5 Fresh Workwear Blouses for Fall

five work blouses

Mock neck blouses are popping up across retail, providing a welcomed change in the sea of your standard v-neck tops. These overtly feminine pieces are an attractive option for work, especially if you only dress from the waist up. They bring attention and color to your face, which is all most of your colleagues are seeing of you these days anyway.

If you are back in the office, they pair beautifully with any bottom, like a slim pencil skirt, a full pleated skirt, and your favorite trouser in the best cut and shape for you. 

Of course, take this out of the office to drinks and dinner with a pair of jeans. Or, add a faux leather skirt and wear these straight into the holidays. 

Pick this style up if you have narrow shoulders and a small bust; however, avoid if you are bustier since it will only make you look wider and fuller than you are.

General body types this will complement are triangles since it will add volume to your upper half balancing out the lower, and straight up and down because it creates curves and visual interest. Hourglass could also pull it off as long as you balance your waist and hips.

It’s also a fantastic option for Petites with a small frame

I found five seriously gorgeous options in a range of sizes and prices. 

5 Fresh Workwear Blouses for Fall

 

five work blouses 

 

Banana Republic: Satin Billow Sleeve Blouse | Under $50, in regular, tall and petite, in rose (above) and navy.

J.Crew: Long Sleeve Ruffle Neck Top | Originally $89.50 (on sale for Under $50 with code FALLTIME) Sizes XXXS – 3X in green (above), white, pink and navy

Ann Taylor: Seersucker Mock Neck Top | $69.50 in dusty teal (above) sizes XXS – XXL

Anthropologie: Letizia Blouse | $98 in mauve (above) sizes XS – XL 

Nordstrom:  1. State, Keyhole Blouse | $69  in green (above) and pink sizes XXS – XXL


Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

 

 

 

How to Wear Faux Leather Leggings

How to Wear Faux Leather Leggings

Faux leather leggings are all the rage. In 2019, they were in our top 10 best sellers for the entire year. For months I heard from readers who stepped out of their comfort zone, gave them a try, and LOVED them.

Today, I’m showing you how to wear faux leather leggings even more ways, with a casual 2020 spin.

And take your time with this one because there are so many good, wearable items in the post.

Spanx Faux Leather Legging

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings

 

Faux Leather Leggings, $98 

Hands down the best option is the SPANX Faux Leather Legging, available in all sizes, including Petite and Plus. These run small so go up one size when ordering. I wore mine a dozen times in the fall and winter last year and they have not stretched out. 

How to Wear Faux Leather Leggings Three Ways 

How to Wear Faux Leather Leggings

For today’s looks I created three easy ways to wear these leggings in your real life. You’ll recognize some of these pieces from past posts (remember, we’re trying to build a mix and match wardrobe over time), others are new and worth taking a peek at. 

Sporty Day Out 

How to Wear Faux Leather Leggings

Sweatshirt, $45 (take an additional 50% off) | Long Sleeve Tee, $14 | Sneakers, $90 | Crossbody, $45 

While last year we focused on dressing these up, this year is a little different. You can add instant style to a weekend outfit by swapping out your basic leggings for your faux leather ones with a few simple tips. 

First, keep your color combinations sophisticated, like the camel and black combo above. Or, work with all black, grey and black or winter white and ivory. 

For this first look I found this fantastic fleece zip sweatshirt from Old Navy.  Aside from being so cozy, what makes it ideal is the cut of the hem, which gives you a little more length in the back, covering your bum. Right now it’s on sale for an additional 50% off, making it about $20. Scoop it up chocolate (above), a pale grey or navy. 

Layer a basic long sleeve tee underneath, like this crew-neck luxe top also from Old Navy (also on sale for an extra 50% off). It’s a great find for $1o, available in missy, petite and tall sizes

Then, I used these Cole Haan sneakers so many of you picked up earlier this month and added a chic under $50 crossbody by Sole Society to keep you hands free. 

Casual Chic 

How to Wear Faux Leather Leggings

Coat, $95, | Sweater, $26 | Boots, $45 | Bag, $309 

Everyone’s “normal” looks so different right now, depending on where you live in the country (and the globe, frankly). Maybe you’re out and about, back in the office, meeting a small group of friends for lunch … whatever you’re up to, celebrate it by getting dressed. 

