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