Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Anatomy of a Working Work Outfit

I love a denim and a cheap deal as much as the next girl... but, very often, spending the money on the expensive items really does come back in your favor. I felt like that today at work as I realized that everything I was wearing was high-quality (no snobbery here, I have tons of discount duds, I just wasn't wearing many today) and magically, didn't require any nipping, tucking, prodding, duct-taping or poking all day long.

So what's the anatomy of an effortless outfit for a long period of time? That's code for: what can I wear to work that allows me to spend all my time focusing on my job and not the fact that my jeans have grown 2 sizes over 4 hours (jeans that stretch like that = one of my biggest pet peeves by the way. I hate when I look down and my tight jeans from 7am are now doing a poor-man's version of the boyfriend look- hello saggy butt and lowered crotch. Ugh!).

The outfit I wore today doesn't scream AMAZINGNESS but it covers all of the bases...

The Anatomy of a Good Work Outfit:

The Color Palette: When in doubt- black, navy and gray are the best colors to wear: professional, simple and elegant.

The Makeup: Use a navy eyeliner for all-day emphasis like the Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Prussian by MAC.

The Belt | The Dress: My dress shown here is from Banana Republic (link shows similar item, not exact) in Fall 2008. It's a blend of wool, cashmere and viscose. It truly is the warmest, most comfortable dress to wear. The belt shown here didn't come with as the dress has a wrap in the same sweatery material of the dress- so it has been subbed for a Forever 21 belt- my one cheapo of the day. Moral of the story- expensive fabric = all-day, problem free wear. And a working belt? The icing on this fitting cake.

4. Go Sleeveless: yeah it's December, but offices get hot. Bring a wrap but know you have the option to undress your shoulders in the privacy of your own cubicle if need be.

5. The Shoes: I love heels so I can't tell you to trade them off. But I will tell you, get ones that are comfortable. This Nine West pair truly slides on like BUUTTTAHHH. Crucial.

6. Tights | Slip: My invaluable silent partners- I wear slips and tights almost every single day. The Slip is what is the difference between picking a wedgie all day or letting your dress effortlessly graze down your backside. If I were the President, you could say the slip is my Secret Service- it is always working on my behalf- especially because the right amount of light can expose more than you hope for- wear a slip! And Tights- the only possible way for me to wear dresses in the winter is because I can rely on the warmth from tights. Both tights and slip are Calvin Klein.

7. The Length: my sweater dress was short enough for my taste and long enough for the office. I couldn't ask for more.

8. Wear a Smile: I'm happy to be so comfortable.

9. Freedom of the Arms: Ever worn a dress that restricted your arm movement? Horrid. Let them rise and fall as they choose.

10. The End Pieces: The reason I said to wear sleeveless was because I always will have a cover-up with me. My Michael Stars cardigan does the trick perfectly. And the Duck Umbrella (Go Ducks!) is my way to stay dry as I make my way in and out of the office (plus, it's so cute).

Outfit of the year? No. But it's definitely has the components for the type of outfit that I could wear every day of the year. I'm a discount-shopping, love a good bargain, trendy shopper... but sometimes you can't deny the quality of the expensive materials that are sometimes worth the splurge.

What do you wear that requires no effort (hint: Snuggies don't count!)?



Le pirate said...

Thank you thank you thank you for this post.
I cannot tell you how terrible I am at my work wardrobe! This really helps :)


xoxo Summer

Leia said...

This is really good advice! I'm hoping to be a working girl soon and I've never really had to dress for work, so this will be really useful :) I love your idea of wearing slips daily. I only wear them if I'm wearing something that I know is see-through, but now that you mention it, they would be great for not making fabric bunch up! Another good option would be to opt for skirts that have a lining.


Grumpy old man said...

To me you look pretty awesome, maybe it is the stunning make up, maybe it is the belt, (I love belts and the one you are wearing really compliments your figure) cannot put my finger on it, but you look stunning.

Thanks for the welcome comment on my Sienna post, holding thumbs for good news job wise.

Have a blessed Christmas and fabulous festive season.


Jaime @ laviejaime said...

great tips!! we are fairly casual here which is good. it's nice to dress up for work once in a while though!

Kim Axani said...

Love the new look of your blog, Caitlin!! Are you going to focus a bit more on your love for fashion? I hope so! =)
Great work outfit breakdown. So true to wear sleevless with a wrap.
Honestly, I have next to no work style, it's usually straight leg black pants with ballet flats and a wool sweter (in the winter). In the summer the only thing that changes is the sweater, to the blouse. haha! I'm just lazy I guess.. good on you for always looking polished!

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Gorgeous, you're a babe!

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

Fabulous advice. Where were you when I was in the office? HA! Happy holidays lady!

Anonymous said...

Great post and I love the outfit :)

Sophie said...

I love this post, so nice to read a guide to work outfits. And I have to say yours really does look perfect!! Love the eye make-up and dress.xo
ps Hope you don't mind I have added you to the blog list on my blog.


Anonymous said...

Umm, hello? Were you going to PREPARE us for the big, fabulous blog change?! Can you say Breakfast at Tiffanys with a twist of retro Madonna, Gaga and Caitlin thrown in? It's SO fab! I love it!!

Kara said...

Holy shitballs I'm in LOVE with your blog's new look!! Like, Jesus! You gotta email me and let me know where you found that all caps font with the dots. DIVINE.

Also, your style has always been one of my faves. Professional yet always with your personality. God dangit you are just beautiful. I've missed you over the past few days...glad to be all settled into the new place and reading my blogs again!!

Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl said...

Totally know what you're saying - the fit is so important yet harder to find when you pay less. Fabric quality is also majorily important and not just because it feels good, but because it doesn't wear away as easily... And when it comes to work, you want to look neat. Love your office attire aaaand what a funny coinsidence - I have an umbrella with a duck head handle too :) Only mine is red.

Jessica said...

I really love this post! Simple concept but you put an original spin to it. Hope you are enjoying the holiday season! xo

Sierra said...

Girl all of your pictures are amazing and I love your work outfit, so stylish!! Merry Christmas and I am loving your new signature and banner, super stylish!

Alison Kinsey said...

You definitely have the formula down Caitlin! All of your outfits look so sophisticated. I haven't purchased too many pieces from Banana Republic, but I hear great things about the quality. Merry Christmas!