Well… I have officially gone back to work. Yep. I am no longer a “stay at home mom” (which actually excites me more than it probably should). I have traded in my jeans and t-shirts for slacks and blouses. I am a nine to fiver these days and my office? A business casual setting in the city. I am sure many of you Nosey Rosies are wondering where I am working. I am back at the family biz working for The Knife with Michelle and my brother, among some other great gals I am so happy to be sharing my days with. It is quite a triumphant return considering my father fired me 20 years ago. More than once. That is neither here nor there because….. I’m BAAAAAaaaaaaccccCCCCCKKKK! I commute to and from work by train. Haven’t done this in nearly two decades. I must admit the time alone among the working class is delightful! My choice of work attire has changed quite a bit since I was in my late teens and early twenties. I swear I never thought I would be this girl but I am now opting for fashionable comfort over super fashionable pain. Back in the day you could find me walking to my office from Union Station wearing a high ass pair of pumps. No more of that nonsense. I am older and more sensible I guess. In my travels to the office my eyes fall upon a lot of comfort that ain’t cute. Tragic really. Comfort and sensibility does not need to mean boring and ugly. You do not need to opt for comfort by looking like a huge office frumperdoodledoo. I would never! Looking put together is not as hard as one would think. Let me help you by advising you on your biz cas attire. In order to look good in your business casual setting there are a number of essential wardrobe pieces you need. Having these pieces will help make getting ready for work in the mornings exciting because you will have exactly the wardrobe pieces you need to interchange throughout the work week.
MUCHO IMPORTANTE. Listen to Mommy. Whenever I talk about essential wardrobe pieces, staples, I make a big deal about spending a decent amount of money on your staple pieces. There is a very good reason for this. You want what you spend your hard earned money on to last you a few seasons. You get what you pay for. Plain and simple. Once you have your nice essential pieces then you can go out and buy semi decent pieces (even some cheap shit) to mix and match them with. For those of you who don’t need to budget for your work wardrobe, up yours!
Here are the pieces you need in your business casual work wardrobe this fall in order to look put together and feel fashionably relevant.
Pants. There are 2 styles of pants you need for your seasonal business casual wardrobe. The legging and the trouser. I prefer a classic wide legged trouser myself. The third option would be in addition to the others. The cropped pant. It is a staple in my wardrobe but you can get by without if you don’t have the money to spend. Think about this, though. You are going to be interchanging these pantaloons all week long for the next 6 months or so. In my opinion, I say get all three because you need ’em.
- The Legging
- The Trouser
- The Cropped Pant
The Blazer. You don’t need to go bonkers and buy yourself a ton of blazers for your biz casual office. One plain, classic, relaxed fitting blazer will do the trick. I suggest buying yourself a blazer that has some length so it covers up your dupa. Ain’t no one want to see your big ass in those leggings unless it is covered up by your blazer/sweater/blouse. This piece will be worn with your leggings, cropped pant, on casual Friday’s with a pair of killer jeans and even with your trousers if the two pair well. You need to be careful with that marriage though. A relaxed fit blazer with a wide legged pant could have you looking clownish. I advise you to stay neutral and classic with the color and material. A tweed blazer, for example, is great but I suggest incorporating something like that once you have a solid one already hanging in your closet.
Sweaters. Fall is sweater season. I don’t know about your office but mine is on the warmer side. I like to layer my sweaters just in case the old man bebops the heat on high and I feel like I am wearing a parka at the beach. Cardigans are great staples for the office wardrobe (I suggest buying two in different colors because you will wear them). I also suggest investing in a nice wrap sweater and a nice crew/v-neck sweater. You will wear them all. I love me some ribbed sweaters, BTW. The texture adds a little something to your ensemble and it also tends to wear well. Remember… you are going to be wearing these pieces into the winter months so one sweater won’t benefit your cause. These pieces will be worn interchangeably with your pants, skirts, and possibly even a dress. Invest in nice sweaters that are classic and simple. If you can only afford one? Buy yourself a nice button free cardigan with a little length.
