How To Create An Elevated Casual Wardrobe

Do you ever find yourself envious of women who look so put together, chic, and effortless wherever they are? That polished look is really all about the art of “Elevated Casual Wardrobe,” and guess what? Today, I’m showing you how to get that same polished vibe. It doesn’t matter if you are off to a baseball game or going to brunch with your friends; you’ll feel chic and put together. So, pour yourself a glass of tea and get ready to create an elevated casual wardrobe.

What is an Elevated Casual Wardrobe?

Elevated Casual is a literal blend of your Sunday best with the comfort of your favorite porch-sitting outfit. You know, take basics that you love—from the go-to jeans to that soft, cozy tee—and kind of “tweak” them into something a little bit more chic and sophisticated. The beauty is, that with an elevated casual wardrobe, it’s all in the mix. Pair your everyday favorites with a few key pieces to create a look that’s both approachable and envy-worthy.

5 Steps to Creating an Outfit

  • Tops: Start with a blouse, button-down shirt, or fitted tee. Something that feels good against your skin and fits just right.
  • Bottom: Pair it with jeans for a casual vibe or trousers for a touch of sophistication. Remember, fit is everything.
  • Completer Piece: This is where the magic happens. Add a blazer or trench coat on top to pull them together.
  • Shoes: Choose something comfortable yet stylish – pumps, flats, or loafers work wonders.
  • Accessories: The final touch. Simple jewelry, a chic belt, or a scarf can add that extra flair to your outfit.

Investing in Versatile and Quality Pieces

Now that you know the 5 steps, here’s the secret to a chic wardrobe: quality over quantity. Choose from fabrics that look just as divine as they feel—cotton, linen, silk, and cashmere are fabrics that elevate everything. These naturally made materials are eternal and could do miracles, especially if there is a hint of luxury about an everyday look. You’ll also want to pick items that are versatile. A blazer/jacket, a soft dress, or a classic trench, among many other mixes, make it so easy to create multiple outfits from your existing wardrobe.

Ways To Style An Elevated Casual Wardrobe

A good T-shirt is a versatile piece that everyone needs. Not one with holes or stains, and not one that would fit your husband. You’ll want to choose one that skims the body for a slim silhouette, and a V-neck or a scoop neck is the most flattering. This Cotton Modal V Neck Tee is a super soft and stretchy cotton blend that is wrinkle-resistant with a flattering, smooth finish.

I paired my T-shirt with a pair of straight Slim-Leg Jeans. This is the modern version of skinny-leg jeans. These hit at the ankle, so you can wear all styles of shoes with them. (Remember, we want items that are versatile) I’m wearing a size 8, and they fit me perfectly.

One of the style tips was about accessories. This outfit would look fine with just the T-shirt and jeans, but adding the belt elevated the look. The belt I’m wearing is years old, but here are some similar ones that would create the same look.

Elevated Casual Wardrobe from Quince and others1-1

The 100% European Linen Structured Blazer in sand adds the finishing touch. This takes it from an outfit to a styled look. It shows that I put some time and effort into what I was wearing and made it look polished and put together. I’m wearing a medium in the blazer.

I kept on the jeans and belt but switched out the T-shirt for a button-up Tencel Camp Shirt. The shirt gives the casual look I wanted and is collared, which makes it great for wearing under blazers and cardigans. I’m wearing a medium, but I felt like it was a little too oversized, so I tied it at the waist to create a slimmer look.

This time, I added the 100% European Linen Structured Blazer in deep navy. The deep navy gave the outfit a different vibe, more saturated and noticeable. Navy is a neutral, so you can wear it with most other colors. It looks great with bright colors as well as pastels.

The Italian Leather Convertible Crescent Handwoven handbag ties in well with the belt and creates a cohesive look. I love this woven style, and crescent handbags are all the rage. This one is also available in black and taupe, or it would be if they weren’t out of stock. (I told you they were all the rage.) Sign up for the waitlist, and you’ll get an email once they are back in stock.

I like that you can carry this as a satchel, a crossbody, or a shoulder bag—it’s versatile. Lol!

These Italian Leather Pointed Bow Flats are super cute! I’ve worn them non-stop since I bought them. I wore them to my mother’s, and we were leaving to run some errands. As I walked down her concrete steps, I remembered that I had forgotten something in the house. I turned around too quickly and stubbed my toe on the concrete. It scuffed the leather, and it almost made me sick.

I’m ordering another pair because I love them so much, but I think I’ll get the cognac color this time. They are slightly tight, so if you are between sizes, you might want to size up.

All outfits start with a basic look. What you add to the basic look creates a “style.” My summer go-to outfit is a black T-shirt and a pair of jeans (blue, black, or white). This Cotton Modal Scoop Neck Tee is easygoing and will look great with shorts or slacks this summer. I paired it with these NYDJ White Ankle Jeans in a size 8.