Here, I paired the faux leather leggings with a gorgeous ivory sweater (on special at Nordstrom for $26). Once again, this is long enough to cover everything, while still giving a tailored appearance. Then, I added this popular coat (under $100) from J.Crew Factory. I love the look of an oversized turtleneck with a funnel neck coat. 

Next, boots. If you are wearing an ankle book you want leg of the legging to fit into the boot. Don’t show any skin between the bottom of the leg and the top of the boot. Instead, have them create one continuous line. This will help keep the eye moving, giving a long lean look. 

If you need a new black ankle boot, these from Sam Edelman are on final sale over at The Outnet for only $45.  Sizes are getting limited. 

Finally, I like a big bag, and this Ted Baker is a both structured and pretty. Lots of room for all the things, but any black bag works here, depending on your needs. 

Date Night

How to Wear Faux Leather Leggings

Cardigan, $98 | Tank, $29 | Heels, $150 | Clutch, $48 | Necklace, $65 

The one thing that has saved my sanity over the last few months have been date nights. The second our restaurants opened back up (locally, restaurants are at 50% capacity indoors), Bri and I were there to support them and give us a break from the relentlessness of daily life.

Last weekend, we celebrated our anniversary (17 years!) with dinner out and I wore heels for the first time since early March. It felt glorious.
So if you’re going out, get dressed up, if only to feel like yourself again.

I took this best selling tank from Banana Republic and layered it under a long cardigan sweater from Madewell in a seasonal red.

Then, I used the Sam Edelman Hazel pumps in leopard print for a pop of pattern and a simple clutch to round out the outfit. 

Finally, this long necklace from Kendra Scott adds movement and an extra level of dimension. 

Looking Back and Forward 

Below is a picture from last November. I dressed them up for my 40th birthday party with a pair of black heels from Sam Edelman and an ivory sweater with some metallic threading.

Sadly, this was the last time I saw all of my friends in one big group!

Here’s hoping we’re back to normal soon so we can get dressed up and celebrate together because I’m really starting to miss fun. 

How to Wear Faux Leather Leggings

 


Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist View Post and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

The Well Dressed Life Wardrobe Challenge 2020: Week 4

4 Weeks to a Better Wardrobe - Part 4 - The Well Dressed Life
Four Weeks to a Better Wardrobe - Week 4 - The Well Dressed Life

Happy Friday, Ladies!

Today we wrap up our last set of challenges. We’ll focus on discovering new outfit combinations you already own, making sure you have what you need for all aspects of your busy life, and creating a strategy for going forward.

But before we jump in, I have to thank everyone for participating with such enthusiasm!

It has been so fun to see everyone’s closet “after” pictures. This round especially showed us so many examples of how to get creative with organizing a closet. It’s beneficial to see regular closets instead of the unrealistic ones we see on Instagram and Pinterest.

One of the things that set this site apart from others is that our readership genuinely fuels it. I never wanted to start a blog to talk about myself (you would be so bored). So while I certainly feel a connection with our audience, even friendship in many cases, I want this to be a resource first and foremost. The content produced here is inspired explicitly by your comments, questions, and requests.

This week is going to wrap up the challenge, but not the process. 

Remember, it takes time to put all this into practice. That’s why so many women do this challenge every season. 

Now that you know what you need, it’s time to do the work not only to find those items, but figure out how to translate all those gorgeous inspiration pictures into an outfit that will work with your lifestyle, budget, and body type.

If you are new to our community, I encourage you to ask specific questions, and request posts covering different topics. Our readers influence every post on this site. I consider our readers more like clients, so the recommendations, tips, and advice I share are all deeply considered based on everything I know about you.

Use our archives while searching for inspiration. Almost every style post notes how to translate each look based on size and body type.

I guarantee the more you participate in our community, the more you’ll get out of it.

And I’ll be here to help! 

Starting with a LIVE Q&A in our Facebook Group – Details Below! 

 

Week 4: Create New Outfits and Write Your Wish List

If you haven’t completed week 3, please do that first. If you are just starting, or feel like you’re running behind, do not stress. This is suppose to be fun!

Take your time! There is no rush. These posts will remain on the site for you to reference. If you use Pinterest, you can pin these to a board for easy access.

Challenge #1: Create New Outfits

Spend some time in your clean and organized closet.

Doesn’t it feel so good?

With the clutter removed you might be amazed at the outfit combinations you never noticed. Every time I go through this process I always find a new way to wear something or rediscover an old favorite.

And there is just something so motivating about a clean, tidy closet. 

My closet – after the edit.

