Stylish Monday & Link Up Party
Many of us are heading back into work versus zooming from home; or perhaps you’re doing a combination of both. As an educator, we are heading back to work in person and very excited about it! Educators love working with children in person not via Zoom.
There’s always been something exciting for me about returning to start a new school year both as a child and now as a professional. This will be my 28th year in my school district although I’ve been in education (special education) since 1984. My current role as my district’s Prevention Coordinator allows me to work with all of the staff across the entire district. I’m often involved in training staff and supporting them to ensure the success of all students especially those with special needs. Each and every day is an opportunity to wear things I love to work and express myself. I’m probably over dressed most days but that’s really no surprise to you if you’ve been following FTF for any amount of time. The staff I work with are used to my style and I probably keep them entertained at the very least. A typical work day outfit is usually dress pants, blouse or top and more often than not a jacket or blazer. I still enjoy wearing high heels and of course being fully accessorized – including matching masks. That first day of school outfit is still a special moment in my school year no matter how old I am!
Educators want to be comfortable and like to wear things that are easy to move around in with their students. Most educators I work with look forward to wearing jeans and casual looks on Friday. I’m actually perfectly comfortable and never mind being “dressed up” in my work attire!
Work Wear Casual
You’re going to be hearing about “power casual” as the new office look if you haven’t heard it already! Women will be wearing clothing they’re able to move freely in but are more structured, durable and sustainable. Comfortable dresses will replace the chic loungewear that was popular at the start of the pandemic. People want to get dressed up again but will still be looking to be comfortable. Looser silhouettes, including wide-leg jeans, , cardigan-like jackets and bedazzled sweatpants are becoming more common. I was recently asked what’s trending and my response is to wear what you love and feel comfortable in as you know I firmly believe if you feel confident and love what you’re wearing you’ll always look amazing!
The blouse in both looks is the same with the exception of the print. Both have ruffled sleeve detailing. A blouse pairs great with dress pants, jeans and skirts. My work wear outfits (or any outfit) is never complete without a pair of heels and some accessories. A tip for saving time in the morning is to plan your outfit the night before. Lay out your whole look including your shoes, accessories and under garments. Additionally, I recommend trying things on together to ensure fit, comfort and overall look. It makes the mornings much smoother and easier to get out the door to work on time!
Here is an example of how to transition a work wear look to a more work casual look. Simply switch out the dress pants for a pair of dark wash denim jeans. I’ve added my blazer and went with my white belt and booties. If your office is casual, this look would work great or could be worn out for a date night, lunch date, etc. Blazers and jackets are great investment pieces meaning they typically don’t go out of style and can be worn for years. Blazers and jackets can easily be dressed up or even worn with a graphic tee and jeans making a blazer or jacket also super versatile! These blouses would also pair great with a denim skirt or a dressier skirt. Pull on skirts can be super comfy put have a polished work wear look and feel.
I call this my “shorts suit”. The key is to finding a pair of shorts that aren’t too casual looking (skip super-distressed denim), and most importantly, aren’t too short or too tight. A mid-thigh or knee-length version with tailored details and a sleek, simple silhouette is usually a safe place to start. But, worth noting for shorts that don’t fit that description: A lot of the magic happens in how you style them. Luckily, all of our schools are air conditioned but a “shorts suit” is a great solution while it’s still pretty hot out or if you live in a warmer climate. While my three pieces were all bought separately, you can purchase “short suit” sets. The addition of a blazer makes it feel more work appropriate although I would definitely wear the shorts and the cami in other settings. Do you ever put on an outfit and feel like a million bucks? That’s how I felt in my “shorts suit”. That’s when you know an outfit is a win! Would you wear shorts to work?
Black pants are a work wear staple and easily paired with almost anything. Towards the end of last school year, I decided I needed new pair of navy pants for work. Black and navy seem like safe colors for all office and work situations. I had the high waisted navy pants pictured above but they don’t work well with every style of top. Therefore, I ordered 5 different pairs, styles, brands and designers of navy pants. Of those 5 pairs, one was a perfect fit for me. If you don’t like trying things on in the stores, this is a great way to figure out what will work for you. Some brands and designers I know are a perfect match for my body type. Once you figure that out, shopping becomes a little easier.
