Style

What Do You Wear to Work? Six Readers Share Their Real-Life Looks

What Do You Wear to Work? 6 Readers Share

Do you have a go-to office outfit? We get comments all the time asking for workwear ideas. So, on Instagram, we asked people who work in offices to send us photos of their ensembles. Here, six readers share their favorite outfits and tricks of the trade…

Name: Preeti (above)
Location: Sydney, Australia
Job: On the New Arrivals & Multicultural team at a bank

A signature look: I had a baby 15 months ago, and it tilted my body image. A stylist friend told me to keep it simple and keep repeating the silhouette that works on me. It worked – black A-line midi dresses are now my staples, and I feel chic, confident and less anxious about what to wear (except on teething nights). I add color with accessories, like these Maryam Nassir Zadeh sandals. Also, my trusty black hair tie, which I always wear around my wrist — if my hair is tied back, you know I’m on deadline and trying to get things done!

What Do You Wear to Work? 6 Readers Share...

Name: Maggie
Location: Chicago
Job: High school English teacher

On a capsule wardrobe: I try to look professional because I want my students to know I care about my job and take it seriously. My sister helped me come up with a six-piece work capsule. I have three tops and three bottoms to wear for the next three months, and I can switch up the shoes and accessories. I have to say, I’m LOVING it. Getting dressed now feels easy and painless. I wear my Everlane high-waisted skirt the most. The length is perfect, and it’s a fun twist on a classic skirt.

Surprising part of the job: I’m happy to report: Kids want to learn, believe it or not! Makes my job a lot sweeter.

What Do You Wear to Work? 6 Readers Share...

Name: Carmen
Location: London
Job: Financial Advisory (my first job!)

On changing shoes: I carry my Jim Thompson bag that’s large enough to fit my laptop, charger and an extra pair of shoes to change into because we tend to walk to many meetings. Uniqlo and COS are great for basics. Wherever I shop, I always look at the material because I favor cotton, wool or silk.

What Do You Wear to Work? 6 Readers Share...

Name: Olivia
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Job: MBA candidate at Vanderbilt

Finding a cool, affordable suit: I’m currently interviewing for internships and had the hardest time finding a suit that didn’t look outdated and wasn’t $500. I got inspired by the suits of Issa’s best friend Molly on Insecure and literally googled ‘Molly Insecure suits.’ I read an interview, where the show’s costume designer said Molly’s wardrobe comes from ASOS, Reiss and Ted Baker. Now I have a suit from ASOS.

On fun jewelry: I wear fun earrings every day so I can incorporate my personal style. My sister got me Matisse-inspired earrings last Christmas, and I love hoops. I also wear these loafers all the time. Side note: Women are a very small fraction of business school students. In fact, only 26% of my classmates are women. For any Cup of Jo reader out there considering business school, you should totally do it!

What Do You Wear to Work? 6 Readers Share...

Name: Jess
Location: Falls Church, Virginia
Job: Production and operations director at POLITICO Pro

Power suits with a twist: I wear a statement outfit when I have an important meeting (especially if it’s one that makes me a smidgen nervous), but it has to be comfortable. Recently I had to present to a large group, so I chose this red dress, antique-style necklace and heels.

On durable clothes: For workwear, I’m loyal to Target, Madewell and Nordstrom (their return policy cannot be beat!). And I don’t wear anything too precious. My two boys are the cutest and sweetest but they are forever sticky.

What Do You Wear to Work? 6 Readers Share...

Name: Lee
Location: Salem, Massachusetts
Job: Clinical social worker and director of a mental health clinic

Mixing styles: I walk a fine line between looking pretty fringe (I have a septum piercing, gauged ears and tattoos) and having a high-profile position with a dress code. One of my teenage clients said to me recently, ‘Your tattoos make you approachable,’ which made me smile, because I feel like adults often think the opposite. I work with LGBTQIA clients, and being trusted with people’s stories, traumas and successes has been one of the biggest gifts of my life.

Favorite workwear: I love a blouse with a bow at the neck, like the one pictured here. (This blouse is actually a very low-quality number from Marshall’s. I don’t have a ton to spend on clothes — I buy a lot from Old Navy, T.J. Maxx, ModCloth, etc.) And I can’t believe it took me so long to embrace high-waisted bottoms. I’m plus-size and somewhere along the way I got the message that high waists and tucked-in shirts weren’t allowed for babes with bodies like mine but they’re so flattering! Tuck in those shirts, ladies!

Thoughts? What do you wear to work? Any tips you’ve learned? The brand Of / Mercer also looks really nice. If you’d like to be part of a future workwear post, please feel free to email a snapshot to hello at cupofjo dot com. Thank you! xoxo

P.S. Twinning at work, and having an office uniform.

(Photos courtesy of the readers.)

  1. William says...

    Hi ladies, you are all so beautiful in whatever you wear. To Lee I’d like to say you are amazing and definitely someone I would be honored to get to know.

  2. Sara says...

    I’d like to say thanks to the teacher who said “I try to look professional because I want my students to know I care about my job and take it seriously. ” I try to take the same approach when dressing my kids for school. It’s important! Thanks for setting an example!

  3. Home with a sick baby and rereading all of your “5 outfits” posts and other, similar ones like this one. I’d love to see another post like this. The comments are often the best part of any CoJ post (which is saying something because you have great posts!) and they share a lot of smart tips. Seeing more of the community’s style would be fun.

  4. YESSSS! Show us more work fashion/style/sources! All the style bloggers/influences seem to promote denim/leggings/date-night looks. So cute, but not an option in the office!

  5. RebeccaG says...

    Lee has such great style! I would love to see her week’s worth of outfits!

  6. Emily Fleck says...

    I’d love to see a blue-collar round up as well; some of us who get dirty for a living have to get creative to show our style and there’s definitely a workwear moment happening right now. Happy to chat more about some people I’d recommend you feature if you’re interested.

    Also that moon phase tattoo is ace.

  7. Analise says...

    Love seeing real women in the wild! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Ari says...

    These are all so great, I love it! Olivia is my work wear style twin, taking in all her recs now :-)

  9. Nicole says...

    I work in a hospital, and wear scrubs every day, which is SO great. I don’t have to spend any time thinking about what to wear (or ironing, or dry cleaning) and they are super comfy. Also, I went to catholic school and had to wear a uniform, so picking out outfits is not my forte.

    That said, these ladies look fabulous! It makes me just a little sad I never get to dress up. But not too much:)

  10. I’m often overwhelmed by clothes. I love the capsule clothing idea!! That’s something I can do that’s manageable.

  11. Heather says...

    I was hoping to see a work-from-home sweatpants outfit that I could really relate to. ;) My work wardrobe is getting pretty outdated as it hangs unworn in my closet save for an occasional in-person meeting or conference.

    • Emmanuelle says...

      When i started working from home five years ago, I’d get dressed up as if I were going to an office with other people, heels included! Now, I still work at home but most days I sit in my underwear at my computer. That whole dressing up for myself didn’t last long, haha.

    • Sheri says...

      I work from home as well. The first four months I was still in my pj’s at 2pm and I had to go pick up the kids. Now I get up a bit earlier, shower, get dressed. I may put makeup on later in the day, but I find if I at least shower and get dressed, even in sweatpants and shirt I feel somewhat put together to face the day. I too would like to see a sweatpants outfit… :-)

  12. I love this post! It’s so fun to see what different women wear from all walks of life. Dressing professionally, without a suit, can feel intimidating! I am totally inspired by this post. Thank’s for sharing.

  13. Kristin says...

    Love Jess’s looks!! So so very cute and completely wearable. Love it!!

  14. Kate says...

    All these outfits look great. But am I the only person who works in an icebox office? Especially this time of year, I need to wear layers and completely avoid any exposed skin. Even a chic cuffed sweater sleeve is too risque. I actually keep felted slippers that look like regular booties at the office. Plus two blanket scarves (one for my shoulders and one for my lap) plus a heater under my desk.

    Hopefully they fix that draft soon!

  15. Veronica E. says...

    LOVE this post and these gorgeous outfits! Picking something out that looks good AND has all-day comfort can be a challenge and these women nailed it. Jess’s mix of rock and roll and feminine professional is inspiring… and that DRESS!!! :0

  16. Meredith says...

    Really enjoyed this post and seeing how real women navigate the practicalities of life while also looking great. I’d love to see a feature/weeks worth of outfits from JESS and how she combines finds at Target with other favorites like Madewell, Anthropologie, etc. Would also love more from her in how to navigate fashion with young kids at home. Love the simplicity of her looks -simple, fun, and just adult enough.

  17. Alice says...

    More Lee, please!
    Love everything about her – job, attitude, look, changing what/how she wears stuff. She just so clearly rocks.