To guide you, use your curated Pinterest boards and your lifestyle diagram. Try to recreate a few of the looks for each of your categories. 

Use Pinterest as a search engine. Say you have a pair of black jeans. Type “black jean outfits” into Pinterest and be amazed at how many ideas you get.

Yes, I know the pictures on Pinterest are almost entirely of young, super-thin, super-tall women in four-inch heels

The idea is not to replicate each look. Instead, be inspired by them. Look at the color combinations, pattern pairings, layers, and accessories. Those are the essential elements. 

You may want to swap out a skinny jean for a straight leg or wear a different shoe. We all have to make adjustments to meet our specific needs. 

Here’s an outfit I “found” after I did this challenge in January right before the world shut down.  

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

🎉How many unknown outfits are hanging in your closet?? . 🥂For date night I gave myself 2 challenges: . 1. Find an outfit I didn’t know I had, . 2. No jeans! . 🤚🏼So many of us go to jeans all the time. . I know I do because my life is super casual and jeans just fit me better. . I’m THRILLED with this outfit. . I had both pieces in my closet and never thought to put them together – and this is what I do for a living! . It shows how important it is to have an organized closet (you have to see your stuff!) and you have to give yourself a minute to look through what you have. . I love a monochromatic moment that combines various textures like the knobbiness of the sweater and the shine of the silk skirt💕 . And, this outfit was so affordable. The sweater was under $30 and the skirt was on clearance for $20. . So carve out some time and see if you can find the hidden looks in your wardrobe! . Swipe to see tagged retailers in picture. . 👼Photo-bomber just turned 14 months and is fresh out of the bath💕

A post shared by The Well Dressed Life (@thewelldressedlife) on

Remember to use your entire wardrobe. Break up “sets,” and incorporate pieces you are saving for a schedule special occasion.

Pro Tip! Take pictures of your outfit options and keep them on your phone so they are at your fingertips when you need a reminder.

Challenge #2: Write Your Shopping List 

As you work through your wardrobe, creating new looks, jot down what you need to create more outfits.

Could you use a different style pant?

Maybe an updated shoe would pull several outfits together.

You might need something as simple as a cami so you can start to wear a lightweight sweater.

Write down anything that would add more life to your existing wardrobe.

Keep this list with you (I keep mine on my phone) and only purchase from the list! By doing so you will stay focused, and your wardrobe will become more functional. If you buy things that are not on the list, you’ll end up with a closet full of items you don’t need all over again.

AND share your shopping list in our FB Group. I use all of the conversations on that feed to help create posts for each season.

Enjoy your new space and the fresh start!

Your closet won’t always look this great. Life will get busy, and you’ll need to regroup. The good news is it will be so much easier to keep it tidy now that you have a system. I follow this process twice a year,  only it doesn’t take four weeks; it takes about an hour to get back on track.

Remember that your wardrobe is ever evolving.

You’ll never be “done.” There will always be something on your shopping list, an item that needs to be replaced or a new look you want to try. I hope that after this exercise, you start to hold your purchases to a higher standard and realize you don’t need so much, you just need the right options for you.

Join me in our Private Facebook Group for a LIVE Q&A!

On Sunday, October 18th at 7pm EST, I’ll host a Facebook LIVE, answering all of your questions, sharing tips, and my best advice to keep your closet organized, and begin to build a wardrobe you truly love. 

To Join our Facebook Private group simple follow this link. Be sure to answer all three membership questions. 

 

 

 

 

How to Style Joggers

How to Wear Black Joggers Three Ways

Let’s break down how to style joggers. 

Last month our series, “What to Buy at,” featured Banana Republic. I love BR for their classic modern style and commitment to offering an inclusive size range. They make my job so much easier. 

After that post, I received several questions about how to wear these joggers, specifically, how to style joggers in an outfit for work and weekends. So today, I’m breaking down a few options to wear for whatever work looks like for you and ideas to make them casual, since right now those worlds are merging together. 

If you are new to our site (welcome!), today is an excellent example of how many of our posts are designed to help you build a functional, practical, and chic wardrobe. I use items from popular, mainstream retailers, focusing on realistic price points and inclusive size options. 

My goal is to help you build a wardrobe much like I did when I worked with my private styling clients. I reuse popular items throughout each season, so what you purchase through this site becomes a piece you turn frequently. 

In the looks below, I used a combination of items you may already own, along with some new options, all well priced, all available in a range of sizes. 