NYDJ is a retailer that knows how to fit a woman’s body. I’ve heard that it stands for “not your daughter’s jeans,” which means they are cut to fit our fuller figures that have curves. I did a review on several of their jeans, you can read about it here.

To turn this into an elevated casual look, I added a classic denim jacket. This one is my favorite, although I own several of them. They are versatile pieces of clothing that can be worn with skirts, shorts, and even fancy evening gowns.

I love an all-white sneaker. This white premium leather pair from Cariuma is super nice, and they fit and look great. My sister and I both ordered this canvas green pair last year and I wore mine with a navy maxi dress for a cute casual look.

I’ve carried this Italian Leather Triple Compartment Crossbody a lot on the blog. It looks great with everything, and I love the three compartments. It is fabulous for traveling, and I usually carry it or the Pearl Nappa Leather Crossbody, which is in black.

I love a one-and-done outfit. That is when you only have to pick one piece of clothing out of your closet, and no thought is required for pairing it with a top or bottom. A jumpsuit or a dress are the two one-and-done looks I wear most.

This long, stretchy, and flowy Short-Sleeve Maxi Dress is so simple to throw on and head out the door. I’ll wear it knotted on one side to shorten it and show a glimpse of my shoes and ankles.

To change up the look, I added a blue pinstripe 100% European Linen Long Sleeve Shirt over the dress. I once again added the Italian Leather Convertible Crescent Handwoven handbag that I carried with the navy blazer.

Elevated Casual Wardrobe from Quince and others30

Have you noticed that all of these pieces are mix and match. I can wear this 100% European Linen Long Sleeve Shirt with jeans or a white pair of jeans or pants. I could also wear this dress with a denim jacket or a white blazer. It is fun to experiment and see how many ways you can change the look of an outfit.

These last two outfits are slightly more elevated. I still consider them casual, but they are definitely very elevated. These are the same NYDJ White Ankle Jeans as above, but I added a Classic White 100% European Linen Long Sleeve Shirt and a Heather Grey Lightweight Cotton Cashmere V-Neck Sweater to dress up the jeans.

A column of white (the jeans and a white linen shirt) would look casual with the denim jacket or the deep navy blazer. Cashmere elevates every outfit, but it can be pricey. Quince is known for affordable cashmere, and this sweater is only $29.90!!! This sweater is lightweight, and is available in several colors. I wear a large in most Quince cashmere sweaters.

Elevated Casual Wardrobe from Quince and others18

The Pearl Nappa Leather Crossbody by Lo & Sons is one of my favorite bags. The size, color, and texture of the buttery soft leather are all perfect. It looks elegant, especially with the gold embossed LS on the front.

This is one of my favorite elevated looks. It can be worn for a date night, to brunch with the girls, to work, to church, and any time you want to look and feel fabulous.

Elevated Casual Wardrobe from Quince and others14

The Brushed Short Sleeve Lounge Tee is soooo soft! I love the Dolman sleeves and the banded bottom; it is so flattering. This can be worn with jeans, and I ordered the Organic Stretch Cotton Twill Straight Leg Cropped Pants in black and rust. They are similar to a pair of jeans, and the brushed tee will look great with them. I’m wearing a medium, and it fits great.

Since I wanted this look to be dressier, I added these Ultra-Stretch Ponte Kick Flare Pants in black. It is funny how the simplest looks can also look the most elegant. I’m wearing a medium in the pants, and they are borderline tight, so if you are in between sizes, you’ll want to size up.

I added my favorite Black Pumps to keep the outfit elevated. I wore a similar outfit in February with a brown Mongolian Cashmere Cardigan Sweater. I’ll include the outfit below since it shows me wearing the flare pants in a size large.

So there you have it, gurls. Creating an elevated casual wardrobe is about looking put-together without looking overdone. Tweaking your basic outfits with accessories and a 3rd piece, such as jackets, blazers, and cardigans, can make all the difference, and it only takes a few minutes. Plus, don’t forget to add lipstick to brighten your face!

Here are a few other items that I ordered for this post but didn’t arrive in time for the photos.

More Clothing To Create An Elevated Casual Wardrobe

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  1. Lisa Luciano says:

    I love this idea; you make it look so simple, stylish and classy.

  2. Patti Jones says:

    Oh my goodness, I’ve been looking for a linen blazer. Thank you for finding one for me! 😊

  3. Linda Williams says:

    I love the elevated casual style. I am 4’11” and have a 26″ inseam. Could you tell me what inseam I need for crop pants and jeans. I usually go up 3 inches from my ankle bone. I just don’t know what would look the best in me. I have seen some all the way up to the fatty part if the calf.

