? Not. Worth. It. If you love heels make sure they are comfortable and the right height.
  • A closet edit is all about ruthlessly assessing each item in question to see how it measures up against these wardrobe heroes. Sure, the task at hand can seem daunting when stories and sentiments pop into mind as you grab each garment.
  • Avoid confusion and keep your eyes on the prize by remembering to always ask this important question: “Do I love this piece?” If the answer is yes, in the winner group, it goes. Don’t love it? Send it straight to the bye-bye bin. Not sure? This next set of criteria will help you decide its fate.

Step 2: Making the Hard Choices

  • Lose the clothes you’re still holding onto from different size eras in your life. Keeping these around is just bad for your closet and your brain.
  • Part ways with anything past its prime–yes, that chambray shirt may take you back to freshman year but is threadbare and pilled, time to let go. Anything obviously beyond repair is a non-starter. Stains the dry cleaner can’t vanquish? Are tears not worth mending? Give it the boot.
  • Haven’t worn it in over a year? Time’s up. Sell it online, at a consignment shop, or donate here or here.
  • You may think that editing down your closet will make it seem like you have nothing to wear, but it actually makes getting dressed easier because you know exactly what you have, and you love it all.

Step 3: Keep a Good Thing Going

  • You wanted a simplified wardrobe that felt entirely you, and kudos, you did it. Just keep these tenets in mind to keep your closet in check…
  • Reassess your wardrobe every six months, A.K.A. the “shop your closet” mentality. You’ll probably discover items you forgot about and should wear.
  • Bear in mind that any new pieces you acquire must meet all aforementioned criteria in order to be allowed a place in your perfected wardrobe. Does that style you’re coveting embody your style and make you feel like a million bucks when you put it on?
  • Remember that life’s easier with a closet that you’re proud of and excited to have. Stick to the rules, and you’ll be golden.

How to Create a Wardrobe For a Casual Lifestyle

Creating a wardrobe for a casual lifestyle is a matter of combining your own personal style with a sense of comfort and flexibility. Whether shopping for a new t-shirt and sweats, for lounging around the house, or a great pair of jeans to wear to a party, developing your own casual wardrobe is about buying the clothes that make you feel relaxed. While creating a completely new wardrobe is not an option for many shoppers, building up your casual clothing collection over time is a rewarding and accessible challenge for shoppers of all economic backgrounds.

Instructions

  • Imagine a template for a few ideal outfits before you shop to give yourself ideas on which pants, shirts, jackets, shoes, and accessories are really the right fit for you. Look at fashion photographs online or observe a stylish passerby to have a more focused shopping experience.
  • Select the right brand for you. Do your research and go for quality styles that will last for several seasons. 
  • Browse clothing brands that fit both your aesthetic and financial limits. Imagine yourself in the articles you peruse. Would you feel stylish yet comfortable wearing that item both when relaxing at home or going into town?
  • Try on the clothes you selected to ensure that they’re the right fit and that they match your personal vision. If you feel confident, attractive, and relaxed, then this may be the outfit you’ve been looking for.
  • Notice which of your casual clothes you wear the most or feel the most comfortable in. Also, take note of the ones you hardly wear. The next time you go shopping, keep these personal trends in mind. Building your casual wardrobe is all about buying clothing that you’ll find flexible and relaxing. These are the items that you’ll want to wear again and again.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be selective about the brands you decide to shop in and narrow your focus on the casual clothing that you really love.
  • Resist the impulse to buy items that don’t quite match up with anything you already have at home or plan to buy in the future. These are the items most likely to just sit in your closet untouched.

For more inspiration check out our Looks We Love Page, where you will learn to create various casual outfits with only a few essential styles.

The post Our Favorite Casual Lifestyle Essentials and Ways To Wear Them appeared first on Stella Carakasi.


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