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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Business Casual Attire: REMIX & REVIEWS from Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

As promised, I've got some business casual recommendations and reviews from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!  I went back to Nordstrom yesterday specifically to find work wear for yall.  I texted Benson afterwards saying, "If I needed more business casual clothes I'd totally go to Nordstrom for it."  Scroll down for the reviews!

Also, Nordstrom asked me to talk about the Anniversary Sale, and since I've been doing that anyway I of course said yes!  All that means is that in addition to showing you my business casual picks and reviewing items, I also got dressed up to style some of the items in "real" outfit pics for you today.  You can thank Nordstrom for the refreshing break from my phone selfies and for getting some outfit ideas!  :)

For sizing reference, I'm 5'6" with a shorter torso and normally S/M or 6/8.
business casual outfits one top 4 ways
I'm showing 4 ways to wear this beautiful sleeveless blouse.  At sale price it's still on the higher end of my comfort range for tops, but it is beautiful, looks sophisticated, and is versatile.  Also, it's machine washable and tumble dry low.  Soooo, if you want a beautiful top that is very easy to care for, here you go.  (Find it HERE.)

business casual outfit cobalt pumps

Business Casual Streamline with a Pop of Color
This is less on the casual and more on the professional side.  With black and white outfits I often love adding a pop of color in the shoes.  Any color would work here, but cobalt is my favorite!

These Karen Kane trousers are not part of the NSale (meaning you can get them now even if you're not a cardholder) but I must mention them because they're amazing.  They're a medium thickness to smooth out lumps, but they're super duper duper stretchy and hold shape.  Plus they make my rear look decent!  Find them HERE, my review HERE.  I got these in 8.

Shop for the Look:
Top: Nordstrom (exact--wearing M)
Pants: Nordstrom (exact)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)
Shoes Old Navy


business casual outfit bootcut jeans

Business Casual with Bootcut Jeans
This outfit utilizes other pieces that are part of the Nordstrom sale for a more casual office look.  I dressed down the blouse with this the knit blazer I've been talking about in olive (find HERE) and the bootcut jeans that I said also feel like yoga pants (find HERE).  Both the blazer and jeans are super stretchy but look way more professional than a sweatshirt and yoga pants.  Winning!  I also really like the silhouette of the top's high collar paired with this blazer.

Shop for the Look:
Top: Nordstrom (exact--wearing M)
Blazer: Nordstrom (exact--wearing S)
Jeans: Nordstrom (exact--wearing 8)
Shoes: H&M
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)

business casual outfit maroon jeans
business casual outfit purple pencil skirt

Business or Business Casual with Colored Bottoms
The next two outfits are the same except for the bottoms.  On the left I wore the Caslon jeans that are part of the NSale (HERE).  I LOVE maroon bottoms for work wear!  Maroon trousers also work, if you need to take the professionalism up a notch.

On the right I tucked the top into a colored pencil skirt.  I scored this Halogen pencil skirt second-hand and was pleasantly surprised by the quality.  I didn't realize how good of a score this was until I found out yesterday that it's part of the NSale this year, just not in this color.  (Full review of it below.)  It's such a good skirt!

Shop for the Look:
Top: Nordstrom (exact--wearing M)
Cardigan: H&M
Jeans: Nordstrom (exact--wearing 28)
Skirt: Nordstrom (exact--wearing 6 or 8..see below)
Shoes: H&M
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)

I really love this top and wish I had to do business casual more often just to wear it more.  I'll probably do one of the outfits with jeans first since those are more casual.  Anyway, on to the reviews of more business casual items from the NSale!

My picks are in the widget below.  If you can't see them, you might need to click out of Bloglovin' and onto the blog HERE.  Not all are reviewed, as I couldn't find them in store.






Pleat Back Top - showing S and M
This top is not part of the NSale, but it IS on sale and available to non-cardholders!  It tucks really nicely into skirts for work or dressier looks but also goes with jeans.  It has a simple silhouette for easy pairing, it drapes nicely, and it has a cute pleat detail in the back to make it a little special.  It's the same brand as my navy floral top a lot of you said you wanted from my NSale Tips post.  It's a slightly different cut, and that print still isn't available, but this top is available in lots of different cute prints.  You all need to trust me when I say the prints are all cuter in person.  I felt indifferent about them online, but when I saw them in store I was like, "Whoa okay...that's actually really cute!"

