One of my “unofficial” tasks in my last job was to help individuals figure out what to wear to work. It wasn’t part of my duties as assigned, but more often than not, my boss would ask me to speak to someone about their outfit choices. It wasn’t an easy task, but I tried my best to help them consider appropriate clothes for their position and the organization.
Dressing for work can be a complicated subject. I talk about comfortable yet professional outfits in this post and this one. In my 30 years in the workforce, I never worked in a business casual setting, but I sure have seen a lot of casual outfits, many of which I would not have chosen to wear out of the house. I understand that one should dress for his/her own company’s culture, but sometimes we need some guidance as to what is acceptable clothing and what is not.
Versatility of a Sheath Dress
A black sheath dress such as the one I’m wearing from Old Navy serves as a great base for a wear-to-work outfit and is also appropriate for many occasions out of the office. To wear to work, slip on some heels and a blazer. This dress can also be worn in a business casual environment with flats and a cardigan.
For this look, I am choosing a scarf to dress it up a little. I found this beautiful silk scarf at a vintage store downtown and scooped it up for $3. It has a gorgeous pattern of old-fashioned hot-air balloons. I know you can’t see the pattern on this scarf but I think you can tell the colors go perfectly with this dress. Short scarves are all the rage these days, and I have some of those too, but I think this long one is perfect for this outfit.
I am wearing my Clarks leopard print kitten heels, which are extremely comfortable. These shoes are several years old and are beginning to show their age, but trust me, I’ll be looking for the same style when I replace them. Kitten heels are a great alternative to high heels in the workplace; they are fashionable and very comfortable.
I am carrying a small black Coach crossbody purse because I don’t want my purse competing with either the scarf or the shoes. Black purses are always classic and the simple design of this bag mimics the simplicity of the dress.
Wear to Work and Then After Hours
To take this dress down a notch, simply replace the heels with flat sandals, add some fun colorful jewelry, and throw on a cardigan to keep you warm in air-conditioned offices. You now have a Casual Friday outfit that is appropriate for work but can take you through to a TGIF celebration when office hours are over.