Thursday, July 21, 2011

Finding office style [Guest Post]

Getting dressed for work can be monotonous, tedious and even downright frustrating (trust me, I’ve been there!). But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be! With a little careful planning and some strategic budgeting, you can make your work wardrobe as exciting as your job. (Or add excitement to a job that you don’t love!) Here are my top tips for getting dressed for the office:
Plan ahead – a week’s worth of outfits
1. Plan ahead I don’t know about you, but I’m not much of a morning person and I feel zero creativity when I’m in a rush to get ready for work. That’s why I think taking 20 minutes on the weekend to come up with some outfits can be really beneficial. I like to shut the door, put on some music and get in the zone for a little while. You will be surprised at what you can come up with if you just give yourself the space to get creative! Write down the outfits you come up with, create a few extras in case of weather changes, and then throughout the week you can consult your list to find an outfit that works for your day ahead. Can’t find anything on your list that you want to wear? Revert back to a favorite outfit you’ve worn a month or so ago. (It’s perfectly fine to repeat outfits at the office!) Planning ahead will save you time - think of the wasted minutes in the morning, trying on everything you own - and make you a better dresser!

Focus on the bottoms

2. Focus on bottoms
Have you just started a new job, or are entering the work force for the first time? It can be frustrating to know where to begin. My advice is to start with the bottom half. Invest in 5 solid colored bottoms (pants or skirts) and 2-3 pairs of neutral work shoes. You can wear these bottoms and shoes every single week and no one will notice. Once you have those, focus on buying some fun shirts, cardigans, and accessories. These are the less expensive items, and by switching them up with the different bottoms, you wardrobe will look much bigger than it actually is!

Create a uniform; cardigans and pencil skirts

3. Create a uniform
Simply your work wardrobe by focusing on a “uniform.” Your uniform might be dress pants and blouses, collared shirts and skirts, or full suits. Whatever you love and feel most comfortable in at work can be your uniform. My personal work uniform is pencil skirts and colorful cardigans. Pencil skirts work well for my body type, so I have a drawer full of them in all kinds of colors and prints. I also love the fun colors that cardigans come in, so by mixing and matching them, I have an easy work wardrobe that I love!

Have some fun

4. Have fun with it
Your employer wants you to be great at your job, but they also care about your work/life balance. Showing some personality and having fun with your wardrobe says that you still have time to care for yourself and your appearance! Not to mention that wearing something that you feel great in can boost your office self-esteem. Don’t be afraid to express yourself through your clothes (within reason) and wear some fun things to work.

Thanks to Angeline for having me on the blog today! Please check out my blog, J’s Everyday Fashion, for new fashion inspiration and how-to articles everyday! – Best, J.

Visit J, my fellow Floridian (well, almost Floridian for me) over at J's Everyday Fashion.


  1. Can you give some tips on WHERE to shop? Especially for jackets..

  2. Honestly I feel like this is the most succinct and simple to follow directions for dressing at the office that I've ever seen! Great summary! :)

    And Laiken - I suggest places such as LOFT, NY&Co, Express, and Banana Republic. They all have great work clothes and usually have either a big sale or an awesome coupon to use so you don't have to pay full price.

  3. It's good to see you here! Most of my outfits start with whatever I'm wearing to cover the bottom half of my body so tip #2 resonated with me. I really like the second photo in the top row. Do you keep your skirts in drawers. I hadn't thought of that, but it would save on closet space.

  4. I really loved this post and it's great timing for me. I'm starting a new corporate job after being in grad school, so I have a whole new wardrobe to shop for. I was feeling really overwhelmed until I saw the tip about creating a uniform. I've heard that before, but it always seemed like a really boring idea. Those pictures show it doesn't have to be. And I love cardigans and skirts, so I might start there. Thanks for the tips!

  5. Thanks everyone! Glad you enjoyed it!

    Lalken, I agree with the commenter below you - some great places to start are LOFT, Express, Limited and Banana. I share what I buy every month, including info on coupons, etc. (it's meant to be a how-to on every aspect of dressing well on a budget) so you may want to follow to get all my shopping tips!

    Terri, I do keep my skirts in a drawer. Definitely saves on closet space! :-)

  6. This was incredibly useful, thank you! I have been dressing myself in the corporate world for almost 10 years now, and this makes me want to go home right now and reassess my closet.

    Also - skirts in drawers! I am having one of those "why didn't I think of that" moments.

  7. I love how much color you wear to work. I wear it too, and it's so nice to not be boxed in by neutrals!

  8. Great post!

    I actually planned out my outfits for the week this afternoon! Now I'll probably be at work early all week!

  9. I lovelove this post! I dress business formal in my job - and I'm the only 24 year old I know that does (of my friends). Shopping and finding outfits can be so difficult when you don't have anyone to consult with! I think express is one of my favorites, but you can spend a pretty penny on a simple blouse. I'm always looking for new ideas/shopping locations. Thank you for this post! I lovelove it!


  10. really enjoyed all the pics and good advice! i was just feeling a real rut in my wardrobe. :) thanks!

  11. Fabulous.! Very nice on creating a uniform. This could help me because I am about to go to interview by next month. Thanks for the tips.

  12. I'm struggling with outfits with button up collard shirts. They are all the same everyday. ideas?

  13. Fashion consultant are the best in this. They know what you should in which moment. They will continuously give you advise about clothe and fashion. For this i thing you should find a best fashion consultant for your self.


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