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Back to Basics: How to Master The Model–Off–Duty Look

What’s up with everyone’s obsession with the model–off–duty look? Characterized by its deceptively simple silhouette, the off–duty look isn’t a foreign concept; it’s been around for ages. In the 1990s, it was exemplified by models like Naomi Cambell, Cindy Crawford, and Kate Moss; Lily–Rose Depp, Bella Hadid, and Kendall Jenner show it off in today’s newer modeling generation.  

There’s a reason this stylish, simple look is still thriving all these years later. Firstly, it’s timeless, composed of simple staples that everyone is bound to already have in their closet. Second, it creates a put–together, chic outfit while still being easy to execute. Lastly, the look works for any occasion; you can rock it on a date night or just on a casual stroll with friends. 

Here’s a guide on putting together the perfect model–off–duty outfit that will leave bystanders wondering who just strut past. 

Pants

Let’s first start with the bottoms. The key to pulling off this outfit is making it look effortless, so think clean lines when it comes to pants. For a more casual version of the outfit, go with some vintage Levi’s. Specifically, look into 501 or 505 straight legs Levi’s to elongate the legs. From here, you can choose to size up for a baggier look or stick with your size for a fitted feel. Don’t feel the need to buy new jeans as thrift stores have countless aisles you can peruse for the perfect pants!  

For something more upscale, invest in some well–tailored dress trousers. These trousers from Artiza are perfect and inspire the rest of this look. For a more affordable, but just as stylish option, check out Abercrombie

tops

Now, it’s time to move away from pants and transition to tops. Like with the bottoms, it’s essential to keep things simple, so concentrate on solid colors like white, black, or brown, and stay away from graphics or cutouts. These colors also go with almost everything, which makes styling that much easier!

Basic tank tops, form–fitting long–sleeve tops, or plain t–shirts ensure a look that fits any season. Additionally, well–fitting tops are much easier to find than pants. You can find these top options virtually anywhere. For example, the next time you run into Target, pick up a few basics, like this pack of three tank tops for less than 15 dollars. For more sustainable options, look at shops like Kotn

jackets

Jackets are arguably the most essential element of this look, and they’re often the piece that stands out the most. 

For an edgier look, go for a leather jacket. A biker jacket will contribute to a “cool girl,” effortlessly chic ensemble. Recently, models have been wearing far more leather on the runway. Specifically, leather blazers have been everywhere. Make sure to check out a clean–cut leather blazer like this one

Another option is a quality structured coat for a more professional feel. 

These two items are both staples and, if taken care of, can last a lifetime. Furthermore, they go with virtually every outfit. For this reason, it’s wise to invest in high–quality jackets and coats, even though the prices may initially turn you away. There are also more affordable options like thrift stores!

accessories

Now onto the fun stuff: accessories! Keeping with the theme of simplicity, you really don’t need much. For all your goodies, invest in a simple baguette bag. To make sure it can go with other things in your wardrobe, think colors like black or brown. This adorable shoulder bag from Nordstrom is under 20 dollars and durable enough to last you for ages. 

If the weather permits, the next thing you need is some sunnies. Simple oval sunglasses that channel your inner Rachel Green are the way to go. These tortoiseshell pairs from Crap Eyewear are perfect to complete your look.  

This article may have listed the pieces you need to rock the model–off–duty look, but there’s one thing it hasn’t mentioned. What do all the off–duty models have in common to rock such a simple look? The answer is confidence. At the end of the day, self–assurance is your best accessory, so put on what makes you comfortable in your skin and walk the world like it’s your own runway! 

Jada Gritton

U Penn '24

Jada Gritton is studying PPE with an intended minor in Gender Studies. She enjoys reading, cooking, and listening to music and is excited to join the HerCampus team.
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