  4. jennifer lauritsen says:

    subscribe please

    1. I added you. Look for a email tomorrow.

  5. I absolutely love your style and all posts and blogs.
    You are informative and inclusive of all shapes & sizes. Your suggestions are affordable or you give options. I find you to to be
    the best stylist out there.
    Thank you for all the time & effort you take you help us to look nice & put together😁

    1. You are too sweet, Gloria! I am glad you are enjoying the blog.

  6. Gay Manning says:

    These looks are beautiful and versatile!

  7. I just signed up to follow this blog and I really like the content. I am finding lots of ideas for how to style my clothes now that I am retired. Thanks for the tips!

  8. Plus size I don’t wear a belt but very nice!

  9. Thank you for the 5 steps for elevating my casual look!! You make it simple!! I need to go shopping in some quality stores!!

  10. I like the elevated casual so much! I ordered the denim jacket in white and it will be here tomorrow!!

  11. Very nice elevated looks!

  12. Great ideas for elevated casual. As I get older I prefer looking a little more put together. Thanks

  13. sue koren says:

    Love this post as I am always looking to do this!

  14. Gail Clark says:

    I ordered the blazer in sand!
    Thank you! I love your style!

  15. Mary Carol says:

    I love the elevated casual look you’re wearing. Still searching for the right denim jacket for me.

  16. Paulette M Renault says:

    Thanks for all the great suggestions!

  17. Stella Gustafson says:

    Love this this would work great when packing for a vacation

  18. Love Quince and have ordered a few items
    Happy to see you wear this brand also
    Great taste

  19. I really enjoy your blog. I have purchased a couple of things you recommended.

  20. Excellent post today-thank you. I am a true Quince convert. I have lost track of how many times I have ordered.
    My future daughter in law gifts, my husbands complete wardrobe for my sons June tropical destination wedding ( 2 linen suits, shirts, shorts) I 100% love every Quince item that I have purchased. Such quality and affordability.
    I love the outfits you choose. Gives me more ideas!

  21. Christine Curtis says:

    Thank you for this posting.These steps to an Elevated Outfit were really helpful. Also, one of my favorite parts to your daily blog is the Inspo Outfit. I have used several of these with good results.

  22. Good styling tips. I agree about fabrics. I love natural fabrics. I look at labels in clothing and food. I try to avoid 100 percent polyester (especially recycled poly which pills terribly) and acrylic. I’ve ordered two cotton sweaters from Quince. I like them a lot. One is a crop cardigan that has a lady like jacket look. It’s perfect for petite women. I’m going to try their silk next.

  23. Julie Lozano says:

    Excellent work today on elevating looks! The jeans especially look polished yet comfy with the different looks. The navy dress is a winner and looks great. It’s so hard to pack for a little get away with just a few pieces but you make it look doable.
    I’m trying to love my NYDJ but unfortunately I’m struggling with the length.
    Levi’s 311 capris have served me well so far but sizing can be inconsistent. Why are white jeans tighter than blue? This is a mystery. 😢
    Have a great little trip and I hope Joe enjoys the golf. Sun protection!
    Blessings from Texas, Julie

  24. Laura Garrett says:

    Darling outfits! Thanks for all the inspiration; it really helps me style things I already have in my closet. Have a wonderful weekend.

  25. Great post! I’m checking out Quince. In general, how do you find their sizing to be? Same for J. Jill jeans. I’m in search for new jeans right now.
    Thank you.

    1. I find J.Jill will usually run large, but Quince will run on the small side.

  26. Tania! I found Quince through you…The items I have ordered have been wonderful!!! The outfits you styled today are PERFECT!!! Happy Saturday❤❤❤

  27. Ginger Hiller says:

    Enjoy your mini getaway! You put together some very nice elevated looks, Tania!

  28. These elevated looks are great and something everyone can do without too much effort.
    The first outfit with cream blazer and beige flats is something I could wear everyday.

  29. I typically have problems dressing casually and looking sharp. Thanks for all the suggestions

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  30. Michele in SC says:

    Wow Tania! You really knocked it out of the park with this one! Elevated casual is definitely my style. I LOVE LOVE all of these outfits and am on the Quince site right now to make some purchases. Thanks for an awesome post!!!

    1. You’ll love Quince. Their clothing is great.

  31. Donna Ingalls says:

    Love all those outfits!
    Thanks for showing us a wide range of prices too. Really like both of the blazers and how they elevate those outfits.

  32. White pants navy tee denim jacket = the perfect outfit! You’re looking awesome these days.

  33. Dottie Kinnaman says:

    Love your elevated casual post!

  34. Elizabeth says:

    All are very pretty, timeless looks!

  35. Gloria Miller says:

    You are so helpful! Thank you for all your advice, tips and tricks and suggestions! LOVE your posts!

  36. Jacque Abell says:

    This casual blog was awesome. This is me. Casual, comfortable but stylish.

