July 15, 2011

Four Easy Office Style Secrets

Plan ahead - a week's worth of outfits





















Getting dressed for work can be monotonous, tedious and even downright frustrating at times. 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:

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.

J's Picks:
New York and Company Fitted Pencil Skirt with Flared Back, $39.95
Express Studio Stretch Wide Waistband Editor Pant, $59.90
Limited Wide Waistband Pencil Skirt, $59.90

Focus on 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!

J's Picks:
Gap Embroidered Peasant Skirt, $59.95
Ann Taylor Polished Cotton Corseted Skirt, $69.99
Limited Full Pleated Skirt, $69.90

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!

J's Picks:
Old Navy Women's V-neck Cardigans, $24.94
Banana Republic Jewel Button Cardigan, $59.90
LOFT Crew Neck Cardigan, $39.50

Have 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.

J's Picks:
Express Ruffle Front Button Down Blouse, $49.90
Limited Drew Safari Ankle Pant, $69.90
LOFT Tiger Safari Print Woven Skirt, $69.50

This is a guest post for Shecky's.com and The New Professional.

75 comments:

  1. Can I just steal all these work outfits please? Thanks.

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  2. Great post!  These are some fantastic tips.  Planning ahead is key when getting dressed.  I am also not a morning person. I try to plan my outfits on Sunday afternoons for the week. Sometimes they get modified throughout the week, but I have the basics and a good start.

    My work uniform is probably pencil skirts, heels, and fun printed tops.

    Thanks for sharing this. I am sure it will be quite helpful to others.

    http://www.hkstylejourney.blogspot.com/

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  3. What a great post! Def helped me out - just started a new job and these are such great ideas! J - you really do rock!!

    xo Nav
    http://navlandstyle.blogspot.com/

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  4. I love these outfits! Im having a hard time finding cute skirts that aren't too short or too long. Where do you suggest I look for them? I have tried limited, gap, TJMaxx....

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  5. Great post J!!  Always love your work outfits. You have inspired me to do better.

    Any blogs out there you read religiously to get inspiration yourself?

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  6. These are great tips J! Love pencil skirts. :) Another tip I go by is if I do repeat an outfit, I always change up the jewelry or shoes--or throw on a scarf--and it's not a repeat anymore!

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  7. These tips are so great! Just graduating from college and trying to find what is appropriate for the work place is tough but your tips are so helpful! I am going to have to purchase some more cardigans and pencil skirts! =]

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  8. I've always been one to lay out my clothes the night before, but I like your idea to plan out the whole week's outfits.  I'll definitely try that once school starts up again.

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  9. Great post, J! The Editor pant from Express is a staple in my work wardrobe...the fit is great! I always struggled to find a quality pair of dress pants with a low rise and flare leg until I recently tried these & now I can't get enough!!! Also, I love what you said about how wearing great clothes can boost your self-esteem at work. I've really noticed this as I have been taking more time to put myself together, my confidence has come out in the office!!

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  10. Great tips

    http://amyfashionblog52.blogspot.com/

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  11. I love the "create a uniform" suggestion. My coworker was telling me this week how I have a very distinct work style. That is, I mostly wear a pencil skirt, blouse with a tie or ruffles, blazer and high heels. Although I occasionally mix in a dress, I have a personal work style and do not see any reason to change it anymore!

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  12. What a great post! I love pencil skirts too. They are the best for my body and are so incredibly versatile. I love how you belt your skirt and cardigans, it is always the perfect finishing touch! I've been adding more belts to my wardrobe because of you! And I like the idea of having a "uniform" which also will make stressful mornings easier! 

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  13. I love this post, it was what I was looking for, thank you

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  14. jseverydayfashionJuly 15, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    Thanks Emily! I think I'm staring a belt revolution. I am so addicted to them!

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  15. jseverydayfashionJuly 15, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Thank you indygal! I agree that the Editor pants at Express are pretty amazing. They have some great colors in right now. And cheers to getting more confidence at work, I love that!

