The Mom Edit’s Fall Workwear Edit – Nine Easy Pieces (Starring: Mixed Prints)

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You guys have been after me to pull together some office-friendly looks.  So.  If your current workwear wardrobe could use a refresh, here are the nine pieces I’m recommending for Fall.  Some pieces may already be in your closet (great!!) and some of these pieces can also be styled for weekend wear.  So here’s how I’d put these pieces into a Monday – Friday rotation.

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I know I’ve already covered this outfit here, but it’s so versatile, I thought it worth another mention.  Update your classic black blazer with skinny, cropped trousers, a graphic tee and printed pumps.

 

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Remember those patterned chino pants we were all buying a couple of years ago?  They work great at the office with a basic silk blouse and conservative blazer.  Keep the look current with some contrasting-print pumps.  It’s a baby step into the (huge) mixed-print trend.

 

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Short-sleeve sweatshirts are a big trend this Fall, and you can easily take yours to work with a bold pencil skirt.   Bonus points for printed shoes.  (And I like to ground the whole outfit with a man-watch.)

 

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Go gamine by slipping a silk blouse underneath the short-sleeve sweatshirt.  You could accessorize with an understated necklace….but I’m more of a minimalist, so I’ll stick with patterned heels and nerd glasses.

 

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The graphic tee and bold pencil skirt is made office-appropriate by the basic blazer.  This is a great day-to-night look, too.

 

Shopping Notes!

Ok, so the tricky part here is finding mixed print pieces that all work together, right?  Well.  Here’s what I came up with….

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1. For the Bold Modernist

Pants – Mara Hoffman Printed Combo Pants, $246 at ShopBuru

Skirt – Banana Republic Jacquard Pencil Skirt, on sale for $60 (almost sold out, so this skirt from Banana would also work well)

Shoes – Sole Society Isabelle Pump in black/white, $60

2. For the Cheerful

Pants – J.Crew Collection Inky Floral Pant, $248 (take 25% off with code SHOPFORFALL)

Skirt – Loft Autumn Bloom Pencil Skirt, $70

Shoes – Boden 60’s slingback, $148

3.  For the Glam Tomboy

Pants – Boden Bistro Crop Trousers in Navy Leopard, $88

Skirt – LOFT Camo Pencil Skirt, on sale for $50, plus 40% off of that (also in curvy fit)

Shoes – Banana Republic Ivonne Leopard Pump, on sale for $102 (plus 50% off sale styles)

4.  For the Chic Nerd

Pants – J.Crew Factory Winnie Pant, on sale for $60 (additional 30% off with code SALE30)

Skirt – Halogen Floral Print Pencil Skirt, $60 at Nordstrom

Shoes – J.Crew Stella Houndstooth Pumps, $248 (25% off with code SHOPFORFALL)

 

There’s a ton of new skirt shapes out there, but if your office is conservative, I’d stick with a pencil skirt.  The straight lines help to calm mixed print craziness.  And for the nervous:  you might be surprised by how easy it is to wear mixed prints when you get your shoes involved.

In summary….

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wearing:

1.  Printed Pumps –  Sole Society Olyvia in Black/White, $65

2. Short Sleeve Sweatshirt – old Emerson Fry….try Everlane’s short-sleeve sweatshirt ($30), LOFT’s short-sleeve sweatshirt ($50) or this drapey one by Ever (on sale for $56 at Piperlime)

3. Statement Skirt –  old…but WhiteHouse/Black Market has a blue floral pencil skirt, and so does Boden (floral pencil skirt on super sale)

4. Bold Pants – old from Gap…Gap’s floral camo pants are similar….or I’m kinda loving Old Navy’s pixie pant in houndstooth.

5. Skinny Black Pants – mine are old ponte pants by Vince…here are Vince’s latest (trimmed in leather)…Jen7 just sent me this pair and they are fabulous (I need to hem them, more later)….or there’s always J.Crew’s minnie pant (yup – they’re 25% off with SHOPFORFALL).

6. Classic BlazerJ.Crew 1035 Blazer (25% off with code SHOPFORFALL, size 0 for reference)…and I also really like the look of Ann Taylor’s All Season Stretch 1-Button Jacket.

7. Silk BlouseEverlane Silk Blouse, rounded collar ($80, size small for reference)

8. Men’s watchMike’s Tissot – I like pieces like this because I think they’re grounding with all of the pattern play.

9. Graphic Tee – old….but this graphic tee might get some laughs at work (otherwise, head to J.Crew – their gallery tees are my fav)

 

Whaddya think, Mamas?  Is this something you could pull off at your office?

xo!

S

26 COMMENTS

  1. Yay! Thank you! I’ve gotten some basics before I restart in the work world, but printed shoes, statement pencil skirt, and silk blouse are on the short list! Methinks the short sleeve sweatshirt a little casual for a nurse-midwife but its super modern and cute!

  2. I work in a casual office, in the south, in the agricultural industry, so this wouldn’t be practical for me, but I enjoy all of the prints and color you incorporated and mixed!

  3. Great suggestions! I may be able to pull one or two ideas, but alas, a graphic t-shirt and short sleeve sweatshirt would never fly in my corporate office. It is much more conservative than this….dresses, slacks/blazer, skirt/sweater…corporate wear. 🙁

    • Sarah, swap the short-sleeve sweatshirt for a cashmere tee (or just a short-sleeve sweater) and I’ll bet these looks would work! And maybe…a printed silk blouse instead of a graphic tee? Hmmmm….that might be getting too wild with prints. Let me think about this.

    • Take a look at the Loft floral sweatshirt . . . I think it might almost be dressy enough to wear in my BigLaw office, although I’d have to see it in person. And some of the J Crew graphic ts are quite subtle — I think I could do them under a blazer.

