6 Ways to Upgrade Your Casual Style – How to Be Stylish in Casual Outfits

6 tips on how to look nice in casual clothes

6 ways to upgrade your casual style

Huge thanks to Nordstrom Rack and ShopStyle for sponsoring this post

If you want to upgrade your casual style or have wondered how to be stylish in casual outfits, today’s post is for you! I’m partnering with Nordstrom Rack and ShopStyle to share 6 ways to elevate your casual style.

Nordstrom Rack is awesome because I can shop some of my favorite brands at extremely affordable prices. They have everything you need for great fall style all in one place, from athleisure to casual wear to workwear and more! I have been waiting and waiting to share this post with you because I am SO excited to tell you about some of these deals! 😆 Keep in mind that Nordstrom Rack offers free in-store pickup for online orders to a Nordstrom Rack or Nordstrom store as well as free shipping on orders over $89.

Alright, let’s talk through 6 ways to upgrade your casual style fall style, and as we go, I’ll tell you about some AWESOME pieces to check out!

SIZING: I’m 5’6” and usually S/M or 6 in clothes and 8.5 to 9 in shoes.


Casual Outfit: rust t-shirt + dark blue skinny jeans + leopard sneaker booties + gold pendant necklace + gray crossbody purse

1. Get yourself some stretchy jeans so that you’ll actually want to wear them. 😜
A key piece to casual style is jeans, but a key to casual style that you actually enjoy wearing is super STRETCHY and COMFORTABLE jeans. And you know I’m ALL ABOUT THAT stretchy jeans life! 😄

If you’re looking for an affordable brand of stretchy jeans that also have a stretchy waistband, check out Democracy! Democracy jeans are veryyyy stretchy and comfortable and have a STRETCHY WAISTBAND, thanks to an elastic strip sewn into the back. Nordstrom Rack carries TONS of Democracy jeans, including straight and plus sizes, and they’re typically between $40 to $45!

If you HATE jeans and haven’t owned any with a stretchy elastic waistband, you need to at least TRY them! They are a game changer!

The jeans I’m wearing above have all the comfort with a stretchy waistband, and they are in a great medium wash. Find them HERE. I’m wearing size 4. (I tried size 6 as well, which fit fine, but size 4 has a narrower leg opening, which I prefer.)

Below are several more Democracy jeans to check out:


If you’re wondering how Democracy compares to Wit & Wisdom jeans that I always tell you about, they are very comparable with some subtle differences in fit and back pocket designs, etc. Democracy jeans tend to have a little more room in the waist and rear compared to Wit & Wisdom, but in terms of comfort, they are both really comfy! 


2. Basic tees with a good drape
First, if you’re starting from zero, have completely mailed it in in the style department, and you’re sporting old, worn-out tees, it’s time to upgrade them. For basic casual tees, I always prefer ones with a good drape as opposed to ones that are more fitted and cling to you in all the wrong ways. The ones with good drape hang in a looser, more relaxed way. Plus, they gloss over bumps instead of clinging to them, which helps me feel more comfortable in my clothes.

One of my favorite brands for basic tees is Caslon because of how well they drape, and Nordstrom Rack has several great Caslon tees!

BTW, I LOVE the slub knit tee I’m wearing above. It’s really lightweight and has relaxed sleeves for added style. And, it’s only $16.97! Unfortunately it’s nearly sold out in this rust color, but you can find it in other colors as well as plus sizes HERE. I wear size S.

Shop the Outfit:
Top: Nordstrom Rack (exact—wearing size S; exact in other colors; similar)
Jeans: Nordstrom Rack (exact—wearing size 4)
Shoes: Nordstrom Rack (exact—wearing size )
Bag: (exact in tan and red, exact in white; similar)
Necklace: (similar, similar)

Check out more options to upgrade your tees in the widget below:


3. Distressed Jeans
When you want to upgrade beyond basics, try some distressed jeans! They are fantastic for elevating casual outfits, as the distressing adds visual interest and a little more character.

These faded black jeans not only have distressing, but they also have a raw, uneven hem to add even more visual interest. These jeans are SO comfy, and of course they are also stretchy with a stretchy waistband! And, they’re just $44.97, which is a GREAT price for super comfy jeans with a stretchy waistband! Find them HERE. I’m wearing size 6. The waistband is slightly loose on me (as tends to be the case with Democracy jeans for me), but sizing down doesn’t help. However, they don’t fall off or need to be constantly pulled up or anything like that.