Tops and Blouses. This department is something you don’t necessarily need to go crazy on money wise. You can have fun with shirts, blouses and tops. Don’t spend a ton of money on tops with crazy prints or trends. If you decide to invest in staple tops, here is my advice… Get yourself a crisp white collared button down shirt along with a knit sleeveless mock turtleneck. The sleeveless mock will be worn with your blazers and cardigan sweaters. The look is cute. If you aren’t a button down type of gal then don’t waste your money. Some love ’em and some hate ’em. If you find you have problems with your buttons pulling due to your big giggly fun bags, try wearing your button down shirt with bras that snap in the front. Works for me. If you opt to wear a collared shirt to work make sure it is pressed. Please. I loathe wrinkles especially in a shirt that is supposed to crisp and clean. Looking like a slob in the workplace won’t score you any points with the boss. Oh, and I threw in a cute wrap blouse that could also be a staple piece in your work wardrobe.
Skirts. The dying business casual staple. Totally should not be. I haven’t seen one skirt worn in this office since I started back and quite honestly I think it is some business casual bullshit. You do not need to buy a classic pencil skirt in order to incorporate a skirt into your rotation. There are so many cute options these days that can be paired with a high or classic combat boot. In my opinion, an A-line skirt is a great option for all broads. Think about adding some leather or corduroy into your wardrobe. No better piece than the skirt to play with textures and materials. An above the knee skirt is not your only option, either. Go and try on some skirts with a little length. You may find this is the look you like best!
PS: There are skirts that go past the knee that don’t have you looking like a Jehovah’s Witness. Promise.
Dresses. Another essential piece that seems to have passed away in the office workplace? The dress. Ain’t no one sporting dresses anymore. WTF. I am going to bring these mammerjammers back along with the skirt. Simple and classic is best when shopping for a staple dress. Stay away from crazy prints and colors. When it comes to the fit, let’s keep in mind where you will be wearing this thing. The office not the club.
Shoes. The essential shoes for the season? If you can afford only one shoe this season then be sensible and buy a nice little pump. It is versatile and perfect for the office setting. The pump can also be worn with pants, skirts and dresses. If you have the means to grab a couple pairs of shoes then get yourself a shoe and some sort of boot. If you plan to wear a ton of dresses and skirts then get yourself a cute mid/tall boot. No heel necessary unless of course you want little height in the heel. If your style is a legging or fitted pant, get a great ankle boot. You can also wear a nice flat shoe with your pants and skirts.
Jacket. Once you have your wardrobe straightened out (praise the Lord), let’s not let it all go to shit the minute you put your outerwear on. For crying out loud, coats, jackets, and wraps are just as important as all of the other jazz you wear on your bodies. Buy yourself a nice something or another to wear outdoors during the fall months. Be warm in style and look like you are going to an actual paying job not begging for change on the street corner. My advice here is to purchase something that has length. You DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT wear a coat that is shorter than the clothes you have on underneath.
I tend to invest in black pieces. I am in the process of adding grey and other neutral staples to my business casual wardrobe. Buy what you love and feel comfortable with. Just keep it classic and neutral for these essential pieces. Mustard pants may not be hot next year.
Also, you may have pieces in your closet you love but just can’t figure out how to wear them well. GOOGLE is your friend! Search and find looks you like with similar pieces on the internet and replicate the look with what you have. Also, you can always take that blouse you love but have never been able to wear to Nordstrom (or wherever you like to shop) and have someone who knows a thing or two about style help you pick something out to pair it with.
I would like to dedicate this blog post to my sister and business partner, Michelle. She looks like half a hobo everyday and hopefully she will take my advice and stock her wardrobe with these essential pieces. The truth is, she asked me to write this because she is aware of her hot ass messiness and she is ready to go from H.A.M. to business casual glam!
Clothes featured in this post are from Aritzia (my favorite clothing store in all the land). While you are in the shopping mood check out my Fall Wardrobe Must haves… there is definitely some stuff you want and need!
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