How to Style Joggers for Work 

 

How to Style Joggers

 

Joggers, $56

Maybe the best thing to come out of 2020 is jogger pants. They are having a big moment. With work and home life being one and the same, it’s nice to have a few pieces you can grab that straddle both worlds.

The cut, tapered leg, and drape of a jogger make them a more polished alternative to leggings and sweatpants. At this point, we know how much better it feels to get dressed in some capacity for our day. Feeling pulled together makes all the difference in our mood and productivity. 

These BR joggers are best sellers, on sale for under $60 in a range of sizes and colors. Black (above) and olive (ideas below) are the easiest colors to wear. Sizes are inclusive up to a XXL in missy and petite. 

Like Black Pants

 

How to Wear Black Joggers Three Ways

Sweater, $41, Loafers, $140, Crossbody, $130

Don’t let the casual nature of these pants throw you. Wear them like you would any pair of black pants. Here, I used this black and white marled sweater from Gap. It’s easy-peasy, comes in regular, tall and petite up to an XXL and on sale for $41. This is suppose to be oversized, not giant, but not fitted. I like how the sweater complements the joggers; both feel cozy and casual.

Then, to add a level of polish, some better pieces, like a structured crossbody bag by Madewell and these insanely comfortable loafers by Birdie

With a Jacket

How to Wear Black Joggers Three Ways

 

Tank, $48, Jacket, $169, Heels, $105, Hoops, $60

The trick to wearing a casual jogger with a jacket is to make sure the fabric of the jacket works with the jogger’s material. Here,I’m using the Ann Taylor motto jacket we featured earlier this month. It’s done in a knit, which means it will complement the blend of the joggers.

As a layer,I used this popular sleeveless shell (also from BR, in white and black). For this look, tuck the shell into the pants and give it a little blouse by pulling it out a bit.

Then, I added block heels in a python print that combines the two neutrals.

Finally, because the motto’s zippers are silver, you want to wear silver-tone accessories, like these hoops. It will help the look feel purposeful.

Party Up Top

 

 

How to Wear Black Joggers Three Ways

 

Sweater, $47, Necklace, $48, Earrings, $195, Lipstick, $28, Slippers, $120

If you are working from home and Zooming all day long, keeping things polished up top and comfy below is sometimes the way to go. 

Here, I’m using another Reader Fave, this under $50 silk and cashmere-blend sweater (members of our Private Facebook Page RAVE about it). It comes in six seasonal colors; I’m featuring the “pine.” 

When video conferencing, think about wearing colors that bring light and warmth to your face. The sweater is a lovely base to add some simple accessories, like a chain link necklace and stud earrings. These small details will add layers to your look and help you look more professional. 

What’s not professional are these Ugg slippers 🙂 Who knew when I bought them in late 2019 just how much I would wear them, lol. 

Finally, consider your make-up if you are regularly on camera. You may need a darker or brighter lipstick, so you don’t look washed out. My favorite is this red lip by Kosas.

 


Below is our article from March (when all of this nonsense started).  I used a similar pair of olive joggers to create three casual outfits. Almost all of the items are still available. 

How to Style Joggers for the Weekend 

How to Style Joggers for the Weekend

 

Joggers in olive, similar here

Joggers are what you want to wear when you don’t want to wear sweats. They are slightly better, and make all the different in that space between feeling sloppy and like you still have your life together. 

I’m featuring them in a dark army green. It’s a fantastic, updated neutral. 

Let’s dive into the first outfit: 

White Tee and Denim Jacket

Three Ways to Wear JoggersJoggers,   |  Tee, $25  |  Jacket, $79  |  Sneakers, $50

You likely have these pieces already hanging in your closet. I want to call out the tee shirt because it’s what many of you are looking for.  It’s a lovely ballet neckline with a sleeve that goes to your elbow, making it ideal for layering or to wear alone.

It’s available in: white here,  from a 00 (XXS) – 18 (XXL) and plus size 1X – 4X here. 

Then I added our favorite denim jacket by KUT. I just love it, I wear it all the time. It’s available in petite and missy up to an XXL.

Finally, I included these sweet tie top sneakers by Vans. I almost stopped myself from featuring them here, since my girls are obsessed with their slip on version, but these, with their contrasting sole and warm “marshmallow” color feel right for grown ups

Cozy Sweater

Three Ways to Wear Joggers

Joggers,  |  Sweater, $25  |  Necklace, $40  |  Sneaker, $48 

Temperatures are all over the place right now, at least on the east coast. One day it’s warm, the next it’s dark and chilly. 