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  16. jseverydayfashionJuly 15, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Great tip Casey! Those are such easy changes and can totally change the look of an outfit.

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  17. jseverydayfashionJuly 15, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    Thanks Stephanie! I have a Google Reader full of blogs but I have to say that I'm fairly unsatisfied with the selections of fashion blogs out there. For the most part they are either way too fancy and unobtainable or are hard to read/bad quality, so that's why I started this one! I literally show you where I'm getting my inspiration from each day though, so those are my main sources for getting creative! (the source for the photos are always in the caption)

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  18. jseverydayfashionJuly 15, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    Thanks Julie! Are you mostly having problems with the skirts being too long, or too short? (are you tall or petite?) I also recently found this amazing website that lets you CUSTOM order the clothes in any length or size you want, at no extra charge (!!). I'm trying it out myself, and then doing a post on it soon! http://www.eshakti.com/

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  19. jseverydayfashionJuly 15, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    *Whoops!* I was wrong - there is an extra charge, but still totally worth it if you are having a hard time finding clothes that fit! And $7.50 is cheaper than taking something to the tailor!

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  20. Great ideas!  You are soooo good at what you do!!

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  21. I love these ideas!!! Thank you for sharing these tips


    kikiscornerfunfashionandfrivolity.blogspot.com

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  22. Nyla @ PDXImmersionJuly 15, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    I just had to re-post this to my blog (pdximmersion.tumblr.com). I waste so much time in the
    morning looking for things to wear. And because I work in an office I
    have to be aware of what I'm wearing. These are great ideas above.

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  23. First of all, thank you for stopping by Bravoe Runway :)  These are some great tips on what pieces to first purchase and how to create looks.  Whether you are just starting out or you are a career veteran, at a certain point, most people start to run out of ideas.  Great post and I love The New Professional!

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  24. jseverydayfashionJuly 15, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    Thank you so much Nyla! I appreciate you sharing the article with your friends and fans!

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  25. jseverydayfashionJuly 15, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    You are more than welcome! I do notice when you guys comment on a regular basis and I really appreciate it. I really liked your blog! This post will be up on the New Professional next week, and she's stopping in Orlando so I think we are grabbing coffee too! Fun, fun!

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  26. I found your blog just before I started a new job (6 weeks ago) where I found myself returning to an office for the first time in 3 years.  Your blog is daily inspiration for me and my wardrobe.  I keep a spreadsheet of what I wear and then rank each outfit, if it gets at 1 or a 2 (I've had a couple).  I make a note on why it didn't work and then work to incorporate it into an outfit that does work.  I'm having so much more fun dressing for work.  Keep up the great work.  And I so need to get brave enough to add more white into my wardrobe!

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  27. This is so inspirational. I will have to print it out and hang it on the inside of my closet door! I am really adoring the pleated white skirt. Does that still exist at BR?

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  28. Really enjoyed your post today!!! it was very informative for people like myself. I lack creativity,  and life is a whole lot easier doing things like establishing a uniform. 

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  29. I love your style and how you can make pull so many different looks out of your closet. When I saw that post I was shocked! I was convinced you had some spare room in your house will wall to wall racks!!!
    @d3bec4df0b78f0b5a322ca16ffd4dd7f 
    Love your style and your blog. Thank you for being so inspiring.

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  30. FANTASTIC POST! I love each and every outfit. I need to take notes from you...like now!

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  31. Thanks for creating this post! I just started my first real job out of college today and I'm having a hard time creating a new work wardrobe. This is super helpful! 

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  32. that's super cool, thanks for the tips

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  33. i can't tell you how much i like posts like this and how helpful this is for me in my line of work in which i'm still trying to define my own "uniform" and what works best for me on a daily basis. you have so many wonderful inspirational photos to choose from and i hope to reference many of them when i try to plan some outfits for next week!  thanks j!

