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5 Secrets to looking casual chic everyday

Kathleen Rellihan is a writer and editor living in Washington, D.C. She has contributed to a variety of lifestyle magazines and websites nationwide, covering everything from Salsa dancing to doggie daycare.

Effortless Style

We all want to look like we just rolled out of bed beautiful. The unfortunate truth is that a little forethought is necessary, especially when it comes to fashion. But once you've collected a closet of classic staples, a few unique statement pieces and mastered the confidence to be comfortable in any outfit, you know you can leave the house everyday looking chic, effortlessly.

Mix and match

For a cohesive causal chic look avoid any wearing any one style head-to-toe. An outfit with contrasting pieces keeps you from looking like you bought your outfit right off a mannequin. The key is to mix and match different fabrics and styles. Throw on a tailored jacket with a pair of jeans and heels. Or wear a ruffled blouse with your favorite khakis and flats.

Splurge on the classics

Every wardrobe should include some basic pieces including jeans, a little black dress,  tailored jacket, etc. Make sure you don't skimp on getting quality pieces with these items as they are the building blocks of your wardrobe. Do you cringe when you see the price tag of designer jeans and wonder how many knockoffs you can buy for the same price? Try them on and if they fit perfectly, think about how many times you'll wear them. If you'll wear them all the time, then they'll be a better deal than four not-so-perfect jeans that'll stay in the back of your closet all year. Trendy items can be purchased for less than your wardrobe staples – you know you'll be tossing them once they've hit the 'so last season list.' But great fitting jeans will never go out of style and will just improve with age as you break them in.

Don't forget about comfort

Casual chic isn't just a fashion style, it's a lifestyle. The point behind this style is to be comfortable, to show you don't have be 'done up' and 'designered-out' to look stylish. So make sure that in the effort to look effortless you don't forget to be comfortable. Flats can be your best friend after a day at the office turned night out on the town. A fuller skirt will be easier to hurry to an errand in then a pencil skirt.

Show off a little personality

Every season has its fashion 'it list' – whether it's skinny jeans, menswear or animal prints. Make sure you don't neglect your personal style in trying to follow the latest trends. Every celebrity voted well-dressed most likely won that honor by making a statement with his or her clothing. Find what looks great on you and wear it regardless if it's out or in.

Accessorize simply

The key to look like you didn't try to hard is to not try too hard. Coco Chanel, arguably the fashion icon who gave birth to causal chic, once said to remove one piece of jewelry right before you leave the house.  So stick to a statement necklace, dangling earrings or a cocktail ring – just don't walk out the house wearing your whole jewelry collection. Or perhaps go with the smartest accessory of all time – sunglasses.

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