Nothing to wear? Not so fast.
How many times have you opened your closet and sifted through your drawers, only to come up empty-handed, your mind completely void of outfit ideas? It happens to the best of us. You could have a closet full of clothes and yet, seemingly, nothing to wear.
One solution, of course, would be to go shopping, but adding to your wardrobe on a whim will not help your situation. At least, not in the long run. Instead, we challenge you to shop your closet and style some casual outfits with pieces you already own. This way, when worse comes to worst, you have fail-safe outfits stockpiled for these kinds of predicaments.
But let’s say you’ve been there, done that. You’ve dumped your drawers and taken out every piece of clothing from your closet, splayed them out around your bedroom, and the ideas still aren’t coming to you. This is when you need a little outside inspiration. Take the pressure off yourself to get creative, and find 15 casual outfits to try below.
Once autumn is in full swing, all things schoolcore and academia are in fashion. An easy way to get the uniform look as a graduate is to pair a gingham skirt with a turtleneck, crew-neck sweater, or a tucked-in button-down. To give the outfit some edge and make it feel less formal, add a bomber, windbreaker, or leather jacket as your outer shell. Mary Janes and loafers (we love this pair from Cole Haan and this pair from Vince Camuto) are always a go-to footwear option for this ‘fit, but sneakers will also drive home your casual vibe.
A Little Black Mini
When the LBD feels too formal, opt for an LBM — a little black miniskirt — instead. (This skort from Princess Polly is super practical, while the pleats on this one from Mango are a fun twist). We love the classic pairing of a black skirt and white blouse, but you can use any top you have and like, such as a graphic tee, bodysuit, or chunky knit sweater.
Like good PB&J, you can never go wrong with a jeans-and-white-T-shirt pairing. But because the look is so simplistic, it’s begging for add-ons to spruce it up. For an elevated casual outfit, lean into your outerwear. Opt for a jacket that serves as a pop of color or boasts a fun pattern (such as the Sézane Richie Coat, in classic plaid) and keep your footwear on the simple side to ensure the jacket is the focus.
Dust Off Your Denim Skirt
Denim skirt outfits are having a moment right now, especially maxi lengths. Again, you can’t go wrong wearing yours with a white button-down or T-shirt, but something a little more collegiate, like a varsity sweater or a cozy half-tucked sweater (we’re living in this pick from Aerie) would be cute, too.
A Simple Sweater Dress
Sweater dresses are a chilly weather staple and come in all different lengths and styles. They’re also the coziest one-and-done ensemble you can throw on throughout the fall and winter months. You can pair the piece with knee-high boots for a classic look, or opt for sneakers or flats to make the final product even more low-key. Skip outerwear if it’s not too cold, but if the weather forecast calls for that added layer, we’d recommend a brown leather jacket as an alternative to go-to black.
A Pair of Cargo Pants
Cargo pants have also seen an uptick in popularity this year, so dust off your old faithful. A basic tank top pairing is a great base to build off of with accessories and outerwear, but the options are endless. Switch things up with a one-shoulder slouchy sweater to add a softer element, or keep the tank and layer, layer, layer with an oversized cardigan or denim jacket.
Edit Your Matching Set
Monochromatic sets are still very much trending — thanks in large to quiet luxury and minimalist dressing — but if you’re craving a pop of color, richly hued layers are key. Pair a neutral top and bottom with a long-sleeved shirt in a statement shade, like Barbie Pink or the color of the season, red.
Sweats and a Suit Jacket
Don’t want to change out of your sweatshirt but want to look semi-presentable for running errands? It turns out, you can have the best of both worlds, especially if your goal is to create an elevated casual outfit. The easiest add-on to upgrade your coziest sweatshirt is a blazer overtop. Add a pair of sneakers, a ball cap, and sunglasses, and you’re ready to roll.
Give Your Leggings Some Love
If you aren’t utilizing legging outfits to the best of your ability, it’s time to change that. With the ‘90s and early aughts coming back in fashion, we’d like to make a case that their renaissance is about to be bigger than ever. For a casual outfit, there’s nothing simpler (or, in our opinion, cuter) than leggings and a tunic, an oversized sweater, or an oversized button-down. With this formula, you’ll look put together and feel incredibly comfortable.
A Slip Dress and Boots
The best casual outfits are the ones that don’t take a lot of time or effort to put together. Slip-dress outfits top our list, because you can wear them as a dress or a layering component for sweater outfits. And celebs at Couture Week were all about pairing their dresses with boots, we’ll have you know.
Stick with Your Sweatpants
Trousers are great and all, but if you’re going for maximal comfort around your midline, nothing beats baggy sweatpants. A neutral-colored pair is even better, because you can pair the roomy bottom with a tucked-in or cropped sweater and complete your look with a duster coat. If comfort is key, this formula cracks the code.
Play With PJs
Pajamas-as-outerwear didn’t catch on the same way underwear-as-outerwear did, but it still hits — and we’d argue the look is a quintessential casual outfit. Many sets can even be happy-hour appropriate, with the right styling. We’d suggest pairing them with loafers and a camel trench or sneakers and a denim jacket, depending on your vibe.
Have a Maxi Moment
If you ask us, maxidresses are just as good an option as sweater dresses for a casual outfit in the cooler months. The key to dressing down a maxi dress is the right footwear and outerwear. If it’s just warm enough for slip-on shoes, go for it! We’d also recommend flats or sneakers (à la Sandra Bullock circa 1999), as well as a cropped jacket or oversized blazer in case of a chill.
Grab a Graphic Tee
Few clothing items are more casual than graphic tees. The simplest outfit option would be the shirt and jeans, but you can also go with leggings or sweatpants if you prefer.
Swap Your Shirt for a Vest
Models were wearing vests as shirts a couple years back, and the trend caught on like wildfire. The look circled back around this summer, and we have a feeling it’ll stick around through fall and winter, too. Pair the top with trousers, jeans, and skirts for an easy, model-off-duty look.
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