My love of H&M sweaters is well documented. So I paired the joggers with this white, slightly oversized turtleneck sweater. (It’s getting limited in sizes but is available in regular and petite.)

I added a long necklace by Kendra Scott (on sale for under $40 at Nordstrom Rack) – because why not? Jewelry makes me feel human. 

Finally, I am crazy about these shoes by Louise et Cie. They are a leather slip on sneaker in a leopard print available in lots of sizes for under $50, also a Nordstrom Rack. I was not allowing myself to buy another leopard print shoe, but will be breaking that rule with these. 

Better Than a Sweats

 

How to Wear JoggersJoggers, $69.50  |  Sweatshirt, $38  |  Flats, $145  |  Earrings, $36 

I took the joggers and added a simple grey sweatshirt by Everlane. I find they run slightly small, so size up, or pay close attention to the measurements. 

Then I added these chic and comfortable Rothy’s in camo. I’m wearing my Rothly’s in my office almost daily. There’s something about wearing a real shoe that helps me feel grounded.

Now, keep in mind, my office is a few steps away from my house. I have to go outside to get in, so wearing shoes is required. I get it might be less important if you are currently working at your dining room table – just something to consider. 

Finally, these earrings, by our new favorite Gorjana. I’m mentioning them because they come in gold AND silver tone, and so many readers have requested more silver options. They are incredibly affordable and a simple way to raise your spirit. 


Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist View Post and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.


The Well Dressed Life Wardrobe Challenge 2020: Week 3

Four Weeks to a Better Wardrobe - Week 3 - The Well Dressed Life4 Weeks to a Better Wardrobe: Step 3

This week’s challenge is all about getting your space organized! I am a big believer in organization. It makes life easier, saves money, and allows you to manage your time and energy better.

I worked with private clients for over a decade. One thing I know for sure is a messy, unorganized closet space is one of the biggest reasons why women feel overwhelmed (or underwhelmed) by their wardrobes. The good news is it’s one of the easiest issues to fix.

Week 3: Getting Organized

Your closet space should be lovely or, at the very least, tidy. It should bring a sense of calm, not craziness. It doesn’t matter what kind of closet you have. You could have a huge, custom walk-in or a simple bar and shelf. Either way, your experience can be blissful.

Challenge #1: Finish your edit

Last week, we challenged you to perform a QUICK edit. This is my clever way of easing you into a more in-depth edit, especially if you have a hard time letting go of things or just have a lot of stuff. 

If you still have an undecided pile, now is the time to be ruthless. Get rid of anything you don’t love or need. Be honest with yourself.

Are you really going to wear it?

The only exception is if you NEED to wear the piece until you replace it with a better version. Make a note of it. You’ll need it next week when we create a shopping list.

If you are on a weight loss journey, and you have some pieces that don’t fit well, you can keep them, but remove them from your closet and store them someplace else.

I don’t want you waking up to a closet full of clothes that don’t fit. It’s not a great way to start your day.

Be sure the items you decide to keep are modern, fit your style, and are things that you look forward to wearing when you hit your goals.

If a piece is sentimental, give it the respect it deserves. Have it professionally cleaned, remove it from the plastic dry cleaning bag, wrap it in acid-free tissue, and store it with the rest of your keepsakes. 

I love these cedar trunks.  I have one for each of my girls and myself and store special pieces that are either memories, or garments I want my kids to have when they get older.

Challenge #2: Improve Organization

Take some time to find a place for everything. I know, I know; this was supposed to be fun!

I promise that an organized and clean space will help with your creativity. The process of creating outfits will not seem so daunting when you see what you have. A few quick tips:

Remove everything from your closet.

Give it a quick clean. I have seen enough closets in my day to know you have pieces hidden in the back, covered in dust. Dust will destroy your clothes. Take 15 minutes to wipe off your shelves, vacuum, throw away old hangers, and miscellaneous items.

Only put back your wardrobe.

I once found a toaster in a client’s closet that she’d forgotten she’d bought. Find another place for everything else (if you can). Remember to keep your Pinterest board close by so that you can continue to use it as a guide for what to keep and what to get rid of.

Upgrade your hangers.

We love these flocked hangers, which are available on Amazon. I use them all over my house.

Look at what you have before you buy any organization tools. 