      Shana, I’m loving so many of these! I totally want the BR skirt, the Loft sweatshirt, and a couple graphic Ts . . . but I’m supposed to be on shopping hiatus!!!

  4. I love the outfits. I think I will have to swap out the graphic tee and the sweatshirt material for a more professional look. I wish my job was as fun as these outfits!!! Do you have ideas for tall ladies and pant lengths? Your pants are nicely long, but if I were to wear them they would all be cropped. Is ankle skin work appropriate? Again, perhaps it is my conservative workplace?

    • My tall dress pants are all JCrew Hutton Trouser. High waist, wide leg, love them! I can do ankle skin but typically don’t, I don’t think it’s unprofessional, I just don’t care for the look on myself. I think for a conservative office the printed pumps and the patterned skirt could work, but cotton printed pants, sweatshirts and ts would all get a ton of side-eye for me. I work at home mostly, but when I’m not I’m the outside consultant so I need to look super competent and not intimidating. That means traditional work wear with slight twists. Take inspiration from Shana, but many of us can’t copy those looks exactly! (LOVE that skirt!!)

      • Love this comment, Kimberly! You nailed it – in a very conservative office, I wouldn’t wear cotton printed pants either (they were perfect for my engineering firm that was more business casual). For a conservative workplace, some of the tailored versions from J.Crew might work (like the pairs in grouping 2 and 3). However, if you think the wilder prints might blow too many minds, a dark plaid or subtle pinstripe might be a good place to start. Like these: http://rstyle.me/~2AzsI

        When I’m creating these looks, I try to use what I have in my closet, simply because it’s easier. Would you guys rather I try to show current pieces so you can see how they fit? (I already do a ton of buying/returning in the name of “research” so a few more boxes wouldn’t really be noticed by the UPS guy, LOL)

        • Yes, research. That’s what I’ll start calling those boxes that come and go constantly! I like that you use what you have and do dressing room stuff too and show us what you bought. Honestly, I’m completely NOT your size, so if you tried current pieces I wouldn’t gain much. I’m several sizes largers and many, many inches taller. I just like to get ideas!!

    • I’m totally ok with ankle skin, even in conservative workplaces. I’m not OK with toes, boobs or belly. But you probably know that already. 🙂

  5. These would be very cute (and totally business casual appropriate for civilian government worker bees) if I were going back to work but I’ve got a few more years before I even consider it.

    In the engineering nerd column, just wanted to report that this post took about 10 hrs to show up in Feedly (by my unofficial tired mama calculations). There’s no widget in this one, right?

  6. I would swap Monday and Wednesday’s outfits, just because I feel like Monday is a good “skirt day” and that way you’re not wearing the sweatshirt two days in a row. And Shana, I love how you put the graphic together to show Mon-Fri, it made it super easy to get inspiration that way! And I think you could just show a couple options for the outfits to make them more or less dressy or casual with pictures. You know how they do those pictures of the clothes lying on the floor?? You could do something like that to show how it looks with the pants swapped out or whatever. ‘Course that means you might still be buying/returning a lot! =)

  7. Sidenote but where did you get the green headband? And I’m definitely getting some skinny crops. They look awesome and definitely not as blah as my traditional suit pants.

  8. nailed it a gain you cutie pie!!! I wear scrubs to work…but will defiantly wear these elsewhere…have to get some ponte pants though!!!!! help..

  9. I love this post! Only in part because I have a few of the pieces… or close. What do you think about printed Ts (stripes, dots, maybe paisley) rather than a graphic tee? I think one would have to do solid shoes in that case (?)

    PS, I totally bought those exact same green Gap pants after you featured them last year, but in maternity. That baby’s here and the pants are gone. Oh well.

  10. I never would’ve thought to call myself a “Glam Tomboy” but I love it! S, you ROCK!

    The enabler may *ahem* have inspired a little “suit” purchase over Labor Day weekend, so passing on a great BR jacket that’s in the sale now @40% – http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=41699&vid=1&pid=554880002. It’s hard to see from the pic but, in addition to the ticking stripe sleeve lining, the collar has grey menswear-inspired print on the reverse when popped and fits an hourglass beautifully. And in the spirit of “ponte”(ish) pants, I ordered every BR, Gap or ON pair that looked close. Shockingly, the ON Pixie pants (ankle length and no hem needed for perfect ankle-bearing length) fit the best on a curvy frame.

    I put that “suit” with a black blouse and heels and found it perfectly appropriate even for a conservative client. Where my vote is “YES” to ankle skin and mixed prints – but more subtle – pinstripes, houndstooth, plaid, leopard. “No” to sweatshirts but definitely the cashmere T over blouse alternative – done that a ton.

    Keep the genius coming, S!

  11. LOVE the combos with the graphic tees, but I am having trouble finding one that is budget-friendly and works for us…um,…we’ll call it “well-endowed in the chest area” ladies (Old Navy was a flop). Any suggestions?

  12. Love this and the way your mixed them all together. Especially the graphic tee in a dressy way and the silk blouse under the short sleeve sweat shirt. Never would have thought of that. Great ideas! Love your blog, have been reading since I had my baby and I appriciate all the nursing options and mom friendliness here. You can be a mom and still look good. Thank you for reminding me that. You are helping me get back to me, take a few risks and feel a whole lot more amazing. 🙂 Keep it up!!!

  13. Question about buying a blazer…I don’t wear regular clothes to work(scrubs)…if I want to get a black blazer and wear it like you are here…should I make sure it fits bit loose? like maybe size up? the more fitted it is the dressier…right?

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