I never thought I would post anything about fashion, but I received a request to do a Top 10 list on work attire. My friend wanted to see looks that are professional and make you look put together, without making you look 80 years old. When I buy work clothes I try to focus on items that work in any type of work environment. I travel from my district office to construction sites and I sprinkle in teaching classes and visiting our corporate office in Omaha. So having comfortable, professional, and versatile clothes is essential for me. Here are 10 looks that help me look professional and put together, but not 80.
1. Blazers Then More Blazers: I am all about blazers. Blazers work for both casual and professional looks. I always wear a blazer if I am worried about whether people will be dressed up or more casual. And for some reason blazers give me confidence when I walk into a room. I am on construction sites a lot and blazers look great with jeans and they dress up my manly steel-toed boots look. I have both of these blazers and I am obsessed with them. The black blazer is from Aritzia and the blue linen blazer is from Banana Republic.
2. Neutral Tops Are Key: If you are like me and have a lot of blazers in your closet then you should be stocked with a lot of neutral blouses to wear underneath. Black, white, cream, and gray plain blouses are essential. My favorite places to get simple blouses are Target and Ann Taylor Loft. I like this simple shirt from Target because it’s only $18USD and comes in black and white.
3. Men Hate Crazy Necklaces: I also like to ditch the blazer and wear the neutral blouses with a nice necklace. By “nice” I mean classy and not to bold. I work with mainly men and even though they won’t admit it to your face, men hate crazy chunky statement necklaces. My favorite necklaces are from Ann Taylor Loft because they are simple and timeless. I have a necklace similar to this Ann Taylor Loft necklace and I wear it all the time with solid colored blouses.
I also have this Kendra Scott necklace in a different color and I love the length of it. This necklace works with almost every shirt I have.
4. Chino Domination: For pants I used to wear long slacks but those moved to the back of my closet and the only pants I wear to work are chinos. Chinos are comfortable, allow you to wear heels or flats, and in rainy Vancouver it’s great to not have the bottom of your pants get wet when you walk. I also like chinos because they are a little more casual so you can wear them at night or on the weekends too. Old Navy has good chinos like the ones in the picture below. The only thing I buy from Old Navy are chinos and kids clothes, otherwise none of their clothes fit me. These chinos are $32 and I have them in tan, black, green, and burgundy.
5. When I’m Going for Professional: If I am working from my district office or if I am teaching I wear my tan pumps from Aldo. Since chinos are usually a bit more casual the pumps dress them up and I always feel more professional in heels. Even if I am standing while teaching I always wear pumps. My feet are so used to them that they never hurt. I just bought these shoes from Aldo and they were 50% off in the store.
6. Flats With Personality: When I’m running around between construction sites or if I am dressing casual on a Friday, I like to wear flats that have a little bit of personality. I get almost all of my flats at Target. I don’t like to spend a lot of money on shoes because I am always on the go and they get so worn down. So $20 flats are perfect for me. Here is a pair of Target flats that I have:
and here is a pair of Target flats that I am crushing on right now:
7. I’m Lazy and I Love Dresses: I am lazy with fashion most days so throwing on a dress is my go-to. I love this new fall dress from Target :
and this long sleeved dress from Target:
8. Jacket With a Splash of Feminine: It rains a lot in Vancouver so a rain jacket is an obvious necessity. I used to wear a north face rain jacket to work but I wanted a little more of a feminine look. I love Zara’s jackets, but a lot of them are a little over the top to wear for my job. Last year I bought a jacket similar to this one from Zara. It’s simple and cute – and cheap!
9. Go To Cardigan: I have a few neutral color cardigans like this one from Banana Republic. Not only do I love them because I get cold at work and on planes, but if I’m not feeling good about my outfit putting on a comfortable cardigan sort of hides the shirt I am so-so on.
10. Black Will Always Work: When all else fails, I go to black. A nice black top with black pants and a pretty necklace always works. Or black on black with fun shoes. I love these black tops from Banana Republic and Zara. And this JCrew skirt is currently sitting in my shopping cart (Matt by the time you are reading this the damage has been done).