Q&A: Casualwear Goes Chic

By Erin Donnelly

Q. Now that I’m down to my ideal weight, I want to get out of my frumpy (but unbelievably comfortable) sweats. I want to upgrade to something more stylish and polishedbut can you recommend casualwear that feels great so I don’t get tempted to go back to my ratty sweats?

A. While there’s something to be said for lounging around in your ancient college t-shirt, it’s nice to put in a little more effort. And with fashion-forward designers giving “dressing down” a dressed-up spin, there are plenty of options to help you look and feel good. pic2

Go comfy-chic in these pieces:  

Vince Layered Gauze Tee (shown): I love the springtime, semi-nautical blue and green hues that this lightweight top comes in. It’s also a great (but not boring) basic with plenty of style mileage.
C&C California Floral Vine Dress: Yes, dresses can be casual. Layer this cotton dress over a tee and tights or leggings in winter, or throw it over a white camisole during the warmer months.
American Apparel Lightweight Sheer Rib Raglan Pullover: Soft yet sexy, the modern cut of this airy top keeps it from looking like just another tee.
James Perse Stretch Cotton Lounge Pants (shown): Kiss those sweats goodbye, and say hello to these much more flattering—but just as comfortable—brushed jersey pants. Hint: James Perse is the go-to designer if you want leisurewear that’s figure-flattering and a little bit luxe.pic3
J.Crew Perfect Fit Ruffle Henley (shown): Feminine ruffles make this basic henley not so basic. 

Hard Tail Roll Down Pant: Who says a cotton-spandex-blend pant can’t be stylish? This pant hugs curves but makes it easy to move around. Great for the gym or the bar.

More SMW Fashion Advice:

In Full Bloom: Floral Fashions

How to Dress for an Interview

Spring 2009’s Top 5 Footwear Trends