Shop the Outfit:
Top: Nordstrom Rack (exact—wearing size S; similar)
Jeans: Nordstrom Rack (exact—wearing size 6)
Shoes: (exact—I wear size 9)
Bag: (exact in tan and red, exact in white; similar)
Necklace: (similar, similar)


4. Cool Sneakers
Another absolute MUST to elevated casual style is cool sneakers. Break away from pairing clunky running shoes with jeans and upgrade to sleek slip-on sneakers instead. If you want to elevate your footwear even more, go for some cool sneaker booties like the ones I’m wearing above.

By the way, I’ve owned these sneakers for over a year now, and I LOVE THEM! First of all, they are WATER RESISTANT, which is soooo convenient as it keeps my outfit options open even when it’s raining. Second, they have a slight wedge which elongates your leg line, but they’re still comfy and easy to walk in. The upper is also soft and flexible. These come in 3 colors, which you can see HERE. I wear size 9.

Shop the Outfit:
Top: (similar—I wear size S, similar)
Jeans: Nordstrom Rack (exact—wearing size 4)
Jacket: Nordstrom Rack (exact—wearing size S)
Shoes: Nordstrom Rack (exact—wearing size 9; exact in leopard print)

Bag: Nordstrom Rack (exact)


Additionally, they come in a leopard print, HERE, which I also have and LOVE! The best part is that they are only $49.97 which is a freaking STEAL! These are some of my very favorite, most-worn sneakers in the fall. I loooove how they instantly elevate your casual outfits—even if it’s just jeans with a t-shirt or sweatshirt. Give them a shot while they’re available!


5. Statement Layering Pieces
Another way to upgrade your casual style is by adding statement layering pieces! For example, this camo utility jacket packs a big punch and adds so much personality and style to the outfits. And by the way, this jacket by Caslon is ONLY $29.98! WHAT??? I own other Caslon outerwear and paid way more than that for them, so this price is AMAZING! This jacket is sturdy while being fairly flexible and decently comfortable. I don’t feel like it weighs me down like some utility jackets can do. Plus, it has a cute pink hood made of sweatshirt material, but the hood is detachable in case pink doesn’t work well with your outfit! Find the jacket HERE. I wear size S.

6. Chic Handbags
Last, top off your looks with a chic handbag! I love versatile handbags that I can throw onto pretty much any outfit. One of my go-to styles is small crossbody bags because if I’m in casual outfits, it usually means I’m on-the-go or with my kids, or both, in which case I’d rather travel as lightly and as handsfree as possible.

I just got this tan crossbody bag, which is real leather and only $59.97—an amazing price for real leather! It has a snap-flap closure for easy access in addition to a zippered section that can keep things more secure. It also has an exterior pocket in the back with a snap closure. I looove the pebbled tan color, but it also comes in an insanely adorable red version! Find them both HERE.

Another handbag that I’ve owned for a while and really like is the Dianne crossbody bag, HERE. It is also made of real leather but is only $49.97! I own it in gray (shown in the pics in this post) which is no longer available. But, it’s available in a pretty tan and the adorable red, HERE. It’s also available in white, HERE. Very cute bag!

Shop the Outfit:
Black Tee: (exact—wearing size S; similar—I wear size S)
Jeans: Nordstrom Rack (exact—wearing size 6)
Jacket: Nordstrom Rack (exact—wearing size S)
Shoes: Nordstrom Rack (exact—wearing size 9)

Bag: (exact in tan and red, exact in white; similar)
Necklace: (similar, similar)


Shop a few more awesome handbags in the widget below:


Those are 6 ways you can upgrade your casual style! It’s all about having the right pieces, meaning ones that are both comfortable and stylish. And there are some really, really, really good options at Nordstrom Rack, and I’m seriously so excited that I finally got to tell you about them, haha!

What are some ways you’d like to upgrade your casual style?


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Available for building a business casual wardrobe or a casual wardrobe! Grab a Starter Kit Wardrobe Guide and make style a breeze for yourself this season! Check them out HERE.

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