Style + Casual Fridays, + Work

Monday Outfit: Bold Business Casual

Over the past few weeks, I’ve received a number of comments, e-mails and Instagram messages from women looking for business casual attire.  From tech industry workers who will never need suits to Hill staffers looking to dress down on trips to the district, a lot of you are looking for stylish, casual looks.  And today’s outfit mixes bold pants with a basic top for a look that transitions from summer-to-fall beautifully.

I posted this outfit from Alix Riviere (@ariviere) to my Instagram Stories because I thought the rust pants were a great option for fall.  The color palette, mixing the soft blues with the deep rust, felt unexpected, but easy to replicate.   And the leopard shoes (while not my first for choice for my commute) added a little something extra to the look.

Shirt // Pants // Shoes // Bag // The Bangle // The Link Bracelet // Lipstick

Pants. The rust trousers from Dorothy Perkins also come in plus, and have a more subtle orange hue than the pants in the photo. If these are sold out in your size, Reiss and J.Crew also have a rust color for fall (J.Crew’s come in tall lengths).  Need a wider leg opening?  Try ASOS.

If rust isn’t your color of choice, I would also recommend olive, eggplant, or mustard pants for fall.

Shirt. I chose a simple button-down from Iris & Ink for this post because their line has well-made basics at mid-tier prices.  But you cold pick up a pale blue work shirt from almost anywhere.  I also like this Everlane Relaxed Poplin Shirt for an under-$100 option.  For an under-$50 option, this Gap Fitted Oxford is a good pick.  Plus-size?  Try this Land’s End no-iron shirt.

Shoes. As I mentioned, Alix’s shoes, while gorgeous, look like I’d probably roll an ankle on a Georgetown cobblestone.  So I chose a friendlier Franco Sarto mid-heel shoe in the same bold leopard print.  The lesson here is to choose the shoes that are right for you.

Need flats? These affordable, on-trend mules look great.  I also like these Sam Edelman flats for a classic look.

Bag. The Urban Expressions brand is a good source for well-made, inexpensive handbags.  This cognac crossbody with cool details is no exception.  If you’re looking for a better quality purse, this Frye Company bag looks like a great choice.

Bracelets. While the days of the Man Repeller “arm party” are behind us (also, that was 2012?!?), a double stack of classic bracelets never goes out of style.  I paired an easy Kate Spade bangle with a more interesting chain link for an easy look.  If you prefer one bracelet, this Brooks Brothers Omega cuff gives you a simple shape with a bit of texture.

Lipstick. To finish out this outfit, I chose my favorite lipstick shade: Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk.  It’s a dusty-pink/nude shade that looks good on many skin tones.  For a drugstore dupe, NYX Eurotrash.

Have an outfit that you want to see recreated for the Monday Outfit?  Forward it via Instagram to @abrabelke or send it via e-mail to capitolhillstyle (at) gmail (dot) com.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author; photo credit: @ariviere}



  1. Aar1 says:

    Hey, do you starch your button-down shirts? I feel mine never look as crisp as I’d like, so I don’t know if I should start having them professionally laundered

    August 5, 2019/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I don’t, but a former co-worker does, and she swears by light starch. I can’t because it irritates my skin.

      August 5, 2019/Reply
    • Betsy says:

      I am one of those naturally rumpled people and light starch makes a huge difference, I send some things out to be laundered and sometimes do it at home. I’d definitely try it to see if it works for you!

      August 5, 2019/Reply
    • Katel says:

      I prefer spray sizing to starch. Silly name but but gives the crispness of a new shirt without being overly stiff. It’s on the shelf next to standard starch. Excellent for shirt dresses too

      August 5, 2019/Reply
  2. aNNE says:

    For other unicorns, for whom pillow talk doesn’t work, I suggest Becca Cosmetics Ultimate Lipstick Love in Blush (W).

    August 6, 2019/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Thanks for sharing!

      August 6, 2019/Reply
  3. Leah says:

    Love love love this focus on Business Casual. I’m starting a new job, where most folks are super casual (jeans and a tee). I’m not ready to be that relaxed, especially being the youngest in the office and one of the new females. I look forward to seeing more of them!

    August 6, 2019/Reply
  4. Caitlin says:

    Thanks for the tip on Urban Expressions @ DSW! They have sales so frequently that I can keep an eye on that bag and wait until a 20%+ off pops up.

    August 12, 2019/Reply