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8/15/17

Summer Workwear Lookbook: 3 Office-Chic Outfit Ideas


This Summer Workwear Lookbook is something I've been wanting to compile for awhile now. I've been receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from several of you on my recent work looks, and thought it was about time I share some of my go-to work outfits and formulas with you! First, I have to preface this with the awareness that work looks can vary widely based on your individual industry, occupation, and work setting. Since my role has been predominately in senior management with frequent client- or employee-facing meetings/interaction, I always make it a point to dress up, even on so-called 'business-casual' days. I tend to dress up in general, though, so it's something that I enjoy and actually look forward to. I also wholeheartedly believe in putting your best foot forward in any work environment; there's something to be said about the old adage of "dressing for success." It may sound cliché, but it's most certainly a form of respect to your colleagues and to the company as a whole; after all, you're representing the company and its products or services and want to give only the very best impression. When you do, people will take notice and take you more seriously in your career. (Can you tell I have a background in HRM?)

 The looks I'm sharing in this lookbook are meant to provide a foundation for you to build on and to adapt or tweak in ways best suited to you and your workplace. I hope they will inspire you to create a few easy-yet-polished looks that will keep you looking sharp at work even on sweltering, summer days! 

I'm sharing 3 different looks here for you today, but may create more for future posts as a quasi mini blog post series. Let me know if that's something you'd like to see!


OUTFIT DETAILS: 
Top: Ann Taylor Knit Halter (xxsp) - on sale! // 
Skirt: Ann Taylor Factory Striped Pencil Skirt - sold out (similar, similar) //
Belt: Ann Taylor Wide Leather Belt - old (similar) // 
Bag: The Limited Blush Satchel - old (similar, similar) //
Shoes: Jessica Simpson 'Claudette' D'Orsay Nude Patent Pumps (5.5) //
Earrings: LOFT Pearl Stud Earrings - sold out (similar)

I'm an avid lover of pencil skirts and always have them on heavy rotation in my wardrobe, not only for work but for everyday wear. Pencil skirts are extremely versatile, pairing nicely with everything from an elegant blouse in a formal office setting to a casual tee or tank for a more casual workplace. If you're just starting out in the workforce, you'll want to consider investing in at least one high-quality pencil skirt, preferably in a neutral color like beige, navy, or black, to use as a basic building block for multiple work outfits.  My favorite pencil skirts are from Ann Taylor, LOFT, Banana Republic, and J.Crew; they always have a vast selection to choose from and offer a wide range of sizes from petites, regular, and tall. 

This striped pencil skirt was an older sale find from an Ann Taylor Factory Store. I love the colored stripes and the stretchy knit material. It's a pull-on style with an elastic waist, making it super soft and comfy. Since it's more of a casual pencil skirt, I paired it with a navy knit halter top to complement the navy stripes in the skirt (the stripes photograph darker, making them appear black, but they're actually navy) and belted it with a wide, nude leather belt. I kept the color palette neutral for my shoes and bag with nude patent pumps and a blush dome satchel. This is about as 'business-casual' as I get, but for meetings I would definitely add a slim-fit navy blazer or cardigan for extra coverage and polish (and to help combat over-air conditioned offices.) For hot, summer days, you can just slip off the blazer or cardi and still be left with a look that's both sleek and stylish for a more casual work setting.

SHOP THE LOOK:





 OUTFIT DETAILS:
Top: Banana Republic Polka-Dot Cami (xxsp) (inverse colors here) //
Skirt: Banana Republic Bi-Stretch Dark Pencil Skirt (00p) //
Blazer: Banana Republic Windowpane Chambray Blazer (00p) //
Bag: Arcadia Patent Leather Dome Satchel - old (similar here) //
Shoes: Jessica Simpson 'Claudette' D'Orsay Nude Patent Pumps (5.5) //
Earrings: LOFT Pearl Stud Earrings - sold out (similar) //
Necklace: Gold Choker Necklace - gifted (similar)