  18. Jess says...

    I loved seeing these real outfits from women in a variety of different career settings. I’m a Physical Therapist, so it goes without saying that my job is pretty, well, physical! I work part of the day in the hospital getting people out of bed, walking with them, helping them get to the toilet for the first time, etc, and part of the day in a private clinic where I work with special-needs kids, where I’m down on the floor A LOT. I’m pretty picky when it comes to my clothes/style, but I also have a lot of restrictions to work with. I need pants with pockets, and shirts that don’t gape when I bend over or expose belly when I reach up. And of course, the shoes. They have to be comfortable! And I have to be able to wear socks, so ankle pants make a rare appearance. I would love to see what other people do who care about their style but work in settings with a lot of limitations. And if you, reader, are one of them, share your go-to outfits!

    • morgan says...

      Yes to a post on how to dress for a job where you have to be physical but also look professional! I’m a botanist and arborist and have found it difficult to find clothing that I can move and work and sweat in but also feel put together and be taken seriously.

    • Kelly says...

      I work with kids and spend my days on the floor and sitting at child-sized tables. I work in a hospital and my dress code is pretty casual but still professional. My go-to is a tunic or shirtdress (with or without pockets) with black leggings. I am always on the hunt for the perfect long shirts that are sure to cover my butt. I wear ballet flats with no-show toe socks in spring/summer/fall and flat ankle boots in winter. My id badge and office keys are on a lariat around my neck. I find this outfit comfy and easy to move in…and no issues with showing any back (from shirts riding up or pants gaping) when I sit on the floor with the toddlers and preschoolers!

  19. Kathryn Lester-Bacon says...

    Longtime reader, first-time poster. LOVE this piece! Thank you!!

  20. Taylor says...

    Love this post! Where are Olivia’s and Carmen’s shirts from? Keep rocking it ladies!

    • A says...

      Yes! Please someone answer this. I just love Olivia’s blouse. As a big-boobed short-necked lady, buttoned shirts with collars look awful on me, but I think a blouse of this shape might be just the ticket.

    • Rachel says...

      Ditto wanting to know where to get Olivia’s blouse AND the slacks! Please someone help!

  21. I love Lee’s comment about embracing the high-waisted bottoms. After having a baby, I can ONLY do high-waist. It GIVES you a waist again people! Sure you might have long butt, but just tuck the front of your shirt, and not the back ;).

  22. aga says...

    We need a whole feature on Olivia! Love her outfit and her earrings! #girlcrush

  23. Tera says...

    Loved this article! Would like to see more like it.

  24. Claire says...

    Terrific post! My body shape has changed some over the last year and nothing I have in my closet seems to fit or look right, so this is all very helpful. Wardrobe questions seem to get overly complicated and costly so quickly, but each woman had a simple suggestion that made good sense and seemed accessible. I love this tip: “keep it simple and keep repeating the silhouette that works”, and I am intrigued by the capsule wardrobe idea. Also- icing on the cake- the resources, suggestions and questions readers in the reader’s comments are golden.

  25. I, like others above, LOVE Maggie’s skirt! This is such a fun piece, thanks for doing this round-up Joanna! And Cathleen, if you’re reading this, I wish I had a sister like you who could create a capsule for me too!!

  26. All of these women look great! I can’t believe any of the pieces that Jess is wearing are Target! Awesome! Tell me more! Which ones?

  27. I loved this post too and as a teacher, I especially loved seeing what the teacher wears to work and her reason for going to a capsule wardrobe. Dressing for work is so intimidating when you know that all those student eyes will be on you!

  28. Emily says...

    Olivia, I LOVE your outfit head to toe! Molly’s work style is aspirational for me too. Keep killin it in your MBA!

  29. Sarah says...

    I wouldn’t give up my work outfit for the world (scrubs).

    • Jess says...

      Girrrrrl, I feel you. Wish I could go back to wearing them all the time!

  30. Lindsay says...

    I’d like to see a feature on Jess! I really like her 4 looks!

  31. Zoe says...

    When I saw that you were asking for these outfit ideas, my mind went all pessimistic and I was immediately thinking you were doing market research or something for a sponsored post w MM LaFleur, who has been making the rounds. Now I feel so guilty! You simply were doing a fun piece on an important (but also fun) topic…what we wear to work! I v much adore the young woman from Vanderbilt’s talking points and outfit. Also, for anyone reading, there is a small clothing label in Boston called Brass Clothing who is doing AMAZING work around high quality, affordable pieces that you can wear, literally, everywhere. Work, play, dress up, dress down. The quality for the price is amazing. I love everything they make and own many of the pieces!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      brass clothing looks lovely! and their clothes are ethically manufactured. thank you so much for the recommendation, zoe. https://brassclothing.com/

    • The clothes look beautiful! Clean-lined and wearable!

    • Nicole says...

      I know one of Brass’s cofounders and she is so lovely. It’s a fantastic label/company to support!!

  32. Alexandra says...

    I love JCrew, but it’s usually a bit pricey. I know my sizes though, and have purchased amazing stuff on Ebay and thredup.com. (Work shirts for $17 and so on).

  33. I love this post. My favorite outfit was the last one. Lee, you are inspiring to me! I am also a plus-sized woman, and I often feel as if I can’t look professional or put-together–that being obese means I always look frumpy. But you look stunning! It has made me want to go buy some nice clothes for myself. I agree with the advice about high-waisted items. I didn’t understand the power of it until I tried on some higher-waisted jeans this year, and now they are all I want.

  34. That first look from Preeti is on point!

  35. Nadia says...

    really like to see a women like me and many of us and at the same time adore what I’ve seen. Not criticizing, like I always do with the image of myself but being amazed by how beautiful we all are
    it’s like be blind to actual image for a second and became a aware of women’s beauty at the same time

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a lovely thought, nadia. xoxo

  36. Mara says...

    YES to a week of outfits with Olivia! Love her style.

    And Olivia, thanks for the words of encouragement to women who are considering an MBA. I wish there were a way we could hear more about your experiences. I’ve been considering it for the last year or two, but have also read that 35 is considered an “advanced age,” especially for the top programs. Decisions, decisions…

    • Miranda says...

      Mara – I am so glad I got my MBA. I started my program at age 35 (graduated in 2016) and was able to do an executive program which I absolutely believe was the best fit for me and my life + work experience. I benefited from not only the professors in my program but my classmates as well, who held such varied positions as ER doctor, narcotics detective, plastic surgeon, patent attorney, angel investor, CFO, etc. Our discussions were amazing and having all of these perspectives in the room added so much value to my education. I am so happy I did it at this time in my life. It has benefited me not just professionally/financially but in my personal life, too. You won’t regret it, Mara!

    • Paula says...

      I started MBA at 31, had 2 kids, dropped out, have to go back now at 39. Stinks, but have to finish up. There were lots of people in my class that are older. What Olivia hit on the head with the male-female ration is really stark also with regards to faculty. Mostly males. And what that in turn translates to, is mostly male oriented subjects (for example in my advertising class, out of 5 Harvard business cases, 2 were about beer, and 1 about car company-not to sound sexist, I love cars and beers, but imagine if we did cases about fashion houses, or purse manufacturing in China in a classroom full of males. UGH)

    • Mara says...

      Thank you both! Now I don’t feel quite so bad about starting out in my mid-30’s :-)

    • NSU says...

      The value (literal NPV) or an MBA depends entirely on your “before” and “after”. It’s most valuable to career changers that will be making substantially more money on the other side. For finance women like me, the value is very limited because the time away from actually working ends up being a major cost, and it isn’t so insurmountable to pivot between finance functions depending on what you’re doing and want to do. Always a good idea before making a decision like this to identify the person you want to be and THEN ask if that person needed “x” degree to get there.

  37. Lin says...

    Love the four outfits from Jess! I totally relate to the sticky fingers comment and to shopping at Target!!

  38. Kate says...

    Love this post!

    I just started work at a Tech StartUp in Silicon Valley after working from home for the last year. My strategy has been to but comfortable and classic staples and complement them with interesting shoes or jewelry. My general rules of thumb has been to wear something that is overall more business-y with a casual element like fashion sneakers with a more professional dress, or I flip it and wear a more casual outfit and throw on a blazer. It’s working well so far to make me accomplish my goal of looking polished, on trend, but not too stuffy. I’ve especially been loving items from Universal Standard after seeing it mention of CoJ!

    I recently enjoyed this article about women in tech, diversity and style:
    https://blog.stitchfix.com/inside-stitchfix/day-in-the-life-stitch-fix-data-scientists/

  39. Nicole says...

    Olivia-I also googled Molly’s suits! Haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I’m thinking about going to business school myself and took the GMAT recently :)

  40. Maria says...

    I think it’s interesting to compare women’s attire in different fields. I’m a physician, and I always dress professionally while at work–my patients generally assume I’m a nurse or an NP because I’m a woman, so I want my appearance to reflect assurance and professionalism. Is this wrong? Something the think about. If I were a man, I probably wouldn’t think so much about this.
    I would be interested to hear from other women who work in a traditionally male-dominated professional setting if they feel the same way.

    • Silver says...

      A friend of mine was always Liz at school, but when she went into banking she was very firm “Elizabeth – if you call me Liz everyone will reframe it as “little Liz”” – she’s not tall, very slim. She’s also very serious and amazing – I can only imagine how she re-framed her wardrobe!

    • Fiona says...

