As I write this, I’m totally in jorts and a Chi Omega tank top (chic…) but during the work week, particularly when I am not working from home, I tend to dress up a bit more. None of my work has specific dress codes, which is really nice, but I find myself more productive and taken more seriously when I look professional, or at least professional-ish. I know there are many definitions of business casual, and some of these pieces might not be appropriate for your workplace. But remember, you can always do things like throw a lightweight jacket or cardigan over a top to make it more conservative.
Shop these blouses, clockwise from top left: Tie-neck top in dot, $118; Lafayette Wrap Blouse, $178.90; Asymmetrical Tiered Jersey Top, $48; Drape Neck Jersey Top, $78.90; Keyhole Blouse, $168; Tie-neck 3/4-Sleeved Blouse, $49.50.
Now on to bottoms. I may get some serious flack for this, but slim-cut trousers or crops are the way to go. Not capris that cut you off mid-calf (can anyone really pull these off?) but just-above-the-ankle crops. Something about flared leg trousers remind me of Hillary Clinton in a pantsuit. Unless you are super leggy, they are not all that flattering. Hopefully you are able to wear bright colors at your office, but if it is super conservative stick to black, pinstripe, herringbone, etc. Another option is the skirt of course. At the knee or just below, this can be really cute. It is all about the silhouette. Some options:
Edge-waist Ankle Pants, $59.90; Broken-in Straight Khakis, $49.95; Marisa Skinny Ankle Pants, $69.50; Cafe Capri, $158; Muse de Cluny Skirt, $34.99; Converging Petals Print Skirt, $39.99; Wrap Skirt, $278.
Shoes. As much as I would love to wear flip-flops and flat, strappy sandals every day, this is not business casual except in the most relaxed of workplaces. I have thrown in a mix of pumps, flats, and wedges, and you can take your pick based on personal preference. A nude pump goes with nearly everything and really elongates your legs, and nothing is chicer than a pair of cap-toed flats (so Audrey!). If you think it would be appropriate at your workplace, bright colors and patterns make any outfit so much chicer. Think royal blue suede, black and white polka dot, or leopard print.
Shop the look, clockwise from top left: Michael Michael Kors York Peep-toe, $125; Aaden Mid-heel, $275; Tod’s Gommini Moccasin, $425; Mila Ballet Flat, $138; Lucky Brand Gable, $99.
Okay so you have the outfit or maybe you are fortunate enough that you can wear plain v-necks to work but you want something a bit more. The key to making your outfit go from a bunch of separates to a chic ensemble is accessories. Obviously a great bag is nice, but it isn’t like you are going to be walking around the office carrying your bag. Also cute belts count as accessories, so don’t be afraid to belt a skirt and top combo at the waist.
Yarnz Nautical Bow Scarf, $74; Murfee Scarf Rain or Shine, $118; Pearl Focal Necklace, $79.50; Kenneth Jay Lane Basketweave Cuff, $110; Trina Turk Eclipse Ring, $85.
Where do you shop for business casual clothes? What are your favorite ways to make the look chic? I’d love to know!