You've seen the movie: Recently single heroine runs into ex, complete with new girlfriend, in the grocery store. Heroine ducks behind a display of cereal boxes. I'm 90 percent sure this in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days... Anyways, these types of situations do happen IRL—like when you happen upon your new boss on your way to Sunday Funday, or are seated next to your frenemy at a mutual acquaintance's dinner party. And when they do happen, it's best to be armed with a cute outfit that screams "I look this chic every day." The beauty of cute-but-casual outfits is that you can make a look out of all your favorite basics, from a hoodie to a pair of jeans. Even if you're not faced with any of the aforementioned scenarios, you still want to be sure to look your best at all times, right? After all, when you look good, you feel even better. Look ahead for 5 dressed-down outfits that are presentable enough for any type of encounter.
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The phrase "casual and cute" signals that the look took less than five minutes to put together. First you'll need jeans, because they go with everything. Second, you'll need a v-neck or crewneck tee of your choice. To take this plain outfit from drab to fab, focus on the outerwear: Cover up with a blazer for a hint of sophistication and, if your outfit is lacking color, add in a bright pair of sandal heels. The beauty of this ensemble is that it combines all your basic pieces together to form a fresh new look.
Add a casual twist to the everyday blazer by grabbing the denim version.
This cropped tank is made from sculpt-knit fabric to give your body a smooth silhouette.
Comfort is key. Go for GRLFRND's Helena straight leg denim with stretch cotton fabric.
Let your shoes do the talking in Bottega Veneta's woven lido sandal.
Hoodies are cozy, warm, comfortable—basically, amazing. I wear one at work when the AC is blasting, I lounge in one while working from home, and I definitely have hoodies in at least five different colors.
If you thought this casual piece was reserved for lazy days only, you're wrong. A simple way to elevate said hoodie is with a plaid blazer and a pair of sleek trousers (bonus points if they're silky) and kitten heel mules or sandals. The polished-ness of your pants and blazer will balance out the relaxed feel of your hoodie. If you think the outfit's still missing something, layer on accessories like a designer bag.
Pull your casual day outfit together by incorporating a check blazer.
Make your look pop by going for a bright hoodie.
Silky satin pants are the easiest ways to elevate a look but still feel like you're wearing your comfiest pajama bottoms.
Slip into a croc-embossed kitten heel for a height boost.
If you associate the word "casual" with sweatpants, same. Thanks to the rise of athleisure, there now exist stylish pairs you can leave the house in. Draw inspiration from this Fashion Week-goer and pair your sweats with a classic button-down. The juxtaposition between loungewear and 9-to-5 work top gives you that effortless, I tried (but not too hard) look. For an extra dose of comfort, style your outfit with sneakers.
A classic button-up is the perfect balance to any off-duty outfit.
It doesn't get much more relaxing than a comfy pair of sweat pants. For added flair, turn to a patterned or patchwork style bottom.
A pair of Vans is a casual outfit's holy grail. The classic skater sneaker pairs perfectly with biker shortz, sweat pants, and dresses—you name it!
If you own a denim jacket, you already have the perfect casual-but-cute piece in your wardrobe. This versatile outerwear works with spring dresses, chunky wool sweaters, ruffle blouses, t-shirts—the list goes on and on. Freshen up your black dress and jean jacket combo with a pair of animal print boots. Cool footwear is the quickest way to turn your look into a street style hit.
A denim jacket is the perfect layering piece during transitional seasons like early spring and fall.
A black dress is a wardrobe essential and versatile enough to be dressed up or worn casually.
Play around with patterns by pairing your outfit with an animal print bootie.
For a cute and casual look that requires minimal effort, wear the same color from head to toe. All-black is typically my go-to, but for a slight twist try, navy or camel (still neutral, more interesting). Take a page out of this street style star's book and build a monochrome outfit out of two pieces: a soft sweater and a pair of sleek trousers. Add a splash of color with your footwear. What appears to be a complicated outfit, will, in reality, take you only minutes to throw together.
Grab a relaxed and fitted sweater like this merino wool option by J.Crew.
These high-waisted trousers by Max Mara are inspired by Berlin’s Neues Museum and its collection of Bronze Age artifacts. These pants are structured enough for the office yet flowy enough to wear with a t-shirt for the weekend.
Cat eye sunglasses complete any spring/summer outfit.