This is a very classic office look for me and one that I gravitate towards more often than not. It's crisp, polished, and professional, yet modern and interesting with the addition of polka dots. Patterns can be a tricky landmine to navigate when styling your work attire and therefore should be used sparingly, particularly in more conservative workplaces. I'm fortunate to have some creative freedom when it comes to my style choices for the office, but generally speaking, any patterns I incorporate into my outfits are fairly subtle. The windowpane pattern on the blazer, for example, is quite subdued. From a distance, it blends seamlessly into what appears to be a solid chambray color, which I love. The chambray color of the blazer also works well with the dark navy of the pencil skirt and cami, creating a tonal look (varied shades of blue tones) and doesn't compete with the polka dots in the cami. The polka dots themselves aren't too large or overbearing either, sprinkled only on the front panel and offset by solid navy side panels for dimension and visual interest. Pieces like this are my favorite because they add just enough flair to an outfit without being obnoxious or falling into dangerous territory of looking costume-y. I'm finishing the look with nude patent accessories, choosing a pointy-toe pump in a classic silhouette to extend the leg-line (a definite perk for this petite gal) and to keep the overall look streamlined and elegant.

This entire outfit, sans accessories, is from Banana Republic and is currently on sale! I've been really impressed with BR's recent selections after a long stretch of lackluster collections, and have picked up several great pieces after what feels like an extended, dormant shopping period. I'm happy to see they're offering more modern and elegant workwear pieces this year and hope they keep up the momentum!

SHOP THE LOOK:




OUTFIT DETAILS:
Dress: J.Crew Trench Dress in Super 120s Wool (0p) - old (similar, similar, similar) //
Bag: Talbots Top Handle Straw Satchel - on sale!
Shoes: Jessica Simpson 'Claudette' D'Orsay Nude Patent Pumps (5.5) //
Earrings: LOFT Pearl Stud Earrings - sold out (similar) //
Necklace: Kate Spade New York Park Floral Pearl Collar Necklace - old (similar)

This final look may be one of my favorite Summer workwear looks to-date, thanks to this little sleeveless trench dress. It's classic, timeless, and über chic! I adore everything about it: the double-breasted style, the traditional trench belt, the high-quality wool fabric and silky lining, and the fresh ivory color. As with all of my favorite J.Crew pieces, this dress is beautifully-made and exudes elegance. A tailored-fit, sleeveless trench dress in a neutral color like this one is a worthy investment for your work wardrobe because it will stand the test of time and get its money worth with its cost-per-wear. With proper care, it will be one of those pieces you can just throw on year after year without much thought or effort and still look incredible. And because it's sleeveless, it's an ideal choice for those hot, summer days. Drape a lightweight cardi over your shoulders for more coverage at the office as needed and you have a ladylike ensemble very reminiscent of Jackie O.

To keep the color scheme light and airy for Summer, I paired this dress with my new favorite two-toned satchel from Talbot's. The light beige body and the camel leather trim play off the ivory of the dress nicely, and the simple, top-handle style of the bag itself is clean and classic, keeping the overall aesthetic cohesive. My tried-and-true patent leather pumps finish the look, along with pearl-accented jewelry.

SHOP THE LOOK:


I hope this Summer Workwear Lookbook inspires you to create a few office-chic outfits for the workplace! I've prepared a Pinterest-friendly graphic below for easy reference should you wish to save it to your style boards. (Just hover over it with your mouse and click on the "Pin It" button.)

Which of these 3 looks is your favorite?



As always, thanks so much for reading!
XO


3 comments:

  1. LOVE all three looks, but I think my favorite is the polka dot cami with the chambray blazer. Such a great combo that I wouldn't have thought to pair together!
    XO
    Lee | LegalLee Blonde

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a sweet compliment, Lee -- thank you very much! I'm so happy you like the polka dot/chambray combo as much as I do! You should definitely give this combo a try; I'm sure it would look darling on you!
      XO

      Delete
  2. informative post! I really like and appreciate your work, thank you for sharing such a useful facts and information about work environment strategies, keep updating the blog, hear i prefer some more information about jobs for your career hr jobs in hyderabad .

    ReplyDelete

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