17 August 2012

workwear essentials

17 August 2012
today's post is dedicated to one of my readers who sent me an e-mail asking for help styling workwear options. she is about to enter the workforce and needs budget-friendly, stylish pieces to wear to the office.

i was happy to help because i remember being fresh out of college and not really knowing what type of clothing was appropriate. i've worked in offices that have required business professional more often than not (suits) and ones that are business casual (blouse and skirt/trouser), so over time i've learned a few tricks that work for me.

first off, where to shop: below are my go-to retailers for chic workwear. i've listed what i typically buy from each store and if you've never shopped for professional clothing at these retailers before, this checklist might make the trip a little less daunting.

ANC's go-to workwear retailers

but let's get down to it. what are the items a girl has to have to survive the work week? in short, a pencil skirt, a silk blouse, a work-appropriate dress, a cardigan, trousers, heels, and jewelry. now, if you only buy one of each item, you will probably be making several trips to the dry cleaners. my suggestion is to find the items that work best for your body and buy them in different colors/patterns. for example, buy a pencil skirt in black (that's a staple!) and another color you love, and a silk blouse in white and a color that will match your 2nd skirt. with those four pieces, you have most of the work week covered.

so, what does this look like? using j.crew products as an example, i've shown you which pieces are essential building blocks for a versatile work wardrobe.

workwear essentials

make mixing and matching your bff - it is the number one way to the most bang for your buck! and keep in mind, that means mixing and matching pieces from different retailers. banana republic has beautiful sleeveless silk blouses (i own at least four) and they regularly have 40% off sales. it should be enjoyable - your wardrobe can be a great way to express yourself, so have fun experimenting with different looks!

now, let's put it all together. here, i've taken the workwear essentials and given you a few ways to mix and match. there are dozens of other possibilities, which means with a few carefully selected pieces, you will have a work wardrobe that is versatile, fresh, and budget-friendly!

mix n' match workwear


Susan said...

Great list! As someone like your other reader who is just starting out this is seriously helpful! My job's a little more casual though, but part of me wishes that I could wear these put together looks to my job!

ashley nicole catherine said...

thanks, susan! for a more casual look, try switching out the pencil skirts and trousers for dark wash jeans. or keep the pencil skirt, but pair it with a white tee and flats.

Taylor said...

love all of your picks :) those were my 3 main stores for work wear when I used to have the office atmosphere..... this post actually makes me sad I don't look like this on a daily basis anymore :( i want that pink skirt and yellow cardigan!
ps - where did you find jen's ring!?! I can only find pics of the one from brad and then articles saying its emerald cut?!
happy weekend love!


Shari said...

i'm loving that black dress! my office is super casual, but every once in a while i like to dress things up! :)

Melissa said...

I LOVE this post and would love to see more like this! It's so cool to see the different ways you can mix and match to build a wardrobe. Thanks for the tips :)

Natalie said...

Great great tips, and I love all of your looks!

Allyson [Mimosas in the Morning] said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE POST! I always feel so uninspired and lost when I dress for work. I am definitely pinning this! Thank you!

Lena at A Crimson Kiss said...

Love this post, but it also makes me so happy my office is casual enough that a pencil skirt would inspire questions like, "Hot date?!" It's definitely been good to my wallet!

Sheri Ann {Sprinkles and Style} said...

This is such a great post! Sometimes I feel so uninspired when it comes to dressing for work and this is so great. I love the looks you've put together!

The Golden Girls said...

The Golden Girls

Lexi said...

I'm a lawyer-by-day which means I have to dress mostly conservatively - so a fun pop (i.e., a leopard print belt) is just my style!
♡ Lexi @ Glitter, Inc.

Alexa said...

Ah gorgeous roundup! Makes me miss going into an office!

Heidi said...

Love your combinations!

Amy @ Five Kinds of Happy said...

This is great Ashley - it makes me so excited to work in the design industry and get to wear professional attire that is also colourful and chic! I love the thought of working in a white blazer, heels and some kind of nice trouser. Eee

Bud and Leo said...

what a thorough list! pinning :)

carrytim23 said...

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