On Duty, Off Duty || Casual + Versatile Workwear

When I worked a 9-5 office job my days were typically spent outside the “office.” I was either in client’s homes, at their schools, or at the county offices for a meeting. When I was in the office, the dress code was business casual. Dark jeans were allowed, with a specific clause prohibiting “biker shorts….” to which I was slightly amazed it was even in there…. All that to say, I spent most of my time wearing pieces that easily transitioned outside of those 40 hours with simple tweeks. Early on in my career, I decided that I couldn’t stomach spending loads of money on a workweek wardrobe that I couldn’t wear outside of the office as well…. so, I made it a mission to always find items that did just that. Today, I’m sharing how to take your “on duty” to “off duty” status.

**All the alternative options I provide will also pair with the pieces that I am wearing in today’s post. 

1. Neutral, Comfortable Pants: I was fortunate enough that jeans were acceptable in my work environment, but I also invested in a few “basic” trousers. I made sure they were a classic cut, in a neutral color like this option here. While they are drawstring, they easily dress up to be work day appropriate, especially with the cuff at the bottom. Wear them as featured here for the office, and transition them outside of the workweek with sneakers, slides, a comfy pullover, or oversized cardigan and tee. A few other pairs that I would wear to work include this dark wash denim (which I personally own), basic crop trouser, utility pant, and these pleated trousers. All of these options are different, and can easily be dressed up or down.

2. Detailed Top: While I’d never pick something extravagant, I did like tops with simple detailing that made them look slightly dressier for work…. that way they would be perfect for a date night or girl’s night out when I was off duty. Simple lace details are my current favorite, and this top is such a perfect option (I couldn’t resist it in both black and white). It can easily be dressed down with distressed denim as well. I also think a small ruffle detailrelaxed bell sleeve, or combo simple bell and ruffle detail on a cute button-up are all versatile choices.

3. Structured Top Layer: I feel as if this typically pulled my outfit together… but also worked for an evening out as well. This faux suede jacket is a great option. Not too heavy, classic, and a neutral option. I also love this structured utility jacket (a great alternative to the typical blazer), sweater blazer (#obsessed… hello perfect “on duty” + “off duty” option!),  as well as this traditional blazer.

4. Versatile Shoe: I wore flats most of the time, mainly because I was on my feet a lot. Yet, when I wanted a little height, I opted for more of a kitten heel. Both options allow you to wear them on the weekends, or transition to an after work happy hour. You all know how many different ways I wear these mules, and I think they would be perfect for the office. I also think this low heeled mule is a great choice (which I’ve worn casual and dressed up). If you’re looking for a more conservative flat, this scalloped option is great (I own an almost identical pair and wore them to the office all the time)… and a slightly higher heeled option would be these.

5. Simple Accessories: Just like today, I had my favorite simple accessories to top off all my outfits… which easily transitioned into my weekend wardrobe too. Yet, one piece that didn’t always make the transition was the watch. I needed it when I was working… but typically opted to leave it at home when I was off duty.

That’s pretty much all that went into my outfits (with the exception of my favorite classic tote). I think the key is to find neutral color options that can easily be mixed in with pieces that might be a little more statement making (i.e. bold colors). As long as the majority is neutral, you’re sure to be able to mix, match, and move from “on duty” to “off duty” with ease.

(Outfit Details || Jacket c/o (color parchment, 4 color options) | Tank | Pants (currently 50% off, run large, wearing PXXS, 3 color options, come in regular, petite, + tall) | Mules | WatchBeaded Necklace | Crescent Necklace | Evil Eye Necklace | Bag)