For most of us, a majority of our waking hours are spent working at whatever career we occupy. For the fashionistas out there, this creates a limited amount of time that we can literally wear WHATEVER we want! So Monday through Friday, we need to embrace dress code restrictions and take creative liberty to make it our own.
I find myself often on two sides of the spectrum: either getting stuck in a rut wearing the same old things OR staring into the abyss of my closet wondering what to wear. With that being said, I wanted to dedicate a blog post to career wear! And provide a little inspiration and practical tips on how you can dress fashionably and show your style in your work place!
Fashion tips for mastering career wear in any professional setting:
Embrace your personal style, in a different way! I tend to seperate my clothes in two categories: my work clothes and my real clothes. However, I don't think the lines have to be so black and white. Blend elements of your personal style into your professional dress. If your style tends to do be more girly, throw on a ruffled tank under a blazer or add pearls to any outfit. If your style is more bohemian, add a scarf to a dress or long pendants to any outfit.
Dress comfortably! Nothing worse than being stuck in an uncomfortable outfit ALL day! I personally love wearing dresses. Heals are great, but all day, no thanks. There are so many great flats out there these days that are work appropriate. I love a good pointed-toe flat!
Be flexible and openminded! I can oftentimes find myself in a rut, wearing the same dresses to work over and over again, simply because they are easy go-tos. Think about different blouses you could pair with skirts or maybe even different sweaters. Or think of ways you can layer different pieces, like a sleeveless dress paired with a button up with a heavy sweater overtop.
Make it a convertible outfit! The best work outfits are the ones that you can make casual for after work happy hour or dress up for date night. For the outfit featured, I could easily make it more casual by adding knee high boots and a jean jacket. Or more dressy, by adding a leather jacket and heals.
In the outfit featured, I'm wearing a fit and flare dress from the Loft, two-tone jacket from Ann Taylor, and funky leopard skin flats from Banana Republic. All complete with a statement necklace from J. Crew and a leather tassel clutch/cross body from Banana Republic. The dress, jacket, and clutch are all very similar shoes. Whenever I choose to go the matchy-matchy route, I always like to throw a different pattern or hue in there to mix things up.
Dress- $16 The Loft (originally $79.50) Buy it HERE!
Shoes- $15 Banana Republic (originally $118) Ones similar HERE!
Two-tone jacket - $25 Ann Taylor (bought at a resale shop with tags! originally $150) One similar HERE!
Leather Tassel Clutch - $40 Banana Republic
Tortoise Necklace - $10 J. Crew Factory (originally $56.50) Ones similar HERE!
Being a teacher, I don't like to wear super nice clothes to work. Spending 8 hours with thirty 8-year-olds often ends up messy, dirty, and germy. However, if I pay next to nothing for my clothes, it turns out not to be that big of a risk! If you notice, I only paid $16 for my dress and $25 for the jacket. These steals were all about what I like to call the HIDDEN SALE! This is when you go shopping and an item might not appear to be on sale, but it actually is! My frugal secret to finding the hidden sale is ASK, ASK, ASK! When I was at the Loft, I saw this dress alone on a rack, there were no others similar, It had no price tag, so I had the cashier look up the price and it ended up being $16! Similarly, the jacket I found at the resale shop had a small stain at the bottom. I asked the clerk if I could get a discount, knowing I could easily remove the stain, and I ended up getting an extra 30% off! As I tell my students, "You don't know, if you don't ask!"
Frugal Tip: If you find a piece you love that is not priced, or that has some sort of a defect, ask! You'll be surprised at the deep discounts you can find!