Before you run to The Container Store, see what you have laying around your house. It’s helpful, as you go through the items you plan on keeping, to put them into piles to see how many you have.  Have a pile of handbags, belts, sweaters, etc.  Then, reuse and repurpose bins, hooks, and baskets to help store them.

This time around,  I did end up at The Container Store and found some fantastic items that made big difference in my space. But I was super specific about exactly what I needed and didn’t waste money on unnecessary gadgets. 

A Peek at My Closet

 

You can see the full “transformation” from overwhelmed closet after the holidays, to the tidy space it is now on my Instagram Stories here. You’ll see that I don’t have a fancy, custom space, but it’s clean, organized, and functional. 

And stay tuned for a formal closet “tour” post next week!

Need to catch up on previous challenges? 

You can view Week One, and Week Two here.

Are you following along in our private Facebook Group?  If so, post some pictures of your space once you get it organized and share the inspiration!


Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist View Post and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.


10 Ways to Wear Black Dress Pants to Work

Classic Bootcut Pants

If there is one item sure to be hanging in all of our closets, it’s a pair of black dress pants. They are our go-to, the most basics of the basics. And while the practicality of being able to turn to them over and again is part of their appeal, they are the first piece to feel redundant.

One of the most common complaints I heard from clients, looking for a style update was, “All I wear are my black dress pants.” This typically meant they were wearing their black pants the same boring way and not styling them. 

Over the years I’ve featured dozens of black pant outfits, with recommendations on the kind of cut and style that will work best for all different body types. 

So today, I thought I would share a guide to creating cohesive outfits around a simple pair of black pants by featuring the top black pants (chosen by our readers) and rounding up some of the best looks we’ve created over the years using them. 

Reader Favorite Black Dress Pants 

Talbot’s Bi-Stretch Barely Boot Pants – $109.  All sizes, including petite and plus. Runs full. 

Spanx “Perfect” Black Pants – $128.  All sizes including petite and plus. 

Banana Republic Mid-Rise Straight Pant – On Sale: $44.  All sizes including petite and plus with choice of inseam 

Vince Camuto Wide Leg Trouser – $79.  Sizes 00 – 16

Theory – $295 Limited sizing 0 – 12, runs small. 

10 Ways to Wear Black Dress Pants to Work

Black Pants with a Statement Jacket 

 

Classic Bootcut Pants 

Tank, $40 | Tweed Blazer, $70 |  Tweed Blazer, $70  |  Bag, $450  |  Pants, $109  |  Wedges, $30  |  Earrings, $68 

Let’s start with today’s featured look, ideal for a professional office. Here, I’m using black pants like a pedestal to show off a statement jacket. Working with toppers (blazers, jackets, and structured sweaters) with interest like texture and subtle pattern is the easiest way to elevate a basic pair of black pants.

Pro tip: To create a cohesive look, pay attention to the buttons on a topper. If the button is black, pair with black bottoms. Many inexpensive jackets have cream or white buttons; in this case, it’s helpful to have your tailor/dry cleaner replace them with either a gold or silver-tone OR one wrapped in the same fabric as the jacket.

I’m using the Talbot pants above because (1) they are a reader favorite, and (2) they have a flattering cut in what they are calling a “barely boot.” This means that the leg of the pant only slightly flares at the bottom, giving a lovely line to the leg with a hem meant to break on the top of your shoe. 

These are a very traditional trouser, so if you don’t like “skinnies” and need an ankle pant alternative, they are worth considering. It’s generally a good rule of thumb to size down in Talbots. 

When wearing a bootcut pant: your top needs to be fitted to your body (it doesn’t have to be skin tight) and if you’re wearing a jacket, the bottom of it should stop at your hip bone. Chances are if you wore a blazer any longer than hip bone the look will feel overwhelming on you. 

I really like this layering tank by Karen Kane (also available in black). You want to wear a scooped or straight neckline with a v-neck jacket. This creates space between your chin and chest creating a long, elegant neck, and helps extent the line of the body. 

For shoes, you can wear a pair of pumps, but you might also consider a wedge. These by Nine West are only $45.  A wedge with a bootcut are a nice pairing because the weight and shape of the wedge balances the width of the leg. 

I’ll be featuring these earrings by Argento Vivo throughout the season. They are reversible hoops so you can quickly switch from gold to silver, depending on your outfit. And they are under $70

Finally, you can’t go wrong with a high quality, classically shaped black bag with a little tonal texture. This black bag by Gigi New York is an investment. I so appreciate it not being covered in logos, BUT  you can have it monogrammed which makes my preppy heart sing.

