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TGIF, PEEPS. I know on a Friday the *last* thing we wanna think about is more work…but today we’re gonna think about work. BUT BUT BUT, it’s not nearly as grueling a work subject as navigating tough convos with your boss, or dealing with Negative Nancy in the cubicle next door. It’s fun. It’s fashion. Fashion is fun!
I’ve never done much with workwear here on CUR, and I could not tell ya why. There was never a rhyme or reason as to why not – it just never crossed my mind! But I always loveloveLOVED my workwear wardrobe when it was more necessary in my life (ie., when I wasn’t working from home and in my fave Zella leggings every Thursday – ha!). And I know SO many of you gorgeous gals have jobs that require something a bit more than yoga pants, but not necessarily a full-on suit.
I put together a summer workwear capsule wardrobe for ya. And guys…I’m proud of it. This was truly a labor of lovelovelove – so I hope it significantly helps those of you ladies in the working world (or in college prepping for the working world, since we know y’all need solid workwear staples in your college closets for internships, too!). The capsule has 16 pieces, ALL meant to be as mixable + matchable as humanly possible, so that you can get away with having *only* these pieces in your closet for the season. The color palette also works into fall, I think, so hopefully it’s helpful. 🙂 Which brings me to…this entire workwear capsule wardrobe is mixable + matchable in terms of colors, too! That actually ended up being just a beautiful happy accident, since I didn’t intentionally buy pieces or pick out pieces from my closet that were all in the same color palettes/family. BUT IT HAPPENED. So I’m not mad about it. 😉
You’ll also notice that a.) I personally own every single piece I’m recommending to y’all. I think that’s SUPER important – especially for something like a capsule wardrobe – because I only want to recommend pieces to you that I have worn enough myself to be able to honestly speak to things like wearability, fit, appropriateness for the office, etc. And that really comes from having the pieces personally, I think.
And b.) I’m *only* wearing pieces from this specific workwear capsule wardrobe in every single one of the pictures from this shoot! So LITERALLY, everything mixes + matches with each other. That’s the whole point, yo. 😉 I think the only thing I’m wearing in every pic that isnt mentioned in the actual capsule are a few details: 1.) My pearl necklace from LAGOS, so here it is! It’s a personal fave since it literally goes every. single. outfit. under. the. sun. 2.) My pearl bracelet. Also from LAGOS. 3.) My lippy – it’s Urban Decay’s Vice Liquid Lipstick in Backtalk. Hands down, FAVE. I own Backtalk in the liquid lip formula, as well as in the comfort matte lipstick – and I have, like, 3 tubes on hand. It’s a beautiful, wearable mauve that works on every skin tone, and both of the aforementioned formulas are A+ in my book. So there’s all of that. 🙂
Ready to do the damn thing?
HECK YES. Let’s dive in.
1.) Light blazer – BP blush blazer
This blazer sold out SO FAST with the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale happening, but no worries – I think it’ll be restocked since it’s such a popular style! In the meantime, the gist here is to pick up a blazer that’s light enough in fabric + color to be workable and wearable NOW, in the middle of summer. Bonus points if it’s doubly workable into fall. 😉
2.) Breezy maxi dress – Floral Tiered Eliza J Maxi Dress
From the second I saw this maxi, it was lovelovelove. First off, the color/print – SO pretty + flattering on so many skin colors. Like, EVERY skin color. Second, the fit/shape. It’s got such a beautiful flow to it, while still being more conservative up top (of course, pair with a light blazer/cardigan if you can’t go sleeveless in your office!).
The other bonus here: It TOTALLY works by itself for things not work-related, like summer weddings/church/baptisms, fancier family dinners, or date night!
3.) Classic shift dress – CeCe Twist Back Floral Shift Dress
Every work wardrobe needs a classic shift! This dress is one of my favorites of all of SUMMER. It’s the softest, most breathable material – totally not your stereotypical polyester shift dress. No sir. It doesn’t wrinkle (bless), it hits at your knee (bless), but the fun back makes it great for post-work happy hour, too (bless).
4.) Loafer slide or mule – BP Maddy Mule
If youve been around these rosy parts for more than a hot sec, you’ve probably seen these gems make an appearance (or five), as well! These mules have had my heart since they first came out. The bow. The fit. The FEEL (they’re SO so comfy). They just win.
A good mule always has a place in a good workwear capsule wardrobe, since they easily pair with every bottom + are typically much more comfortable than their heel counterparts. Also a great thing to keep AT the office if need be, in case you find yourself with a blister from those heels you made yourself wear for that presentation, when you just KNEW you’d end paying for it in pain later…argh.
These come in 11 colors/prints and are currently on sale for 55% off, making them under $30. So…run.