  37. I absolutely love this post! I learned so much from it! When I wear a blouse under a sweater I wear my tank over the blouse instead of under it. That way it gives a smooth look. I love all the tips you have shared with us! Have a Blessed day!

    1. I do that a lot too. It really helps cut down on lumps and bumps.

  38. Every outfit looks beautiful on you. Quince has quality pieces for sure.

  39. Tammy Mejdrich says:

    These are all great outfits! I wear something similar to the first post from time to time and get so many compliments. 🙂

  40. Marilyn Norman says:

    Love these. Easy to put together !

  41. All of those are great ideas! Thanks Tania!!

  42. Linda Shearer says:

    Love all these looks and everything is on sale and super affordable! Thank You for showing these.

    1. That’s a plus for sure!

  43. Carol Ann Jablonski says:

    Are some of the tops/dresses made of a “slub” style? Have any of you had the experience as I did of having the fabric shift after washing? I won’t buy that type of fabric anymore just for that reason. Another question. The Vivaia flats that are advertised on your site; have you tried them, Tania? I haven’t seen any reviews about them.

    1. I don’t think they are a slub style. I’ve never heard of that brand. 🤷🏼‍♀️

  44. If your pic is from the SC coast, looks like you’re in for a fabulous weekend of good weather, now that the front has passed through.

    1. It is windy, but pretty.

  45. Interesting combos. I love the navy blazer and the black heels, but my feet don’t agree with the heels….lol!

  46. Christine B. says:

    Greetings Tania…I’m new to following your site and I’m so happy I’ve found you. Your style is exactly what I’m looking for and I’m excited to learn some new ‘tricks’ of styling. While I’m well over 50 (66 in May) I want to ‘appear’ younger and I think you’re just the gal to help me to do it.
    Thank you and enjoy your day.

  47. Patti McDonald says:

    Nice elevated looks. I am recently retired and casual dressing seems to be the norm. I like the idea of elevated to feel a little more polished. Thank you for all the pretty looks.

  48. Kerri White says:

    thank you for all the great outfit ideas!

  49. Love the formula you’ve provided for us to polish up our own outfits. I’ve taken a screenshot of it and am going to use it to create my outfit today!

  50. I love these looks! I’m looking for a black maxi dress to go with a cream crochet kimono I bought on sale. Think this one would work? Wasn’t sure if it needed to be sleeve.

    1. Landy, it depends on how you want the dress to look. Since the kimono is crocheted, do you want the sleeves to show? If not, then you might want to look at the sleeveless version. Here is that link: https://amzlink.to/az0FkDyTRU4DU

      1. Yes!! Like this one for that look. Thank you!!

  51. Lori Lorenzini says:

    I love the jeans, white T-shirt and cream blazer of the first outfit very stylish for any occasion.

  52. Darlene Ramirez says:

    Good morning Tania,
    Beautiful outfits! Thank you for the time you spend gifting these posts to us.
    What size are you wearing in the T shirts in these pictures?

    Many thanks and warmest regards 💜

    1. They are a large. I usually order my T-shirts in large so they are loose.

  53. What size did you order in the t-shirt? I may have missed it! I am 74 years old and always enjoy reading your ideas! Love these classy styles!

    1. Sylvia, I’m wearing a large. I could have sized down, but I don’t like my tees to fit tight.

  54. These are some great ideas, looking at white pants for spring.

  55. Great timing for this article, as I am putting together my spring outfits, and needed inspiration. Enjoy the beach and sunshine! Have a blessed weekend!

  56. Jennifer Steadman says:

    Love these looks- thanks for sharing

  57. I love the casual outfits you have picked. I would love to know where you purchased the linen jacket and the Mongolian cashmere sweater.

    1. Joanne, all of the items are links. It the wording is highlighted or a different color, click on it to go to the website.

  58. Tania, thank you for such a wonderful posts on casual yet classy looks! Quince seems to be your go to–so wish they carried petites! Have a blessed weekend!!

  59. Thanks for the introduction of Quince clothing, I thought the quality looked wonderful and the prices were reasonable. Loved the blazers and how they really elevate the outfit. Thanks for sharing ❤️

  60. Kim Rider Luehmann says:

    All of them look like something I could wear. I have a lot of similar pieces already. It’s good to see how you match things up. Thank you!

  61. Joyce Ramsay says:

    Thanks for all of the tips on styling even the most ordinary collection of clothes. Simple when you give just a few minutes’ thought to what you put together. I am still running my own busy business and hardly ever get to wear anything but a uniform, but retirement must be soon. I also love that you give God the glory on every post. I am hundreds of kilometres from a church and most folks in this mining town are convinced there is no God, so it is nice to be reminded there are still folks who know their Higher Power.

  62. Good classy looks. Love these.