Tips for Dressing Well - Casual

People tell me all the time, "I like what you wear, but I just don't know how to put things together." I want to start a a series on tips for dressing well, where we can look at breaking down how to put together an everyday look.  For most of us, a lot of our looks can be casual because of function.  Dressing casual, for me, was like my last frontier to master. It's a hard one. It's so easy to look great dressed up, but dressing down can more of a challenge, because there is always a struggle on how casual to be.
 I will say this, casual dressing, for me, takes just as much effort as dressing up.  It's a more comfortable look, but a lot of the elements are the same in terms of hair, make-up, and putting together a complete look.  Here's a few of things I do for putting together casual looks:
  1. Going casual doesn't mean I neglect hair and make-up.  Hair and make-up complete the look.  A bun is usually a go-to for me for a simple and quick hair-do that is always polished without question.  I wear a tinted moisturizer, mascara, and a lipstick most days.  It's a way for me not to commit fully to a full face, but still look put together.  I always feels like make-up is apart of completing the look.  
  2. A great fitting denim can make all the difference.  I've recently found a new love for denim. For years I wouldn't wear jeans, because I could never find any that fit me well.  Times have changed and I actually have several pair that fit well and look good.  A good fitting jean is great for creating clean lines on your body and a great base for any look.  I love pencil pants as a substitution for jeans.  Finding  great denim is a very personal process and labor intensive. You need to try different brands until you find your best fit.  My personal favorites come from Torrid, Ashley Stewart, and Just My Size
  3. Add in comfy, but stylish shoes. People often say to me, "You always have the cutest flats." This is one of my favorite things to hear.  I don't wear the highest heels, but I'm always on the hunt for the cutest flat shoes.  I don't want my outfits to suffer, because I won't allow my feet to, so I take a lot of care in curating my flat shoe arsenal.  I tend to gravitate towards oxfords, patterned shoes (leopard, plaid, etc), and ballet flats. 
  4. Pass the jacket, please.  I always feel like a blazer, moto jacket, and coat pulls everything together, brings polish, and completes the look. 
  5. Fit is everything.  I say this a lot, but I can't stress it enough.  It's so important that your clothes fit you well.  You can get this through correct sizing and/or a tailor (or it's even better if you sew).  For me, I judge fit not only by looking, but by moving around.  Being a woman that is plus size, I do expect my clothes to shift somewhat just from moving around, but I don't expect to be pulling on them every 5 minutes.  Adjustments here and there are fine.  A lot of time, before I leave the house, if I find myself excessively adjusting my clothing then I won't wear.  I know the fit is off and I will replace it and note it in my head as something I need to have tailored. 
  6. I don't believe in over-accessorizing.  This is a preference, but I subscribe the school of thought that less is more.  I like to choose a focal point of a look.  This look in particular is about this cozy sweater.  I generally wear the same studs (I got married in them and consider them lucky), my marriage rings, an additional accessory, and a bag. 
I hope this helps put some method to my own process. Feel free to ask any questions below and please let me know if this is something that you would like to see more often.  

Sweater: c/o Talbots, Jeans: Ashley Stewart, Bag: SimplyBe, Boots - Torrid (sold-out), Lip - LimeCrime Utopia