I’ll be honest here, I haven’t worn a suit in nearly 7 years. My life in the corporate 9-5 world lasted approximately 5 years. My first job out of college was working at Norfolk Southern as a revenue accountant. This was a traditional corporate job in that I had to wear a suit every single day. My closet was stocked with Express and Loft. Super great, affordable office wear and still to this day is my go-to for pieces like that. And on “jean day” which was a charity event that you had to pay to participate in, I was reprimanded for my skinny jeans. But don’t worry, the miserable upper management who hated me wore them anyway. I hated it. They hated me. It was mutual.
After a few months of interviewing, working on my pathetic blog at the time, and interning at an online high-end designer boutique, I finally got a job as an account executive at Alternative Apparel. I skipped to work every day I loved it so much. The casual office environment and culture in combination with working on a brand that I truly loved and wore was a dream come true. I worked there for four years working my way up to the southeast sales rep. Even as a sales rep meeting with clients regularly, I was still quite casual with my work outfits. It was just part of the company culture.
We wore jeans, sneakers, our own tee shirts (they do really make the best tees and sweatshirts and still wear them ALL THE TIME). So I ended up storing most of the collar shirts, slacks and pencil skirts pretty soon after investing in all of the things. Now 7 years later, these pieces either no longer fit me, aren’t in style, or I just don’t need them.
Now that I’m 3.5 years into blogging full time, I have an extensive closet of comfy tees, jeans and loungewear. Sure this is great for me, but you the reader have spoken and I have listened. So many of you have requested more 9-5 office outfit ideas. Still casual enough, comfy and stylish. Because I’m all about the effortless stuff here. Fashion doesn’t have to be fussy or uncomfortable. You can easily elevate an outfit effortlessly with just a few things here and there.
And when thinking of what to wear to the office, I want to easily show you how to effortlessly elevate, feel stylish and not break the bank. I get the latter is a bit subjective, but you can’t really go wrong with the deals at Express and LOFT. Still, to this day, I head to those two stores to find dressier pieces that don’t cost a fortune. And bonus, looks great.
Casual Work Outfit Ideas
One of my favorite essentials to a casual work wardrobe are these columnist pants from Express. Don’t buy them full price friends, they’ll always be on sale at one point or another. But these are probably the best pants to grab right now for the office. They come in a dozen colors and are super flattering. The mid-rise is perfect, not too high, not too low. I often times say in many of my outfit posts with jeans, that you can easily swap out the jeans, for cigarette dress pants for a 9-5 look. Take this outfit for example and also this one where I style this bell sleeve top with jeans where the rule easily applies. But often times, it’s hard to visualize it and I get that. So here’s pretty much one of my go-to dressier looks with denim, but swapped the pants for these great ankle dress pants. Easy enough right?
Casual Work Outfits With Blazers
One of my favorite ways to easy dress up or a down a look to make it a casual work outfit is swapping out your slacks with jeans. This is also why I love the Express Columnist pant. It has a similar silhouette to my favorite jeans making it really easy to swap out with casual tops, or swap out the pant for a jean. Always add a blazer when doing a jean so that it’s pulled together and still work appropriate. If your office doesn’t allow jeans, just swap the jeans for the columnist pant! It’s a great way to mix and match!
TIP: If you find a dress pant you love so much, buy two pairs. I used to hem one for flats and keep the other for heels. It made getting dressed super easy. Hemming is super inexpensive and worth the $5!
Casual Work Outfits With Dresses
Dresses are such a great way to pull a casual work outfit together. I love a good midi skirt length which makes it office appropriate but also on trend. For a more casual feel, add a denim jacket if your office allows it. Add a bootie, or colorful heel to make it feel more casual and less stuffy! This long sleeve plaid shirt dress is just perfect. Pair with a loafer for an even more casual and comfortable look!
I’m excited to style a few more things I picked up at Express for the blog. It’s fun to switch things up even for my everyday looks around the city. It feels a little more elevated to be putting on slacks instead of jeans for events around the city. You can also see another burgundy pants outfit idea for the office right here.