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  34. jseverydayfashionJuly 15, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    Thank you TK! I I bought the pleated BR skirt at least two years ago, maybe more. I know I saw something like this recently so I will give you the link as soon as I remember! :-)

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  35. I already mentioned this on twitter, but I love this post and am going to bookmark it! I really need to get busy on buying belts and cardigans! I'll be living in Florida too(next Tuesday) so your outfits will kind of be going with the weather I'll be experiencing lol

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  36. Wow this is the best post ever. I emailed myself all those pictures. thanks a million! i'm excited already!

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  37. That's a great tip about buying neutral bottoms and shoes and having fun with the tops.  Debbie  http://thriftygirlvintage.com

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  38. Thank you for this great post J! You are my inspiration, I come home from work and read your blog and that motivates me to run to my closet and create! I thoroughly enjoy your blog because you are down to earth and your creations are attainable. It is so frustrating to view a fashion site and see an adorable outfit and then go into sticker shock when you see how much the items are. I love how you itemize your outfits, it is so helpful! My style would be capris and fun shirts, comfortable and classy!

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  39. i've been using lists for awhile now. not everyday but most. so helpful. love the uniform idea. thanks for sharing!

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  40. Love your fashion blog! Love your style...you inspire me to mix it up!  I have you bookmarked for sure!!!

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  41. This is pefect! I love this post, so inspiring and helpful! The outfits are so well-done. I recently started following your blog and have really enjoyed it. I also entered the blogging world a few weeks ago and would love to share a link to this post of yours if that's ok. I'd love for you to check it and let me know what you think! xx
    www.alltheshinypieces.com

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  42. Thanks, J! What a great post. Quick question: What is your rule of thumb for suit/shoe combos? I work in a fairly conservative industry where the bold color/print shoe won't do. What color shoes do you recommend for black, navy, and brown suits? Their are so many opinions out there; I'm interested to hear your take...

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  43. These are excellent tips! I'm most creative when I prepare my work clothes the night before rather than rushing in the morning. I have a very casual office environment where jeans are acceptable not just on Friday's, but I like to dress things up in pencil skirts, slacks, and fun tops to show my personality and style.

    Janell
    www.fashionableyoubyj.blogspot.com

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  44. jseverydayfashionJuly 16, 2011 at 9:07 PM

     Thanks DP! I think you could wear pretty much any neutral shoe with those suit colors. For black, I would wear black or gray shoes (and by gray you could do light gray, or charcoal suede, tons of options!). For a navy suit I would do cognac brown, nude, taupe or black in the winter. Brown suits really depend in the shade. If it's a camel color you could go with dark brown, and I also wonder if you could get away with the mustard pumps I wear? They aren't a "bright" yellow, they are very muted, so something like that could also work with all 3 suit options!

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  45. jseverydayfashionJuly 16, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    Thanks Mae! Definitely feel free to share the link. I will check it out!

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  46. BrazenbeautyeditorJuly 17, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    I totally cannot get dressed in a rush either!! Awesome post!!

    http://brazenbeautyeditor.blogspot.com

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  47. Love this post!!  I have been getting so monotonous in my office attire and really needed some inspiration and this gave me just that!  I love pencil skirts too, so much more comfortable to sit in all day than slacks, so that has definitely become my office uniform. Thanks so much for the tips J!

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  48. This is an awesome post! Practical tips with some styling inspiration. I definitely love planning my five outfits on Sunday. 

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  49. Smart and well-written. Great ideas!

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  50. I love this post!  As a corporate attorney I get bogged down in the monotony of work attire, but when I spend the time to think about what I am going to wear, it really makes a difference in my day.  You provided some great ideas to add to the mix.

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  51. Thank you for this, I have never planned my outfits for the week let alone the next day. I have always believed in let your mood tell you what to dress so instead I end up not wearing a lot of clothes in my closets. 

    Great style!

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  52. jseverydayfashionJuly 19, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    FT, I still think your "mood' that day is HUGE consideration when getting dressed. But if you have 7 (or more! different outfits to choose from, the chances are there will be one to suit your mood. You can also start with that basic idea you came up with previously and add maybe a scarf or a different jacket depending on your mood that day!

