What to Wear [office edition]

As seasons change, sometimes we all get a little confashioned [confused+fashion]. Winter and summer are the seasons in my experience that cause the most confashion.
For those of you who know my addiction to and possible judgments of fashion, it's not surprising I feel the need to write a post about what to wear. [obviously the sunny side, look at me and my resolutions!]

I am a What Not To Wear television show addict. I'd like to think of myself as a slightly less fashionable, not as well dressed but want to be Stacy London [host of What Not To Wear and fashionista extraordinaire. If you haven't read her books on style. Go read now. Ok after you finish my post pretty please!] 
Top Ten Winter Offenders for the Office
10. Over accessorizing. Don't get me wrong, I love a good accessory and some individuality when it comes to a wardrobe, but when working the 9-5 you don't need your 6 gold chains, 7 cocktail rings and your two big hoop earrings to get noticed. Pick one statement piece: chunky bangle, statement necklace or stunning earrings, the others? Think simple.

Try the Dark Night Bubble Necklace with some simple gold bangles and a solid colored top. Let that necklace do all the talkin'.

9. Crocs. Crocs are not for the office. Unless you work in a garden, hospital or an environment that requires slip resistant shoes. Just don't do it. And don't even think about Jibbitz.

8. Poor or no outer wear accessories. Please, scarves are my favorite part of winter. I once caused a scarf-demic at a former work place. They are a must but, please don't wear tacky ones. Please? Also, gloves should be a nicer looking material that keep your hands warm. No holes and ensure they match. I was the guilty second grader with mismatched hole filled gloves.

Try the Snug as a Bug Infinity Scarf. Simple yet stylish and goes with everything!

7. An unstylish winter coat. Ok, think about it. You're headed to a networking event or an off-site meeting with new clients, what's the first thing they'll see? Your bright pink camo puffy marshmallow coat with the fur lined hood. 
Unless you're meeting your clients on a ski slope, try a well fitted trench in a neutral. Or, go out on a limb and find a trench, or well fitted coat, in a fun color or even a pattern. Think black & cream striped. 

Try Anne Taylor's Loft, dreamy trenches.

6. Stripper Heels. I get it. Stilettos with the extra platform are more comfortable, but I must warn you there is a fine line between the stripper shoe and one that is appropriate for work. If you're not sure, don't push it. 

I find some of my best shoes at TJ MAXX. I never know what I'll find! The thrill!

5. The ugly sweater. There are so many definitions of the ugly sweater. Unless your office has a designated ugly sweater day, please stay away from embroidered winter scenes.  

Instead, try the You Are Coral-ly Invited Stripe Sweater. Done & done.

4. Sweater Sets. Hello, grandma. I mean that in the nicest way possible. Sweater sets are a great buy, but for the love of all that is fashion can you please separate the sets and mix in pattern and color. Rules not applied to 70+. 

Mix up your cardi collection with Long to be Near You Knit Cardigan.

3. Leggings as pants. This rule stretches far beyond the office and into real life. Yes, leggings are comfy, easy to layer and great to throw under a tunic. Keyword: tunic. 
These tops cover your bottom and possible camel toe. Yes, I went there. Just because something covers your butt does not mean they are pants. 

General rule here: wear leggings or opaque tights with dresses that might be a little short for the office.

Try ModCloth.com for some opaque tights or check out Anne Taylor's Loft for skinny dress pants, they're killer! Also, for super cold days a pair of Fleece Navidad Leggings will do the trick!

2. Sandals. I am guilty of not keeping my pedicure up through the winter months. Sandals are not work appropriate except maybe casual Friday. But in the winter, lay off and hide your toesies until spring. Debut them with a killer pedi.

If you do wear opened toed shoes in the winter I recommend peep toes and opaque tights. And please don't let the toe line show. If you're brave go with the peep toe tights [american apparel carries some].

1. UGGS. The name says it all.. Ugh! I feel like I shouldn't have to explain this one. But Uggs have this power to make even the most professional, respected and intelligent able-bodied people forget how to walk. I remember in seventh grade when dragging my feet on the ground was all the rage [if you don't believe me ask my mom who constantly corrected me -- 12 years later and I finally got it!] I know that winter is a time with snow on the ground and your feet are cold, your office might be freezing, but I promise you there are stylish, comfortable and warm dress boots [see DSW, ModCloth, or anywhere else that sells dress boots - they'll be on sale now so stock up!] that will come in a variety of interesting styles, etc.

Do you walk or commute outside or on public transit? I would imagine Uggs to be the go-to, so wear your Uggs and drag your feet to work. Then promptly change into acceptable footwear -- flats, dress boots, heels, booties etc. Would you want your business advisor to greet you in the waiting room dragging their feet wearing sparkly uggs? [time & place is important people]

The biggest thing with office fashion I've learned is to dress for the job you want. If you want people to take you seriously, unfortunately what you wear impacts that. So why not have a little fun, dress nicely for work but let your personality shine through. Don't overdo the jewels or make up, and cover your butt and cleavage!  There are exceptions to all these rules and each office environment is a little different. Some food for thought!

My key pieces:
  • Pencil Skirts
  • An A-Line Skirt
  • A few button downs in fun colors [great for layering]
  • Sheath dresses [any and all colors :)]
  • A variety of tights colors and patterns - they can spice up a drab outfit
  • Cardigans
  • Neutral shows in varying heights and styles

Don't forget to mix in some statement pieces like red pants in a classic fit, a beautifully fitted blouse in a fun pattern. Play with textures, patterns and accessories.

These are mine, what are some of your office no-no's?


B aka Bri runs the blog fit[fash]run! She's a midwestern fashionista, runner and fitness junkie who inspires others to take that first small step out of their comfort zone. Her blog features fashion, food and fitness all while following her journey. In Bri's other life, she's a communications professional who's full of jokes, she did always dream of being a comedian. 

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