Another look I created a few years back (in case you still have these pieces) shows the timelessness of this combination. 

Outfit from Wear to Work: Perfect Tweed Blazer 

 

Column of Color

Classic Red Blazers for Work

Image from Red Blazer Outfit for Work

Creating a column of color is an old trick that helps you build a uniform-like look. Pick any black layering top, like a shell or sleeveless black blouse, pair with your favorite black pants, and add any topper in a complimentary color.

Here, I used the classic combination of black and red. You can see how the black buttons in the red blazer pull the look together. For fun and interest, I used these popular tortoise print heels instead of the standard black pump.

Suiting Separates 

Well Dressed - How to Wear Spanx Perfect Black Skinny Pants to Work

Image from How to Wear Spanx Perfect Pants to Work 

Pro tip: Never break up a suit and wear it as a separate. Proper suits (bought together, cut from the same fabric, etc.) are designed to be worn together. Once you break it apart, you’ll notice that it doesn’t feel right. You’re likely pairing it with the wrong fabric, or the shape of the jacket is not matching the shape of the bottoms. 

Instead, have better separates in your closet so you can create suit-like looks with more mix and match versatility. 

Here, a casual yet structured blazer is over a pair of skinny leg black pants. The jacket has a bit of texture, the shoes are a brushed suede, and the bag has quilting details. These small elements come together to give what is a relatively simple look, a level of complexity. 

Moto Jacket 

Outfit from How to Wear a Moto Jacket to Work 

Because moto jackets look best when worn open, throw one over your black column of color for an updated, edgy yet still professional look. The moto jacket we featured yesterday from Ann Taylor would work perfectly here.

Simple Sweater 

 

There is nothing as basic as black pants with a sweater. But how do you take it from boring to a styled look?
Here, it’s about fit and a sophisticated color pairing, as I did here with black and camel, and below in black and red, and then add lux (not necessarily expensive) accessories.In any look, impeccable fit is the absolute most crucial element. It doesn’t matter if your pants are $50 or $500; fit is what creates that well-dressed look.

The same goes for quality. Buy the best you can afford and take care of your clothes. When you wear simple pieces, the fit and quality take center stage and make or break your look.

Here, we elevate the look ever so slightly with a pattern loafer in a slim profile, and bold gold tone jewelry.  

Or, you can keep it simple like this red and black look below and focus once again on fit and grooming. By adding a bold lip, oversized sunglasses and a dramatic coat, you can take this  outfit from nothing special to rather glamorous. 

Outfit from Waterproof Boots for the Office 

 

Lots of Layers

Outfit from Wear to Work: Burgundy Sweater Blazer 

Keep black pants from looking lifeless by adding seasonal layers, like this collarless sweater blazer from J. Crew (still available in an array of colors). It’s a nice alternative to the more formal looking blazers, mix in a scarf and interesting layering piece for more depth. 

Texture and Details 

Don’t be afraid to add texture and pattern to black pants. This instantly elevates the style factor, especially in the fall. 

Below are a few examples of looks created over the years that lean away from the traditional black/white, red, camel combination and mixes things up. 

 

 

Outfit from Wear to Work: Lace and Leopard

Wearing a blouse and pair of pants to the office is just about as standard as it gets. After a while, though, you can start to feel uninspired. That’s why having a closet full of interesting basics is the key to creating a composed work appropriate outfit, that is still easy to throw on.

Everything about today’s look is simple, but with the exception of the pants, each piece has something extra.  It’s these extra details that add the interest needed to create a cohesive outfit.

Luxe Fabrics

 

Outfit from How to Wear a Velvet Blazer to Work 

I found this velvet blazer and was inspired to create a look I would wear to a formal work event. It’s just elevated enough. The cut and style keep it professional, while the velvet adds a bit of drama without being over the top.

By pairing it with workplace staples, you won’t look like you are wearing a special occasion piece.  The whole look is thoughtful, chic and effortless. Best of all, most of the pieces can be worn several different ways so you get the most out of your purchases. 


Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist View Post and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

Three Cute Outfits with Black Jeans

How to Wear Black Jeans

We receive so many requests for posts featuring cute outfits with black jeans so today I’m sharing a few that are practical, chic, and can be created with pieces you may already have in your closet.

Black jeans are an obvious wardrobe staple that you can dress up or down.

