What’s in my cart?

By which, I of course mean, what’s currently being shipped to my house. Your girl did some shoppin‘ this week! I always spend way too much money this time of year (the sales are just too good!), and my husband and I have been talking about doing a no-spend month (or 2, or 12…he’s so good with money and I am…not), so I went a little nuts in preparation. I’m starting a new job in a couple of weeks, which means I actually get to dress like a person again (no shade to the retail/food service industries, but I’ve done it for 12 years, I deserve to look cute at work)! I’m joyfully unpacking all of my business casual clothing from my last office job and I *might* do a ceremonial burning of some of my ratty work clothes soon.

Here’s what I’ve been checking out lately!

On Santa’s Sleigh

J.Crew

I’ve been a die-hard J.Crew girl for years and years, through the Jenna Lyons era and unto the breach. Even though not every season perfectly matches my aesthetic, J.Crew makes great quality clothes and they’re always having wild sales. In the past few weeks I’ve bought this green dress (still on sale and available in every size!), this jumpsuit, these amazing pants, and these stunning sandals before they sold out, along with some other great work staples!

I especially love J.Crew for men’s clothing—my husband is allergic to shopping and would 100% wear ill-fitting pants he’s had since the ’90s and band t-shirts every day if left to his own devices. J.Crew’s pants fit him so well (he is #blessed with a great metabolism). I scored 3 pairs of pants for less than the retail of 1 yesterday—merry Christmas to him!

Madewell

How is Madewell not sponsoring me by this point? I’m just free advertisement. I would say that a majority of my closet is Madewell—their clothes truly are made well, and last. Their leather bags are buttery-soft and incredible. I just snagged these tops—love a wrap, gingham, and a square neck!—and this jumpsuit, which I’m aware is criminally extra.

I’m eyeing this coat, this kimono jacket (all leopard everything), these Chelsea boots, this skirt (I have it in pink!), and this jumpsuit.

BlissBranch

I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about BlissBranch on here, but it’s an awesome (and very reasonably priced!) online vintage store that was recently relaunched! I treated myself to some wide-leg pants, and a couple of gorgeous vintage dresses. This week, use the coupon code 15FORME to get 15% off your purchase!

Everlane

I love Everlane so much. This winter, I finally caved and got a weather-appropriate parka (only took me 27 years), and the Tank Bra in every. damn. color. These flats are definitely on my Christmas list, and the Day Heel and Boot need to join my closet ASAP.

xo

-c

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It’s Business Time

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Friends, countrymen: As I mentioned in a post this summer, I have an office job! We’re all student employees, so, baby steps, but the department is cracking down on professional, “business casual” dress. It’s been a while since I’ve done a style post (and it’ll be a while before I do another (mama put on that post-wedding weight), but faithful followers know how I dress. I’m basically a spokeswoman for Madewell. Ripped jeans are my life. I own one blazer.

Luckily, my mom was game to take me shopping for a few office-appropriate dresses to tide me over. But I’m viewing this new dress code as an opportunity to overhaul my entire wardrobe. Since I’m officially going gray (more on that later), I should probably own more than slogan tees. Unfortunately, guidelines about women’s business casual are pretty vague, and range anywhere from “don’t be a slob” to “buy a bunch of skirt suits”. The only resource I’ve found so far that’s been remotely helpful is this list. Refinery 29 also put out a list, but it’s a bit high fashion for working in public schools. Like, I’m not getting away with a silk jumpsuit.

Here’s the thing: there is no such thing as a set business casual dress code for women. For men, it’s shockingly simple—a polo or button-down over khakis. Done. It’s industry standard. But women*, whose wardrobes tend to be more diverse (let’s change that, though #teamromphim), have a lot more at stake, both because of the uncertainty of what’s appropriate and because of the general lack of understanding of men*, colleagues and bosses. Additionally, every workplace is completely different, and some are far more conservative than others. Suddenly, skirt length and neckline depth come into play.

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i obviously play pretty fast-and-loose with the rules (this was my halloween costume tbh). top is oui fresh, bottoms are madewell

So, here are a few of my tried-and-true favorite pieces and combinations to help ease you into adulting!

High-Necked Dresses

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this loft sweater dress is a dream!

The high-necked dress can’t fail. Conservative, stylish, and diverse, this is the #1 best option for women in the workplace, imo.

Tips: avoid strapless or spaghetti-strap looks, keep the hemline close to the knee

This Madewell sweater dress is #goals.

This JCrew stunner is on my wishlist.

Living for this cobalt blue number.

Blazer/Tank/Jeans

A casual/cool riff on the suit, this look is easy and super stylish. Make sure your jeans are a dark wash, and that the tank isn’t too revealing!

This tank, with these jeans and this blazer would be adorable!

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Bodysuit & Midi-Skirt

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this look is killer

To tuck or not to tuck—that is the question. Tucking in shirts is a terrible curse. I honestly don’t know how guys do it every day. Inevitably, you get fabric-bunch and spend the entire day stealthily readjusting to avoid lumps and bumps. Plus, if your top’s not long enough, it falls out constantly. Enter, my great love, the bodysuit. Goodbye, lumps! The bodysuit’s design keeps your top looking sleek and in place all day. Pair it with a midi-skirt for maximum cuteness.

Tip: Tall girls—size up! Bodysuit proportions are definitely made for the vertically-challenged. I’m a size S/M and I always order a large for a flawless fit. #longtorsoproblems

Madewell’s body suits are bar none the best.

This skirt is too good. Loft sure knows how to make a skirt!

Classic Blouse (or sweater!) & Trousers

How can you possibly go wrong with this combo? Bonus points for high-waisted pants with tucked-in shirttails!

This blouse from the Who What Wear line at Target would look amazing with some cream or khaki pants!

Or this sweater and these pants? *faints*

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But what about SHOES?!

This is still an area I struggle with. I’ve spent years putting together a dope sneaker collection, and now all my sweet kicks are collecting dust. I tend to fall back on the same few pairs over and over again, but I’m trying to vary my shoe game.

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Strappy Sandals

These are perfect for summer! Avoid super-high heels, since comfort is the main objective. My tip is to invest in one super nice pair that you can wear to events and one everyday pair that looks nice but is secretly cheap enough to replace after a long summer. Get one black pair and one saddle—you’ll thank me.

Here’s your cheapo pair!

And here’s your splurge! Seychelles makes the best sandals ever.

Flats

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ella pump evangelist, party of one

Flats, or shoes with a small heel (less than 2″) are great for sedentary jobs. Opt for a leather/pleather or suede finish for ultimate polish.

These Madewell pumps are the comfiest heels ever. I’m wearing them in the pic above.

These are the cutest things I’ve ever seen.

These are absurdly cheap and very comfortable.

Loafers

Loafers, oxfords, or (nice) moccasins are a super comfy way to class up an outfit.

These are snazzy and would go with everything.

These are the actual cutest (and they come in pink!)

Boots

I’m in Massachusetts where the weather has the potential to be terrible during any season, so boots are a wardrobe must. Make sure you have at least one black and one brown pair. Also, peep toes are awesome for the early fall!

This quilted look is adorbs!

I own boots similar to these (same brand), and they are comfy, chic, and go with everything.

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Office environments vary, but I guarantee if you’re in a relatively chill field like higher ed, this will help you conquer the first-job what-the-hell-do-I-wear?! blues. Just don’t forget your BOSS necklace!

 

 

*It should be noted that when I write “men” or “women” I refer to all those who identify as such and am not trying to enforce an outdated gender-binary system. Biology ≠ gender.