One of my readers recently gave me some very important feedback – that she works in a casual environment and that, while my professional wardrobe posts are somewhat interesting, they don’t apply to her. This was really good to hear because I LOVE talking about how to protect and promote your image in the workplace – I don’t want to stop doing that. But I do want to do it in a way that helps more of my readers than just those who work in the corporate world like me. We’re not all the same, and less and less workplaces are requiring uber-business attire. I hear you – so let’s talk about what to wear to look classy yet casual at work.
Now remember, on this blog we’re always going for dressing 25% better than everyone else – not to be an asshole but to show your world that you mean business, that you take yourself seriously and that you respect your colleagues and your work. This doesn’t mean that you should scoff at jeans in a casual work environment where everyone else wears denim everyday. You don’t want to alienate yourself from colleagues or demonstrate a disregard for work culture. Wear the jeans! Just take the look up a notch. Here’s the punchline of how to do this: blazer, denim, heels (or structured flats), simple top, structured bag, lip color, and sunglasses. DONE.
No rips in your jeans, no weird washes, no jeggings, no bling. Just classy, well-fitting denim. To be a bit more playful, go with a patterned or printed blazer like this one I rented from my Rent the Runway monthly subscription. For more fashion-forward offices, you could even match a color-blocked shoe to the blazer or simple top like I’ve done here. Since my shoes and blazer were a touch flashier, I went with simple jewelry, but if I’d worn a black blazer and pumps, I could’ve gone with a statement necklace instead. Finally, I pushed up the sleeves on this look to draw your eye to my waistline – the narrowest part of me. A big pattern can make you look wider, so any little trick to de-emphasize that helps to pull it off.
P.S. That 25% better-dressed notion I mentioned above? Read my networking post to see where I first introduced this concept, and access the Forbes article here. It’s one of the best articles about workplace image I’ve ever read, ever.
P.P.S. My sweet puppy Bernie saw me shooting photos while on his afternoon walk and ran into my photo at the speed of light to give some love to his mama!
Jeans: Gap Factory (c/o) // Black tank: Banana Republic // Blazer: Derek Lam 10 Crosby (similar here) via Rent the Runway // Colorblock Pumps: Banana Republic (similar here) // Sunglasses: Chloe via Lehmann’s (similar here) // Handbag: vintage, my own (similar here)