      I work in consultancy – which means either I’m surrounded by old guys in suits, or I’m in construction attire designed for dudes who way 200lbs and are 6 feet. (I’m 5″2, and slim, and although I’m in my mid-30s, people assume I’m in my mid-20s). I feel I spend a lot of time juggling people’s perceptions of me. I’ll do a serious dress, blazers and heels with the senior management (but since I work internationally I always try and have part of my outfit reflect the client or project nationality, ie. Chilean indigenous earrings, a Mexican scarf etc.) to showcase my cultural experience, and then get a bit more down and dirty when I’m on a site, with my dirty old safety boots and grubby jeans. I look like I’m wearing my dad’s clothing in the safety gear so I’ll sometimes bring my own reflective vest or safety glasses to again show I’m not playing dress up and I know what I’m talking about. Its so strange to spend SO much time thinking about how I dress, when in my daily (ie. office) life I usually dress very simply (black pants, button down shirt and a blazer or sweater), but I’ve noticed it makes a big difference with how I am seen and heard, and therefore how well I can do my job.

    • Akc says...

      I’ve had a similar experience. I’m a dentist and in my mid 30s, and often people assumed I was a hygienist or assistant. I always wear a white lab coat. I think hygienists and dental assistants are great positions and . grateful for their work however it’s off putting….another peave of mine is that I have an ethnic surname, it’s only two syllables but too intimidating for ninety percent of my patients to pronounce. So now I go by my first name…

    • Whitney says...

      I’m an OB/Gyn – when I first started out of residency I dressed up more for the office (slacks, blouses) but once I started to feel more confident about my skills I started dressing more like ‘me’ – my daily uniform is black skinny jeans with a tunic blouse (almost always black) and flats. I feel more comfortable this way and I like to think that my patients also find me a little more approachable. I think it helps that my patients are all women!

  41. Julie says...

    I love this!!! Would love if it were a regular feature!

  42. Danielle says...

    This post was so helpful, and I really appreciated the clothing recommendations at different price points. I would love a follow-up on work-appropriate shoes!

    • Jessica DeStefano says...

      Please, please, please do a post about comfortable shoes for work! I live in Manhattan and rarely walk less than 5 miles a day. I need shoes that look good but can go the distance!

    • ally says...

      Me too! I want to wear cute shoes to work but I can’t have my feet killing me.

    • dana says...

      I struggle with this too. I wear a size 11 and wear orthotics. Any tips on comfy shoes that aren’t hideous and that aren’t super expensive?

    • Ally says...

      Re: comfy & orthotics: Clarks, Geox, Ecco, and even Dolce Vita and ALDO

      Unless it’s a sneaker, look for leather interior and exterior and a bit of a heel: 0.5 to 2 inches. Too flat isn’t comfy/healthy and neither is too high. The interior sides of the shoe should be fairly firm/supportive. If it’s too mushy you’re likely to pronate inwards.

      Also, the heel part of the shoe should be horizontal, not diagonal (otherwise you’re basically sliding forward all day, even with a low heel).

      When you buy them, if they don’t already have a rubber sole, get a shoemaker to add one (to the heel and toe). It will prevent slipping and cushion your footfall.

      Yes, women can do everything backwards and in heels, but why should they have to anymore? Don’t let the guys have the advantage of being more comfortable than you in their shoes all day long!

    • Joanna says...

      Try Rothy’s! They are super comfy, environmentally responsible and have lots of cute options. I googled a coupon code and got $25 off :)

  43. Lizzie says...

    GUYS! Express. Has. Good. Suits. And workwear! They have great sales as well.

    I also love LOFT, old navy (their pixie pants are awesome for curvy ladies) and H&M for tops!

    • Karen says...

      Express is where i get ALL my work pants. I’m petite and Express is the only place i can find a pant that fits!!

  44. laura says...

    any way there could be some type of career profile post on Lee?? would LOVE to learn more about her job.

    • Karen says...

      I was thinking the same thing!! bring back Lee!!

    • Cass says...

      I wanna know more about LEE.
      She has umph! You can just see it!

    • Yes. I would love that, too.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we’ll ask her, thank you!! xoxo

    • Lou says...

      I understand why you want more info on Lee. I’m her father and I think she’s wonderful!

    • Jeannie says...

      Oh my goodness I love that her dad wrote here that she is wonderful x-D I love it. LOL

  45. I work at home. I wear the same sad outfit everyday.

    On a happier note, thank you cupofjo for always giving us great inspiration and the best community of commenters!

  46. Melanie says...

    This is my most favorite fashion post in a long time!!! Love all of their styles…I want to start shopping…AFFORDABLE options…thank you!

  47. Liz says...

    This is a fantastic post! I didn’t want it to end! More, more, more! ;)

  48. S. says...

    Great post. Please, please ask Maggie where she purchased the skirt that she is wearing ?
    Thank you.

    • I have a skirt almost identical to Maggie’s, and I got it at Jcrew. Seems they’ve sold out now. It’s adorable. You might be able to find it on Ebay, Poshmark, etc.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      She got hers at Ann Taylor, but it’s sold out, unfortunately!

  49. Laura says...

    I love Lee’s moon tattoo SO much

  50. Genevieve Regan says...

    Very inspiring to see all of these women find wardrobes/clothes that they feel confident in! They are all so unique and different yet the pieces fit their personalities in a fantastic way. To Olivia – I am a female student currently in business school! Happy to know I’m one of the 26%. Let’s get that number up!

  51. Preeti’s shoes!!!!! Where are they from?! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!!!

  52. Danielle says...

    I loved this article-you should feature it from time to time. Interesting to read the different jobs, and where they are from. Being plus sized, it was nice to see someone whose body sized resembles mine -I got a few tips (it is hard to find in blogs). :)

  53. Faith says...

    I adore Olivia’s pictured outfit! Does anyone know where her navy blue dress pants are from?

    • Sally says...

      or blouse??

    • Elle says...

      Yes, please!!! Would love to know the details on Olivia’s gorgeous outfit.

    • Yes yes! Those pants look amazing and I would love to know where to snag them!

    • Katie says...

      Same here! Info on the pants and blouse please!

  54. Denise says...

    I’m half torn between the simplicity of a work uniform idea or a work capsule, as Maggie says, and wearing a variety at work. I’m a homebody, though, so work is my chance to express my fun style, whereas on the weekends I wear fairly basic jeans & T. I guess I have a weekend capsule instead of a work one.

  55. Katy says...

    Love this post – much more relatable then some of the other outfit posts for my corporate lifestyle. (Though I do live the women you feature – they look amazing – but not what will fly for my daily interactions with bankers / lawyers). On mat leave now so loose tees and button downs with boob access are all u think about

  56. Oy: cool suits! Or even any suit! Shopping for a reasonably priced, relatively flattering, and moderately artistic-looking suit in a foreign country and second language was a total nightmare last year. I settled for a Jacquard number from the department store Karstadt and the Humanities dean’s assistant at the university where I was interviewing remarked: “wow! You look like the wallpaper at Disney’s Haunted Mansion!” Did not get the job, still kind of love that wacky suit. 😬😬😬

  57. Kelly says...

    Omg Molly from Insecure is the second coming of Alicia Florrick from the Good Wife! Of course both actresses are drop dead gorgeous – it would be my dream to channel their corporate work wardrobes! Totally going to check out ASOS now :)

    My work suits tend to come from Ann Taylor and Banana (40% storewide sales thank you very much) and I feel like the easiest look is tweedy/textured jacket from one of those two stores with black dress pants and comfy Cole Haan patent leather wedges or boots in winter.

    Also when it comes to work attire – now that I know what size Cole Haan shoes I am (supposedly they have Nike air technology) I’ve totally scored them at huge discounts new on EBay :)

  58. Maddi says...

    LOved this. Is there a link to Olivia’s insta? I want to look like her everyday.

    • Tis says...

      Yes, I’m Olivia’s newest fan! Love her outfit, love her grin…this woman is going places!

    • Lula says...

      I second this! Olivia is *so* chic!

  59. Alyssa says...

    Everyone looks great and confident! I used to need to be more dressed up for work, but now work in an art department where the male dress code tends to be flannel and jeans. I’m grateful that I can wear a dress and leggings and fit in or wear a HUGE sweater and jeans and still feel like I have it together. :)

  60. Maria Castro-Castillo says...

    They all have great style! Thanks for sharing!

  61. Karen says...

    I’m an art gallery director at a rural university. I have the frustrating challenge of having to look 1) creative 2) super professional 3) able to get up on a ladder and drill something. My go to look is dark denim, structured blazer, and a cool tee or silk shirt, big jewelry. Shoes are an issue – I’m still searching for the best most professional winter clog. I default to Frye boots (it’s the country after all!) It’s a struggle, I should do the uniform thing more officially.

  62. Carrie says...

    I work as a dispatcher for a construction company, so it’s hoodie and jeans everyday. I kind of wish I had a job that required a cute little outfit though! If I showed up to work in something like that people would wonder what the special occasion was!

  63. Rebecca says...

    Tuck in those shirts, ladies!! I love your attitude Lee :)

  64. SR says...

    What a beautiful group of women!

