Do you guys remember People Style Watch Magazine?
I LOVED that magazine. I still can't believe that they discontinued it. But from what I remember, they always had a picture like the one above, pointing at all of the different parts of an outfit that made it work. I love looking at fashion like it's an equation - if you put this together with this, then - voila! Perfect outfit.
I thought I'd tackle a tricky outfit combo - looking laidback while also looking put-together. It's definitely easy to go too far in either direction! On the one hand, you want to look laidback: but instead of putting on a cute sweater, you end up in a sweatshirt. On the other hand, you want to look put-together: but instead of putting on a comfortable pair of jeans, you end up wearing a pencil skirt. It can be hard to balance being cute with being comfortable!
Well, the other night I went out to dinner with Jacob. It had been a long day for both of us - he's studying for the bar exam and we're moving, so we're currently sleeping in an empty apartment - and I didn't want to put on something uncomfortable, but I still wanted to look like I had put in some effort. I came up with this look and immediately wanted to share it with you all! So here's my equation for the perfect laidback + put-together combo.
1. Start with a bright maxi dress. I think maxi dresses are the best base for a laidback outfit that still looks put-together. You don't have to worry if you missed a spot shaving your legs and, especially if it's a bright color, a maxi dress attracts attention because there's so much fabric to look at. This red maxi dress is from Rent the Runway Unlimited, and it's absolutely lovely, but I linked a few very similar alternatives below. It cinches in at the waist, which gives you a lovely shape, and it flows so nicely in the summer wind.
2. Put on a nude cami if your dress is too revealing. On a night when you're looking to be comfortable, you don't want to have to check your top every two minutes to make sure you're covered, do you? Make life easy for yourself. Put on a nude cami underneath if you feel your dress is too low-cut, and don't worry about it! The fact that it's nude means it won't draw attention to the fact that you're wearing a cami, but you'll feel less stressed when you know that your decolletage is covered!
3. Do your hair with some beachy waves. Having your hair styled is a nice addition to a laidback + put-together look, but sometimes we don't have all the time in the world to curl every last strand of hair on our head. I say - fake it till you make it! Beachy waves are meant to look messy, so if you quickly curl a few pieces all over your head, then shake everything out, you'll have a cute, messy head of hair that pairs well with this look.
4. Put on a dainty lariat necklace, or a small pendant. When I'm trying to look laidback, I don't immediately think of big statement earrings or a huge necklace. Instead, I opt for something smaller and daintier. The reason for this is, you can leave on something small and dainty all the time. It doesn't look like you specifically sat down at your jewelry box and searched for a while till you found the perfect necklace. A small pendant or lariat goes with anything, so you can throw it on and not really think about whether or not "it goes."
5. You want to wear flip-flops? Find a cute alternative! Do you like wearing flip-flops all summer long? Well, flip-flops don't really look put-together in my opinion. Instead, find a pair of shoes that feel like flip-flops but look like sandals! I love this pair from Franco Sarto because they are SO comfortable, but they look so much nicer than your average pair of flip-flops. And they go with everything! A miniskirt? Absolutely. A maxi dress? You betcha. A pair of jeans? I mean, of course.
6. Throw on a fun shoulder bag. Last but not least, a cute shoulder bag will tie your whole look together. Shoulder bags, or cross-body bags, are the best for laidback looks because you can throw them on and not have to think about it. You don't have to carry it in your hand all night, either. Choose your favorite color - and it's kind of fun if your purse doesn't match your outfit perfectly!
And that's all it takes! Do you like this look? Would you wear something like this? Let me know in the comments down below!
*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click on a link and purchase something. Thank you so much for your support!
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Hey! I'm Abby, the creator of Classically Abby, a commentary, opera, beauty, and lifestyle brand dedicated to looking at the world from a classic perspective. I'm the first Conservative Influencer and I'm an opera singer with three degrees in performance!