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No-fuss ways to pull off a casual look

Elizabeth Mitchell is a freelance fashion and beauty writer living in Los Angeles. A graduate of New York University, she regularly contributes to The Fashion Spot, The Luxury Spot and authors the Star Style column for StyleBakery Teen. ...

Laid-back style

No matter how cute your outfit is, if you can’t sit down in it or if it’s at all uncomfortable, it’s not worth wearing. Luckily, you don’t need to sacrifice comfort for style anymore. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to pull off a casual, cool ensemble if you know what you’re doing. Follow these tried-and-true tips for achieving a cozy, chic look all season long.

side braid

Rock a maxi dress

Summer is the perfect time to toss on a long, flowing maxi dress, some cushioned sandals and a big floppy hat. You can sport this look to the beach (cover-up style) or wear it out to brunch with your girls on Sunday. We suggest searching for a dress made out of cotton, cotton jersey or even chiffon material. Flirty florals and colorblock frocks are right on trend for summer.

Try a beachy side braid

To top off your casual look, gather your hair to one side and create a boho, beachy side braid (find out how!) to downplay a dressy outfit. This should take less than five minutes to achieve and will give your ensemble the casual, cool, carefree vibe you seek.

Don an oversized top

Pair a bold, bright, oversized top with skinny jeggings and/or your favorite bandage skirt for a fail-proof summer ensemble that's as casual as it is cute.

Love your high-waisted denim cutoffs? Try styling them with a silky crop tank and flirty flatforms the next time you step out. You can even add a messy top knot and an armload of bangles (think Miley Cyrus — she definitely has this look down pat) to really complete the outfit.

Add a structured handbag

Dress up your laid-back look with a structured handbag in a pretty pastel or neutral shade. This is a simple yet effective way to glamorize any outfit, and it especially looks fab with a high-low skirt and plain, tucked-in tank top.

Remember, elastic waistbands are your best friend

When shopping for chic summer shorts and skirts, look for casual bottoms that feature an elastic waistband. These will not only keep you cozy, but they'll look great and feel soft on your skin as well. Word to the wise, however: Don’t start walking around in your gym shorts, unless, of course, you actually do plan on hitting the gym!

More style tips

Tips for adding color to any outfit
Fun pops of color for everyday wear
Celebrity-inspired color-blocking trends

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