How to Work that Work Wardrobe

Whether you work in a corner office or a cubicle, you still want to look like “you” in your business attire, right? Well, with the help of Fashion Writer Jen and a fab foundation piece – the Blue Angels Dress – we’ll give you a few tips on how to posh up your professional look no matter where you spend 9-5!

Buttoned-Up Beauty
Don’t let a drab dress code (No open toe shoes? Why?!) stifle your style. Just view it a fashion challenge! Here are a few ways to inject individuality into your ensembles:

  • Rock the outerwear! When you’re building off of a solid blouse or frock, you can add a little pizazz with a daintily printed blazer, such as Jen’s subtly checked Business Lunch Blazer. However, just because something is khaki doesn’t mean it’s not cute. Case in point: the Trench Coat Confidential. That’s one classic coat that can instantly chic-ify any outfit!

Get Jen’s business look in our Buttoned-Up Beauty section!

Business Casual Cutie
If your HR rep says it’s okay to show off that pedicure with peep toes, rejoice! You can have some fashionable fun with your work wardrobe. Amp up your business basics with these tricks:

  • Pair your solids with poshly printed outerwear. Let your feline side show with a sassy, leopard-printed cardi like Jen’s Definitely Leopard Cardigan, or go floral with the eco-friendly Picnic Society Blazer. With a subtle posy print, this blazer is perfect for taking you from the office to happy hour in style.
  • Walk the line. Stray away from traditional black and brown shoes by expanding your peds’ palette to include bold, deep colors – just no hot pink, please! Jen looks polished and put-together in her Vamp It Up Heels. (The Green Tea-Strap Heels are another super chic choice!)

Get Jen’s business casual look in our Business Casual Cutie category!

Freelancin’ Fashionista
Woohoo! You wear what you want. While the freedom to express your fashionable self is fantastic, it’s easy to forget how to “business” it up for client meetings. Here are some tips for keeping things professional with your own personal brand of panache:

  • A versatile business basic is the easiest way to anchor an ensemble. As with the other two looks, Jen’s sporting the Blue Angels Dress, which is a classic sheath that you can accessorize to your heart’s content!
  • Let your tights shine! Because your foundation piece is simple and chic, punching things up with sweet socks and tights is just one the perks your “no dress code” career allows. Jen embraces the socks-and-sandals trend with the Betsey Johnson Know by Heart Socks in Pink, while the Leisuirely Lavender Tights to her right are another fun suggestion!
  • ‘Shoe’ know what to do. You’re most likely the only one that can pull off the Glamorous Geology Heels that Jen’s sporting. You’re also likely one of the few that can get away with stud-ly shoes like the Love to Strut Heels (seen at the right). So, kick your heels up in celebration!

Get Jen’s fun work look in our Freelancin’ Fashionista category!

If you’re fiending for these lovely looks, you can find everything you need in our Professional Attire section!

Would you rock these looks at the office? Do you have any wardrobe tips to make workwear wonderful?


About Natalie

As the owner of three small, fluffy dogs, Natalie has accepted the fact that dog hair being everywhere and on everything is just part of her lifestyle now. She cannot stop decorating (and redecorating) her home, and lives by Robert Venturi's words, "Less is a bore." Fresh flowers, floral print dresses, and a good gin and tonic are just a few of her favorite things.

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  1. Avatar
    Cassandra 05/19/2010 at 8:40 am #

    This is fabulous!

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    Kalyn Johnson 05/19/2010 at 8:57 am #

    Very helpful tips for the working stiff!

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    EmilyKennedy 05/19/2010 at 9:46 am #

    This is a really cute way to showcase the versatility of a dress.

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    Amanda 05/19/2010 at 12:05 pm #

    Now THIS is an article that seems to have been written just for me. The only issue I have is I’ve got a personal aversion to pairing black with navy blue (re: the first outfit). Other than that, this is a really informative post! Cool.

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    Lauren (ModCloth) 05/19/2010 at 12:10 pm #

    Love this! Great job, Natalie and Jennifer!

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    Aire (ModCloth) 05/19/2010 at 12:34 pm #

    I love the outfit ideas you have given us!! Very well done, Natalie, and Jen, you’re my fave model!! xoxo 🙂

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    Meghan 05/19/2010 at 1:01 pm #

    I love this!! That pin in the first look is too cool, and I love how you gave different ideas for various levels of formality. I really should put more effort into my at-work style, and this has given me great ideas!

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    rebecca 05/19/2010 at 4:44 pm #

    Wow,great ideas. I can do alot with my clothing for work and didn’t even realize it!!!

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    Jessica 05/19/2010 at 4:53 pm #

    So incredibly cute. Love it love it love it!

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    Colleen 05/19/2010 at 8:41 pm #

    You have no idea how helpful this is to me. I love it!

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    Sophie 05/19/2010 at 11:28 pm #

    This is awesome 🙂
    This is very handy for people entering the real world this year (thankfully I have another year). I think that things like fun cardigans or cool shirts under suits can be a fun way to be creative even with a strict-ish dress code.

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    Anon 05/20/2010 at 12:49 am #

    I don’t know where you guys work but in a professional environment, a dress that short would never fly.

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    Austen 05/20/2010 at 6:57 am #

    kisses from lima, peru . i´m a huge fan of modcloth and i just love these outfit ideas. im a business casual cutie now xD

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    Katie 05/20/2010 at 7:59 am #

    Eh, I don’t think the dress is that short “Anon.” You can see in the first pic that it’s below her fingertips, and that’s even the length rule in high schools! Plus, with black opaque tights, it’s conservative!

    I loved this and I think Jen looks adorable in all those outfits! I’ll definitely look at my work wardrobe with new eyes. 🙂

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    Leah 05/20/2010 at 12:01 pm #

    Great article! All of these outfits are great! I love the pin idea!
    The dress works so well because it is so flattering!

    Thanks for the ideas.

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    Robin 05/20/2010 at 2:12 pm #

    Where can I find the lacy blouse on the upper right in the Freelancin’ Fashionista box? Couldn’t find it in the professional attire section. Thanks!

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    ModCloth 05/20/2010 at 2:17 pm #

    @Robin —

    It’s the Copycat Blouse! 🙂

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    Jean 05/21/2010 at 12:59 pm #

    I have to agree with “Anon;” mid-thigh is considered too short in a professional environment. Even with opaque tights. My office is biz casual, but at-the-knee is the length for skirts and dresses here. I can maybe get away with an inch or two above the knee on “casual Friday” and wearing tights.

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    Trishna 05/22/2010 at 6:02 pm #

    thank you so much . that was such a big help. I am just starting work in a pretty strict environment and this was much needed

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    Hannah 04/21/2011 at 11:50 am #

    Great post! I love that you have divided the work look into three possibilites! Too often nowadays people stick to the boring black dress and heels. I say you can still look smart and sophisticated as well as lookinng fun and fashionable! Dress up your look with a classic mac or blazer, a timeless leather bag or briefcase and a good pair of courts and you really can’t go wrong in the office!

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    Mel 04/27/2011 at 1:26 pm #

    All I can say is THANKS! I have been looking for a way to look good at the office but still be myself. *Page bookmarked!*

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