My sister is stepping in to do a guest blog. Isn’t it cute how she *’s out the “i” in Bitch in her title? Ha – I think she forgot she was writing for my crass, whiskey-saoked blog. Goes to show that we have pretty different, ok … very different styles. Some of you are a bit more classically stylish like she is though, so I always love when she gets a chance to write.
It’s pretty funny she’s the one that’s blogging and that she’s blogging about work, seeing how I’m currently unemployed and technically should have all day to write, but instead I’m … looking … constantly … for jobs. Or watching The Voice. So you know.
I hope you enjoy this post by her. Especially if you work in an office environment where business casual (is that what this is?) is the way to go. Me? I only find myself looking for jobs now where I have the freedom to wear whatever I want. I’ve been spoiled and won’t ever back!
Enjoy! Happy Monday! xoxo, Lou
When I first started my office job in the fanciest building on campus at my alma mater, I was Jazzed about wearing Office Clothes. Visions of me dressed like this were dancing in my head:
Sometimes, I’m not far off this mark. BUT, suits are crazy expensive, and one can only come up with so many clever combinations of suit-top-heels before one gets a little bored with office attire. After only a short time at my office job, this is how I felt about wearing office clothes:
As previously mentioned, I work in The Fancy Building on campus. The university president works in this building. There is definitely a dress code. (Side Bar: We have actual Casual Fridays and people really do say “T.G.I.F.!” It can make life feel a lot like a quirky sitcom.)
Needless to say, I’m on the younger end of the employee spectrum, and most people in the building tend to walk the conservative line when it comes to work wear. So I realized I had two choices: Fall into the same habits of my coworkers, and try to blend in, OR, be true to myself and my love of clothes, and have as much fun as possible within the parameters of Looking Professional.
I never thought I’d be a Blazer Girl. But I LOVE My Blazer. Investing in a great Blazer is so worthwhile when you need to wear Work Clothes on the regular. It polishes up any ensemble, for example:
Without the blazer, that outfit is super casual. It’s a cotton turtleneck, relaxed-fit skirt, and some booties. But add the blazer, and voila! Polish.
Another great work staple is the Pencil Skirt. I commute by bicycle most of the time, so this item is reserved for carpool days. Be Forewarned: pencil skirts have a volatile magic. You will probably not open a single door for yourself all day, but it’s likely because the door-holder is enjoying the view:
It’s easy to fall into Pin Up Girl territory here, so pairing the magic skirt with a simple cotton top and cozy shrug gives it some balance.
Speaking of inappropriate office outfits, I’m pretty sure this dress was way too short for me to wear to work:
I wore that white cardigan over it and somehow decided that made it more modest, but looking at this picture I’m kinda surprised I didn’t get sent home to change. Hello, legs!
Which is not to say that dresses in general can’t be Work Appropriate. Do you have a spirit animal? I do, and her name is Taylor Swift. One morning Swifty ran into some Joan from Mad Men inspiration to create the following work outfit:
I really wanted to wear the Ray Bans all day, but they made it hard to see my computer screen.
T-shirts can also make for a good work ensemble, so long as you apply the requisite Polish.
Example One, The Tee / Cardigan Layered Look:
Example Two: The Button Down / Tee / Cardigan Combo:
(I have no clue what I’m doing in this picture, but I like my outfit)
It’s important for my office steez to be bicycle friendly whenever possible, so I’ve invested in a lot of good Pants over the last year and a half. The goal is always slim cut, ankle or capri length, for the ease of hopping on the bike to G-O! These wine colored gems are one of my new favorite pairs (shown with a little daytime sparkle!):
I also decided awhile back that toothpick cords are completely work appropriate, and no one has ever contradicted me, so:
(you better work, b*tch)
Clearly we must now segue into Sweaters. It’s fall, and I love sweaters. Let’s enjoy this one again:
This is what I’m wearing today, and so many people have commented on “the chicken” on my sweater, to which I can only reply, “Chickens don’t wear berets.”
Remember how we have actual Casual Fridays? Well you still don’t want to look like a hot mess, especially when your university prez is on the TLC tip. He don’t want no scrubs.
Casual Friday Example One:
The shorts were a gamble, but the polish here? Oxfords and a cute, simple sweater. Nautical theme!
Casual Friday Example Two:
Jeans and some school-spirit red plaid, with more oxford polish.
See? Dressing for work can be – and should be – fun. Even if your office has Professional Polish Parameters (yay, alliteration!) there are always opportunities to be creative. Find your spirit animal and let her shine! Then, if your sister has a fashion blog, you can take lots of mini work breaks by creating a catalog of outfit selfies which will one day become a What to Wear at the Office post. Cheers, Lou!