I have been so pleased to get so many requests for work wear inspiration! Honestly, y’all, after six years in the workforce where I was dressed to the nines every single day, making the transition to being a graduate student has been a little tough because I just have so many clothes in my closet that it doesn’t make sense to wear in this stage of my life anymore. Thank you for giving me an excuse to dust off my favorite blazer again!
A note: I’m definitely not a blogger who goes out and buys outfits to shoot just so I can link them and make money off of them. Quite honestly, I’m such a newbie with a tiny following that I can’t monetize anything right now haha. But I really am a firm believer in curating a closet you love because you saw pieces you couldn’t live without and I’ll never be the blogger who buys an outfit just to take Instagram photos in it. I’ll be wearing my real clothes from my real wardrobe and if I can’t find the links to the specific pieces I shoot because they’re too old, then I will link several options that are as similar as I can find so you can get inspiration from my posts but then do your own shopping! Everything will be linked at the end of the post!
I recently wore this pink top and striped wide-leg crops to a women’s faith-based luncheon so when I started getting requests for work wear, I knew I had to put it back on and do a shoot because it just is so versatile and can be worn so many different ways. In my professional life, I constantly had to be creative with my wardrobe because I would often leave work to go to networking events, work receptions, work dinners, public speaking engagements, or happy hour with friends and so I was always thinking of ways to look professional during the day, but loosen up a bit afterwards.
If you work in a business casual environment where you need an elevated wardrobe – so a step above jeans – but not quite at the level where you need a blazer, invest in staples like plain blouses, but have an eye for fun colors that pop so that you can wear them again and again with different skirts or pants. My closet has stacks of plain colored pants or wild patterned ones like these wide-leg crops – but either way I go, I always know that I have a top to go with it because I’ve built up a collection of different silhouettes and shades.
When I wear pants that are a little more bold, I always tone down my shoes in a business environment. It hurts a bit because if you know me, you know my shoe obsession is REAL (sorry Adam for always stealing your “shoe spots” in our closet). I have a go-to pair of plain black pumps and a go-to pair of plain nude pumps that go with virtually everything so when I’m feeling a little spunky with my pants, I can always pull out these heels and know I’m playing it safe. I got these shoes at Target several years ago and to be quite frank – I wear the crap out of them. With an outfit like this, I’d also more than likely tone down the jewelry. I wouldn’t wear a necklace because there’s a keyhole at the neck and I’d probably go with pearl stud earrings to pull out the white in the pants.
In my former job, it was literally required to wear a blazer with pants and so my collection of blazers got to be quite extensive. I happen to kinda hate blazers because I feel like they’re stuffy and confining – and I gotta admit, I have pretty broad shoulders and blazers make me feel like a line backer. So when I find one that fits nicely it’s like finding the gold pot at the end of a rainbow (anyone seen the leprechaun say YEAH – if you don’t get that reference, google it right now). I have found that the blazers that fit me best are from Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, The Limited and Talbots. The one in these pictures is my absolute favorite and it’s Ann Taylor.
Just adding a blazer to the top and pants took this outfit from “assistant” to “executive” quick, fast, and in a hurry! Isn’t it wild how the addition or subtraction of just one thing can drastically change an entire look?
So let’s transition from desk to drinks! In my closet are a pair of amazing pink and red shoes I bought from Aldo last year and they are so great with this pink top, but because I wanted to put funky shoes with a loud top, I went with plain black pants. You never want too many conflicting things to look at or your outfit gets totally lost in the noise. I chose some high-waisted faux leather leggings because this specific top is actually cut to where it comes right under the belly button and ya girl is not about that crop top life. I also added some red Kendra Scott pieces to bring out the red in the heels. Also, a good bright pink and red combo is always a win.
Et voilà! Same top, three different outfits, just by adding a blazer or changing pants and shoes.
I would love to do a bi-weekly (if not weekly) permanent installation of Work Wear Wednesday, so please drop a comment on this post and let me know what else you’d like to see or things you find yourself needing help with when it comes to dressing for work! I would love to be able to help out.
And now for the shopping…again I want to put a disclaimer on this and let you know that if you click any of these links and shop from them, I do not make any commission.