Thursday, 4 April 2019

Business Casual Workwear for Spring

For me, Pinterest and blogs are great sources of fashion inspiration, except for when it comes to workwear. I've always worked in government or non-profit offices with a business casual dress code, yet most of the workwear photos I see online are from bloggers who don't work 9-5s and can't relate to what the average woman can actually show up to the office wearing. Sorry, but I can't wear jeans, 4 inch stilettos, leather clothing, or sleeveless shirts to work haha! That, or it's targeted for people who work in finance in big cities and wear business formal, or in fashion where they can get away with some over the top outfits. OR it's the same neutral outfits over and over again. OR it reminds me of Season 1 Pam from The Office.

I'm just about to start a new job, so I've been looking at a lot of clothing online to get ideas for work outfits. I'm trying to strike a balance between professional but also fashionable and true to my style. Two years ago I did a blog post on outfits for internships (back when I was a student). Honestly, my work style hasn't changed much since then - I would still wear most of the pieces that I included in that post. I thought it would be fun to do an updated post with items that are currently available online and in store.

Please let me know if you'd like to see posts similar to this in the future!

Note: I understand that some of these items are pricy. I wouldn't buy the majority of these items full-priced! If it's from Banana Republic, Gap, or J.Crew, wait for it to go on sale. I didn't include anything from H&M or Old Navy because I find that work clothing from these stores lasts for about a season and then I end up having to repurchase the item (the same can be said for some of my Gap purchases). If you have a limited budget, look for items on sale and buy neutral colours that you can mix and match. That way you can get away with buying less items. A work wardrobe is something that you can build up over time, so don't feel the need to buy everything all at once.

Shoes - While I love heels, the majority of women in my office don't wear them on a daily basis. However, sometimes I feel like I need heels to "balance" an outfit, especially if I'm wearing cropped pants. I just bought these heeled sandals from Aldo, which are very similar to a style carried by J.Crew Factory, also linked below. They're perfect for work because they have a low, chunky heel so they're comfortable and easy to walk in. I also love ballet flats, especially paired with dresses and skirts.

Tops - Stick to neutral colours so that you can mix and match! If you already have a lot of neutral tops then you can mix things up with a fun floral print. I just purchased this cardigan from BR and it's made from the softest material! It will be great with blouses and dresses in an air-conditioned office. I can't use the widget to link anything from Aritzia, but this sleeveless top is great for layering under a cardigan or blazer. It would pair great with this lightweight open blazer, also from Aritzia.

Skirts - LOFT has an amazing selection of business casual skirts with fun patterns and textures. I always get compliments when I wear mine!  I like how they're on the longer side.

Dresses - I LOVE shirt dresses because they're dressy enough for work, but can be worn casually on the weekends, to nice dinners etc. Very multipurpose.

Pants - I just bought these pants in an olive colour, which don't seem to be available online. They will be great for pairing with all of my black, navy, and cream coloured blouses. I bought the regular length and they're cropped but not overly short on me. Banana Republic now lets you select the length of pant (short, regular, and tall)! As well, they have an amazing selection of different fits, so you're sure to find something that you like. I also bought these patterned pants. The material is more sturdy than the plain coloured pants in black and navy, which makes them feel dressier.

Accessories - I pretty much wear pearl earrings, a delicate silver necklace, and simple silver rings every day, but sometimes I like to switch things up with a chunky gold necklace or dangly earrings.

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