Are you looking to get out of the rut of wearing the same thing over and over again? Or maybe you’ve been thinking of improving your personal style and want to look like those cute chic women you see in photos. Well, you’re in luck! In this post, we’re sharing some tips on how to elevate your look into a casual chic style on any budget!
The good news is you don't need to break the bank to look chic. Chances are you own some casual chic wardrobe pieces already! You just need a little creativity and balance—pair everyday basics like jeans and a t-shirt with polished shapes, styles, and fabrics. Then, add a little bit of flair, and voila! You’ve got the foundation of casual chic.
So, let's dive into how you can achieve a casual chic style no matter what your budget is. But first, let's discuss what the casual chic meaning is.
Casual chic meaning: What is a casual chic style?
The meaning of casual chic can be different for everybody, but the general idea is to mix sophisticated and formal wear with everyday pieces to create an effortless style.
A classic casual chic combination is jeans and a t-shirt outfit with a pair of high heels. The key is to look like your outfit only took minutes to put together while still being polished.
The great thing about casual chic style is that it doesn’t focus on trends. This means you can create your own style by mixing simple items and elevated pieces you already have in your closet while injecting some personality through unexpected additions. These additions could be a pop of color, accessories, a bold lip, or fabulous shoes.
Picture a day dress with sneakers and a statement necklace. A casual chic look is most likely what you wear on the weekend. Or it could be an everyday attire if you work in a casual environment.
Want to develop a casual chic style? Here are 8 tips to achieve it on any budget!
Having a casual chic style is a gift for women who like to play with clothes because it has no set rules. You just need to know how to mix and match your clothes and accessories. So, here we go — our tips on how to be casual chic on any budget.
1. Invest in casual chic wardrobe staples
A blazer is a must-have wardrobe staple to achieve a casual chic style. It elevates any outfit and gives it a polished look. Be sure to get a blazer that fits well and flatters your figure. You can get it in a neutral color like beige, grey, black, navy, or white, so it's easy to pair with other pieces.
Another must-have and one of the most comfortable pieces in the casual chic women's wardrobe is the shift dress. This is simply because shift dresses are easy to dress up or down.
So, if you like one-item outfits, you can have at least two dresses in your favorite neutral hues. You can also get them in different lengths and necklines for variety.
2. Add a pop of color or prints
Although you want to be stylish, clothes should also be comfortable and fun. Casual chic doesn’t just mean neutral colors and minimalistic outfits. It's ok to add a pop of color to your ensemble and play with prints. For example, you can pair straight-leg jeans with a blazer and a vibrant camisole.
You can even finish the outfit off with an animal print shoe. If you’re feeling bold and if you have it in your wardrobe, a sassy, bright-colored blazer could be the unexpected pop in your outfit.
3. Mix it up with accessories
Adding accessories is one of the easiest ways to make any outfit belong in the casual chic style category. Use accessories like jewelry, sunglasses, hats, and belts to create a different look and feel to outfits you’ve worn before.
Another popular casual chic accessory is a silk scarf. Dare we say it’s the ultimate representation of Parisian chic style! Consider investing in a silk scarf and take some time to learn a few different ways of tying it. You can be wearing a t-shirt or a day dress and still be “le chic” with your silk scarf.
Remember, casual chic doesn’t mean basic or expected. Make the style your own with fun jewelry, rich textures, and unexpected pop pieces in every outfit.
4. Don’t forget the handbag
Whether it’s a cute clutch, a satchel, or crossbody, chic women are always seen carrying the right bag. A bag can give your outfit a whole new look; that’s why it’s an essential element of nailing the casual chic style.
As such, a classic leather bag or a statement bag with the right pattern, fabric, or color elevates a simple t-shirt and jeans outfit. For an easy, casual look, you can also carry an oversized tote with a dress and espadrilles outfit.
5. Finish the outfit off with cool shoes
The cool thing about shoes is that you can use them to either dress an outfit up or down to achieve a casual chic look. For example, you can elevate a tank top and jeans ensemble with a pair of strappy heels or neutral pumps.
On the other hand, you can dress down a button-down top and slacks ensemble with chic loafers or flats. Flats give the impression of being dressed up without the pressure of having to wear heels.
Also, flats are comfortable, so your feet will thank you too. Plus they come in every casual chic style, color, and print that you can pair perfectly with any outfit!
6. Match hair and makeup
As you’ve probably learned by now, the key to casual chic is looking effortless. That applies to your makeup and hairstyle as well.
So, you may opt for a soft and neutral palette and eye makeup and finish it off with a bright-red bold lip color. Or you could do a dramatic cat-eye with a neutral lip color.
And like your outfit, keep your hair neat but not fussy. A messy topknot or a sleek chignon is a great look for updos. You can also choose to keep it down for a beachy tousled look.
7. Build style spending into your budget
If your style is important to you, then it should have its own category in your budget. Whether you use the cash envelope method or a zero-based budget, make sure you allocate funds for things you care about, like fashionable clothes.
You could also try setting aside a certain amount of money per week or per month for new clothes, accessories, or shoes. The idea is not to spend the money just because it’s there but to create a sinking fund. This way you have the money when you find something perfect for your casual chic wardrobe.
8. Opt for sustainable, affordable clothes whenever you can
You might find yourself spending more on fashion if you equate wearing luxury items to having great style. Thankfully, being stylish doesn’t have much to do with the price of each item.
That said, if you follow trends, you may be buying clothes that cost less but harm the environment. This is why it’s best to know the materials of the items you’re buying and to opt for sustainable, affordable clothes whenever you can.
Cotton, linen, Tencel, and wool are examples of organic materials that would last longer. So, you’ll get more wear out of your favorite pieces, and it’s better for your budget too.
It’s also best to be thoughtful and mindful with your purchases. When you see something you want to add to your casual chic wardrobe, shop around and see if you can get it from a sustainable producer. This way you know it’s going to last longer, and you’re also getting the best deal.
Build your casual chic wardrobe on any budget
Spend money on things that matter to you. If a casual chic wardrobe is important to you, add a style category to your budget. You are worth it. Plus having a separate category means you can track your spending better. It will also help you be more mindful and thoughtful about your purchases.
Remember, the key to achieving casual chic style is to look effortless. You can start by shopping your closet and then add in your personality and a little creativity to whatever you find there! Soon you will look like one of those classy chic women you admire!
Learn how to create a budget that includes money for fashion with our completely free budgeting course! For more top tips on budgeting, saving money, and building wealth, tune in to the Clever Girl Finance YouTube channel, and the Clever Girls Know podcast.