  65. Kristie Dahlia Home says...

    I adore this thread. I deeply admire the ways that Cup of Jo is staying true to the warm, personal tone Joanna has cultivated as it expands in size and scope. It is such a rare joy to see a blog one loves grow in this way; most folks seem to either burn out or sell out. The genuine warmth, diversity, and humanness I find here soothe my heart daily in these hard times. Thank you.

    • Laura says...

      So true! Cup of Jo is one of the only blogs that has been able to maintain its tone over time. I don’t begrudge the bloggers who burn out or sell out, but I find my reading universe shrinking over time (if anyone has any good suggestions I’m all ears!)

    • Hi Laura, especially if you happen to be a twenty- something figuring life out might I recommend my blog or my best friend who writes openly about her depression, tips and tricks for managing it so she can be productive etc

      Hannah Tells it: https://htellsit.wordpress.com/

      Learn with Amy or personal development for struggling millenials: https://learnwithamy.wordpress.com/
      I agree about the lack of good blogs out there. Joanna’s is by far my favorite. I also like Caroline’s (helloImflawed) but she rarely posts

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that means so much to me, kristie. thank you so much for your kind words. xoxo

    • Giulia says...

      Seconded, so so true. We love you Joanna! :) <3

  66. Liz says...

    This is such perfect timing. With cooler weather finally making its way to New Orleans, I have been in a rut. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  67. Jamie White-Farnham says...

    This is a top-favorite COJ post! I love the outfit posts generally, but seeing the pieces from TJ Maxx and Target really makes it for me. Keep up the great posts! Love COJ!

  68. Kate says...

    I love the range of jobs and workwear profiled! I’m a historian at a non-profit, but that doesn’t mean I just sit in archives all day. I meet with sponsors and donors, do media interviews, give deputations in front of government officials, and lead tours. It’s all about being comfortable and confident. Obviously, it varies from day to day, but as a general rule, I always wear something that would look professional if a high-level donor or the mayor walked in to our office — it’s happened! Worst case, I have a black blazer on the back of my door!!

  69. Silvina says...

    I have a uniform. T-shirt, cargo pants and sneakers. I am an executive assistant so I was used to pretty clothes and high heels but now everybody has to wear the same clothes, even my boss! I don’t like this uniform because it’s masculine but I have to admit that not having to think what to wear every day is great.

  70. Stephanie says...

    This amazing. I’m a high school English teacher like Maggie, but I liked Lee’s style most. (I don’t think I could be restricted to a 6-piece capsule wardrobe, but god knows teachers are too busy to waste time choosing outfits in the morning!)
    Would love to see a full style week with Lee. What she said about tattoos making her more approachable to youth: I’d never considered that before, but of course it’s SO true! Maybe I’ll have to finally commit to getting my dream tattoo, and maybe it’ll make wrangling teenagers a little easier??

  71. Linsey says...

    I work in commercial real estate and wear a lot of simple dresses – mostly from Banana Republic, Nordstrom, and Ann Taylor. I love natural fabrics (cotton, wool, silk) and pieces where I can easily add a blazer, cardigan, or tights to allow for year-round wear. Although I make good money, I am not looking to throw it away with uber trendy items or cheap fabrics. At 5’10”, I also favor brands that make Tall clothes.

    When I found out I was pregnant in mid-June, I decided I wanted a capsule maternity wardrobe. As my waistline expanded, I packed up all of my “regular” clothes into organized bins, donated anything that didn’t fit into the bins (or on my body), and started making maternity purchases as needed.

    I have to say, it has made getting ready for work so much easier! I have 6 dresses, a black skirt, and black pants to choose from each day. I find myself rotating through the dresses, so I just pick the one that is closest to the middle of my closet. My casual clothes consist of 1 pair of jeans, a couple long sleeve shirts, and tank tops for layering. A lot of whites, blacks, and grays.

    I love the capsule wardrobe so much, that I intend to pare down my “regular” clothes once they start making the rotation again when I return to work in the spring.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      love that, linsey!!! i really want to try a capsule wardrobe now. and congratulations on your baby news!

  72. Julie says...

    I have a challenge for you! I live in Quebec, in Canada, where the temperature is often 15 to 25 BELOW zero and it’s not always easy to look stylish in that kind of weather. Sure, high heels, ballerinas, nice silky blouses are great. But what about being stylish when it’s freezing? When the wind is blowing ice cold air, the bottom of your pants is wet with snow or slush and you absolutely need a hat but then you have hat hair when you get to work… Could you do a post on that? That’d be great and different, thanks!!

    • Paige says...

      I second that! I’m a student at McGill and it’s really hard to have a smart wardrobe when it’s literally freezing everyday.

    • Jamie White-Farnham says...

      LOL I thought the same thing. I live in on Lake Superior in Wisconsin, and today, Nov 10th, the temp is 10 degrees!

    • Cold weather dressing is the worst! I lived in Ottawa for 6 years and took public transit. I found that the only way to stay warm was to wear really good warm boots (Sorrels? Some of them are semi-cute) and tuck your pants in to keep them dry. Then swap into cute shoes at your destination.

      For hats I find it depends on your hair type. I can swirl my hair into a loose bun on my head before putting on a toque, then when I get to work I don’t have hat hair and still have body in the roots of my hair. Probably not a one-size-fits-all solution!

    • Alexa says...

      As someone who lives in Chicago, I can relate! All these ballet flats and loafers–where the stylish boots at??

    • Elise Richardson says...

      ^ this! I live in Vermont and while I always have enjoyed everyone’s fashion posts across the internet, 3/4 of the time they don’t work for a winter climate. I’m so envious of weather where I can wear ankle pants and no socks every day!

    • Emma says...

      Yes! I was going to ask a similar question. I love all these ankle pants but I want to see what these women wear when it’s cold out!

    • Yes, this! I’m in Chicago too and our first snowfall is happening right now. How do you all adjust your work outfits when it’s winter?
      Do your work tops become sweaters? I’m working my first job post grad school and figuring out work wear.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      great challenge, julie!!!! WE ACCEPT. please stay tuned :)

    • Isabelle says...

      Ha ha, I second this! I was born in Quebec city; wearing lots of different layers definitely helps, but it’s still a challenge to look stylish when it’s freezing outside.

    • Erin says...

      Can’t wait for this! I live in Ottawa and take public transit too and it’s a constant challenge. Maybe a series called Cup of Jo North is in order? :)

    • CJ says...

      Yes!!! After living in a cold climate for 5 years (Colorado) I think I’m starting to finally figure this thing out. Layers is the key. High quality, the best you can afford.

      I mostly wear boots by Sorel, Merrell and Blondo. They have to be waterproof, cute and warm. I have one short pair, one medium and one tall.

      I love base layers made of silk and fleece, anything thermal in a few basic colors will work all winter long. Then I layer something “cuter” over it that which can be removed later if needed. The base layer has to be decent quality too in case you get heat stroke easily from all the coziness.

      Pants are no bueno for me in winter. It’s leggings all the way. Leggings are easy, fit seamlessly into boots and you can have a bunch of colors and shades of brown, black and grey without breaking the bank. The secret is getting ones thicker, high quality ones with fleece or warmth to them. They are almost like “skinny pants” because most leggings these days are more like tights. Also do NOT wear anything see through and your rump HAS to be covered- I can hear my mother. Therefore you need longer tops- and as my best friends and I say..please ladies don’t show your muffin.

      Invest in a few cozy socks if your boots aren’t very warm. I like the wool kind and I keep a lighter cotton pair in my bag for the days when it warms up and you faint because you’re too hot.

      Hat hair, now that’s a tough one. I started wearing the ear muff type things or thicker/wider ski type knitted head bands (search Etsy) that don’t mess everything up and become a static-y mess but still keep your head warm and look chic. Big fluffy hats are cute but they cause so many issues if you want to have your hair down later. My friend says a dryer sheet will help for static but I’m reluctant to put that in my hair.

      Winter jackets are a major investment and I like the ones from Patagonia, North Face or even Lands End or LL Bean make nice ones. They have to be warm and if they have a shell that you can remove, even better. I think having a shorter one and a longer one covers most of life’s issues.

      I feel like maybe we should write a book on winter style. It’s rough for us cold weather girls to not only look cute but stay warm and dry.

    • Jess says...

      I’m an expat living in Denmark…if you want to see stylish autumn (fall) / winter fashion, just check out the Scandinavians :)

  73. Kathy T says...

    Every single one of these women looks AMAZING!

  74. Katie says...

    I love this!!! I am a sad office dweller in a relatively formal environment. I too struggled with the “cool suit” issue… all the brands where people find them never seem to fit me (I am in the border zone between plus-size brand and not). I now have a couple suits for when I feel I have to wear one (my favorite is from Marks & Spencer, which has an old lady reputation but has served me really well for workwear in general- and ships to the US now). But mostly I have just made peace with the fact that I don’t look great in suits and have mostly switched to professional dresses or pencil skirt ensembles with blazers (and cardigans or just a cool blouse for less formal days). I feel that my mentors a generation older wear a lot of suits, but colleagues my age seem to have mostly done the same… and we are loving our less-suited lives. Now I would love to try MM LaFleur but am pregnant and don’t want to invest a lot right now given size uncertainty…

  75. Lisa says...

    I’d love a week of outfits from Lee too! And her phases of the moon tattoos — exquisite.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we’ll ask her!

