Work Wear Tips to Break Business Casual

Oh guys. This has been a long time coming. The next time I have the bright idea to pick up an eight week volunteer program, and freelance writing gig, someone just slap me. So, I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity and great experience to get involved and do free advertising for non-profits in St. Louis, and then in the midst of that opportunity, take on a freelance copywriting project that needed to be complete in oh, a week. No, not a great experience. Let’s try, most awful experience. Needless to say, I’ve been slacking on my blog, and I do apologize…again.

Now let’s move on to the actual purpose of this post: office attire!

So business casual and I don’t really get along all too well. Being one of two female employees under the age of 30, I’d say I’m the most “adventurous” when it comes to work wear. But like I’ve said a hundred times before, balance is everything. If you’re like me and strive to stretch the definition of business causal, make sure you damn well find a balance, otherwise you’re going to find yourself in a rather uncomfortable conversation with your supervisor.

So how does one achieve balance between business causal and fashion forward? With an exceptionally high credit card limit!

Just kidding. I create balance utilizing accessories, semi-casual tops, layers, shoes, hair styling, and of course, the loose/fit rule.

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Madonna, Prince, Jerry Seinfeld?

I was pleasantly surprised to get so much versatility out of this top, wearing as a v-neck crossover, and as pictured, button-up crew neck. However, every time I wear this top this way; although I act confident in my style decision, I still feel like Jerry Seinfeld in ‘puffy shirt.’

Tip #1: Wear pieces with versatility.

I bought this top specifically for work and while I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it at the time of purchase, I found several ways to wear this top; even coming up with a few new outfits. Whether you’re rummaging through your closet for something to wear or shopping around, think about what ways you can wear an item differently. Can you wear it with pants? Shorts? A skirt? Can you wear it outside of work? Would you want to wear it outside of work? Does it look good as is? Does it look better tucked in?

Think about the added benefit, besides it just being really effing cute.

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Tip #2: Give your traditional work wear a twist.

Making simple styling changes to your  traditional styles can really add some wow to your work wear. E.g. Instead of just tucking in (or instead of not tucking in at all), try tucking in the front of the button-up and leaving the tail out. It’s simple, subtle, and totally hip in my opinion. Jazz-up your outfits with different heels, booties, and accessories for fresh looks (when you don’t want to buy clothes for work, you have to get creative to refresh an outfit).

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Tip #3: Let loose.

If traditional collared-shirts don’t tickle your fancy, try flannels, plaids, or patterns and prints. I also do this style with long t’s when I’m feeling extra casual (which, let’s be honest, is everyday).

Side Story:

At the time of this shoot, I wasn’t feeling very enthused or excited. So when Taylor Swift’s ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’ came on, I started to forget concern with what looks good and just groove. All of the sudden this shoot didn’t seem so staged, and I was happier with just being myself. Hence, the ‘what-the-hell-is-she-doing?’ pose.

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Tip #4: Layer

I will never forget my discussion with my mentor about women’s “fashion” (quotes because he doesn’t understand fashion, especially women’s, but I digress). He said, “The older women get, the baggier their clothing becomes.” I shot him my skeptical brow and he countered, “It’s true, just wait, you’ll be wearing baggy shawls too.” I hate to admit that he was right, because it was much sooner than I would have expected, although not for the same reasons as he explained. Perhaps it’s because of a long-standing trend, like the skinny jean phenomenon; but I am totally drawn to loose fitting, flowy, comfortable tops, paired with skinny jeans or leggings. And it’s not because I can’t wear the tiny, tight-fit, “young” clothes anymore; like yeah, I’ll still rock that shit. But what I’m attracted to is the harmony and the balance between the loose and the fit. I love layering these tops and I love creating different looks with them.

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Tip #5: Let loose part two.

You know the scenario, you see something on Instagram, in the store, on some 16 year old, and you think, I could never wear that. And then you move one. But I say experiment. Even if you think it’s going to be funky, just give it a try. This dress, I saw it and I was like omg, that’s really cute. But I also worried, will that look terrible on me? Will I get shit because I’m wearing a dress with massive roses on it? And I did, Pete called me Jezebel for the better half of the evening that I first wore this dress. But then something happened. I started receiving compliments from co-workers about my dress, and even though I loved the way the dress looked, it was just that extra support that really made me happy that I made the purchase and took the risk. Anytime there’s a new trend, or a style I’m just not really sure about, I try it out, because why not? There’s only one of two outcomes. You’ll either confirm that a look is totally ghastly or surprisingly on-point. Not only does this mentality apply to your style senses; the same is true for life. We’re so confined to what we know and what we’re used to and comfortable with. Try just to see what happens, experiment, let loose, and learn.

#lifelessons y’all.

Side Story Two: I ordered a ton of clothes that I’m super stoked about wearing to work these days, however, I received them post photo shoot, so I will just post  those outfits on Instagram as they come along. Holler if you see something you like!

 

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