Friday, August 24, 2012

Wear to Work

Oh my word, I feel like I've been absolutely flying by the seat of my pants these past few days! Between moving into my new apartment, trying to organize and clean things, keeping my email inbox somewhat manageable, gearing up for the next Sweet Lemon launch... and starting my new job... I'm basically struggling to stay afloat.

I've been spending my mornings in coffee shops logging a few hours before work (so I can continue blogging... hugely important to me), working all day, and then emailing/blogging until the wee hours of the morning. One thing I am SO thankful for: easy outfits.

Seriously, having a few "easy outfits" and the pieces that go into one is a lifesaver in the morning. The office doesn't have a strict dress code. Thank goodness. I am not a suit person, at all. (I look and feel terrible whenever I am in a suit.) There are tons of amazing people in and out of the office and events all the time, so it's important to still look presentable and professional.

Every body type, and personality, is different. When finding your easy outfit, make sure it's a flattering fit and makes you feel good. 

For me, wearing a belted dress is the easiest outfit for work. I've been looking for belted dresses more and more because I find I can get a great fit without having to go to a tailor. The dresses are made to be loose, but the cinched waist adds the perfect amount of shape without being "too much." Belted dresses also take care of issues of differing proportions of chests and hips. Sometimes I wish I could buy dresses that were one side in the bust, one size in the waist, and one size in the hips. Because I am NOT the same size from top to bottom.

My two favorite options right now are the polka dot Old Navy dress ($30) and the Anthropologie wisp dress ($168).

Another option I love is the J. Crew Minnie pants, a sleeveless blouse, and a bright colored sweater. This. Is. So. Easy. As long as you have a few options for each piece (i.e. multiple pairs of Minnie pants, a few blouses, and a handful of colorful sweaters) you will be able to make different outfits all the time... and feel great.

[Side Note: I think that most everyone looks good in Minnies. I've seen so many different women with different body types and they've all looked fantastic in the pants. The pants are the perfect length and can be worn with flats or low heels. They are also great for business events with a button down and blazer or even super casual with a t-shirt. My one suggestion would be to get the pants at least one size smaller. They have a little give and will stretch out perfectly (in a good way) after a few minutes of wearing/sitting down.]

Lastly, finding a few skirts that have the right waistline and the right hemline and the right material is great. It takes me a really long time to find a skirt that fits all three of those criteria. I either end up with a skirt that isn't flattering in the waist, or one that looks to casual because of the material, or one that's a little bit too matronly (or worse, too short). For me, let me know if it's different for you, I even struggle to find skirts within the same store or brand. One skirt from J. Crew might fit like it was made for me personally and other times I try on four different sizes and still can't find the right fit! Once I have a great skirt, adding a sweater set (again, love the Jackie cardigan) or a button down will tie the whole thing together.

Of course, every office has a different standard of dress and it's quite a good idea to follow the guidelines of your own individual office.

Now here's a question for you.... flats or heels? I love the way I feel (read: taller) in heels, but I am such a klutz that I don't really trust myself to wear them. I'm curious if you wear heels every day to work or occasionally (and when?).... or, like me, prefer to stay closer to the ground.



  1. Oh Carly, your stamina and drive inspire me so much! but I hope you get to take a small break--it would be terrible if you burnt out!
    Starting new jobs is always such an adjustment, especially when trying to balance all of your other projects. I'm sure you will greet the weekend with enthusiasm :)

    That being said, the blog has been fantastic lately--thanks for all of your hard work, I've really been enjoying it.

    On another note, I am in love with the minnie pants. You're absolutely right about them suiting girls of all sizes. My favourite part about them is that the zipper is on the size, so you avoid the awkward button/belt poking out of your shirt problem. I really think they work with almost every blouse and shirt in my wardrobe.

  2. Oh, man, I need to invest in these pants! I am loving this blog! Thank you for being such a great blogger!

  3. I agree with Katherinemorgan, I MUST invest in the Minnie's!!!!! And cannot go wrong with a cardigan.

    And the Anthro dress could be so versatile, I love!

  4. I am obsessed with my Minnie pants...except for the part that they DO stretch out and between that and some weight loss, are a little too big for me. I'm tempted to throw them in the dryer...