  76. Kara says...

    Love these outfits and these fun facts! My dress-for-work secret is as follows: rent the runway unlimited. I just transitioned from working as a teacher in a rural community to working at a hedge fund in Manhattan. My wardrobe needed a serious makeover but I didn’t want to spend my entire paycheck. Now I do RTR (an idea that I stole from my work friends who always look fabulous and professional) and I get to wear clothes I couldn’t afford otherwise. Plus, I shop less. Win win!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a cool idea, kara!

    • Nicole says...

      Another cool service like this is Armoire! You get a certain number of pieces to wear as long as you want and then you send them back and get new stuff to wear, and they do everyday clothes and also formal wear. It’s awesome!

      http://www.armoire.style/

  77. Jane says...

    What a fun post – love it!

  78. Jill says...

    Retired now, but I usually wore a skirt or pants with a suitable top and then added a jacket or cardigan. Sometimes I’d go thru dresses phase. I like accessories a lot so usually added a scarf or necklace, and always earrings. Having some mix and pieces let’s u come up with lots of combination. And stretches your # of outfits.

  79. Absolutely loved seeing real readers and what they are wearing!

  80. Ae says...

    Joanna,
    Your content is SO good. Quality, consistent, and thoughtful. Thank you for making this part of the internet special!

  81. Chrissie says...

    These ladies are all The coolest. I especially love Lee’s vibe and her thoughtful, funny answers. I’d love to see a week of outfits with Lee!!

  82. Caroline says...

    Finding a cool, affordable suit! This makes me BATTY. I am on a law student budget and have spent years trying to figure out where to buy suits. And I mean suits – a blazer and skirt/pants that were specifically meant to go to together. The male/female discrepancy on this shopping experience is nuts – stores often have entire sections for men’s suits, and we women are stuck with a section called “workwear” or something equally vague where you often find lots of trendy blazers but no pants. That’s not a suit! I swear, I would invest the little money I had for someone to start a Women’s Wearhouse.

    • Ricky says...

      My very first real job had a pretty strict dress code, and I had a very small salary, but surprisingly I found some very flattering and good quality suits at H&M. I just had them fitted by a tailor and I no-one would have guessed I did not spend a fortune on them. This was a few years ago though, I hope they still make nice ones :)

    • Katy says...

      Jcrew basics when the whole website goes on sale – eg Black Friday coming up. The super120 fabric lasts really well and the fit is consistent. Stands up to wear better than theory and the dresses aren’t too short.
      Banana at 50% off is good value too but I think the fabric has gone downhill from 5 years ago. When I was a student I got suits at Zara but I don’t know if the have those anymore. Fortunately my new office doesn’t require a full suit most days

    • Laura says...

      I work in investment banking, and have helped a lot of my friends upgrade their wardrobe post law school or b-school. I started off with a j crew suit that I had mildly altered (waist taken in) that still is part of my work wardrobe to this day. As I started earning a bit more cash I added a few theory suits into the mix. Theory is me at my most confident, but I recently got a navy j crew 120s suit when they had a 30% off the whole website sale and its in constant rotation (I got cropped pants, long pants, and a skirt to really maximize it, had both the skirt and the pants altered to fit perfectly). I also keep a black theory blazer at my desk at all times so I’m ready to go if there’s any impromptu meetings.

      In defense of those trendy blazers, I’ve found them to really go the distance when paired with a conservative pant & simple silk blouse. I have a fun black blazer from zara with a sort-of woven texture that I get a ton of compliments on, and I have a blazer from j crew thats got bracelet length sleeves to show off a fun bangle, and is a blue/black/white tweed so I can pair it with my navy suit, my black suit, black dresses etc. Even if it’s not a suit that is specifically meant to go together, I always feel like I look the part when I’m up to pitch the bigwigs (high heels, a classic manicure, a blowout and the knowledge that I know every detail of the presentation inside & out help with the confidence as well)

  83. o-ks says...

    Loving all these!!

    I’d love to see a proper post on how to warm all these outfits up for winter, where you need a second layer on top of your short-sleeved stuff :) As I’m really puzzled on this topic: blazer make me look too “officey”, while cardigans make me look too “homely” – what’s the middle ground?? Ideas, ladies?

    • Emily says...

      Yes me too!

    • Jill says...

      LL Bean ‘heat keeper’ tank tops. They layer underneath tops, and help keep you warm. I’m in Canada, and my office is freeeezing almost all year. I also keep (fashion – not winter) scarves handy for added warmth. Sweaters are a must – I prefer crewneck style to turtlenecks, and a thin merino wool sweater can be pretty toasty, without being scratchy. I also have a pair of wool trousers that are comfy and warm. I would love to see a post on all this stuff!

    • Meg says...

      I got you!!!

      Tart Collections makes a great stretchy cotton blazer (specifically the Olga Blazer with 3/4 sleeves). It’s tailored with sleek lines, so it looks structured and very professional, even though it’s soft and stretchy.

    • How about a wrap sweater, which will flatter your waist and keep you cozy? There are long and short versions of this all over the internet. Also, long open sweaters (to the back of the knee) are a cooler alternative to the cardigan.

    • Gillian says...

      I would love to see a post on this! Also from Canada, my office gets particularly cold in the winter, and it’s hard to find ways to stay warm but still look professional.

    • Cynthia says...

      I fell in love with the J. Crew sequined tweed jacket! It could turn any pants or skirt into a suit, or a jacket into a jacket dress. I made a black and white silk tweed jacket (it has blue, green, and red flecks in the fabric), and when I pair it with a skirt or slacks, I have a suit look. It also looks great with dresses. it’s not a typical blazer but has a vintage look. I’m a teacher, but I try to dress up because I feel better dressed up. I wear Nordstrom’s Halogen or B.P. camisoles under sweaters and shirts in the winter for an extra layer of warmth without bulk. The school where I teach has an outdoor campus, so I have to dress for the weather.

    • Laura says...

      Agree with Jill about the fashion scarves. Keeps your neck a bit warmer in the A/C. My desk is right below an A/C vent so I figured out this trick. Turtle necks help too.

    • Jahmila says...

      Unstructured blazers are my jam! I’m a lawyer and my office is business casual so this style works perfectly. They tend to be drapey and look great in the office or over jeans and are anything but homely. Wilfred’s Chevalier jacket is a great example (but a bit pricey).

    • kat says...

      Totally agree! …and warm items that you can comfortably put a warm coat over! Layers! I am also a teacher, and often my school is a little on the chilly side… plus, recess duty outside… Brrrr. I am in the Pacific Northwest– so, we have a LONG season of cold and wet. I wear boots practically every single day (I own a whole lot of different Doc Martens)— I agree with your blazers vs. cardigan statement… I am definitely NOT a blazer person (at all), but cardigans can be tough to make stylish, especially stylish with an edge… would LOVE to see fun, interesting, stylish choices for cold, wet winter weather! LOVE this POST!

  84. Claire says...

    I LOVE this post. I work in an environment where women wear a wide range of professional clothing and it can be hard to navigate. To the women featured here, you all look fabulous!

  85. kate says...

    Love this post so much – could happily see this repeated every week – thank you!

  86. Jen says...

    I love this! I made a ‘uniform’ for myself on returning from maternity leave – 2 pairs H&M slacks and 4 shirts and one pair of flats. Sounds so boring but I love that I don’t have to think about it! But now I have to rethink it, moving into the Southern Hemisphere summer?!

  87. Sarah says...

    I really love this. Can this become a regular feature?

    • Talia says...

      I agree!

    • Amanda says...

      Yes! This has been one of my favorite fashion posts.

    • Cindy D. says...

      Me too! It would make a great recurring/regular post. Everyone looks great and it’s good that you included women who work in all different fields with some differences in dress requirements and the range of $ women are willing or able spend on work attire.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      great idea!

    • kat says...

      I agree! (too!)

  88. Dhana says...

    I love this!! I would really appreciate to see more outfits of fellow office-dwelling ladies, this is really inspirational.

  89. Rachel says...

    Love! Love! Love! One of my favorite COJ posts.

    Can this be a regular series? Please!!! :)

    • Carrie says...

      YES! Love it!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes! i’ll add a note at the bottom for submissions!

  90. Liza says...

    Thank you for posting such an interesting and diverse group of women. You mentioned Of/Mercer and I was really excited by what I saw on the website, but I recently ordered a ton of stuff online and ended up returning everything. The cuts were very strange, I wasn’t a fan of the fabric choices, and there is some serious vanity sizing going on. If you live in NYC I urge you to visit the midtown location and actually try stuff on in the store. I buy about half of my work clothes at Lord & Taylor. I thought they would be too stuffy, but my aunt turned me on to them. Their own collection features fantastic blouses that are classic, but with subtle designs and they have a massive collection of office-appropriate dresses at reasonable prices. They always seem to have great sales too.

