STYLE: THE 9-5 EDIT, SUMMER CASUAL

With Ohio slowly re-opening again, many people are heading back to work.  That means the summer work wardrobe is in full swing.  My summer work attire is very casual (partly because of my work environment and partly because it’s summer).  I’m either wearing a dress or linen pants/white denim with a blouse.  I can easily make these casual looks for work by how I style them.  Below I’m breaking down my formula for dressing summer casual with white denim and a blouse.  

The Basics: White Denim + Blouse

Start with the basics, aka classic white denim or easy linen pants. Make sure your pants are clean, tailored, and pressed (and avoid denim with holes, even if that is trendy). I make sure my pants hit just above my ankle for slim pants and about an inch above that for my linen pants. Avoid mini-skirts, capri pants, and shorts.

If I’m wearing this pants and blouse combo, I make sure my blouse is dressy – this can be a structured fit or loose depending on the style of pants. Avoid tank tops, halter tops, and anything that shows cleavage. If you choose sleeveless, style with a cardigan sweater, just in case. For this style shoot I chose a fresh take on the button up. With the square neckline, bold buttons, and oversize cap sleeve, this J.Crew Factory blouse is perfect for summer.

Accessories

I’m a firm believer in accessorizing. I think accessorizing an outfit with jewelry and a handbag instantly adds style to any ensemble. Dressing it up with bold floral earrings, bracelets, a chic straw tote, and Jack Roger sandals makes this look casual, yet work appropriate. Sometimes I will swap out the bold statement earrings for a long necklace and hoops.

Shoes

Most work environments don’t allow flip flops or sandals. Luckily, mine allows dressy open toed shoes, so my Jack Rogers are usually perfect. If your work environment does not allow open toed shoes, opt for ballet flats or a comfortable wedge. I like these flats from J.Crew Factory and espadrille wedges from Sam Edelman.

At the end of the day, make sure your look is tailored, fits well, and comfortable for you.

Happy summer!


Slainte,
Shannon

STYLE: THE 9-5 EDIT, PATTERN DRESSES

If you look at my dress collection, it’s full of prints and patterns. As much as I love my stripes, I also LOVE preppy, bold prints. I used to shy away from wearing bold prints to work – I didn’t want to look too flashy or stand out, I thought I needed to dress conservative and professional, etc. But as I’ve grown more comfortable and confident with my style, I realize that it’s okay to dress bright.

With several years of working in the professional world under my belt, I’ve learned that wearing clothes that make me feel confident and put together are the keys to my success. It shouldn’t matter what we wear to work, but in all honesty (and from experience) what you wear to work does matter. I’m much more productive and confident when I’m wearing an outfit that is perfectly styled and comfortable. Whether that is a bright dress, tailored pants, or a pretty blouse, the key is making sure YOU feel good.

One of my favorite work appropriate brands is Jude Connally. I love the ease and effortlessness of their dresses. They are stretchy enough to ensure a great fit, no matter what your body type. The fabric is wrinkle-free, soft, easy care, and the cuts are so flattering – they are perfect for work, date night, church, running around the house – you name it! Plus the patterns are just so darn happy and fun and they don’t fade over time.

Wearing a patterned dress to work doesn’t mean you aren’t professional, and you can easily style it to make it professional. Below are a few tips for dressing boldly and wearing a patterned dress in your work environment.

Keep your accessories minimal. 

Because your dress is already full of life, you don’t need a ton of flashy jewels. Keep it simple. When I wear bright dresses I opt for two simple and classic bracelets and usually pearls or low maintenance earrings. Simple is better. Also, make sure your handbag is a solid color – you don’t want clashing prints.

Opt for neutral colored shoes.

Whether you choose pumps, flats, or wedges, keep your shoes neutral.  It will keep things classy and minimize noise.  If I’m wearing a bright pattern, I tend to opt for nude wedges, classic ballet flats, or my Jack Roger sandals. 

Add a blazer or cardigan.

If you work in a more conservative, professional environment, add a solid color classic blazer or open front cardigan for a chic update to your look.  I love to wear my sweater blazer from J.Crew over my dresses (see how I styled mine here and here). 

Fit is important.

Make sure the dress you choose is flattering. In other words, dress for your body type. You want to choose a dress that won’t result in awkward tugging or pulling. You 100% want to feel comfortable in the fit. I love dresses that are A-line or form fitting. Because I’m so petite, these classic styles work better for my body type and don’t swallow me up.

The single most important part of dressing bold is making sure you look and feel put together. There is power in confidence and confidence is the key to your success, whatever that may look like.

I’m including a few other styles of Jude Connally dresses that I love below.

Megan Dress in Sail Geo | Ella Dress in Cheetah Classic | Kristen Dress in Sail Geo | Laney Dress in Tonal Stripe | Holly Dress in Chain Link 

Slainte,

Shannon

Thank you to Jude Connally for sponsoring this post.  The item was gifted but all opinions are my own.

STYLE: THE 9-5 EDIT

SLEEK SEPARATES

I’m so excited to be sharing this new fashion series, The 9-5 Edit!  Once a month, I’ll share a work inspired ensemble for all you working ladies.  My wardrobe has to be very versatile since I work three days a week in public relations and then stay at home two days a week.  Even on my days at home, I like to get dressed and look put together, so I try to buy pieces that will work for both work and my casual days off. 

The first outfit in this series is focused on sleek separates.  So let’s get down to business, shall we?

WHY SEPARATES?

Purchasing separates allows you to mix and match all day long.  Investing in two to three cardigans, four to five stylish blouses, two to three button ups, a blazer, a skirt, and two pairs of classic pants or trousers will provide you with a closet full of chic and easy outfits to choose from.   You can really get creative with pairing different items together, which makes getting ready for work (or at least I think so).

When shopping for separates, look for pieces that are tailored, structured, and comfortable. In my opinion, it’s better to splurge on classic and timeless styles that will last for years. If you love trends, you can still look have fun through your use of color, pattern, and accessories.

HOW I STYLED SEPARATES:

A classic navy or black cropped pant in stretch twill or ponte is a must have for me. This style will always stand the test of time and having a pair of navy and black gives you unlimited styling options. (No joke I’ve had these navy pants for six years!)

I chose a monochromatic look (back on this trend again) by pairing my navy cropped pants with a navy gingham button up. I opted for no fuss pearls, my Kiel James Patrick bracelets, nude flats, and a classic, 1960’s inspired hair style to complete the look. Oh and I can’t forget the belt! The belt breaks up the navy and the anchor detail adds a little extra prep. This is such a simple, clean and polished look, perfect for the work day.

Investing in classic separates is the easiest way to have a clean and refined wardrobe for work. I’ve included a few of my spring favorites below.

Sláinte,

Shannon

SPRING SEPARATES IDEAS:

Blouse 1 | Blouse 2 | Cardigan (I have this!) | Trouser Pant | Skinny Pant | Shoes