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Laid-back style


Smiling woman with hands in pockets
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Casual Friday wear. Mouse potato duds. Urban streetwear. Weekend warrior attire. Slacker style. Geek chic.

Call the casual revolution whatever you want, but widespread acceptance of casual clothing is the best gift the last century ever bestowed upon fashion.

Designers may push various degrees of dressing up, but many of us aren't going to be trading in our worn-in denim or khakis for furs and ladies-who-lunch suits or stuffy suits and ties.

So take your pick of casual wear to get tips and shopping links to look your comfy best


Totally casual

Whether you're looking for soccer mom chic or college dorm comfort, the trick to dressing casual everyday with style is how to keep from looking sloppy.

For those lucky enough to dress comfy everyday, the challenge is how to 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.

Here are some tips to help with your caz 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 (khaki, denim, red; black, khaki, white;etc.)
  • Find great casual shoes because nothing kills a chic sporty look like a pair of white running shoes. Retro sneaks in colorful suedes, boots, sandals, etc. are great with most casual wear.
  • Use casual accessories and handbags -- don't try to mix a gold and diamond watch with a sweatshirt unless you're a rapper. Choose sporty watches and bags to keep from mixing styles.
  • Keep your casual clothes in tip-top shape -- ironed, cleaned, mended.
  • Avoid casual cliches like baggy sweats and leggings. The former is for lounging around the house only and the latter will make you look like you're stuck in the '80s. Instead, opt for great track suits with a more fitted look in fun colors (pink, blue, red)and rich fabrics like velour or terry.
  • 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.

Corporate casual

With suits and stuffy styles becoming a rarity in the workplace, corporate or business casual is a widely welcomed and accepted form of dress.

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

Some 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. Logo Ts, gimmee caps and athletic shoes are huge no-nos.
  • For maximum corporate authority, men should choose sportjackets to complete the look.
  • Change your shoes and accessories to go with casual clothing. Khakis with pumps? Don't think so! Find polished flats, braided belts and more.
  • Women - corporate casual doesn't mean you can go sexier. Some fashions just weren't made for the workplace including spaghetti-straps, tube tops, super sheer, low cut or tight minis.
Related Video
Men's Business Wardrobe
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