With summer around the corner, casual cool is all about effortless fashion. The idea behind this concept is to look fashionable in a of pair jeans & a t-shirt. New York and L.A. are dressy cities. You will see people dressed-up and looking polished while running their daily errands. For cities like San Francisco (my home), the culture is different. People don’t (often) get dressed to the nines and they are not flashy like Angelenos. San Francisco has a laid-back style. At the same time, just because you aren’t wearing heels or the most cutting edge designer duds doesn’t mean you still can’t look good. This is where is casual cool comes in.
1. Maxi Dress— these dresses are comfortable and can be worn everywhere. Go for a fun color or my favorite, stripes. My favorite dresses are by Ella Moss, Fluxus, and Butter by Nadia. Things to avoid: don’t get to gaudy. Excessive beadwork or sequins on a maxi dress looks tacky.
2. Denim Jacket— an essential item because it can tone down a dress (i.g. cocktail) and it is a nice alternative to sweaters. Jean jackets work well with colored denim and fabric/twill pants. They are great for layering. I have a Hudson denim jacket. I’m wider in the chest and shoulder area and this jacket fits well and it’s comfortable. I can raise both arms!
3. Aviators— so fun and add a touch of coolness. Ray Ban makes great ones.
4. White Dress— nothing looks better than a white dress in the summer. There are so many to choose from. I like this dress by Jen's Pirate Booty. Note: when you wear white, make sure you have smooth lines (no VPL’s, i.e., Visible Panty Lines) and no black bras. Wear nude or brown undergarments depending on your skin tone.
5. White jeans— a nice alternate to light blue and fun for the summer. Tip: Adding a single, plain aspirin to each load of laundry will keep the whites from getting dingy.
6. Gold or silver flat sandals (depending on your skin tone)— these look great with jumpsuits and dresses. A comfortable alternative when wearing heels looks over the top. The pair shown are from Ash.
7. Hat— instant style and it protects your hair color from the damaging UV rays and helps with fighting frizz. Hat Attack offers a great selection of hats from beach cover-ups to fedoras.
8. “Hammer” pant— this is a term that I use to describe pants that are harem or cargo or gypsy-like in style. They often look baggy. They come in all ranges from cropped to full length. I wear my favorite pairs with ankle boots or even flat sandals.
9. Micro flair jeans— when you want something in between a skinny and a dramatic flair. I love my J Brand jeans. They make your legs look long and they fit great on the behind.
10. Plaid shirts— look great with a pair of boots or a pair of heels (with bell bottom or flair jeans). My favorite shirts are by Rails. They are made of good material and the sleeves can be rolled up (the shirts often have a contrast print inside the sleeves). These shirts also look great tucked in.
Personalization is what makes your outfit memorable. Show off your tattoos, add layers of Chan Luu wrap bracelets or wear a bright colored lipstick. In the streets of SF, every neighborhood has a different personality and that shows in the clothing that people wear. Nobody looks the same even if they are wearing jeans and a plaid shirt!