American Casual for Base 5 Types

A few weeks ago I heard someone say that there is a tunic and leggings look to suit everyone. In this collection I explore that possibility using the Base 5 style system as a vehicle. 


Dramatic Linear doesn't do well with leggings- they're too clingy, which de-emphasizes the sleekness so necessary to their look. Instead we have joggers, which are better at emphasizing the DL sleek length while still being American casual. DL could do a non-clingy fitted t-shirt, or a top in a contrasting color, but a similar color in a blouse is par for the DL course.

Dramatic Round does quite well with leggings and a fitted tunic. We could do a contrasting top and bottom here as well, but the mainstay is a similar color to enhance the length that DR has, as well as rounded width. The abstract print adds a bit of softness as well as visual interest. The belt is optional. I'd cover the tiny bow on the shoe with a much larger bow and find some fabulous earrings.

Natural Linear can do leggings fairly well, as they tend to have amazing long legs, but joggers are another option and give a sportier look. NL can uniquely make leggings and a tunic look less than casual. Here we want the look to have both length and width, in a way that fits well without being clingy. The stripes on the sweater and the crisscrossing sandal bring the eyes back and forth, while the navy and casual fit give us length.

Natural Round does well to avoid joggers and stick to leggings- even the taller and learner NRs do better in leggings. Note the open necklines for both Natural types. NR has fun floral loafers, and a cozy flared sweater. Cozy, spunky, and open fits the base of Natural linearity and secondary influence of Round. The outfit is rather plain and needs the necklace. A floppy brimmed hat could also be nice here.

Classic Linear is the second type (other than DL) that I would advice against ever wearing leggings. CL, like DL, requires a degree of sleekness that leggings are working against. A crew-neck tee in a contrasting color, and a non-stiff blazer that carries the color line with the pants. It's classy, casual, and somewhat sleek.

Classic round is classically feminine with a bit of glam- it doesn't take much and she's one lily we don't need or want to gild. A floral ballet flat, a cashmere cardigan, and a simple diamond necklace are casual for her. The tunic is fitted in an easy way. If she didn't have the cardigan, we would want the neckline a bit higher, and at least a short sleeve. 

Gamine Linear does leggings a bit better than joggers because her compactness can easily look overwhelmed or sloppy with extra fabric. She could wear the right pair of joggers well, but also has a world of leggings open to her. Pleather is especially fun and adds a touch of Linear sleek. I couldn't not add the shoes on the right in, but if they're too cute for your taste you could easily do plain white keds. High tops are sporty and funky with this look as another option. A boxy tee in a contrasting color, and here with stripes for added visual width to contrast with the legging. Both Gamines require style juxtaposition in slightly different ways, and it can be easy to go overboard with it (like trying to do the shoes on the right, plus the funky purse, plus funky jewelry- that's too much for most GLs. If you like the shoes on the right, I'd find a different clutch.).

Gamine Round could do this sheath tunic or a fit and flare one, and I played with both before choosing this one from Boden. The belt may or may not be necessary to add width and additional visual interesting depending on the GR. The bows on the shoes might be too large, but they are pleasantly piquant, and echoed in the earrings for the needed feeling of fun.   

Romantic Linear needs to choose leggings and avoid joggers, because RL is emphasizing a base of Round with a dash of Linear, rather than the other way around. Tunics and leggings are both Rs cup of casual. The mood of RL is a bit sharper in the detailing- the V neck, the sleekness of the clutch, and even the color choice. RL needn't be serious, but she does require small doses of sharpness to mimic her linear influence.

The Romantic Round is all softness, and for casual I like her to show a bit of sweetness or fun to help it be approachable. The polka dots are fun. The floral ballet flat is another pretty option. Glam and roundness in the earrings echoes RRs beauty. The neckline could be a bit lower, but otherwise the tunic is wonderfully soft and I can picture it melting around RRs round curves.