How to: Business Casual

Trying to determine what’s appropriate for work and what’s not can be a large grey area. ‘Business Casual’ can cover a pretty broad array of items.
I’ve worked at multiple places where the dress code was described as business casual. Each had its own norm. The best way to get a feel for what’s appropriate is to see what your co-workers wear, or your boss. I’ve always tried to shoot more for what my boss wore, as the goal is to get to their job, right? I’m a big fan of the saying “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”
Olivia Moon Ivory Blazer // Banana Repubic Top (similar HERE) // Necklace (similar HERE) //
1822 Denim (similar HERE) // JustFab Booties (similar HERE and HERE)
Even at a job I knew I wasn’t going to be in long term, I wanted to be the best dressed one in the office. I love the feeling of being acknowledged for dressing professionally. On Casual Friday I’d still rock a cute blouse or nice sweater while others wore t-shirts. You never know when you’ll have to meet with a client or have a meeting with your boss’s boss. It’s always better to be overdressed than under dressed!
Black Express Blazer / Black Express Top // 1822 Denim (similar HERE) //
Tory Burch Jelly Flats (similar HERE) // Necklace
What exactly does business casual include? Let’s take a look:
My go-to outfits when I can only wear jeans on Fridays involve slacks or skirts, and dressy shirts (hey, that rhymes!). I have an entire Instagram and Pinterest Board with all of my work outfits on it for your reference. I go through phases where I wear a lot of skirts, then I will go to opposite way and only wear pants for a while. I’m currently in a pants phase with the cold weather in the Midwest at the moment. I do, however, have some awesome fleece lined tights for these cold winter days when I do feel like wearing a skirt.
Express Cardigan // Express Portofino Shirt // The Limited Brown Slacks (similar) //
Jessica Simpson D’Orsay Heels // Similar Necklace
Tops I think are a little easier. A simple top can be dressed up with a statement necklace or cardigan. It’s also easy to tell what shirt looks work-appropriate. Can you rock your weekend club top at the office? Possibly, if you add a bit of modesty to it. Throw a tank top underneath to hide all that cleavage – cleavage is NEVER appropriate at the office. Add a cardigan to cover the open back or sleeveless aspects of it. Add a simple, elegant necklace like pearls or a simple pendant.
Express Cardigan // Express Ivory Blouse // The Limited Skirt // Steve Madden Flats // Necklace (similar HERE)
Banana Republic Button Down (similar HERE) // Express Skirt // Flats (similar HERE)
When it comes to jewelry, I personally feel like less is more. But I also have never been that into changing all my jewelry every day. Over the last 2 years I’ve gotten more into statement necklaces, and I’ve always loved long necklaces, but that’s it for me. I don’t do rings or bracelets, and most of my earrings are also simple. These Kate Spade Studs (less expensive here) and these Pearl Drop earrings are my 2 main go-to’s. Most of that is out of sheer laziness, as I just don’t feel like putting in the effort. It’s also because I don’t like my hands or wrists to feel crowded since I’m working on a computer all day, and rings and bracelets, for me, lead to fidgeting. I rotate between two watches, a silver Michael Kors one (similar HERE and HERE), and a gold-tone neutral Kate Spade one that I love and wear most days.
I think the last part of the list, as we’re covering all bases, is of course: SHOES! Every girl loves shoes, it’s probably the easiest way to add some flare to your outfit other than jewelry or a great scarf. My shoe choice depends on how I’m feeling that day. Do I feel up for rocking heels all day? Would I be better off in a cute pair of flats? This depends on what type of office you’re in, and what you’re most comfortable in. 
Grey Mossimo Sweater (similar HERE and HERE) // Blue Spice Skinny Jeans (from TJMaxx)(similar HERE) //
JustFab Booties (similar) // Charlotte Russe Scarf (similar HERE and HERE)
I’m so used to wearing heels that I am fine walking in them all day. Hell, I can literally run in them. And I do think they add a bit of class and sophistication to even the most simple outfits. But if I’m going to be walking a lot, I will always opt for flats. Or a thick block heel like booties that I don’t even notice the heel in since it’s so even. I have the same shoe in 4 colors to make it really easy to 1, color coordinate, and 2, know that I like it and it’s comfortable. I’m all about simplifying as much as possible, if you haven’t noticed. This Jessica Simpson Claudette D’Orsay heel is great year-round, is professional looking and not too high. I love them! I have the suede black, grey, camel, and the nude patent.
White House Black Market top (from eBay!) similar HERE and HERE // Cardigan //
Express Editor Pants // Jessica Simpson D’Orsay Heels // Necklace (similar HERE, cheaper HERE)

