13 Tips: How to do Quick Casual Without Looking Like a Slob (Updated)
by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)
There are so many times when you want to look absolutely perfect, but there are many, many more times when you only have a few minutes to throw something on quickly and dash out the door to run errands… or to get to the store before it closes… or to retrieve your cell phone from your friend’s house before she leaves town. So, here are a few tips to help you go casual without looking like a slob.
And, why is this important? It’s a cosmic, karmic law: Whenever you look like shizzit, you are destined to run into some cute guy or your formerly fat roommate who now looks like Demi Moore.
So, get a stash of casual, cute crap and wear that instead of your old, raggedy sweatpants, coffee-stained T-shirt and dorky Crocs. Anyone can look good if they take three hours to get ready, but it’s much more important to look good on the fly.
Gather Your Comfy Casual Clothes Together
Take all your favorite, casual items (your go-to pieces) and put them together in one corner of your closet. I don’t care if you hang your casual stuff up like a good girl or throw it on the floor; just keep it where you can grab it in a flash.
Casual stuff is not always the cheapest clothing you own. I’m talking about any clothes (and shoes and accessories) that don’t require ironing, lacing, Velcro-ing, shoe-horning, buckling, tugging, fiddling, or zipping up in the back. I’m talking about the stuff you can throw on almost as quickly as your favorite bathrobe and slippers.
Casual Clothing Tips
If you can’t pull a reasonably flattering outfit together in several minutes, you don’t have the right stuff in your closet.
What casual clothes will look best on you? I don’t know. I’ve never met you. You could be 15 or 50. You could be buff or curvy or skinny or tall or short or average. So, adapt my ideas to fit your body and your lifestyle.
Here are the things I think most women should look for when putting together their “throw it on and run out the door” stash:
1. Oversized Jersey Tops and T-Shirts: Scout around for tops that are described as "relaxed", "slouchy", or "boyfriend". Wear your oversized tops with jeggings, loose jeans, or stretchy maxi skirts when you're running late... or whenever you want to be comfortable. If you look bad in "big over big", tuck the front of your top into your waistband… in that careless, trendy way.
2. Leggings or Jeggings: Leggings are all-purpose workhorses and may be more meaningful than your wedding ring. Wear your leggings with slouchy tunics and tops or wear them as layering pieces under skirts or pants when it’s cold outside.
3. Drawstring Denim Jeans or Pants: Look for baggy jeans or pants you can get into quickly. If you can pull on regular jeans without doing the shimmy and holding your breath, regular jeans will work just as well.
4. Tops That Don’t Need Special Bras: If a top requires that you rummage around in your lingerie drawer and under your bed and in the clothes dryer... to find that "special" brassiere... well, that's the kind of top that should not be in your quick-n-casual group. If you don’t need a bra, ignore this tip.
5. Pull-On Skirts: I prefer maxi skirts, but you can pick whatever stretch-waistband style you love. A good maxi skirt should have enough colors in its print that it will go with almost anything… or the color should be neutral enough that it works with all casual tops... or it should be a skirt you really love.
6. Pull-On Dresses: Anything that pulls on over your head and doesn’t have a ton of buttons... or a zipper in the back... is good. If you like stretch, look for jersey. If you like floaty dresses, look for a lightweight, breathable weave in cotton... or in any fabric that feels good against your skin. If you’re young, you can wear a mini T-shirt dress or a mini sweater-dress. If you’re older, you can wear those same short dresses as tops.
7. Wear Your Best Color: Make sure your casual tops (and bodices of your dresses) are in colors that flatter your face. Chances are good that you won’t want to bother with makeup when you're running late, and the right color will make your wrinkles less noticeable and lighten up the bags under your eyes.
8. Slip-On Shoes: The easiest shoes to step into are slides and mules… two kinds of backless shoes that aren’t Crocs. Okay, if you HAVE to wear Crocs, go ahead, but I’d rather have you in Birkenstocks. My slip-on shoes always have a platform sole and they usually have a heel. (I want to be taller. I have good balance.) Keds-style tennis shoes, loafers, ballet flats, certain strappy sandals, and short boots are also easy to step into. Tall boots should have zippers... for obvious reasons.
9. Cute Sweats: Okay, sweatshirts and sweatpants are supposed to be trendy. If you like the feel of soft sweats and you’re over 40, I would prefer that you look for chic designer sweats… but only about half of you listen to me, so I’m bracing myself for the onslaught of ugly, casual, gym wear... in public.
10. Silk Clothing: I just recently realized that most silks are good for travel because the wrinkles fall away when you hang the garment or you put it on.
11. Wide or Open Necklines: When choosing pull-on tops and dresses, look for large, open necklines so you can pull the top over your head without resembling an alpaca with a bad hair day.
12. Knit or Jersey Cardigans, Kimonos, or Ponchos: You probably don’t need a coat or sweater that's super warm for your quickie-clothing section. You'll just need a wrap that will get you from your house to the car and back. And, sometimes you'll want a kimono or cardi to cover up your bra straps when you're wearing certain tops.
13. Casual Daytime Accessories: If you have enough time, you may want to add a few extra touches to your quick-casual outfits, like a pair of sunglasses to cover your tired eyes, a scarf to add a bit of color, a hat to cover your alpaca hair, a pair of huge chandelier earrings to distract from your colorless face, or a long beaded necklace to give you a bit of polish. Hey, I want you to look casual, not clueless. Even if you’re over 70… who wants to look like a frump?
Do you need all of this stuff in your quick-change pile? No. You know what looks good on you. All you need to do is to pay attention to what things you grab the next time you’re in a hurry. Then, you can start looking for things that are similar… but a tad more upscale. And, remember… comfort is key when it comes to casual wear.
More Articles for Chic Women Over 40, 50, 60:
Photo Credits: Prshots.com.
- Main Photo: Monsoon spring 2014.
- Cute and Casual: East 2015.
- Oversized Jersey T-Shirt Tops: Asos 2015.
- Pull-on Skirt, Pull-on Dress: Asos, Marisota 2015.
- Designer Sweats: Asos 2015.
- It's Easy to Throw on a Kimono or Poncho: Monsoon 2015.
- Casual Hat for Bad Hair Day: Evans 2015.
What do you think of this article? Do you wear sweats when running errands? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page.