The Women’s Room guide to dressing casually


Dressing casually as you get older is a fine art. Fashionable casual clothes tend to be aimed at the younger market and cheaper casual wear can often be of dubious quality. We find sticking to well made (probably slightly more expensive) casual classics and adding the odd fashion colour or shape is the best way to achieve effortless casual style. Here are a few of our essential tips.

When in doubt wear a crisp white shirt (with subtle detail) indigo wash jeans and classic Converse.

You can't go wrong with a nautical style stripey top. We love the A line one with extra long sleeves, from Cabbages and Roses, or the classic French Breton from Labour and Wait.

Pay a little more for your jeans for a good cut and high quality denim. Believe us it's worth it. We particularly love the organic jeans from Muji.

Also with jeans, leave the novelty washes to Spanish tourists and clubbers. Acid and stone wash were not fashionable for our generation the first time round and nothing has changed!

Despite what Grazia is telling us do not wear more than one item of denim at a time, unless of course you are a Shakin Stevens fan.

Don't be tempted by a fleece top (no matter how cosy it looks and feels) They are so over and suitable only for twitchers (bird watchers for our non UK readers!)

Over size chunky long length or cashmere cardigans look great over simple coloured t shirts from Uniqlo.

Don't ever wear track pants, unless you are a. running a marathon or b. stuck at home with flu.
DO NOT ever wear them as an alternative to jeans (even to the airport) unless you want to look like an ageing WAG.

Never ever wear denim hot pants or mini skirt (unless you are Kate Moss) that look is strictly for our teenage daughters. A simple slim fit denim skirt that finishes either just above or on the knee, looks great, however.

Leggings: as above. We looked good in them the first time round, so lets not push it.

Avoid obvious logos, witty or otherwise. Subtle effortless style is what we are trying to achieve.

Never ever wear formal shoes with a casual outfit. Casual shoes with a formal outfit can sometimes work but not vice versa. Be careful not to go too casual however as acid coloured high tops on a 40 year old are not such a good look.

Chinos are great if they are fitted on the hips and gently flare out to a wide leg easy fit. Pin tucks and tight fitting chinos must be avoided at all costs. Think Grace Kelly/Coco Chanel not Princess Anne at a show jumping event.

Never ever tuck your t shirt into your jeans, no matter how slim you are. It is wrong on every level. As are Crocs, even on holiday.

Above all be comfortable and you will feel and look good. I recently wore a pair of extremely tight fitting stretch jeans to a festival and found it agonizing to 'lol' casually on the grass between bands. Now that did make me feel old!

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