Friday, August 1, 2014

Shopping Help: Pieces for Office to Casual

You guys, I have workwear on the brain.  However, it's pretty unwarranted because my job is so dang casual.  It's not the first time I've said that, and if you've been reading this blog for any amount of time you've probably picked up that I still like to look put-together even if I'm allowed to wear denim shorts, flip flops, and t-shirts to meetings.  

That said, I was inspired to find pieces that worked for an office and could easily transition to casual wear.  

Besides wanting to scratch my own itch for office wear, I have readers write quite often saying that even though there's the Wardrobe From Scratch list, they still don't know what kinds of pieces to get.  I thought it might be helpful to show pieces that have dual use, like all the ones below.

I used the easiest barometer of determining work vs. casual wear, which was pretty much, "Can this be tucked into a pencil skirt or worn with trousers/khakis for work?" and "Can it be paired with dark wash jeans and cute flats for casual?" While there are more ways to put together work and casual outfits than with those basics, like I said, I used the most basic possible pairings for the two different scenarios just as a quick test to see if it could work for both situations.  (Based on Part 2 of the Building a Remixable Wardrobe Series.)

Also, many of these are from H&M and LOFT.  LOFT is having a 50% off sale with code FIFTY.  H&M is offering free shipping until 8/10 with code 1991

Sleeveless Blouses:  Option 1  |  Option 2  |  Option 3
All of these are incredibly easy to wear, whether in an office environment or with jeans for a put-together casual look.  They have special detailing, whether it's a tie-neck or pleats, that take them up a notch so that you don't have to work as hard to look like you've got it together.  I totally love #1 and while #3 is just a plain black top, the pleats make it so pretty!

Notes: Option 3 comes in white.

Sleeves:  Option 4  |  Option 5  |  Option 6
Same idea as above, but with sleeves.  These are great to transition from summer to fall, and definitely through the spring also.  Option 4 is a fun top to wear with its vibrant colors, while the other two are great neutrals made interesting with subtle patterns.

Notes: Option 6 comes in 2 colors.

Nicer Than Tees:  Option 7  |  Option 8  |  Option 9
These probably lend themselves to more casual tops compared to the first row.  But they can totally be made office-appropriate paired with business casual staples like a pencil skirt and cardigan or a blazer and trousers or khakis.

Notes: Option 7 comes in a solid mustard yellow.  Option 9 has cool burnout detailing that makes it better than a normal tee, even though it pretty much is a tee.  Also comes in navy and ivory.

Dresses:  Option 10  |  Option 11  |  Option 12
And some dresses to go from work to the weekend!  Sandals or flats for the weekend--easy.  Blazers or a cardigan and wedges or heels for work.  Again, easy, right?

Notes: Option 10 comes in eggplant.

Anyone else got back to school / back to work / back to fall shopping on the brain?


  1. I am a new reader to your blog and wanted to tell you how much I enjoy it. I recently had my first baby, so I loved the maternity post. I don't yet have fall shopping on the brain yet as I live in Canada and I feel winter just ended. *sigh* Thanks for the awesome posts!


  2. I hate the idea of having to buy "work clothes" and "play clothes," and try to adopt the same mentality as you for my wardrobe! I try to buy things that can be dressed up for work or dressed down for weekends, and it's been such a great way to shop for me! The new school I'll be working at this year seems to have a little bit more of a formal dress code, so I'm hoping that what's in my closet currently will still fit the bill... I think I'll have to pick up a couple more blouses, though. The options you've listed here look like excellent pieces for me to check out!! :)

  3. Love love love your blog! We're going to miss you when baby comes along! Best wishes!

  4. Every time I shop the first thing that comes up to mind is "can I wear this to work?" Love the H&M polka dot sleeveless blouse!


  5. I need more sleeveless blouses in my life! I get warm and cold easily, so I like a sleeveless blouse with a button up cardigan that I can unbutton for A breeze when I get hot! I love mix and matching pieces like these that you've posted. I don't believe I've read the wardrobe from scratch, so that's next on my list.

  6. This is great! I am a teacher and my first teaching job is in a classroom that does not have AC and we have some hot/humid Midwest weather, so sleeveless blouses is something I'm in the hunt for. Plus, I am all for versatility and I love both of these stores (and sales never hurt!) and I happen to be going to a town that has both of these today :) Thanks!!

  7. congrats on being in top 31 LA bloggers x

  8. Ooh, I own and love Option 11 from Loft! The super helpful sales associate noticed I was browsing for dresses and had looked past that dress...she told me it looked nothing special and potentially rather shapeless on the hanger, but recommended that I try it on, because it fits great and looks super cute on. She was totally right! I love wearing it with gold jewelry and my target gold strapped flat sandals!


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