When you think of a beautiful, elegant outfit, something like a long gown, cocktail dress, or other formal wear is usually what comes to mind. But how does elegance translate into everyday style? Despite the preconceived notions of the word, this chic and timeless style is not something that's just reserved for weddings and black tie events. You can apply a look of classic elegance to any occasion - even a casual look!
In this post, I've created seven outfits that are perfect for adding a little bit of casual elegance to your day-to-day life. Whether you're working, staying home, running to the post office, or stocking up on groceries, these looks will allow you to evoke sophistication and elegance even while dressing casually.
Casual Elegant Outfits
One of the keys to creating stylish casual elegant outfits is balance. This style is all about upgrading those casual basics with more sophisticated shapes, styles, and fabrics. While you may associate a satin skirt with more formal events, pairing it with a loose sweater or graphic tee shirt will instantly give it that casual wearability.
A pair of denim jeans can easily be elevated with a tailored blazer for more of a smart casual look. This give and take of elegant and casual pieces are what will result in the ideal casual chic style. It also can also get you more mileage out of your wardrobe, by allowing you to wear items that are dressier more often. Now on to seven of my favorite stylish looks.
1. sweater dress + knee high boots
Sweater dresses are one of my secrets for bringing elegance to casual attire. These dresses are such a great way to be both stylish and comfortable throughout the day. Simply add a few pieces of gold jewelry and your favorite black sunglasses and you've got a gorgeous casual wear ensemble. For an even more stylish look, a midi dress or maxi dress version of this style is an effortless way to look chic.
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2. blazer + basic top + jeans + knee high boots
Giving yourself a height boost is always going to be a go-to for classing up and outfit. While wearing high heels to the grocery store may your first choice, a sleek pointed-toe pair of boots with higher heels will give you that same elegance to an otherwise simple pair of jeans.
I also like to dress things up by pairing this look with a blazer and some timeless accessories. This look is perfect for a business casual dress code, but you can easily swap the items for a button-down shirt and dress pants for something more dressed up.
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3. sweater + slip skirt + ankle boots
Fabrics like satin and silk instantly give a luxe feel to any outfit, but pairing this chic item with a basic sweater and chunky boots will instantly bring the look into casual style territory. I love the look of this pink slip skirt paired with light colors, especially for spring.
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4. blouse + jeans + cap toe shoes
Jeans are the ultimate base item for casual outfits, but they can easily be made elegant when paired with a dressy blouse. You can go for one like this with long sleeves, or for a shorter-sleeved white shirt for spring and summer. Finally, cap-toe heels and flats are instantly going to give your look that Chanel-esque feel that's so synonymous with elegance.
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5. belted coat/jacket + jeans + boots
A luxurious, elegant coat may just be the best way to add sophistication to an outfit, at least in terms of simplicity. Simply belting a long coat (especially a tan or camel one) over any outfit will instantly give it an air of elegance. To keep true to the "casual" in casual elegance, simply pair your coat with a pair of jeans and simple accessories.
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6. pleated skirt + sling-back flats + blazer
One easy way to dress up your plain t-shirts is by pairing them with tailored items. Here, I've gone for a black knife-pleat midi skirt and navy blazer in order to stick with the classic color combination.
Another great option for transitioning your formal attire into a more casual style is by swapping out the sling-back heels for a pair of sling-back flats (especially if they have a pointed toe)! They have that same look of sophistication, but with a much higher comfort value.
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7. velvet pants + sweater + mules
Once again, don't forget to carefully consider your fabrics when creating an elegant casual outfit! Velvet, chiffon, cashmere, and silk are a few examples of fabrics that will elevate your look, even on a casual day.
These items (such as this pair of velvet pants) may look very dressy but are usually comfortable since they're made from light, breathable fabric. Simple jewelry and a pair of mules complete this elegant look that's right at home in a casual wardrobe.
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And those are some of my favorite outfits for pulling off an elegant casual style! Depending on your own personal style, you can always make some adjustments here and there, but using pieces such as the ones in these outfits is a good place to start.
When in doubt, stick to neutral colors in classic fabrics like cotton, wool, silk, and leather for a look that's classically chic. Furthermore, make sure to stock up on well-made basic pieces such as perfect-fitting jeans and a few high-quality sweaters. This will make even your most casual outfits more stylish, but will especially set your casual elegant outfits apart!
BONUS! With all of these fashionable outfits, you still may be looking for a bit more advice. So, for even more extra fashion guidance, use the chart below for some ideas when mixing your casual and elegant pieces!
If you like these outfit ideas then you'll love the ones in this next post- How to Have a Modern Day Grace Kelly Style