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What Do You Wear to Work?

What to Wear to Work

Have you ever found yourself trying on multiple outfits and launching a pair of pants across the room because you’re late and it’s Just. Not. Working? Or feeling annoyed in a meeting because you’re battling with an itchy dress? With help from Brass, here are five tips to make getting dressed for work actually enjoyable…

How to Get Dressed for Work

The utility dress.

1. Organize your wardrobe.
It sounds random, but it works. Hang your clothes by type: workwear in one area, casual pieces in another, and any formal clothes off to the side. This way, you aren’t searching through a bunch of weekend stuff when making your morning wardrobe decisions.

2. Choose a work uniform.
If you like to dress in certain colors, or know that a specific style feels best on your body, why not adopt a signature look? Think: Steve Jobs or Ellen DeGeneres. An old boss wore the same black shift dress every day and switched up her necklaces and shoes. And guess what? She always looked great and NO ONE CARED.

What do you wear to work?

Slouchy pants and all-day tank. Just add blazer!

3. Keep one “internal” bag that’s always packed.
How much time do you spend searching for your keys or transferring stuff from one tote to another? A wise friend keeps a large pouch packed with essentials (wallet, phone, keys, lip balm). She has two work bags stashed by the door — one black, one brown. In the morning, she pops the already-packed pouch into whichever tote matches her outfit, and she’s out the door. No searching or shuffling necessary.

4. Have an emergency go-to look.
For some, it is the little black dress. For others, it might be a simple shirtdress or a pair of slouchy black pants that look good with everything. Then you can grab and go on mornings when you sleep through your alarm or feel draggy… Just throw it on, and you’re good to go.

5. Plan ahead.
One very organized friend keeps a binder with polaroids of her outfit combinations (à la Cher Horowitz). Then, instead of rifling through her closet, she flips through the book to choose a pre-planned outfit. “It makes it so much easier,” she says. “I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t do this.” But if you’re not up for this task (totally understandable!), you can still achieve a level of zen by laying out your week of outfits on Sunday evenings.

What do you wear to work?

The essential dress.

Fortunately, the women’s clothing brand Brass has taken all these things into consideration. Brass was started in 2014 by two friends, Jay and Katie. They’d reached a point in their careers where they needed to look more polished and put together, but they couldn’t stomach (or afford) high-end designer prices, nor the toll that fast fashion takes on the environment.

Since starting their company, Jay and Katie have talked to countless women about their wardrobe struggles. They’ve heard it all: anxiety over what’s appropriate, spending too much money on things that never get worn, and feeling blah when walking out the door. So, Brass narrowed down the key foundational pieces that make up a work wardrobe — tops, dresses and pants that are comfortable, office-friendly and easy to mix and match. Plus, they embrace ethical manufacturing.

What to Wear to Work

The Brass philosophy is that when getting dressed is simplified, you have more energy to spend on other things that matter. See their full line of essentials here.

What do you wear to work? Do you have any tips for getting ready in the morning?

P.S. What six readers wear to work, and the best comfy work shoes.

(Photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo. Modeling by our friend Bettina Garofalo. This post is sponsored by Brass, a brand whose mission we believe in. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Cup of Jo running.)

  1. Shauna says...

    I recently upgraded to a simple black backpack from Dagne Dover for work and it has made SUCH a difference – no more losing or forgetting things between bags!

    The other wardrobe tool that has been life changing is the app Cladwell – it’s like your friend’s binder but digitized and SO easy!

  2. aga says...

    Pants (often dark-wash jeans) and a blouse, layered with 2 sweaters in the winter (I live in Toronto) that I take off to lecture.
    I like the look of their dresses and blouses but I can’t justify paying that much for polyester.

  3. Connie says...

    I have two sorts of ‘Go To’ work looks that I lean towards. One is a suit, whether that’s pants and a well-fitting blazer with a patterned button down, or a patterned button down with a vest and a nice pair of dressy pants. It makes me feel powerful and strong to wear that look.
    The one I lean on more heavily, though, is a tunic style dress and leggings. I’m a photographer, so I do a lot of moving in my work, and this look helps me feel very put together, but really, it’s super functional for my job.

  4. Beautiful Brass dress in the first picture. It perfectly fits to a business woman!
    Great photos by the way :-)

  5. Chelsea says...

    I try to keep my closet pretty minimal so I don’t have to search through tons of stuff to find something. I keep all my fancy clothes to one side, then seasonal staples. Super into Nico Nico right now!
    Anything not in season I pack away in bins. I’m an executive chef at a restaurant and so half my day is admin and the other half cooking. We don’t have a requirement to wear traditional chefware so I try to wear things I can work in but that I can feel put together in outside of work. Lately my work uniform is wide leg pants from Everlane and boatneck teeshirts from j.crew. I keep all my work clothes in my dresser and non work clothes hanging in the closet so they are easy to find.

    • Mina says...

      Your work uniform sounds so perfect!