5.) Wrap dress – CeCe Belted Ruffle Wrap Dress
Another dress must: the wrap dress. Wrap dresses are equal parts easy + flattering, and they’re lighter in material and maintenance for the perfect summer workwear piece. CeCe is just one of my personal favorite brands, especially for workwear, since so much of their stuff is SO comfy, SO flattering, SO easy – and doesn’t require ironing. SO my cuppa tea. 😉 I personally lovelovelove this Vista Blue shade, but it also comes in red – all the fiesta girl vibes! – and a beautiful moody navy.
6.) Staple work sandal – Sam Edelman Yaro Sandal
My go-to staple black heel. It’s on the higher side (I think) for work heels, but they transition SO WELL from desk to drinks that it’s all #WorthIt. This style also comes in a thousand and one color options, so if you fall in lovelovelove, you can buy a pair for every outfit. 😉
7.) Easy desk-to-drinks dress – Leith Ruched Bodycon Tank Dress
My favorite dress of all time is BACK AT IT AGAIN, FOLKS. Really tho, how many times do you need to hear me rave about this gem before hitting #AddToCart? 😉 I swear it’s the most dang versatile, flattering thing. This should be in every capsule wardrobe for every season, really. Maybe not the most practical for the heart of Northeaster winters, but I’m sure doable everywhere else.
This gem is bodycon but still work-appropriate given it’s length + ruching. If it were a strict body-con dress that were skin-tight in nature…it wouldn’t get the office attire green light. But the ruching keeps it a bit looser in appearance, while still hugging your figure. HENCE why it’s great for desk-to-drinks! Layer with your light blazer or favorite cardi for daytime, but wear it by itself for happy hour after hours and you’re golden.
Also, it comes in approximately 32 colors, so you have options. I already own it in 5, but maybe I need more? The jury’s out on that one – ha! These three shades are 40% off if you’re looking for even more of a #steal.
ALSO, I realize that I keep saying “flattering” to describe basically everything. Sorry not sorry, I only speak the truth. 😉 This girl prefers wearing things that make her look + feel like a million bucks, so ain’t nobody got time for less than that.
8.) Blouse – Topshop Slouchy Knot Front Blouse + Chicwish White Organza Lace Top
I wasn’t totally sold on this Topshop blouse at first for work, ONLY because it does have a slit in the front. The slit isn’t wide or loose or anything, but it’s there, so I feel the need to point that out for ya justincase. HOWEVER. If you’re super conservative personally and/or work in a super conservative office, pinning it wouldn’t be a problem and wouldn’t be noticeable! If you’re cool with it, it’s a winner winner chicken dinner. The blouse comes in 5 colors, so you’ve got options again. And the 3/4-length sleeve is v practical, since it’s breezy enough for now, but long enough for later.
This Chicwish top was a definite winner in my book! It’s a dressier look that just feels classy, but it still dresses down with your fave denim. It’s also only $36.90, which is SO CHEAP given how it looks/feels on.
9.) Breezy black pants – CeCe Wide Leg Pants
A good pair of black pants is always a good idea in a workwear wardrobe. These I lovelovelove because of how lightweight the fabric is – hello, summer. Another favorite, tho, in the black-pants-that-feel-like-pajamas-but-you-can-wear-to-work category are these ponte pants – remember ’em from this 1 Thing, 3 Ways post??? Not necessarily as lightweight as a breezier alternative, but SO SO SO GOOD for that I-got-away-with-leggings-as-pants-AT-WORK feeling. Also on sale for $29.60, sooooo no brainer there. 😉
10.) Shell – J. Crew Factory Gingham Side-tie Shell
This bad boy is on sale for $22.50 (!!!!) + comes in 3 different gingham prints. It’s SO GOOD for work *and* play, too. A good shell is a workwear staple for layering especially, but I like that this one feels wearable by itself because of the fit + side-tie (it doesn’t feel skimpy in the SLIGHTEST, like some shells can/do). The gingham is a fun, summery print, but pair with darker neutrals to transition into fall pretty easily.
My mom actually loveloveloved this on me so much, I think she’s considering her own now as “CUR workwear.” 😉
11.) Good “Casual Friday” denim – American Eagle AE Next Level Jegging Crop in Campus Brights
As seen in my Best Jeans Under $100 post! Casual Friday is everyone’s favorite Friday. Besides Summer Friday’s. 😉 But if you’ve got an office that’s A-OK with dressed down denim to end the week, I highly recommend these from American Eagle! First off, AE jeans go SO FAR in my book. They’re so insanely affordable without feeling like you’re sacrificing anything on fit or wear, which is huge. They fit like a charm and wear for multiple seasons, and normally with “cheaper” denim I feel like I’m picking and choosing one or the other for the sake of a bargain.