What do you rock at the office? Drop a comment and let me know! 

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  • Simple is always better. I tried so hard to figure out what I was going to wear for Easter. I spent a good hour trying things on the week before. I sent my sister tons of pictures asking her thoughts. In the end, I wasn’t really satisfied with any of them for some reason so I decided to just go with an outfit I know I love and feel good in. For some reason wearing white just makes me feel super put together. And I managed to not spill anything on myself or get chocolate on my pants which is a major win y’all. .

We don’t need to overthink things so much. It just causes unnecessary stress. I do like to plan ahead because it saves me time, but I also should have realized sooner that the dress I was trying to make work just wasn’t working. Even though I love that dress, it doesn’t flatter me how I want it to and it might be time to let it go. Don’t be afraid to let go of things that don’t give you exactly what you need. You don’t have to settle, something else will always come along. Or you probably already have something else in your closet (or life, this isn’t limited to clothes!) that’s even better than what you’re trying to make work!
  • Happy Easter 🐰❤️
  • Casual Good Friday ❤️ this was yesterday’s work outfit but I jazzed myself up before we went to church with Jakes mom and stepdad last night. I cried like a baby. Good Friday always both kicks my ass and reminds me how blessed we all are. 
The beautiful KC weather this weekend is so exciting!! I’m so happy when it’s Spring weather 😍 Have a beautiful Saturday!!
  • “There is beauty in simplicity”
My simple wardrobe makes me so happy and I love the seemingly endless possibilities I have with it. Having a love of neutrals really works well for me with this! 
Happy Good Friday ❤️
  • The only things in my life these days are the things I really want there. This isn’t limited to the stuff in my house and the clothes in my closet. This includes my job, relationships, hobbies, everything. I’ve even started eating better as a by-product of simplifying my life and I just feel better over all. .

By removing the things and people that don’t make me happy, I have more time and energy for the things that do that I used to put off and not prioritize like I should have. We spend so much of our lives being “busy”. But what are we busy with? Most of it is actually unimportant when you break it down. .

I say no to things much more now and that allows me to spend more of my time relaxing and enjoying life. I used to constantly feel rushed or like I should be doing something. If I wasn’t moving, I felt like I was wasting my time. But the truth is, resting and just being home with Jake and the boys is my happy place. It brings me so much joy, so that’s what my priority is. .

Having more time to just BE has been amazing. Being more picky in my relationships has helped me really value the ones I hold most dear and has brought me to an amazing new job because I wasn’t willing to settle for anything less. Respect yourself and your time and prioritize the things that matter most to you. Life’s too short to live any other way.
  • “When you love what you have, you have everything you need.” So many wonderful things have happened since I simplified my life. Changing my outlook on life wasn’t really intentional, but I’m so thankful it happened when it did. I was kind of at a breaking point. Fed up with where I was and how things were going with my old job. Struggling with depression and comparison. I knew something had to change but I had no idea what. Simplicity was that thing. .
Now, I spend way less time on social media. I deleted Facebook off my phone and haven’t  looked at it in weeks. I’m much happier without it. I read a lot more. I’m getting much better at ignoring the impulse to pick up my phone and when I am on it, to compare my life to the perfect pictures people post. I even cut a few inches off my hair! 💇🏻‍♀️ I want things as easy as they can be right now. It takes a lot of stress out of my life. Try to go a whole weekend without social media and see how awesome it feels!

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