Casual Work Outfit

When I was in college, I worked part-time at a newspaper to help pay for my tuition and books but to also gain experience; I was planning to be a journalist when I graduated. One evening, my co-worker (who was also a college student) and I were manning the phones when Marjorie walked by, wished us goodnight and then left the building. Marjorie was my boss’s boss, and many of us college kids were in awe of her. With her tailored suits, sleek heels and chic, short haircut, she looked as if she could have stepped out of the pages of a fashion magazine. She was the definition of sophistication and elegance. We all wanted to be like Marjorie.

I remember my friend sighing as she walked by that evening. Then she said, “When I get a real job, I’ll have a closet just like hers, and all of my clothes will have to be dry cleaned.”

I think that was her definition of success at the time. These days, I know that a closet of clothes like that means a lot of money spent at the dry cleaners. With my work-from-home arrangement, I don’t need to worry about suits and work dresses that much anymore. But every now and then, I have to go to the office for a meeting.  While my current job doesn’t require me to wear the power suits of my previous position, I still want to look professional. To me, that just shows respect to my boss, the organization and my peers. Plus, I think it also shows the people that I work with that I care…about my outfit, about my work, about my relationships, about anything in which I’m involved. Yes, I truly believe that the way you dress says a lot about you overall. That’s one of the lessons I learned from Marjorie and have carried with me over the years.

Whenever I go to the office, I make sure that I’m dressed appropriately and professionally. Blazers are a timeless wardrobe staple and instantly pull together any look. For my office meeting, I combined a charcoal denim blazer, bright pink tank and white ankle pants for this ready-for-work outfit. The slightly cropped blazer is open with silver zippers at the top. Not only does it provide structure for the whole outfit, but it also adds an extra layer of warmth for those cool, air-conditioned offices. The white pants aren’t overly dressy but their straight-leg shape gives some nice roominess to them, which to me is more appealing for an office environment than skinny pants. The pink top has several rows of small ruffles across the front and back, adding some texture and a casual vibe to this outfit. This color combination of charcoal, pink and white says summer to me and can easily go from an office meeting to dinner.

Just exchange the work tote for a straw clutch and you’re ready for cocktails! This clutch is old and I can’t remember where I got it, but its colors matched this outfit perfectly. Here’s a clutch that I would bring to the office and would also work well for a dinner date. There are no reviews so I don’t know about its quality, but its many colors and classic shape would allow you to wear it with a several outfits. This one is also cute with its multi-colored pom poms.

My sandal wedges are several years old as well, but they, like the blazer, are a timeless style and add to this look’s summery vibe (and they keep your feet nice and cool!).

Here’s a closeup of my wedges. Although I couldn’t find this exact pair, I did link to this similar one, which I would wear to the office. The heel is not too high and they look like they have a padded footbed. The reviews say that they are pretty comfortable.

Cool, professional and comfortable. Now that’s a perfect work combination to me. I think Marjorie would approve.

Photos by Hunter I. Riddle

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