From business casual to happy hour: wardrobe essentials you’ll wear 7 days/week!
I think it’s safe to say that many of us wish we had a few cool, stylish pieces that easily make amazing outfits. And whether you’re going to the office, running errands around town, or going to happy hour with your besties, you want to wear easy outfits that make you feel effortlessly put together. The good news is it’s easier to accomplish than you’d think — but it does require thoughtful purchasing. There are wardrobe essentials you’ll wear 7 days/week that are the starting point for every outfit, so it’s worth selecting carefully!
So … “what is business casual anyway?” After many many years in the dressing room helping women put together stylish but functional wardrobes, I’ve found that most of our clothes can and should work for the weekends, as well as for business casual (if you work outside the home) AND for happy hour. Of course, there are some exceptions, but these days since work wear has become much more casual, there’s really no reason to have separate wardrobes. Today’s post is about which essentials to invest in, and some outfit inspo that will show you the versatility of an “ultimate capsule wardrobe!”
P.S. Several months ago, I wrote a blog post “How to build a modern capsule wardrobe, part 1” which you can read here, and it’s still a great reference. Also, if you’re new around here and want to stay up to date on all things stylish, subscribe here and never miss a post!
Street style business casual
Everything starts with the right bottom piece
Weekday / Weekend
Left: L’Agence blazer | Cami | Trouser | YSL bag | Gold bracelet | Paige sandals | SW sandals | Right: Pink poplin top | Denim jacket | Trouser | Flat sandal | Sneaker | Valentino bag | Hat | Tennis necklace
As I always tell my clients and friends: the right bottom piece is the starting point of every outfit. If you’ve been in “Room 3” with me, you know that we can’t even get started until we find the best fitting jean, trouser, skirt, or other bottom half. Once we do, adding a simple, neutral shoe allows us to proceed with everything else! So, what is the “right” bottom piece? Well, it’s something black. I know, it sounds boring, but trust me: this will make ALL your outfits work during the week or the weekends. For example, this super cool, split hem Reiss pant just arrived at my doorstep this week (not pictured above). Here are the 4 top selling bottoms everyone loves:
Silk blouses and camis
Having a few silk blouses and camis in your collection is really important for completing your outfits. You don’t need too many, and you really could get by with just a black and ivory cami and/or blouse. I always love a good leopard print cami. For silk blouses, Paige is a favorite brand (here and here), and this and this for example can be worn to work, out for brunch and to happy hour. I also love this one by Frame and this long sleeved silk shirt is elegant any time of year.
Left: J.Crew cardigan | $49 dress | Balenciaga bag | YSL tote | Silver sparkle sandals | Schutz sandals | Right: J.Crew cardigan | Balmain tee | Mother denim | White sneaker | Tory Burch sandal | Loewe tote
Sometimes cardigans can read a little dated, but if you find a versatile, stylish cardigan that looks elevated, then you’ll wear it all the time — to work, running errands and just hanging out on the weekend. Below are my personal favorites that will help keep your wardrobes current.
Having a non-ripped denim option in your closet is a good idea, and it’s a classic style you’ll have for a long time. It works nicely for a business casual outfit, and it is perfect for happy hour, and any other occasions. I love this long flare jean by Frame — it’s leg lengthening, and it looks amazing paired with any blazer. Here are a couple of other options worth checking out.
Left: Veronica Beard blazer | Leopard cami | Pink cami | Alice & Olivia trousers | Paige sandals | SW sandals | Hoop earrings | Right: Veronica Beard blazer | Anine Bing tee | Paige denim | White sneaker | New Balance sneakers | YSL tote | Dickey
If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know I have a love affair with blazers! A blazer is the perfect third piece, and you can wear it for almost every occasion where you might be getting dressed up. They look great with jeans, over dresses, work pants and dressed down with sneakers. The Veronica Beard is extra cool because of the hidden zippers that allow you to zip in a hoodie. Watch this video to see how to style blazers and shop the video here. Since we’re in the middle of spring, a linen option is great, like this Theory one. Check out the best blazers to wear below.
Year around styles
This is another category where you don’t need a lot of t-shirts, just a few great ones. I still love the ATM Schoolboy tee — it’s the only one I wear under my blazers. This v-neck Frame one is a best seller, and if you want to try something a little edgier, try a cool graphic tee under your blazers.
Thank you for reading! xx