We only have a few more “winter” days to wear these warm and cozy outfits for the office….OK, let me return from the other planet I was on for some real talk – it may be too warm to wear this outfit in Houston anymore, but maybe my friends in the Midwest or East Coast can eek out a few more of these outfits (I mean, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow- so Spring should be here sooner than we can imagine!).
I will be the first one to admit that Houston has a had a warm winter, but a few weeks ago we got a glimpse at some cooler, winter-like temperatures. In the winter, especially when I lived in Indiana, I avoid skirts and dresses out of pure necessity to keep my body warm. This “philosophy” (I use the term loosely here….) put me into a bit of the dressing rut for work. It was mainly the black pants, colored top and black cardigan look paired with some flats or, nope, just flats. (Seriously, y’all, I love looking at heels, but wearing them at work is a diferent beast).
I got bored pretty quickly – especially with my “business casual uniform“, so I decided I needed to change it up…..and here’s what I came up with!
I started with this comfy turtleneck from Old Navy (y’all, they have seriously been rocking it recently). I had worn it with jeans and it is so comfortable and warm that I wanted to wear it to work. So the turtleneck was a definite yes – on to the bottoms.
At first, I tried it on with my black Eloquii Kady pants, but I am so over black that they got nixed pretty quickly. (I thrive on color – if you haven’t read my post on color in the workplace, you can check it out here….). These pretty periwinkle Kady pants were right next to the black ones in the closet, so I figured why not – let’s try them! Given that they were the exact same cut as the black ones and the color was not too loud (my thought process: they are an off shade of blue, I wear navy all the time – hence, these are not too loud), I decided that they were perfect for work.
I was a little skeptical of the bold-er pants, so I tried to keep my accessories on the simpler side – I always try to when dressing for the office (ain’t no body got time for that). Overall, I felt comfortable throughout the whole day in this outfit and never once felt like I didn’t fit-in in the business casual sea of consultants.
Since I decided to take this risk, I wanted to share with y’all my takeaways from this business casual clothing experiment:
- Stick to basic cuts/shapes – the straight leg cut still looks professional while the color adds the bit of personality and something extra. By keeping the shape simple, it limits how bold the outfit could be.
- Stick to one main “statement piece” – in this case, they were my pants because they were a non-neutral color. Maybe it’s a statement necklace or a colorful top. One statement piece looks vibrant, two statement pieces can start to be too loud and distract from the work at hand.
- Accessorize with neutrals – By keeping everything else neutral (blacks and creams), the pants did not seem out of place.
- Go for it – As long as you are appropriately covered, I say take the fashion risk. What’s the worst that can happen – you get told to not wear it again? OK, I guess that piece will be worn on the weekends. (I do want to caveat this statement – if you are new to an organization, play it safe for a few weeks to see what the boundaries are for that company. Maybe they are more on the business formal side and a suit is not required, but highly encouraged. Just make sure you are being authentic to yourself and your style – there are always ways to add personality to every outfit!)
Let me know in the comments if you have ever experimented at work – how did it go? What did you learn from it? Any faux pas that I should avoid? I would love to hear your stories!
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Photography by: Sofia Emm