Work Clothes.

by Emily Steers on 09/11/2012

So, I don’t often talk fashion on this here blog, though clothing is something that I’ve been very interested in since… forever. Generally speaking, I don’t like talking about clothing because whenever I talk about being hard to fit, it kind of spawns a talk about body image that I’m never keen on having.

The American women’s clothing industry blows. No one can actually fit into mass-produced clothes. It sucks.

What's Your Favorite Color?....Blue and Brown

But, I have a conundrum. For the past three years, I’ve been working in an office in which jeans and t shirs were a-ok. In fact, tees and yoga pants pretty much sufficed 90% of the time. Now that I work in a real office? I have five outfits that work. I’ve been cycling through them. And my guess is that my new co-workers are wondering why I keep wearing the same thing over and over again.

Untitled #219

I friggin’ love the above outfit– but who can afford a $360 blazer?

Here’s the thing, though, again– why are nice office clothes so BORING? There’s no such thing as “young” office clothes! I’m not super girlie, so dressing like a kindergarten teacher is a bit out of the question; but I also don’t have big boobs, so a lot of clothing makes me look kind of masculine. The hazards of being tall and relatively flat-chested.

In an ideal world, I could actually afford the clothes at J.Crew, as I think they have the best “somewhere in the middle” clothes; but holy crap, did their clothes get expensive in the last few years. Land’s End Canvas is also a good bet for me….

Autumn Cranberry

Can you guys suggest any good (moderately priced) stores to check out for young, professional clothing?

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

liz @ btb September 11, 2012 at 9:53 PM

I wish I knew! If you find some miracle store that carries well made clothes on the cheap, please let me know. I’m pretty much fashion-less…. can’t put a look together unless I copy it from a collage like the ones above…. which are gorgeous by the way.


Katie @ Newcomb Home September 12, 2012 at 4:07 PM

I’m a cheapo (and definitely not a fashionista) so take my advice with a grain of salt. But, I usually mix and match. I like to get decent jeans (like Levi’s or Gap, I’m no designer jean gal) and pair them with tops from other stores like Old Navy or JC Penney. See? Cheap. But, I have found that you can put together a decent work outfit by mixing and matching. I found my only blazer at Ross (its Calvin Klein). My work sounds a little more casual than yours but I’ve found a scarf or necklace can spice up otherwise boring outfits. Also, I will spill on, rip, or otherwise ruin clothes (I’m clumsy) so there is no point in getting “this will last 20 years” clothes for me :)
Sorry. I babbled a lot. Hopefully something is helpful!!
I just tried a new store – I ordered a sweater dress. I’ll let you know if its true to size and if I’d order there again!


Sues September 14, 2012 at 11:04 AM

You have to learn to shop the sales! I went from working from home for 4.5 years to working in an office and it’s been rough. I’m lucky that my office is casual in that we can wear pretty much what we want if we don’t have client meetings, but it’s a marketing agency and everyone looks SO good and put together all the time. Also, I have a lot of client meetings.

I love the outlets and especially when they’re having sales. JCrew is still expensive in outlet, but the occasional 30% coupons help. I love the Loft and they have awesome sales. TJ Maxx, Filene’s, etc. just require time to sift through everything and make outfits. Surprisingly, H&M has a lot of affordable and fitted blazers and blouses. Oh! And good jewelry can tie together any outfit (and make it so you can wear the same shirt every week and nobody notices!). I HATE Forever 21 clothes, but their jewelry is fabulous (I get tons of compliments when I wear it and nobody believes it’s F21). Take a look at, too. And outlet jewelry from Banana, Ann Taylor, Loft, etc. is great.

I have the problem that I’m super petite and look about 15 years younger than I am (Yup, I’m almost 30 and look about 15), so a lot of “business” clothes makes me look like a kid trying to play dress up in too-big clothes. Cinching with belts helps a lot.

Oh and I LOVE that blazer outfit above.

Sorry for my super long ramble… Congrats on the new job!! :)


Emily @ Our Waldo Bungie September 16, 2012 at 8:11 AM

H&M for cute, cheap accessories.
Old Navy or Gap for decent jeans.
Ann Taylor LOFT for tops, blazers, and dress pants (they have a sale of 30-50% off at least once a week – just shop only during the sales).

The one thing I would NOT skimp on – under garments. There is nothing a good pair of Spanx (undies or tanks) can’t help with! A good foundation can make a big difference in how I feel about what I am wearing! :)


Kim September 17, 2012 at 1:51 PM

I love all of these outfits. I love them. And I hate shopping.

That is all.


Katelyn Benton September 22, 2012 at 7:55 AM

Occasionally Ross really surprises me, and there are two not far from you. Also, if you are ever down to venture out to the outlets, I would definitely keep you company on that journey! Or, wherever you end up going really. Shopping for clothes is one of my favorites :)


Samantha September 28, 2012 at 7:01 AM

My office is pretty strict on attire so I have a few go-to places…Marshalls and TJ Maxx usually have a ton of designer suits and skirts. I find NY and Company recently started having some nice things (especially essential blazers) and the sales and coupons are really good. Express isn’t bad for a lot of essential skirts and pants and then Nordstrom Rack and the Anne Taylor Loft (when a sale is going on)…The trick I have found is just getting on the email list for any info on coupons and sales. Macys end of season sale is also a must :).


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