    • Lauren says...

      Agreed! They have a pop-up in Boston right now and I had high hopes but the clothes were not as great in person as they look online.

  91. JP says...

    I live in the mountains. I am self-employed and a mom of a 24 month old baby girl. That means I dress pretty causally although I’m an attorney. I don’t miss wearing suits like I used to when I lived in Philly and worked at a pretty conservative firm. Those days of suiting up and wearing 4 inch heels are long gone (except on the days I have to be in court of course, but I no longer wear 4 inch heels, hellz no!!). My work outfits range from Rebecca Taylor floral dresses to Madewell high rise jeans to work. I can’t complain!

  92. Jodi says...

    I loved this post! Great to get a little peak into the lives and style of real women. Their wardrobes AND careers are inspiring!

  93. Paige says...

    What a lovely post to see real folks and their daily outfits.

    I have never worked in an office, I manage a bakery in Seattle and before that worked in winery production, so my work outfits are completely different. It would be so cool to see what women wear in fields that require tougher clothing for work that can be messy. Especially since there isn’t much out there for women looking to outfit themselves with durable, and appropriate yet also attractive clothing.

    Thanks!

    • Kate says...

      I came across these chef pants,
      made for women. I got a pair because I sometimes work in my husbands restaurant and my jeans were getting gross and flour-y. Love them!

      https://polkapants.com

  94. I love all of these looks (especially the social worker- woot! ) ! To get workwear inspiration, I create a Pinterest board called “Pin now, Buy later.” I pin online purchases I like, then come back to it about once a week to see if the items I pinned are on sale! I like blazers, pencils skirts, and feminine blouses. ThredUp and EBay are fantastic, too!

    • Nicole says...

      Omg Sandra, you should look into this app called Shoptagr! Basically, it lets you tag or pin clothes you like online, and then it sends you an email when it goes on sale!! Couldn’t be easier. I use it all the time! It’s the best thing ever.

    • Blandine says...

      Thanks for rec Nicole. Sounds great!

    • Mimi says...

      I have to second this comment. I also use Shoptagr and it’s amazing!

    • Ahh thanks everyone! :) That sounds MUCH easier!

  95. Lena says...

    Where are the earrings Maggie is wearing from? They’re amazing!

    • They were from H&M a long time ago, but Laura Lombardi has some beautiful options and does Lizzie Fortunato. Also, on the cheap end, Mango has awesome statement earrings.

  96. Great post! Wish we could’ve seen where some of the pieces of clothing were from (Olivia’s pants and Maggie’s skirt!). It’d be really fun to see another one with more women!

  97. Regie says...

    This article is great! The only thing is, almost everyone has bare feet. I’m having trouble figuring out what to wear in the winter, since all pants are short now! Ideas?

    • Liza says...

      Booties work well with cropped pants when the weather isn’t too bad, but the rest of the time I opt for tucking my cropped pants into wool socks and snow boots and switching to flats when I get to work.

    • Katie says...

      this same question has been PLAGUING me!! it’s about to get reeeaaaal cold in nyc (and elsewhere), and practically all of the newer pants styles are cropped. COJ, would LOVE a post on how to style cropped pants in the winter.

      xoxo,
      ankles everywhere

  98. Lee says...

    I’d also love to see a piece about women that rock uniforms at work. Opting to wear a uniform to work drastically changed my mornings and my focus for the better.

  99. Ginny says...

    As always, y’all hit it out of the park. Way to round up an inspiring group of women doing awesome things and looking great. I used to be an avid blog reader, but most just began to feel frothy and redundant after a while. Cup of Jo has been my staple for years and years now, and you somehow manage to keep it fun, engaging, thoughtful, and inspiring. Thanks you guys.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so, so much, ginny. that means a lot to us.

  100. Gillian says...

    I LOVE this post!! So great! Thank you!

  101. Emily says...

    This is so great and helpful! I’m about to go on the job market, transitioning out of academia where the dress code (for trainees in my field, at least) is extremely casual. Especially nice to see some affordable and plus-sized options in the mix.

  102. Sasha says...

    I too totally google what fictional characters are wearing. There are stylists who choose their wardrobe, so if you like their outfits, why not? Did you know there is a blog devoted to what Mindy Kaling’s character wears? I love it! Ages ago, I was obsessed with Canadian show Being Erica, and I totally coveted her clothes. My pet peeve though is when they are wearing super expensive clothes while the character has a job that does not pay that much in real life (Friends, anyone?).

    • Julie says...

      I loved Being Erica! I really miss that show and hate that it was pretty ignored in the U.S.

    • Kate says...

      haha, I’ve definitely googled “red back button embroidered shirt” or something like that when I’ve seen cute clothes on commercials! Sometimes it actually even works! I wonder if there are any set stylists out there with blogs….I’d love to know where all of Carrie’s clothes on Portlandia are from, for example.

  103. Rebecca says...

    Love this story – great job!

  104. Shanna says...

    Lee is my style twin!! I love that another plus size lady is rocking tattoos, a septum piercing with some serious looking clothes. I would recommend the Lena line of dress pants from Lane Bryant for the high waisted pants of your dreams.

  105. I LOVE that my job (flight attendant) requires a uniform! The hardest part of my day is deciding what color lipstick I should wear! It makes life so easy!
    Also if y’all ever want travel tips, please don’t hesitate to contact me at redlandinglips@gmail.com

    • I would LOVE travel tips from a flight attendant!!

    • Brooke says...

      Ooooh yes travel tips from flight attendants would be a fun post!

    • ally says...

      Yes, please do share some travel tips! :)

  106. Colleen says...

    I laughed out loud at Olivia’s idea to google a television character, but that’s a great idea. And, yeah, maybe I should go to business school someday…

    • Rosa says...

      I actually have googled Mckenzie MacHale from the Newsroom so many times and I can never find where her silk blouses are from!

    • Savannah says...

      When I watched Burnt the first thing I did was google Emma Thompson’s wardrobe! Obsessed. She is my girl forever!

    • Liza says...

      @Rosa, They’re Equipment! Pricey but worth it. If you want to check out some knock-offs, Ann Taylor and LOFT both make some that are very similar. I have a black one from LOFT that looks more luxe than an almost identical version from Equipment.

  107. Maria McD says...

    Aaaah! Great outfits and so great to see another SSC(U) alum on the pages of Cup of Jo! Looking good, Lee!!

  108. ALI says...

    Love this! Especially Lee’s gorgeous high waisted skirt and blouse with a bow!

  109. Bryn says...

    Olivia, I love your outfit and am going to order your pants from ASOS! To echo you, I too am getting my MBA and there are way too few women in my program.

    Also, my favorite suit is from Ted Baker; I definitely recommend stalking their website for sales!

    • Liza says...

      That’s so interesting! My MBA was tailored to the design industry (fashion, graphic, and industrial) where there are more women. 21 women and 3 men. I used to drag one of the guys along when I went out with girls from our class and we would joke about being part of his harem. It was amazing to see women drive the conversation in a classroom.

    • Olivia says...

      Ooo great tip! Definitely going to start browsing on the regular!

  110. Katie says...

    I loved this! I’m currently a stay at home mom, so most of these outfits don’t really work for my lifestyle at the moment, but I always love to peep on what others are wearing. Maybe you can do this again and change it up each time for the topic? My vote on the next one would totally be MOMS. 🤗

    • I LOVE that idea. I’m newly a stay at home mom and feel like I’ve no idea what to wear.

    • Indah says...

      I second this!

    • Hannah says...

      Look up dresslikeamum on instagram!

    • This makes me laugh because I work full-time in a corporate office, but I’m considering taking a bit of a break to stay home with my kids. I totally have a secret Pinterest board for cool SAHM outfits! I don’t want to transition from dressing up every day to yoga pants only. I still want to look polished and cool, even if my look is really casual.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      great ideas!!

    • Chelsea says...

      I was just about to post the same thing! I end up wearing running tights everyday and have a hard time figuring out outfits that are good for everyday with kids. I’m either super casual during the week or dressed up for an event or date night. Lately I’ve been trying to find cute casual winter shoes for everyday wear. Something that will still work okay for park play dates with jeans and a cute top, and preferably under $100. Anyone have recommendations?

      Even though I don’t work now, I still loved seeing what these women wear and got some good ideas for times I need to dress up a little more. Plus, I loved that many of them had more budget-friendly ideas!

    • Chelsea, if I’m not at work, I’m wearing these, guaranteed. They’re super comfy and easy to slip on and off.

      http://amzn.to/2yqirUw

      I got the wine color, but I love them so much I’m probably going to get a couple more.

  111. SCV says...

    It would be fun to see Maggie’s capsule collection or more ideas for a capsule collection!

    • Molly says...

      I thought the same and followed the link through “her sister.” Her capsule wardrobe and some other great posts are on there. I love the vibe of her sister’s blog!! Thanks for bringing us real and relevant women CoJ!

    • Jacqui says...

