Monday Outfit: Chic Business Casual

Dec 13, 2021

Dressing for a business casual office is uncharted territory for me.  I wake up, want to put on a suit and can’t.  Jeans are also a bit of a minefield, since all the guys in the office wear khakis.  So let’s see if we can’t find our way through this together.  Maybe with some white denim…

This outfit blends denim into the outfit in a way that feels chic (and maybe a little glamorous?) and more dressed up.  So here’s how we build this outfit.

Blazer. A great black blazer is a wardrobe staple.  Banana Republic’s gold-button blazer is my current favorite.  If you want something a little sleeker, try this wool flannel blazer from J.Crew or this one from Cuyana.

Need something under-$125?  Mango has a great blazer.  Plus-size?  Try this MM. LaFleur blazer.

Sweater. Sadly, I couldn’t find a turtleneck sweater with that wonderful waffle pattern on it.  Instead, I chose this ribbed cashmere turtleneck from Banana Republic.  I love the voluminous neckline.  For a steal, try this Everlane turtleneck.

Need a cotton sweater?  Me too, late in life allergies are fun.  Try this Cloud Turtleneck or this Barbour sweater.

Jeans. White denim looks as good in the winter as it does in the summer.  The NYDJ Marilyn Jean is my favorite, more straight than skinny.  They have a similar style available in plus-size.

Shoes. Slingbacks are in right now.  Since everyone has switched to flats, this is a way to make flats feel more special.  These Jack Rogers are a delicate, sleek example.  The Danica slingback is also a great choice.  Wide feet?  Try these ASOS flats.

Not loving slingbacks?  Mary Janes are actually a nice option.  Journee Collection makes a nice one.  I also like the Mary Jane Rothy’s.

Accessories. This Rachel Zoe bag is awesome.  I love the olive color with the black and white color palette.  I adore the tassel detail and the minimalist hardware.  And at <$30, it’s a great buy.

To finish the look, I chose these bezeled gold studs from Wolf & Badger.  And I picked these unique Ray-Bans for a little something different.

Casual Fridays, Style, Work

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  1. sara says:

    LOVE that Rachel Zoe bag, and this whole look.

  2. Diane says:

    I love these posts since I’ve been reading long enough to already have most of the pieces in my closet! I never would have thought to put this blazer with white jeans. I won’t be able to get my arms in the BR blazer while wearing a sweater, but am going to give it a try with a sleeveless black shirt and a big black scarf…

  3. Jenn S. says:

    I love this outfit. I’ve been waffling back and forth on pulling the trigger on white jeans for a couple years (!) now – but honestly, I’m terrified of ruining them.

    I’m now permanently remote, but worked in a business casual office for a decade. Obviously, there are a million permutations of business casual, but in my experience it wasn’t odd for in-house legal counsel to be dressed a step or two up from most staff, including middle management. They never wore suits unless they had to go to court, though – but I think they could have without it being weird/overdressed/out-of-touch. But I’m also east coast, and I know that’s relevant to sartorial norms.

  4. Kris says:

    I’d be cautious thinking that denim is part of a business casual office. It would not be ok at my business casual office (not even white or black denim). Love the look though!

  5. Suze says:

    I’m also in a business casual office. While I love the look of pants, flats and blouses, it ended up feeling too complicated. Simple wrap and a-line dresses with flats and boots have made mornings much easier and I feel confident that I’m dressed appropriately for anything that comes up.

  6. Clara says:

    Oh wow, the opening of this post really spoke to me. This fall I started a new job at a new company in a new industry in a new position. I was hyper focused on looking at what people wore in virtual meetings so that I would fit in, and spent ages picking an outfit for the first in-person meeting. Unfortunately when I showed up, it was clear that my outfit was, as some author said, a maddening perversity of wrongness. Siiiiiggghhhhh.

    (What was so wrong, you might wonder? Too formal/dressy, wrong for the climate (the in-person was in another state) so I was wierdly sweaty, and wrong shoes (my male boss even commented) ????????‍♀️)

  7. s-p-c says:

    Good luck at the new job! In my business casual law firm, I wear sleeved dresses (usually elbow-length sleeves) and low wedges every day, and that tends to work well. A touch more formal than some, but not obviously so, especially since I have learned to skip heels.

  8. Naomi says:

    Wow, I LOVE this outfit and I am absolutely here for the business-casual content. When I go to the office on non-court days, I would vastly prefer to be wearing denim, but I haven’t quite nailed interesting outfits. I want them to be business casual, professional, clearly appropriate for the officer, but also fun. Thanks for this great content!

  9. E says:

    Business casual is so difficult for me. I have struggled with what is my equivalent of khakis? Thank you so much for for this post!

  10. Ana says:

    Love these posts! Very timely as I’m starting to go back into the office on a hybrid schedule basis. We’ve also changed the dress code to be more business casual.

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