    As for the heels vs. flats debate...I work on a college campus. If I'm going to be doing a lot of walking on a particular day (all of RA training) I wear flats or comfy wedges. If I know I'm going to mostly be in my office or have a presentation, I'll wear heels. Sometimes I'll switch in the middle of the day.

    I love the Old Navy dress you posted, but it did not fit me at all. I was so sad! I need to make a J. Crew trip ASAP.

  5. The minnie pants are my absolute go to. They fit so well and can look so chic with the right top. I love the look of belted dresses too but I have to get almost all dresses hemmed.

  6. I used to work for J.Crew back in my college days (right when they were starting to go down the Jenna Lyons rabbit hole), and Minnie pants had just started coming out. I never tried them on because I was convinced they wouldn't look good on my frame (5'11 and pear shaped), but I might have to give them a try now!

    My most amazing work pant are Gap's skinny corduroy pants. I got three pairs on clearance after winter one year, and I wear them to death. What's really nice about them is they never stretch out!

    The Preppy Leopard

  7. My go-to for work clothing are pencil skirts and jackie cardigans. I have so many of each it is ridiculous. My go-to shoes are a pair of nine west wedges. I have a tan pair and a black pair and I keep both under my desk so I dont have to lug them back and forth during my commute every day.

  8. What about a less expensive alternative for people who are on a tight budget? I love J Crews look but can't necessarily afford it. Thanks!

  9. Love wearing heels, but my feet prefer flats! And I'll take a pair of Minnie pants any day

  10. flats. all day, everyday. I wear the occasional heel (i.e wedge) but I am not graceful enough to strut around DC in heels.

  11. Minnie's have become a staple in my wardrobe and after a recent search for Minnie-like pants at a lower price point, I came across Loft's Marisa Ankle Pant in colors quite similar to JCrew. They are made with doubleweave cotton for about $60...but I scored two pairs for their $20 off pants sale and got them for $40. The colors have held up better than my Minnie's and although there isn't nearly as much stretch, they're just as comfortable.

    As for shoes, I wear heels when going out at night but for the office, I stick to flats of all colors and styles for comfort!

  12. I can't believe that you are so busy and able to do all that you are. So impressed. Love thoes dresses. I adore heels, but they aren't always practical for my life, I squeeze them in whenever possible and then wear flats the rest of the time.

  13. I LOVE that you now work for the Levo League! I'm interning at a big company so I usually wear heals all day, then switch to flats when I go to class (I keep a pair in my car, just in case!)

  14. If I know what most of my tasks at work are going to be, that helps me determine whether to do heels or flats. If my day is more writing and researching, heels. If its a lot of errands, visits, meetings, etc. flats. There is also the alternative that you can leave a pair of heels at your desk at work and wear whatever into work. I like to do this from time to time and I wear Gap's City Flats that fold in half and come with a little bag to throw them in and ultimately throw that into your purse! Its brilliant!

    Love hearing about your new job & following your adventures (and successes!)


  15. I wear heels everyday to work! And i do lots of walking! My tips are simple, spend a little extra on a quality heel to ensure its comfortable. I love Cole Haan and Stuart Weitzman the best though Aldo heels are pretty comfy too and way cheaper! Just remember to lead with your hips and you glide more when you walk and wknt feel so clumsy. Also pro tip: wear them around the house for a few days before dedicating yourself to a full day at work. Still nervous? Throw some flats in your tote!

  16. I am in love with the Anthropologie dress! Even though I wear a uniform to work I still love to dream of what I would wear to work! You picked out some great ensembles.

  17. This summer I interned in an office that required business professional dress. I wore heels everyday because I felt that it looked more professional and "dressy". Flats with the Anthropologie dress in your post could easily make it more casual, whereas heels make it appropriate for an important meeting or event. If you don't want to wear heels all the time, I would save them for dressier days when you want to look a bit nicer.

  18. I hope things settle down a little bit, so you don't get too exhausted! I really love the idea of having "go to outfits." I have a couple, but they are nowhere near as fashionable as these. I really need to work on rebuilding my wardrobe. Completely agree about needing different sizes for different areas of the body, someone needs to come up with that. I've found some luck in staying with certain brands though, which makes shopping more fun (like it should be!) and less frustrating.


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