The global pandemic has had a major impact on what many of us wear from day to day. We are dressing a little, or a lot, more casually and minimally than before. For some of us, this switch to a more relaxed and simple way of dressing might stick.

Dressing down the black bottoms you have in your wardrobe might be just the ticket to a more relaxed look. I’m doing that here with four summery and mild weather minimal looks that are a good way to extend the wearability of items in your wardrobe. Feel free to substitute the black with dark blue. All outfits work with casual footwear options like sneakers, flat sandals, loafers, slides, mules and Birkenstocks. Palettes are neutral, but feel free to add some colour.

1. Crisp Utility

Combine a pair of black utility pants or dressier black pants with a white tee, knitted top, or tank top. A casual white shirt or blouse can work too. Top things off with an olive utility jacket when temperatures cool or if you’re in air conditioning. Add black or white loafers, sneakers, slides or sandals to complete the look.

Universal Standard Karlee Twill Cargo Pants

2. Shorts and a Denim Shirt

Combine a pair of black shorts with a tucked, semi-tucked or untucked denim or chambray shirt. A simple blue and white striped shirt can work well too. Scrunch or roll the sleeves. Finish off the vibe with white sneakers, or black slides or flat sandals.

Everlane The Cotton Twill Short

3. Joggers and Drape

Combine a pair of straight leg or tapered black joggers with a draped grey, white, olive, or light blue tunic. You can substitute the joggers for black leggings if that’s easier. Finish off the look with white sneakers or slides. Seeing the white sneakers pop below the hems of these black joggers looks punchy to my eye, but you might prefer a darker pair of shoes.

M&S Collection CURVE Cotton Straight Leg Joggers

4. Tanked and Tubed

And last, the ‘80s knitted tube skirt does not die. Combine it with a neutral untucked sleeveless tank, knitted top or blouse, and a pair of flat black sandals, slides or Birkies to match. Top things off with a moto, utility jacket or denim jacket if you need a third piece.

J.Jill Pure Jill Textured Space Dyed Top

Although the point of these outfits is minimal and for the most part accessory-free, do add the extras that are suited to your needs and current style.