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  53. J, thanks for this great post.  I start work in September and I can't tell you how much time I waste running around trying on different things and then adding the right jewelry.  When I finally run out the door and I'm in my car I end up thinking about what else I could've worn or that I should've put on the gold hoops instead of the teardrop earrings.  This post is great, keep them coming.

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  54. OMG these work outfits are to DIE for. Love your creativity and style. You have been giving me a lot of inspiration to work with the bright colors I already have in my closet.

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  55. I love these ideas! These are great! I love putting together fun unique work outfits just like you do & I think it's a waste to dress is drab work clothes... who says work has to be boring!? Lol :) 

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  56. I love these ideas! These are great! I love putting together fun unique work outfits just like you do & I think it's a waste to dress is drab work clothes... who says work has to be boring!? Lol :) 

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  57. This is such a great post J.  Thanks!

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  58. I was just wondering.  What do you do when the weather gets cooler since you wear a skirt to work most days?  

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  59. Ashley, I live in Orlando so it's usually more of a struggle to stay cool than stay warm. :-) That said, I lived in Boston for 4 years which required me to wear pants (usually jeans) most days. I try to  show a balance on the blog and during the winter I post some cold-weather looks even if it's way too hot to wear them!

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  60. I could die. GREAT post J!!!!! I'm working at my first full-time job from college, and I feel so unprofessional sometimes with what I'm wearing. Luckly my office is VERY informal and we are allowed to wear jeans every week day, but I still feel like the college kid every know and then. DEFINITELY going shopping this weekend and taking your suggestions. Thanks, J!

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  61. Love this entire post. Amazing tips. 

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  62. This is very helpful! Thank you!

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  63. These are great tips, thank you so much for sharing!  I find office style blog posts really few and far between, so these are really appreciated.

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  64. any advise for 50 year olds??  im a young 50, size 2 and i love all of your clothes.  its really hard to know whats the right fashion at my age.

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  65. I think at any age it's important to wear clothes that fit and flatter your body, but it is even more important when you are in your 50's! It sounds like clothes fit you pretty well off the rack, but if not I would invest in a good tailor. Beyond that I think it's totally fine to wear lots of color and show some flare if that's your thing. Almost all of the outfits in this post would work well for a 50 year old in my opinion! :-)

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  66. Wow! Thank you so much for this advice! I think you are soooo right about finding bottoms and shoes first. I think I hate doing that because I'm a little on the heavier size. However, your right! As long as you have shoes and a bottom to put on, the fun stuff will fall into place:) Thank you. Now, time to spend a little money on  me.

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  67. I just found your so-inspiring website from somewhere fashion-related blog. Didn't expect that your postings were actually more than just typical collection of  "wardrobe-showing-off" photos (just like most of fash-blogs I knew). 
    Keep it updated, because I must say that your website influences me much in boosting the smart shopping and mix-matching outfits that I used to ignore... Take care! xx 

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  68. Thanks Amelia, welcome to the blog! :-)

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  69. I  have the limited leaf print skirt and I always wear it with the same black cardigan or black jacket...now I want to wear with all the colors you wore with it! I love your blog!!

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  70. Seriously, this is AMAZING! I am such a t-shirt and shorts or jeans kind of girl, and I am about to start student teaching. I have been freaking out about buying a whole new wardrobe, but seriously, you just made this seem so much more manageable and affordable! Thank you so much and I hope you continue this blog! Its awesome! You have so many great ideas!

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  71. THANK YOU. As someone who just graduated college wearing sweatpants and various tshirts everyday I had no clue what to wear for an interview, let alone working everyday, this is a great starting place!

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  72. My new favorite blog!  Thank you!

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  73. This is my favourite post. I am so happy I found your blog. You have inspired me!

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  74. This is amazing! Thanks for the inspiration :) I'm a re-entering teacher in my mid 20s; I want to look my age as well as professional. Thank you!!

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