Above on the left I'm wearing S and on the right I'm wearing M.  I think S is better for me, as M has too much extra fabric.  In the widget above I highlighted 4 of my favorite prints/colors for this top.  See all versions HERE.


Ruffle Front Blouse - size M I think?
I really like this top, but not on me.  I think I'm wearing Medium, because I needed it to go over my wider hips but that made the shoulders too wide for me.  I'm guessing if you have smaller hips then this would fit better on you so that you could get a smaller size and have the shoulders hit you at the right place.  It looks cuter on the model!  Also available in yellow, maroon, and black.


Black and White Floral Blouse - size M
This is another look at the top I featured above.  It's got a pretty shirred mock neck and comes in other colors with this print like red, pink, and black.  The back has 3 gold buttons that I thought would be annoying to take on and off, but it turns out I can fit my head through even when they're buttoned.  Whew!  Again, this is machine wash and tumble dry low.  Sooo awesome.

Bell Cuff Blouse - showing S and M
This top was cute, but not very practical for me.  The sleeves were too tight on my forearm in S, so whenever I moved my arms it was uncomfortable.  Sizing up to M made the whole thing too big, seen in the second pic.  If you have pretty thin forearms this would probably work better.  It comes in a lot of beautiful colors HERE.


Contrast Trim Sleeveless Blouse - size S
I was surprised how much more I liked this on me than on the rack.  It fit great in S and looked sharp with black pants.  I have no need for it, but if I needed more business casual clothes I'd totally get this top.  It also comes in olive or cobalt.


Ponte Knit Pants - size 8
Another pair of super soft and super stretchy trousers!  I'd always shopped at LOFT, Banana Republic, Old Navy, etc. for trousers but it wasn't until this past year shopping at Nordstrom that I realized work pants could fit well AND be super freaking stretchy and comfortable.  How I wish I'd known earlier in life!

They're an ankle pant, but were still too long on me.  I rolled them up in the middle pic and they looked a lot better.  Like the Karen Kane black pants I talked about earlier, these are a medium thickness and these don't have front pockets either.  They are a skinnier fit on the leg than the Karen Kane pants.  The only thing that I don't like is on the front where the pants button, a little flap of material sticks out a bit instead of laying completely flat against my waist.  This could just be a "me" thing based on my body shape, so it's worth a try if you're in the market for black skinny work pants.  They are so good otherwise!  They also come in grey.


Halogen Pencil Skirt - 6...or 8 tailored
This is the skirt I'm wearing in purple above.  I love this tan color!  The purple one I got second-hand and was size 8 but needed tailoring.  Above in tan is size 6 which fit nearly perfectly.  I *might* prefer the 8 tailored, but those alterations are costly when a 6 fits nearly perfectly.

The material is nice and soft, and the skirt is thick and fully lined but has a little stretch.  Overall it's comfortable to wear.  The seaming accentuates curves in a good way...at least, on me.  Because of the thick material it also made my rear look decent!  YESSSS.  One downside is that it requires dry cleaning, but overall I think it's a great skirt, and at $45 on sale I think it's a very good buy.  Also comes in black.


Knit Jacquard Skirt - size 8
Above is shown on its own on the left, then if it were tailored on the right.  I couldn't find it in a smaller size in store.  This was very, very soft and stretchy but not as thick as the Halogen skirt.  I actually really liked this, but not for the price tag.  I'd rather just get another Halogen pencil skirt.  :)

Other trousers - I tried several straight legged trousers from Halogen and NYJD, but honestly I loved my original Karen Kane pants and the ponte knit pants above the best.

There were more tops and skirts online that I really wanted to try but couldn't find in store.  I love THIS sleeveless blouse that looks similar to the b/w floral top I featured but comes in 5 solid colors.  I really wanted to try THIS knit moto jacket because it pulls together a business casual look in an edgy way.  I also couldn't find THIS window pane a-line skirt.  And THIS belted short sleeve blouse provides a little more structure than the rest of the tops I showed.

Overall I think there are some great pieces here that can serve as staples for a business casual wardrobe.  And stay tuned--since many of you asked for business casual help I've got a couple of posts dedicated to that in the pipeline.  But for now, start with some of these pieces at the Nordstrom Sale that will only be on sale for the next couple of weeks!

Huge thanks to Nordstrom for collaborating on this post!

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