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How to Dress Up in a Casual Office

The following is a guest post from our friends at The Budget Fashionista.

Shoulder pads were never my thing—thank goodness I happen to work in a casual office! The one downside to our lax dress code, however, is that I get lazy with my outfits. Like, why not just wear a slightly tweaked version of my PJs? Oh yeah, that’s right. Because I’m an adult, because I'm a commuter (obviously I don’t want my jammies touching the gross train) and because when I look better, I do my job better. So the question is, how do you dress for the office when the office if filled with peeps rocking glorified sweats? It all comes down to a few key pieces. Here's what I rely on:

1. Jeggings. Wait! Don’t let me lose you yet, I’m serious! Jeggings can be stylish, comfortable and not the butt of a joke (um…pun intended?). They’re like the bridge that connects us from jammies to jeans. They fool everyone into thinking you’re dressed while simultaneously fooling your body into thinking it’s still in jammy pants! The key here: Jeggings should be stretchy, never baggy. Opt for those with back pockets (even if they’re faux), unless you want your buttocks in the spotlight all day. Also, bright colors and prints are in, so you don’t have to opt for completely fake jeans. But remember: there’s a fine line between real jeggings and jammies that look like jeggings—don’t go for the latter. Right now, Gap has you covered in the jegging department, find a pair here.

2. Loafers and Moccasins. Who ever invented the dressed up loafer should win a Nobel Peace Prize. I mean isn’t that an oxymoron in itself? Isn’t loafer more-or-less a synonym for couch potato? Either way, loafers are the perfect answer to: 1. Not causing bunions. 2. Fooling your feet that they’re still in slippers. 3. Looking cute and walking fast at the same time. If you work in a casual office, don’t ruin your feet with pumps, save those for happy hour. At the same time, don’t wear your Uggs. And now repeat after me: I will NOT wear flip-flops to the office. Really. Loafers are the best bet, especially these Minnetonka Boat Moccasins at Nordstrom.

3. Frilly Necklaces. Gems and sparkles and baubles, oh my! Flashy, glamorous necklaces are the easiest way to convert your casual-comfy top from blah to ta-dah! Just seeing the sparkles adorn your frame will also make you feel that you put more effort into your look than the two seconds it took to put your necklace on. And because you’re not blowing bennies on worksuits, you can afford to beef up your necklace budget. A great place to start is with this pastel and neon statement necklace by J.Crew.

4. Blazers. Blazers are the working suit for the modern day if you ask me. They come in every color, cut and pattern allowing them to flatter every shape. And how much better can it get? Throw one over a casual t-shirt and instantly look put-together. Genius. Pair with jeans (or jeggings of course!), loafers and a fun necklace and boom-bam: you look like you mean business but are comfortable enough to take a catnap. I've been eyeing the "Paisley Blazer" in blue by Zara (above left) for awhile now—buy it here.

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