They’re only $39.95 AND on sale for BOGO 50% off. WHICH IS NUTS, YO. They crop keeps ’em cool for summer and pairs well with cuter summer heels or mules. No need for bootcut just yet! 😉
12.) Comfortable colorful heel – Everlane Day Heel in Poppy
I’ve talked about these bad boys before, and for good reason. They’re truly the most comfy heels I’ve put on my feet. They’re the quintessential work heel, really. The chunky heel isn’t the highest, so they’re v walkable. The backs have a bit of elastic, so they conform to YOUR foot instead of trying to make your foot conform to it (ouch). The overall style is versatile enough to pair with basically anything + everything you’re wearing to work, from pants to dresses and everything in between.
Yes, at $150, they might not be the cheapest heel in your closet.
But they’ll be the only heel that you continuously reach for, cos you’ll have NO blisters or pain EVER.
And they’ll be the heel you save for another pair for in another color (or 3, no judgment…they come in 15 color choices so you have your fair share to choose from!), justbecause they’re that dang good.
13.) Basic layering tank – Treasure & Bond U-Neck Tank
Every good capsule wardrobe has a good basic tank/tee. It’s just a must. Whether by itself or layered under other basics, you can dress ’em up or dress ’em down – it’s like a Pocket Polly. (Anyone else remember those???? OMG NOSTALGIA).
This specific tank is a fave of mine since it’s a.) really well-made and b.) $25. If I’m paying $25 for a tank top, it needs to be a hella good tank top – one that will be super wearable + durable throughout the whole season. And this one is that! It also comes in grey + white, so it’s a great neutral one to stock up on + have on hand for this season and next.
14.) Printed jogger pant – CeCe Ruched Printed Soft Pant
Another must for me – joggers. Specifically, SOFT joggers. Good soft pants go a loooooong way in the workplace, especially if/when you’ve got long days when you just can’t. It’s just in line with that whole “if it feels like pajamas…” mantra.
Oh, I didn’t actually say the mantra?
If it feels like pajamas but looks like real pants, buy them in every color and wear them everywhere all the time.
Sounds about right, amiright? 😉
15.) Basic white tee – LOFT’s Vintage Soft Pocket Tee
I didn’t shoot this one inside this capsule, justbecause you’ve seen it before…as the winner in our white t-shirt contest! 😉
Ya need a good plain white tee, pointblankperiod. This one was the tried n’ true best.
It’s usually $24.50 but is on sale right now for 40% off with code LOVEIT. So, there’s that.
16.) Lightweight (but durable) work tote – Marley Lilly’s Monogrammed Tote Bag, Barrington Gifts St. Anne Tote, Louis Vuitton Neverfull
In a work tote, I’m typically not looking for a hundred and one pockets or compartments. I just want a sorta dump-all to keep anything from my planners + notebooks to laptop + chargers, so it needs to be roomy, flexible, + lightweight enough that my shoulder won’t give out after a week. #important. I included 3 different options in this capsule, all at varying price points, so that you can find what works best for you. BUT, they’re all extremely well made, since that’s a big priority of mine in a work tote – ain’t nobody got time for a broken strap on a busy subway on a hectic hump day morning! All of the below fit my laptop, which is key obvi, so that should hopefully help out with sizing references.
Marley Lilly’s Monogrammed tote bag is a fave of mine. It’s simple, classic, + monogrammable.
The St. Anne Tote from Barrington Gifts is my newest addition, and I’m in lovelovelove. I actually have the diaper bag version, since Baby G is coming in a few months! Woo! Which I actually HIGHLY recommend for any other mamas-to-be out there – it looks just like the regular St. Anne Tote on the outside, but it’s got a bit more compartmentalizing inside for diapers and such. Would make SUCH a good gift, for moms-to-be or brides-to-be, too, since you can get them monogrammed!
Lastly, a LV Neverfull is always a classic option if you’re ready to make the investment! I recommend checking out authenticated secondhand stores for the best deal instead of buying brand new, especially since Louis Vuittons wear SO WELL if properly taken care of! Mine is from Keeks in Dallas, which I 100% recommend.
Labor of lovelovelove, y’all. Lovelovelove. I hope this was/is helpful for any of y’all in need of some workwear inspo for now + later!
Do you have a summer workwear capsule wardrobe yet? Does this one help you out?
What kinda work do you do? What kinda office setting are you in? I WANNA KNOW! This stuff is *fascinating* to me. We spend at least a third of our day at work, so it’s a huge part of who we are – and we’ve all got such different walks of work + life!
So, let me know. 🙂
And have a KICKASS weekend. You deserve it.