      I wanted to see Maggie’s capsule wardrobe too, so thanks for the tip, Molly.

  112. shannon says...

    Off topic, but as a counselor, this gave me chills: “being trusted with people’s stories, traumas and successes has been one of the biggest gifts of my life.”

    YES.

    Loved this post!! Would love to see more about women with office jobs and women who don’t live on a coast!

  113. Ramona says...

    I am an early childhood teacher working with infants/toddlers. I have a 3-piece work outfit/uniform/formula: lightweight cargo pants, t-shirt, apron. I sew my own aprons. They have pockets and are a custom fit. I choose cotton fabrics that coordinate with multiple t-shirt colors. And I always have an extra shirt on hand in case one of the babies spits up, or paint gets on me, or when they decide they don’t like their veggies and they spit it out at me! I’m comfortable and everything is machine washable!

    • Jessica M says...

      As a teacher, I need more info about this! Which cargo pants fit your “lightweight” category and I’d love to see your aprons!

  114. Lindsay says...

    I love all of these!! More posts like this please, just because they make me smile.

    Preeti- I clicked on this right away when I saw your look! I also have one silhouette that I stick to (mostly in a blend of navy, black, or grey) but always a cute shoe. I just got the MNZ maryam pumps in the same lavender as your sandals. I’m so excited to wear them. It made me so happy to see you in that cheerful color too :)

    • Preeti Varma says...

      Thanks Lindsay! Me too – black and navy in this silhouette are my staples now!

    • Emily says...

      Preeti, what brand are your black skirt and sweater? I love this look! You look so polished.

    • Sarah says...

      Yes, please can we have an outfit breakdown?

    • laura says...

      yes! i also related to her style. love all the looks featured!

  115. Olivia looks like Claire Foy! I love Lee’s moon phases tattoo!
    This was such a fun post to read. To echo some others, I would love to see more about capsule wardrobes. I’ve been super intrigued by the concept for a few months now but I have no idea where to start!

  116. andrea y griffith says...

    This is the best! I would love a week’s worth of outfits for every one of these ladies….

  117. Kat O says...

    Social workers! Represent! :)

    • Christeena says...

      Social workers and Aussies!!

    • Woot woot! #socialtwerk 😍

    • Lee says...

      ✊🏻✊🏻✊🏻

  118. Kathleen says...

    I wear what my stylist tells me to. Seriously – best decision I ever made in my busy work life was to outsource shopping and finding suitable outfits. Casual fall, winter and casual summer and my work wardrobes. She’s helped me put together capsule wardrobes, shop for specific events (a wedding in Italy). She even put together a go-to guide for clothing pairings – picking out outfits is a breeze, and it’s made fashion fun again.
    In my work life I usually pair simple suits with shirts (that at times have the pizazz) and statement necklaces.
    If any of you ladies are in the GTA (Ontario) look her up – https://www.lisamclatchie.com
    Joanna – she would be a great person to interview too :)

    • aga says...

      Hello, fellow Ontarian! A stylist sounds like such a fun idea! I would be interested to have someone else’s perspective on my wardrobe and see what combos they came up with! (if i had the money). But I can’t say that I would trust her judgement based on her outfits!

  119. Monica says...

    You should see if Maggie will do a follow-up post sharing her whole capsule (or do a whole series on actual capsule wardrobes for work from real people) – I’d love to see it!

    • Amy says...

      Agreed. I didn’t even know the term capsule wardrobe until reading this post. I’m intrigued.

  120. Annie says...

    I’ve been struggling to build a simple work wardrobe that feels appropriate but still has some personality, and I’ve got to say COS has been a life saver. They have lots of pieces that are classic silhouettes with quirky twists, and everything is reasonably priced and super high quality and low maintenance (I swore off dry cleaning awhile ago). If you hate putting together outfits, their dresses are perfect go-to work wear!

  121. Ellie says...

    Thank you for this post!! I’ve been struggling lately with what to wear to work – it’s like I want to look professional yet not stuffy, polished and trustworthy but still young and modern (I’m 29), and I also dress somewhat modestly for religious reasons, and it feels so hard to get all those things together. (And I still don’t quite know how to dress my 2-years-post-having-twins body.) Anyway, all these women look lovely, and also like real people (which I think is a compliment:)).

  122. Naomi says...

    awesome post!
    i’m a senior resident physician in a “life style” medical specialty. i dress preppy, and i like clothes, but recently i decided i wanted less early morning drama staring at the contents of my closet :D
    i tried one technique of just wearing skirts one week, only pants the next week, dress-only week etc…but i felt very boxed-in (it didn’t spark joy!).
    now i choose an outfit the evening evening before and put everything together, down to the accessories/belt/undies! when i get dressed in the morning (early! before my husband wakes up), i grab my fully formed outfit without having to disturb him by ruffling through my drawers/wardrobe. it’s been a good strategy so far, and has added some fashion zen to my morning routine :)

    • Sford says...

      I do the same thing – work out what I am wearing the night before. I tend to stick to fitted dresses, a line skirts, slim leg trousers and jumpers/blouses. I cant wear shirts as I find them too restrictive across the shoulders. I also never buy anything full price!!!!

  123. Rachael says...

    Love this post! I’m a lawyer working in a corporate firm but in Los Angeles so the dress code is somewhat lax. I hate high heels so unless I’m in court in a suit, I always wear oxfords or ballet flats. Stuart weitzman makes my favorite oxfords. I also love shirt dresses in fun patterns and always have a sweater to counter office air conditioning, even on 100 degree days.

  124. Abbie says...

    LOVE this! Knocked it out of the park with these ladies COJ, thank you for the inspiration!

  125. riye says...

    This is a great post! I work in a very casual office and hardly ever meet clients so my uniform is jeans, dark t-shirt, and a cardigan. All dark solid colors because I don’t care for patterns. I kick it up by wearing artist made jewelry (usually made by or gifts from friends) or pieces meant for men. Recently I’ve also been wearing fun scarves and looking for reading glasses with bright frames.

    • Jessica M says...

      ^^^Week of outfits, please!^^^ This may be my future uniform, as I’m an elementary school teacher and don’t really enjoy dressing up.

  126. I am teacher and I have been teaching French for over 20 years. I love my job and I also like fashion. In order to stay creative in the way I dress to go to work, I started an Instagram account last year. Every school day, without exception, I post a pic of my work outfit. It has been a lot more fun and interesting than I would have ever expected and I get great feedback! It’s called pret_a_teacher if anyone is interested in checking it out. ;)

    • Thank you for sharing this! I love your Halloween costume.

    • Jo says...

      Loved your outfits. Simple but chic!

    • Merci!

    • Jamie says...

      Just looked through your whole feed. Love you style! XO

    • I love the idea of the capsule wardrobe but the reality is that I have a lot of clothes I collected through the years (the French in me?!). I donate some of them every year but I still have WAY more than a capsule wardrobe left and I like them! My Instagram project has motivated me to wear most of them versus wearing the same 10 pieces most of the time.

    • Thanks, Cathleen. I love your blog, it’s so cool! :)

  127. Carly says...

    Fabulous! I would love to see a work uniform featuring some women who work in labs or occasionally go out into the field on the job. For work, I have to wear long sleeves; pants; closed toed, sturdy shoes; and nothing loose or dangly. Sometimes it feels pretty uninspiring, since my off-duty uniform is shorts and sandals.

    • Kimberly says...

      Your grammar makes me so happy.

    • Amanda says...

      As an engineer, I’m often crawling under machines only to be in a meeting with higher-ups ten minutes later which makes getting dressed difficult. I have been wearing a long sleeve button up, or striped shirt, under a short sleeved sweater to add some layers without adding bulk or safety hazards.

  128. Julie says...

    More of these posts, please. Fun!

  129. NMORI says...

    Need to know the pants Olivia is wearing!! i love this post, I work at a corporate job and struggle on the daily. I think a capsule is a great idea, and maybe should work on that this weekend!

  130. Thank you for posting this! I love how creative each of these ladies is, within more formal constraints. Can you make this a series? It’s so fun and helpful!

  131. Angelina says...

    LOVE! I’d love seeing this more often for all sorts of people. How about realistic yet elevated while being with my kids all day. This includes but is in no way limited to: cooking, crawling, researching, instilling values, teaching concepts, encouraging a love of learning and most of all maintaining my sanity kind of looks?! (My three year old has been attempting to build the Great Wall of China with his legos so maybe I’m getting something right? Haha)

    • Lauren E. says...

      I’m with you! I’m a personal assistant and on any given day I can be carrying tree branches, running into Gucci, spray painting flowers, or meeting with architects. I tend to stick to sneakers and cool jeans with t-shirts and cardigans but I’d love to see elevated casual that can get dirty!!

    • Vero says...

      I am a nanny, and while spending so many hours every day in someone else’s home, I found that I had let my joie de vivre (by way of my appearance) slip by the wayside. I was keeping it really boring, knowing that at any time, I could be spilled on, snotted on, cried on or muddy from playing at the park.

      The first thing I decided to do was spruce up my sock game; I spent more time just wearing socks than most people who work, so I bought several cool pairs from Happy Socks and they still make me happy every single time I put them on.

