Styled: The Basics

Last summer I had an office job where the dress code was “professional.” I didn’t really know what “professional” meant and I was terrified of being sent home for an inappropriate clothing choice, so I played it safe by wearing black pants and plain blouses almost everyday. While I looked perfectly fine, I felt really uncomfortable in my office wardrobe. My style has always been a little more vintage and eclectic, and I just didn’t feel like myself in my office clothes.That’s why when I got another office job this summer I decided to do things a little differently. Before I started my new job I went to the thrift store and started pulling pieces that I loved and thought would fit under the category of “professional”. It wasn’t easy (and I’m still looking) but I’ve started to create a new vintage-professional wardrobe that I’m proud to see hanging in my closet.


After some deliberation, I decided I would start a little series on this blog chronicling some of my new office wears. I’m hoping to update each week with a new outfit and a suggestion on how to rock vintage around the water cooler. For my first post, I picked this black dress I found a few days ago at the thrift store. This dress did not look like much on the hanger. It is at least 3 sizes too big for me, and kind of looks like a moo-moo. When I tried it on in the dressing room it was so large that it looked like I was wearing a judge’s robe. But despite its fit, I loved the ribbed sleeves, neck tie, and lace so much that I couldn’t leave the store without it. I also knew that if I paired it with a cinching belt I would be able to create a waistline and gather up the excess material to create a full skirt.

I really love this dress and am so glad I bought it. With the sizing being the way it was, it was a bit of a gamble but I think it paid off. I guess my tip this week would be that when creating an office wardrobe (or any wardrobe, really) its important to start with the basics. Keep an eye out for simple and classic pieces (like a black dress or white blouse). As you can see from the lace and funky neck tie on this dress, basic doesn’t always mean boring! Look for vintage embellishments or other details that make clothing staples more your style. Also, if you’re someone like me who doesn’t really go for the “fitted” look, don’t be afraid if a dress is too big. Depending on the style/shape you may be able to save it with a belt. Try stashing one of your cinching belts in your purse the next time you go shopping. That way you’ll know for sure if an oversized dress really is the right fit!


Leave a Reply