I wanted to share how I can take several pieces and mix and match them for several looks. This top pairs great with the light blue pants shown above. Plus by removing the blazer you can see the fun details of the sleeves and the criss cross neck line. This top can also be easily paired with jeans, skirts and even shorts! In fact, I might just wear them with a pair of black shorts and my blazer for another “short suit” work wear look. What do you think?
While black and navy seem to be business appropriate and fit most work environments, you all know that I love my color and I do wear colors to work often! I especially love the bright colors in spring and summer so typically the end of the start of the school year although I will wear pops of bright colors all year long. This look is similar to the others in that the formula for me is always a top or blouse, dress pants, heels and accessories. Details always add interest and get my attention. This blouse has the cutest ruffled shoulders and a tie detail at the back of the neck. Yellow pants might be a bold choice for some but this top can easily be worn with darker more subtle colors. Lastly, it can also be worn with jeans, shorts and skirts. You can also see these light blue pumps are getting a lot of wear.
SHOP MY SIMILAR LOOKS
Work Wear Fashions of My Fellow Lifestyle and Fashion Blogging Friends from Around the World
Amy – Amy’s Creative Pursuits – “There’s no reason why we can’t be both comfortable and professionally dressed at the same time. Here I pair a comfy metallic tee with an elastic waist skirt. Pointy toe flats keep the look dressy without the pain of heels.”
Suzanne – Ask Suzanne Bell – “One take away from working at home over the last year and a half, is that comfort does matter – and that comfort and business fashion CAN co-exist. As we begin to work our way out of joggers and leisure wear, it’s important to have a few basic essentials, like this pair of linen pants, to help make creating work-ready looks a bit easier. Dressing for work in the California heat can be a challenge, see how I make these pants work multiple ways (and stay cool) in today’s blog post.”
Nancy – Nancy’s Fashion Style -“Work wear looks is a bit of a tricky one for me as I have been out of work for 9 years due to my illness. In addition, I have never worked in an office and when I think of a work wear look I always think of an office. And if I had worked in the office I would often have worn a suit. In the store where I was manager, we always wore the clothes from the store. This suit is from that store so I’m basically killing two birds with one stone.”
Nicole – High Latitude Style – “In a casual work environment, a solid color shirt dress is a great option in summer. I loved all black of the 1990s. Thus, I own a couple of LDB in different styles. This black shirt dress is my favorite work dress.”
Emma – The Style Splash – “There’s no dress code where I work – pretty much anything goes – but I still like to make the effort and dress smartly. Most of my work is done from home lately, but I do have the odd few days in the office. I would like to wear heels, but in reality I can only wear them for short periods of time. I’ve had this skirt for a couple of years but haven’t worn it before. The top is an old one that comes out of storage every summer. My red bag is one of favourites for work as it holds all of my essentials.”
Shelbee – Shelbee on the Edge – “When I was in my 20’s into my early 30’s, I worked in NYC when your personal style was just as important as the quality of your work. It’s been a hot minute since I dressed for corporate America, NYC-style and this is sort of how I imagine I’d dress if I magically dropped back into that life.”
Michele – On Instagram as Seechele_styles “Amazon red swing dress perfect to head back to my kindergarten classroom in September is comfortable. I paired the dress with Target neutral slides.”
Nina – Sharing a Journey – “Whether you work from home or are heading back to the office, August marks summer’s last fling. This post is packed with fresh ideas for work including great at-home styles, looks for teachers and great options for those headed back to the office. Plus a few bonuses to make getting back into your post-summer routine with ease.”
Lucy – Lucy Bertoldi.com “Back to the office means back to the classroom for me! Always feel like I owe it to my fashion students to look bright and colourful and happy to see them (even if still online!). In keeping with a professional look, thought this fun skirt paired with my favourite colour of blouse would be just on point to make them smile😊”
Joy – Joyousstyling “My Full Time job title is Executive Clinical Account Specialist in Women’s Health. My work wardrobe is business professional. I love easy sophisticated looks. An easy back to work look. I love a light plaid high waisted midi skirt for a sophisticated business look. I paired it with a classic satin ivory blouse and my favorite cap toe sling-backs. Jewelry added is my white Abalone KS choker.”
Hopefully you’ve gotten some inspiration for work wear fun styling! A friendly reminder to always have fun and wear all the things that you love, brings you joy and happiness and you’ll look terrific! What’s your favorite work wear look? Leave us a comment! We love to hear from you!
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