      I also realized that getting dressed and expressing myself through how I adorn myself is really important to me. It is an exertion of creative energy and makes me feel comfortable and confident. I had to switch necklaces to bracelets (granny hands), and I save my silk tops for after work hours. But it’s still possible to look and feel really good! These days, I like to wear high waisted black or dark denim jeans (or the Cheap Monday black overalls I just found on sale), cute practical shoes (lace up Fryes, short rainboots, leopard print lace up flats, oxfords), a brass bracelet I bought at a vintage fair, and merino or cashmere sweaters bought from consignment or thrift stores. I often swipe on Black Honey lip colour by Clinique and then braid my hair, brush out the curls after blow drying or throw it in a high or low bun.

      Doing these things has made a major difference in how I feel day-to-day at work, and the best thing is that my clothes have been able to stand up to everything that has been (literally) thrown at them.

    • Vero says...

      Edit: grabby hands, not granny hands!

  132. Preeti–same about the hair tie! When I look through photos I always have a ponytail holder around my right wrist or holding my hair back. And it’s not just for business time–it’s for eating time, too. ;)

    • Preeti Varma says...

      Yes!!!!

  133. Meghan says...

    I love this so much! Thanks for including this amazing community of readers – it’s truly one of the best on the web <3

  134. Laura says...

    Lee is so right about tucking your shirt in. All through high school I thought that would make me look fat (note to my teenage self, you weren’t even fat…) anyway my current boyfriend told me I should tuck my shirt in. I figured what the hell, it’s boyfriend approved. Now I almost always tuck my shirts in, even though I’m at least 20 lbs. heavier than I was in high school. If my shirt is too short to tuck in I always wear a long undershirt tucked in (like a men’s wifebeater…not even going to get into how messed up that name is). I seriously don’t know how I wore low waisted pants so long, they’re so uncomfortable.

    • MC says...

      One of my good friends from college calls them “healthy relationship tees” instead of wifebeaters, which I love.

    • Laura says...

      MC that is awesome.

  135. Kate says...

    I love this!!! I feel like I am finally starting to figure out the vibe/my “look” at my current job, but when I was at my first “real” job out of college, it was so hard to know what to wear! It’s so awesome to see real people in a range of jobs and what works for them – more, please!

  136. I LOVE this post. Im always inspired by seeing what other women wear. I hope cup of jo will do more reader style posts in the future!

  137. Yvonne says...

    Want to know the deets on Oliva’s pants and shoes. Super cute.

    • Olivia says...

      Thanks Yvonne! My pants are the Obi Tie Pants from Asos (they have them in every color and petite/plus/maternity woo!) and the shoes are the Frida Loafer from Nisolo. I wear them almost every day both in work and real life!

    • Annie says...

      Seconded! I’ve been looking for a pair of pants like that for awhile. I also obsessively follow Molly’s wardrobe.

    • Summer says...

      Olivia – where is your shirt from? I love it!

    • Rachel says...

      Can Olivia get a whole “week of outfits” feature? Love her style!

  138. Emily says...

    Stop it! Every woman on here looks like models because they are so comfortable in their own skin! What a beautiful post!!

    • Lindsay says...

      100% agree!! Such beauties!

    • MD says...

      I completely agree! What amazing, confident style. Love this post! Thanks!

  139. ks says...

    is that a dress you are wearing Preeti? I love it – that skirt! Where is it from? x

    • ks says...

      pressed send too soon -whoops! this article couldn’t have come at a better time – going back to an office on monday for a new job after 4 years of working from home. perfect inspiration post!

    • Preeti Varma says...

      Hey! It’s actually a dress from COS – so simple and easy to throw on! xPreeti

    • KS says...

      I could write Thanks to Preeti here. Cause i have same initial as yours and similar situation, going back to job after 5 years :). Pretty spooky ;) I hope not that same ID. ;)

  140. Can we talk more about Maggie’s six-piece capsule?! I am so intrigued by the idea of a capsule wardrobe (a true one…not these 36-piece ones!) or a work uniform. I’m sick of cheap clothes and also sick of looking like a raggamuffin (been wearing my ill-fitting pre-pregnancy clothes since returning to work 14 months postpartum). It feels like I’d have to drop $500 to get a few well-made, nice-fitting basics.

    And then there’s the fear that people will think I’m weird for wearing the same thing every day? Several of the women in my office seem to have new items ALL the time.

    What’s a girl to do?!

    • Joanna says...

      I want a work uniform or a small work capsule, too. I have 2 kids, including a nursing/not sleeping baby…I need fewer decisions in the morning. But I also don’t know where to begin!

    • Meghan says...

      When I was in university I did a 6 piece capsule (gave up the rest of my clothes for Lent)! It was an amazing experience and one that I highly recommend. Such a learning opportunity, and a way to come face to face with my own vanity. At the end of the day it matters so little what you wear, as long as you are appropriate for your surroundings and comfortable. I realized that I got dressed and undressed for a normal, boring day, so many times in the day and spent so much time on something that didn’t matter that much!

      I was a pretty grubby student so I wore two cheap tops, an h&m dress, a pair of jeans, and two sweaters. They didn’t hold up too well. Some people noticed that I was wearing the same thing all the time but I didn’t really care because of what a relief it was in my life.

      Laundry was difficult.

      I loved it and have been waiting for the right opportunity to do it again. I highly encourage you to try it!!! It was life changing, at the time. Lent was a great timeframe for me since it has the philosophical underpinning of doing without a vice (I’m not religious but I think Lent is a great thing to follow) and it wasn’t too long but long enough to feel the effects of going without. Do it!!!!

    • Liz says...

      You would be amazed at the fact that no one will notice!

    • I also want to hear more about the 6 piece capsule!

      I’m not sure I could do six pieces (less noticeable IMO if you wear a different shirt every day of the week, and this is something my boss would care about), but I like reading about people who do more extreme capsules for a longer period of time. If I could get away with it though, I would wear a black v neck tee and dark wash or black jeans daily :)

    • Vicki says...

      Wait, did I write this? I too am sick of cheap clothes, and looking like a ragamuffin, and my clothes not fitting! I feel like if I could just find one great pair of jeans, and one great white shirt, I’d be all set!

    • Becca says...

      I also do a capsule wardrobe but it’s more like 10-15 pieces: 2 dresses, 2 wool sweaters, 2 printed silk blouses, 2 cardigans, 1 skirt and 2 pair of pants and switch out with 3 different tops and 1 different dress for the summer. I have a few necklaces and scarves to help mix it up. After one of my co-workers complimented one of my tops and asked about what I wear she was shocked that I said only had so few articles of clothing. No one really notices!

    • People will for sure not notice. I wore the same two blazers for my first years on the job, because I couldn’t afford more. Want more proof than that? Consider the Barry Manilow Spotlight Effect. Researchers had college students wear a t-shirt to a party with the most embarrassing artist they could think of (in that case, Barry Manilow). Students were convinced that more than half the people would judge them, but less than half the people at the party could even recall who was on the t-shirt when asked. So no one notices you as much as you think they do, which I find incredibly freeing.

      If you’re interested in more about our weird brains, here is a podcast I did on Nudge Theory. I’ve been known to incorporate behavioral economics concepts into my work outfits! https://www.fjordnet.com/conversations/fjord-fika-podcast-we-chat-with-kelly-baron/

  141. Amanda G says...

    Love this feature!

    I am forever a cardigan wearer. They’re a perfect staple! I have quite a few in basic colors (dark green, black, grey, cream) and then mix up the undershirt to keep my look fresh. My one general rule with cardigans is that 80-90% of them have to have some kind of fun element! Whether it be a flowy front, embroidery, or neckline beading/bling, I’m always drawn to ones with fun components! They help me feel not too “blah” and always get a lot of compliments :)

    • Anna says...

      Cardigans forever!

    • Jessica M says...

      I love a good cardigan, too. I just can’t pull off the super-long cardigan look. With my long torso and short legs, I end up looking too hobbit-y.

  142. love the high waisted skirt and earrings from the teacher in Chicago! Great look with a messy bun, fitted striped shirt and bright lipstick….that said, the link sadly did not take me to that skirt- any ideas on skirt and awesome earrings!

    • Sorry! I’m Maggie’s sister (who styled her in this piece) and unfortunately, the skirt and earrings are no longer around. Check ASOS for tie-front skirts and Laura Lombardi jewelry is my fave. If you can’t swing LL, Mango has great options for statement earrings.

  143. Katy says...

    Great post! Where are Olivia’s shoes and pants from? I love them!

  144. Lily says...

    Lee, I am currently considering changing careers to be a social worker and your comments in this post give me so much encouragement. Thank you for that more than you know!

    • Lee says...

      Lily, you’ll be broke but you won’t regret it. ;) I’d never go back. Come with us – you’re needed. 😘

  145. Jen J says...

    Where are the links to what they’re wearing!?!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      most of the pieces are sold out now, but we can put them in the comments for sure!

  146. Sarah says...

    What inspiring women! Thank you for sharing, all of you!