woman in yellow tank top using silver macbook

Ten New Ways to Dress Up for Work

woman in yellow tank top using silver macbook

We were blessed to work from home. It was great not to think about your daily work attire at 7 a.m. Online Zoom meeting participants learned how to do half and half. We’re all dressed up in a polished top, jewelry, and makeup. At the waist, we’re wearing sweats and slippers. Now it’s back on business. No matter if you work in a cubicle or traditional office, or in an open-plan setting, or if you visit clients in person or shop in the store, your work clothes have been given a little makeover. These are 10 ways you can dial up your 9-to-5 style.

1. Black boot-cut + turtleneck + ankle boots

A pair of black tailored flare trousers is a great option for a sophisticated look. You can update your wardrobe with the Avenue Plus Size Super stretch Bootcut Average Pants In Black (55$, macys.com), and pair it up with ankle boots such as the A New Day Women’s Ellie Chelsea Boots (30$, target.com) or a highneck sweater such as the Who What Wear Women’s Turtleneck Pullover (35$, target.com). This new mix of black/brown opens up your options for pieces that you already have.

2. An oversize blazer + dark high-rise jeans + chunky loafers

This update is to our throwback dress-casual style. You can replace your old blazers with big padded shoulders, low-rise jeans and a slender blazer with the Avec Les Filles Longline Plaid Blazer with Red Motif ($148 at  Anthropologie.com), or high-rise jeans such as the Gap High Rise Vintage Slim Jeans in Dark Indigo ($70 at Gap.com), and lug-sole loafers such as the Franco Sarto Carol 2 Loafer In Black ($119). This look can be worn five days per week if you want to make it easy.

3. Street joggers + sweater + sneakers in leather

There’s no reason why you should be hesitant to get out of the comfort zone of athleisure. These casual looks can be worn at work by wearing real-clothes blends with sporty details. You can wear a jogger-jogger combination like the Madewell Twill Drawstring Jeans ($80), madewell.com, or add a sweatshirt-inspired pullover such as the Gap Cozy Half-Zip Sweater (Stone Beige) ($80, gap.com), and slip on leather sneakers such as the Naturalizer Marianne Slip-On Sneaker-Women in Tan Embossed Leather ($85), dsw.com/en/us They create a pull-together look that is perfect for casual dress codes.

4. Ponte pull-on pants + tunic sweater + shearling mules

It’s time for those who work from home to step up their style game to include a head-toe look. A total “outfit” can give you a psychological lift, even if your client or colleague in Zoom meetings sees you from the waist. A pair of pull-on, ponte knit pants such as the NYDJ Plus Size Skull-Her Pull-On Flare Leg Pant in black ($89, macys.com) is a good choice. These pants are just as comfortable as leggings, but they’re not as revealing and clingy.

A long, fine-gauge sweater such as the J.Jill Lakewood Melino Sweater Tunic In Spiced Wine ($89), jjill.com, and toasty, shearling-lined mules or clogs like the Fireside By Dearfoams Sydney GenuineShearling Scuff In Chestnut ($50), zappos.com are all good options. Don’t forget to apply some makeup. This sweater is perfect for WFH, but can be dressed up enough to wear with a coat and a pair of shoes.

5. A leather skirt and knee boots with a cashmere sweater

Many of us work in jeans or pants, but some prefer a skirt, especially for urban and creative environments. There are many options for pencil skirts, shapewear and pumps. The Who What Wear Faux leather skirt in brown ($35, target.com), adds chic style to your tops. It looks great with a pair of kitten heels boots like the Comfortview Poloma Widecalf Boot in Mocha and Multi Snake ($108-$130; catherines.com) or a stylish sweater such as Naadam’s The Essential 75 Cashmere Sweater Women’s in Black ($75; naadam.com). But it can be worn with any shearling boot and a down vest.

6. Black jeans + floral blouse + leather Jacket

Many people like a bit of a downtown edge, even when wearing work clothes. To make a cool look work for you at work, use inky black jeans to replace dress pants. However, avoid wearing faded or ripped black washes. As your base, choose a straight-leg or wider-leg style such as the Pilcro The Skipper Wide Leg Jeans in Plus Size Black ($130 at anthropologie.com). For a more business-like twist on the biker look, add a puff sleeve blouse such as the Who What Wear Women’s Plus Long Sleeve Top In Jet Black Floral ($30), target.com).

7. Tailored ankle trousers + crisp white shirt + fresh-look pearls

You may have an assortment of old ankle pants from work, but are they high-rise and stretchy? Nope? Are those button-downs preppy white shirts? I think so! The J.Jill Wherever Smooth Fit Slim-Leg Pants in Navy Blue and Black ($79, Jill.com) have an elastic waist that sits at your true waist. This makes muffin tops and belly bulges virtually non-issue. To make a professional outfit, add a white shirt such as Aqua x Scout the City Balloon Sleeve Button Front Shirt in White ($78.bloomingdales.com), and Ann Taylor Pearlized Huggie Earrings (35.35.anntaylor.com).

8. A midi sweater dress + long cardigan + booties

Sweater dresses are another popular trend for those who still wear dresses. Avoid body-con dresses that are too short or above-the-knee, and instead opt for straight or fitted-and-flare Midis like the Calvin Klein Tie-Waist Midi Sweater Dress ($90 at macys.com). These flatter the curves but don’t go overboard. For extra warmth and coverage, add booties such as the Impo Nelia Bootie (Black) ($70, dsw.com/en/us), or a long, toned-to match cardigan like A New Day Women’s Plus Cable Knit Open Front Cardigan Charcoal Gray ($35 at Target.com). This is your new twinset.

9. Wide-leg knit pants with tunic and quilted leather accessories

Knit duos are big in fashion, but you can skip the clingy skirt twosomes for wide pants or tunics that have enough shape, substance, and coverage. They are both comfortable, but they have enough shape and substance not to look like loungewear. Make sure you stick to rich, neutral colors and choose a sweater that covers your entire back. To take it up a notch, add flats or a quilted leather bag such as the Kate Spade Paris Ballet Flat ($90, dsw.com/en/us), and the C. Wonder Luna Quilted Satchel In Black ($40, walmart.com).

10. Your pantsuit + bodysuit or cowl top + chunky pumps

We work in traditional or corporate settings where pantsuits such as the Le Suit Plus Size Pinstriped Pantsuit In Indigo/Ivory ($119 at macys.com), are business as usual. You can keep the structure and tailoring intact, but update the look by adding a white drapey cowl neck top or bodysuit like the M.M. LaFleur The Rowling Top Soft Wave in Alabaster, $145, mmlafleur.com), to wear untucked. You can also swap out your needle heels for chunky block heels such as Faryl by Farylrobin in Solara in Cognac ($45 – 6pm.com), which are more stable and can be worn all day without any discomfort. Or, you can switch to flats.

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