Thursday Outfit: My Best Business Casual Look

Dec 9, 2021

When I worked on Capitol Hill, our Boss forbade us from wearing jeans — even during recess — despite the fact that he wore black jeans on the floor of the House practically every day.  It was madness.  As a result, Incorporating denim into my work wardrobe always feels a little foreign, but my new office is decidedly more casual than my previous ones, so I’m figuring it out.

This look is one of my favorites because it’s simple, slightly dressy, but with an easy color palette that’s perfect for fall/winter.  Plus, it’s mostly J.Crew, and I’m a big fan of one stop shopping (if only to cut down on shipping costs).  Here’s how to recreate it.

Blazer. My love for the J.Crew Regent blazer is well documented.  It’s sleek and flattering on any body type.  I also love how the details blend casual and business flawlessly.  I own all three colors, and I feel no shame.  Best of all, the blazer comes in classic, tall, petite, and plus, so no one’s left out of the gloriousness.  I say wait for a weekend sale (which are back in force for the holiday season, and scoop this blazer up).

Blouse. I purchased this Ruffle-neck Popover Blouse to replace a similar blush/beige one that no longer fit, and I absolutely adore it.  The color is a light tan with a pinky undertone that blends beautifully with any color palette.  Now that it’s on sale, I may grab a backup just in case anything happens to this one.

Need a little more color? I recommend this warm clay blouse to pair with the camel jacket.  It looks amazing with browns, tans, and whites.  It even plays nicely with grey.

Jeans. Recently, I gave up and decided to replace all of my denim with a larger size.  Imagine my surprise when I realized J.Crew had vanity sized again, so I was still ordering the same size, even though my three-year-old J.Crew jeans were too small.  Wild.  I would advise taking your normal J.Crew size, or if you’re on the lower end of a size, maybe sizing down.  I should be a 30 according to the guide, 29 fits a little loose, 28 fits a little snug.

Regardless, these 9″ Rise Matchstick Jeans are one of the best.  I own them in two or three washes now.  If you’re looking for something comparable for less, Factory makes this jean, which I also own.

Shoes. Leopard Rothy’s all day, every day with jeans.  They only make the larger print now, but that one is great too.  If you’re between sizes, Rothy points run a little small, so maybe size up.

Bag. I love a colored bag with a neutral outfit.  This one from Melie Bianco has a lot of nice details that make it special.  And the price, under-$125, is a nice place to be.  I have owned a few of these bags over the years, and for the price point the quality is really good.  Plus, they have a lot of styles that are a little different, but still classic.

Jewelry. The Missoma claw earrings are basically all I’m wearing right now.  I love the modern, unique look, but they’re also subtle.  And if you are looking for a new piece of jewelry to add to your wardrobe and you don’t own a dome ring, this Club Monaco stacking set is a great place to go for under-$100.  Love silver?  Try this one.

Styling Tips. I like to wear my hair up with this jacket.  The turned up collar gives it a clean look.  And a little lipstick to complement the burgundy on the bag is nice too — Black Honey is still being restocked after the TikTok craziness, but the balm is available.

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  1. Mandi says:

    Just commenting to say that I love the outfit and you look great!

  2. CJr says:

    Been meaning to ask you- EVERYTHING sticks to my regent blazer: hair, lint, crumbs, everything (except sticky nametags). It makes mine almost not worth wearing. Do you not experience this phenomenon, or do you have a magical prevention strategy? Don’t hold out on us girl.

    • Belle says:

      I do with my navy one, but not the others. I rub it with a dryer sheet every time it comes back from the dry cleaner.

  3. E says:

    I love this look – thank you for sharing! Easy to swap out jeans for a neutral trouser as well. I’ve also been turning back to J.Crew and have been initially impressed.

    Thanks for also addressing sizing and weight changes in such a simple, straightforward manner. Every time I shop I have to remind myself that it doesn’t matter the size, it matters how my clothes fit. You look great here – everything fits fantastically and that’s what comes through :).

  4. em says:

    Just wanting to add that I purchased those rothy’s look alike flats in leopard you recommended a month or two back and love them! https://www.nordstrom.com/s/bella-vita-hathaway-flat-women/5961269

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