December 1, 2013

How To: Dress Casual Chic for Work {Part 2} - Skirts

{Source: Target}
For the second installment of my casual chic (a.k.a business casual) for work series, I decided to focus on skirts. Many people shy away from skirts and opt for pants and maybe dresses, but skirts are a lot of fun and can be very versatile. For my first post on dresses and also to read up on some wear-to-work basics, click here.

Skirt Style Tips:
  • Length is key. The shortest you should go in my opinion is a maximum of about 2.5 inches above the top of your knee. Midi skirts are in right now and if it fits you well, then go for it, but please wear heels. 
  • If your skirt has a side or back split, make sure it doesn't reveal too much. Be conservative here. It is for work, so use your best judgement.
  • Don't be afraid of color and pattern, but take care not to be too loud. Your outfit should not outshine your work.
  • Make sure your skirt is not too tight or loose. It should fit well so that you look polished and put-together.
  • If a skirt is a little on the short side, you could wear it with tights. But this does not mean it is okay to wear your tiniest mini-skirt.
  • A blazer is not necessary for a business casual dress code, but keep one in your office to wear when meeting an important client, for example.

Here is some inspiration:
Look 1: This midi skirt has a split in the middle which is very flattering and works great with petite body types. The split works fine for the office since it is a longer skirt. I wanted to create a soft and feminine look so I opted for a peach/nude colored shirt. I kept the jewelry simple with gold stud earrings, a couple delicate rings and a watch. I added a red and gold chain link purse and red lipstick to pack a punch. You can finish this look with either white or nude pointy toed pumps.

Look 2: Next, I dressed it down a notch by pairing a deep green pencil skirt with a chambray button up. Adding touches of black and gold lend a sophisticated vibe and if you notice, the details in the accessories are subtly edgy (chain link, animal print). This outfit is very easy to turn into something sexy for after work drinks, just undo a button or two and swap the black purse for an animal print clutch (it's actually an iPad case shown in the picture)! 

Style Tip: Midi skirts are a great option for work. In my opinion, the ideal length is about 2.5 to 3.5 inches below the bottom of the knee. If you're taller, the hemline can be longer but take care not to go into the maxi skirt territory. Midis should be around the middle of your shin. 

Skirts for Work

Look 1: I based this outfit off of the chartreuse pencil skirt. Navy goes amazingly well with this color and tones down the big impact of the skirt-- considering it is an outfit for the office, it couldn't be a more perfect pairing! Again, I stuck to neutral accessories and included another pop of color with the pink cluster earrings. Try pairing this look with a sleek ponytail.

Look 2: Here I put together a white, eyelet skirt with a light blue shirt. Because the skirt is a-line, I used a skinny black belt to give the look some structure to suit the office. Silver accessories work well with this muted color palette. Black pointy toed pumps and a structured purse will finish the look -- a light pink lip won't hurt either ;)

Style Tip: It is convenient to carry a bigger purse for the office considering you will have a lot of stuff to tote around. If you plan on going out straight after work, throw a pretty clutch in your roomy purse for later!

Work Outfits - Skirts

{Work Outfits - Skirts by christalin}
Look 1: I absolutely love this navy blue blouse - the gold embellishment is to die for and the keyhole detail is beautiful. Paired with a black peplum skirt, this outfit would probably be more appropriate for those in creative industries. For jewelry, I only added two rings because I didn't want to distract from the details of the outfit. Navy blue pumps tie the look together and the orange purse I added for a playful feel.

Look 2: More subdued than the first, this outfit is great for everyday wear, especially when you need to get dressed for work in a hurry. A black pencil skirt, sleeveless button down and a colored cardigan of your choice paired with black pumps and purse makes for a simple work outfit recipe. Piece of cake.

Style Tip: When buying clothes for work, or in general, it is good to have your staples (ex. pencil skirt, button down, cardigan etc.) in neutral shades first. So think black, white, gray, brown and navy. Army green, nude tones and animal print can be great neutrals too!

Work Outfits - Sleeveless Top

{Work Outfits by christalin}

Look 1: Green is very in this year, so I used it again here (which is what you should be doing anyway--re-wearing your clothing and re-mixing your wardrobe). Most offices allow your to wear sleeveless blouses as long as it is not too revealing. I added some cheer to this outfit with a bright yellow, printed blouse. The ruffles are not overboard in this case because the rest of your outfit is sleek and structured. Add a tan belt to go over the skirt, some strappy heels, a burgundy bag and you're good to do.

Look 2: This is a fun outfit full of personality while still being office appropriate. I started with the flared leather skirt in navy blue. Next, I chose the soft pink shirt and the fun jacket came after that. Oxford heels are a nice touch and work well with the skirt. Lastly, an over-sized clutch finishes the look. There is a lot going on although it may not be noticeable at once, so I skipped the accessories. You could opt to wear some simple earrings and a watch.

Look 3: This gray pencil skirt gets a dose of cheer when paired with the turtleneck aqua blouse. You can tuck it in or leave it out, whatever you prefer. I complimented the look with pointy toed pumps in gray, silver accessories and a beautiful purse with some fur detail.

Work Outfits - Prints

{Work Outfits - Prints by christalin}

Look 1: This pleated skirt is a fun alternative to the pencil skirt. The floral print shirt is vibrant and compliments the youthful look of the skirt as well. Cap toe heels give the outfit a trendy vibe, continuing with the vibrant, youthful look I am going for with this outfit. A crossbody purse and a red lip finish the outfit.

Look 2: A gray t-shirt and blazer are all you need to create an outfit with this printed pencil skirt. A cross body bag slung casually on the shoulder looks very downtown chic. Metallic pumps add a bit of glam to the outfit. Of course, it would't be complete without a statement necklace.

These are just a few easy outfit options for a business casual dress code. Being work appropriate doesn't have to be boring, you can certainly have fun with it and express your personality at the same time. Watch for part 3 of this work-wear series coming in the fall -- jeans/pants are next!

Work it, ladies!
XOXO, Chrissy

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