Though casual chic may sound like an oxymoron, the truth is that you can look chic in almost anything you wear (sans workout gear and pajamas). The key to mastering the art of casual chic is to combine comfortable clothing with a hint of sophisticated flair. That flair may be demonstrated by your shoe choice, accessories, hair or even absolute confidence in your appearance. Once you’ve mastered the casual chic look, you’ll always have something to wear no matter where you go, be it a cocktail party, grocery store or barbecue.
The colorful palette on this otherwise sophisticated, streamlined dress takes Sarah Jessica Parker straight into the realm of casual chic. Her getup is dressy enough for an afternoon or evening of cocktails and mingling, but could also work while running errands or at a low-key lunch. To achieve a flirty, casual chic look like this one, wear a well-fitted dress with comfortable shoes and relaxed hair.
As senior fashion market editor of “Harper’s Bazaar,” Joanna Hillman knows a thing or two about fashion. Here, the blond-haired maven looks calm, cool and collected in her baggy blue blouse and neutral skirt. Create this look by wearing slightly oversized apparel paired with texturized locks, sunglasses and minimal jewelry.
Mischa Barton shows her wild side in a leopard print top and ballet flats. She keeps the knee-length skirt casual and youthful with a simple hairstyle and minimalist accessories. Pairing her printed top with a denim A-Line skirt and studded belt keeps the look casual, but the bold prints provide an extra wow-factor. Her black tights and flats make the ensemble perfect for fall. Add a neutral-colored jacket and you’re set for winter, too!
Reality TV star Khloe Kardashian is all about laid-back apparel. She pairs a very casual, loose T-shirt and tattered denim shorts with heels to instantly transform the look into casual chic. Heels are an easy way to dress up any casual look, whether you’re in leggings, jeans, a blazer or jumpsuit. For a touch of flirty flair, wear a splashy accessory as Kardashian does.
The always trending Linda Papadopoulos, psychologist and author, keeps the momentum going with this creamy fitted blazer and dark denim jean. To bring her ensemble up to chic-dom, she layers with a flowing, patterned scarf. Scarves, like heels, instantly add a bit of chic sophistication to any look. Try one in a neutral color, like Papadopoulos, or a splashy color if you’re feeling frisky.
What makes model-turned-photographer Delfina Blaquier’s outfit casual chic is her layering techniques. Without the trench-length cardigan and colorful scarf, the white dress underneath would read more dressy than casual. Experiment with layering your outfits to create a casual, yet fashion-forward look.
Actress Gillian Zinser, seen with actor Tristan Wilds, channels her inner hippie with this casual chic ensemble. The short jeans paired with a fun, patterned top makes her outfit instantly interesting. Add the purple, matching headband and it’s a fashion-forward ensemble. To master the art of casual chic you must not be afraid to take fashion risks.
Formal & Fun
Blake Lively, actress and fashionista, is known in the fashion world for her eclectic taste and flare for red carpet outfits. Though this particular outfit is more formal than casual, Lively layers the sheerness of her blouse and lace skirt with a fitted blazer. Her flattering blazer says business, but the ethereal quality of her top and its lack of structure add a touch of casualness. Combine formal elements with daytime fabrics like a light-colored lace for a similar look.