Below, I list my top picks for black jeans at all price points, share tips on how to best care for them and offer inspiration on how to style them for a day of working from home, a casual weekend, and a date night. 

And please keep in mind, because our readership is far reaching, everyone is experiencing various forms of restrictions differently. My priority here is first to help give practical tips, and also keep things forward thinking and optimistic 🙂 

Let’s start with black jean options: 

Black Jeans: High, Mid, and Low Range

Black Jeans

High: Paige ($179) , Mid Range: KUT From The Kloth ($94), Low: Old Navy ($20). 

Premium denim is expensive for a reason. Long time readers know my focus is always on buying the best you can afford, with the understanding that just because something is the most expensive doesn’t mean it’s the best. 

Brands like Paige (above), AG, Citizens, etc., all focus on quality material and fit, and they last much longer. 

Unfortunately, they don’t offer much in inclusive sizing. 

In the just under $100, or “mid” range, I like KUT from the Kloth. The Diana (above) has a curvy cut and is available in missy, plus, and petite. Consider sizing down in these. When you try them on for the first time, they should feel tight. Tight like you are going to want to get the next size up. 

Don’t, because they stretch out immediately. 

Finally, we love Old Navy around here. They have a completely inclusive size scale (including tall) and are decent quality for the price. These are $20 jeans, so don’t expect them to last longer than a season or two. They will shrink and fade faster than the better brands. 

Related: The Best Jeans for Every Size at Every Price 

Care of Black Jeans

So you get the most out of your purchase, it’s important to care for them properly. Do everything you can to avoid washing them. Of course, if you stain or spill something on them, you have to wash them. But if you’ve only worn them for a few hours, fold or hand them back up neatly until your next wear. 

I know that sounds gross, but once you start to wash them, they will shrink, fade, and generally lose their shape. This goes for all jeans.

It’s helpful to have more than one pair so you can rotate wear. Spot clean when necessary, and when you are ready to wash them, turn them inside out and follow the instructions on the tag. 

Okay, let’s get into outfits … 

Today I created three cute outfits with black jeans, a laid back look, a casual chic outfit, and something simple for weekend date night. 

Three Cute Outfits with Black Jeans

Three Cute Outfits with Black Jeans

 Outfit One: Cardigan, $80  |  Sneaker, $110  |  Tee, $25  |  Bag, $75  |  Outfit Two: Top, $38   |  Vest, $180  |   Booties, on sale $50 |  Bag, $80  |  Outfit Three:  Wrap Top, $30  |  Pump, $118 black  |  Bag, $55 

 

Work from Home Outfit

 

Three Cute Outfits with Black Jeans

For our first look, I was thinking of days working from home, or travel, when you have to head to the airport or train station (eventually). I’m using a skinny black jean, you could also wear a slim straight leg.

Grab a basic white tee; I like these v necks at J.Crew. Then, add a long cozy layer. I’m a big fan of H&M.  This cardigan is a wool blend, and I love the color – it looks extra sophisticated. 

To keep things interesting, we used a leopard printed slip-on sneaker by Keds x Kate Spade. 

I included this Sole Society weekender to round out the look for travel. 

Chic Weekend Outfit

 

Three Cute Outfits with Black Jeans

I wanted to find a Breton top with a long sleeve in black and white. Happily, Boden makes the perfect one for around $40. 

Layers that add interest without bulk are essential to incorporate as the weather cools. So, I went as classic as it gets with a Barbour olive vest. (In my mind, I spend weekends in the English countryside.) 

Add a pair of ankle boots, like our go-to Sam Edelmans in putty, and a crossbody bag (above in champagne), and you’re set for the day. 

Date Night Outfit 

Three Cute Outfits with Black Jeans

Keeping things simple is the key to getting dressed and out of the house on the occasional date or girl’s night out. 

Last year, a friend was wearing a beautiful blouse at a friend’s 40th birthday dinner. When I asked her where she found it, I nearly fell off my seat when she said Express. I know! She said, but some of their things are great and affordable. 

And isn’t that just what we need a night out tops to be? Because I have no room in my budget for a $200 top.

This pleated detailed wrap blouse is gorgeous. It’s fun, a little sassy and about $50. Try on a few sizes as they run small. 

Add your black pumps, like these popular 12-hour heels from Banana Republic, or a heel with an open toe when the weather warms up a little more. Finally, this quilted black envelope clutch is $55 and adds just the right amount of texture and interest to such a simple look. 


Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist View Post and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.