Weekend Chic, Even When You Don’t Have to Be

Weekend ChicHave you ever scrolled through your Facebook feed and found yourself envious of how active your friends seem to be (seem being the operative word).  Or have you been thankful when the weekend weather in the summer is rainy because it means you won’t feel guilt ridden over the fact that all you really want to do is be slothy as you catch up on some much needed relaxation time and Netflix binge watching?  For most Americans, I really believe that the weekends are hardly that fabulous and even if the weekends do include some sort of plans, most people just want to be comfortable.

Take me, for example.  By the time the weekend rolls around, if I am not working with a client, I am using the time to get caught up on work, preparing blogs for the upcoming week, doing errands, maybe heading out with my husband at a local jaunt for dinner or brunch and eking in as much nothing time as I possibly can.  Often, the idea of socializing or taking advantage of the great city of New York is the furthest thing on my mind.

The pursuit of comfort often comes with comfy yoga pants, weekend dresses (once good dresses that have become worn out dresses and downgraded to super casual), crop pants and t-shirts and other “it really doesn’t matter” pieces.  And, really, does it matter all that much?  Not really.  If your weekend life doesn’t get above lukewarm on the ol’ excitement meter, who cares?  In today’s One Item, Five Fashionable Ways I am giving my tips on weekend chic even when it doesn’t matter if you are chic or not.

To be stylish on the weekends, it is less about what you wear than how your wear it.  I would be an enormous hypocrite is I sat here and preached to all of you that your weekend garb should be all fussy fabulous.  Certainly, it’s an entirely difference scenario if you’ve got somewhere to be or exciting things to do.  But for the day-to-day of weekend life, there is a way to keep it comfortable and stylish at the same time.  Here are my suggestions on how to be weekend chic with little effort.

Start with the comfortable casual and accent

In my case, once the weather goes over 80 degrees I ditch just about everything but my summer dresses, no matter what I am doing.  You probably have a similar casual uniform, whatever it is, but it is likely that you can easily identify it.  To give this casual ensemble a lift for each weekend situation, try having accessories that fit into four different levels

  • Super casual– Like maybe you showered, casual
  • Easy casual- For things like heading out shopping, going to the park, meeting up with some friends nearby or some local daytime fun.
  • Elevated casual– For daytime plans that don’t require dressing up but you want to look pretty, like daytime barbecues, travel, a day date or a day trip.
  • Dressy casual– For daytime events where you need to look pulled together but the events aren’t super dressy, like dressier daytime parties and events.

The key is to take these accessories that fit into these categories and use them to bring a super casual look up or down.  Now, obviously, that tank and yoga pants outfit will never be able to be elevated for a baby shower or that housewarming party you have to attend, but, the point is, having these different levels of casual accessorizing options you can take the bulk of your casual wardrobe (like your summer dresses, your capris, tank tops, even shorts) up or down in look, depending on how you finish them.

Here is an example of some of these accessories to consider.  As you will see there are various levels of each category.  You have super casual flip flops, flat colorful sandals, a dressier casual comfort wedge and heeled sandals, for example.  With just a shoe change, something like a pair of denim capris and at-shirt can go from weekend errands to a local night out.  The goal is to make sure you have accessories for all levels of what your life requires to get the most out of your casual wardrobe.  Change the accessories and change where you can go wearing them.

Five Ways to look weekend chic, no matter what your plans are

Using this approach, I am using this super easy dress from Athleta to show how one dress can be taken to all levels of casual with just a change of the accessories featured above to show you how this works.

Outfit #1- Super Casual

You’ve got errands to do, maybe a yoga class to take and then plans to join your yoga buddies for a spirulina and hemp milk smoothie afterwards.  By simply tossing on this easy dress with your a pair of flip flops, like these from TKEESdrapey cardigan and a casual bag, you aren’t too dressed but you don’t look like a slob either.  Another tip is to consider interesting color combinations in your super casual pieces to give them a little excitement without tons of accessories.  Few accessorize when grocery shopping and going to yoga.  You can always throw the necklace on after corpse pose.

Outfit #2- Casual fun

If your weekend is full of things like going to the farmer’s market, meeting some friends for lunch, maybe the park or going to see an exhibit, for example, you still want to be comfortable but don’t want to look too under dressed.  In this outfit, the same dress gets a slight upgrade with colorful layers, a patterned tote from Calvin Klein, yellow Diane von Furstenberg sandals, a coral scarf from Banana Republic, yellow Stella & Dot earrings and a J. Crew denim jacket.  With just these easy tweaks it doesn’t look like laundry day but you are still comfortable and casual.

Outfit #3- Metallic

Let’s say you have a day where you want be comfortable but you don’t want to fuss.  Metallic has a great way of upgrading a look without much hassle.  Here, styled with this dress, a pair of gold ballerinas from Modcloth, a metallic cross body bag from Franco Sarto and a gold necklace from Robert Lee Morris does just that.  Even with a pair of yoga pants and a top these three additions can make a casual outfit look less blah.

Outfit #4- Elevated Casual

You have day plans that don’t require dressing up but you don’t want to look too casual either.  Here the dress gets some punches of color with multicolored beads from Anthropologie, a sun hat from Modcloth, a pair of natural comfort sandals (great for walking but being comfortable) and a bright turquoise bag.  All of these components can easily upgrade whatever casual clothes you are wearing.

Outfit #5- Dressy Causal

As I said earlier, super casual pieces, like yoga pants or really casual capris or shorts probably won’t work in this scenario, but if you have an easy summer dress, white jeans, dressier capris or a fun skit, adding some elevated components can take these casual items and make them look great for the few dressier events you have.  I did this for a family party once, I took a very casual dress, that I actually wore to walk on the boardwalk at the beach, and just elevated the accessories to attend the party.  The base stayed the same but the accessories were dressier.

Here, I took the same dress and added a fitted white Mango blazer, a pair of dressier earrings from Stella & Dot, a Ted Baker handbag and heeled Anthropologie sandals in coral.

Remember, it isn’t what you wear causally on the weekends that matters as much as how you wear it.  With just a few changes you can take these pieces from super casual to super fab with little effort.  And who wants to do anything that takes effort on the weekend?

  • Kate

    Almost all of these include a jacket or sweater- what about those of us who get hot extremely easily? I love the put together look of layers, but I can’t wear a cardi or denim jacket in the summer.

    • Hi Kate, great question. It’s sort of a catch 22 for me because if I don’t include some sort of jacket or cardi then I get people telling me that they hate their arms or get cold. I can’t seem to win, haha! The jackets in all of these are totally optional. I think they are still great outfits without them.

  • DamnedFan

    You sure know how to make one item look so different just by pairing different bags/shoes/necklaces/etc! I struggle with this in real life, but I’m getting better at it thanks to all these great examples you post. Thank you!

    • Thanks! It’s all about keeping a versatile base and then changing out the accessorizing components. One thing you can do is take one wardrobe piece and try to come up with five different outfits. I do this with clients all the time! Thanks for your kind words!

  • Dresses are great, aren’t they? That looks like a really useful one. A tip for those who aren’t super-skinny – a pair of bike shorts worn underneath a dress keeps you comfy while walking around in hot weather.

    • Dresses are all I wear. I don’t see the point of much else. There are a few things you can do for the chafing you speak of. Have you heard of Bandelettes? http://www.bandelettes.com/ I have never tried them and aren’t completely sold but I have seen a few positive reviews. Also, Monistat makes an antichafing cream. Oh, and if you want something thinner than bike shorts, Spanx makes Skinny Britches that offer less support and more comfort in this area. I particularly like their skinny britches skort that keeps the fabric of the skirt.