  6. Sarah says...

    I’m not quite on top of it enough to make a book of my outfits, but every day when I put something on I feel good in, I snap a selfie in the mirror — I keep them in a folder on my phone! My friends all laughed when I showed them, but I swear it’s lifechanging! I can pick out my outfit while I lay in bed in the morning for a few extra minutes!

    • Lucy says...

      Amazing! This is such a good idea. Especially the lay in bed for longer part :)

    • Ambar Llerandi says...

      Exactly! I was about to post this same strategy! It also works for me to see how things really fit and how flattering or not they actually are. By browsing through the selfies, I have eliminated some pieces that don’t actually look as good as they feel, or become aware of some colors that just don’t go with me. Additionally, working with a mix of the capsule wardrobe approach and a little KonMari, has also helped the morning craziness.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      love this.

  7. Lexi says...

    Nice idea, but beyond irritating that a size 12/14 is considered extra large.

    • Lucy says...

      Yeah I didn’t even bother to open the website knowing they probably wouldn’t have my size (16)

  8. Phuong says...

    I like the idea of Brass, but wish they used more natural fabrics… Poly is not environmentally friend either…

  9. I love this idea! I will buy a cute small bag for internal bag.

  10. Jen says...

    Love this! I started therapy (and medication) earlier this year for severe anxiety that has plagued me on and off most of my life. One of the things that the therapist helped me realize is that I have many layers of filters and am reluctant to let people see the real me. I have always loved clothes and naturally gravitate toward a more quirky look. One of my “assigments” has been to dress how I want without worrying about what others think. I am having so much fun picking out my outfits each day and expressing myself in a way that works for me!

    • Jen says...

      Oops – meant to post this as a reply to CB’s comment below.

  11. Liana Morrison says...

    Love this! I decided to go with a summer capsule wardrobe for work and found myself with just 8 dresses. It’s perfect! I usually work from home 1 day a week, so I basically have 2 weeks worth of dresses before I have to do laundry! Ha! I’m in sales, so I’m outside a lot and went with several shirt dresses – cool and still dressy enough to meet with clients. I throw on flats and a fun necklace or earrings to change it up. Makes getting dressed so much faster and easier when you love all the pieces in your closet.

  12. taco says...

    Scrubs. Bam, done.

    • Karinny says...

      :D

    • Emma says...

      Same. I love wearing elastic waist pants every day :) I’m also on night shift so I never bother with makeup, either. My patients don’t care and neither do I.

  13. Jenny says...

    Wow! Great stuff. I agree with another poster that I’d like a slightly longer dress length, but I really like these clothes!

  14. Veronica says...

    Went straight to the site—loved the aesthetic and the prices—in search of dresses. And EVERY SINGLE ONE is well shy of knee length. Only the utility dress even gets close-ish, I’m glad mini dresses are acceptable at some offices, but they aren’t at mine. Not even one knee length dress? It’s an inexplicable choice for a brand that touts itself as “foundational”/“morning to night”/etc.

  15. Shan says...

    OH MY GOSH WHY HAVE I NEVER THOUGHT OF THE INTERNAL BAG!!! MT MIND IS BLOWN! <3

    • Christina says...

      It’s so great too because it keeps the loose items from scratching up the interior of your bag! I started doing it when I got into designer bags for that purpose alone.

  16. Em says...

    It’s sad how excited I am to see a brand that uses average size models!! I have to return so much of what I purchase because it looks completely different on a stick thin model than on someone with curves. Love this!

    • Katie says...

      Haha, I know!

      Sometimes the website will give you a little blurb for frame of reference like, “Model is 5’10” and wearing a size 2.” I’m like, “Helpful.” Because I’m 5’4” and usually a size 8ish, so no idea what this will look like me.

  17. Rachel says...

    I love Brass! I have the Modern Trouser, Work Blouse, and Utility Dress. Now I have my eyes on the Essential Dress :)

    My current favorite outfit is the modern trouser + an ivory lace shell tank + the utility dress worn unbuttoned like a trench

  18. Carrie says...

    Posts like this make me wish so hard that I could pull off hoops, it just looks so put together and feminine. Am I the only one here who feels she can’t wear more than simple stud/diamond earrings??

    • Ann-Marie says...

      You can pull them off if you force them on a few times! :) I promise. I go through phases: I used to wear a lot of bigger dangly earrings, then the last 7ish years it’s mostly been tiny studs, and now hoops and big geometric earrings feel right again. It takes a little to get accustomed but you’ll rock them in no time! It also helps if you sort of plan the outfit around them the first few times. :)

  19. Gen says...

    Hmmmm now I want a combo post between “fashion uniform” and the “family bikes” post from the other day. I bike to work so there’s last minute weather to account for, thus planning ahead seems daunting/pointless. I’m sure someone here has some tricks?!

    • Claire says...

      i bike to work in skinny trousers and a smart t-shirt or a knee length dress and pumps regardless of weather. i keep a cosy cardigan on my desk chair, wear or pack a raincoat and bring some deodorant, a hairbrush and pop on some lippy in the lift. in winter, i add some tights and flat boots. i find this works really well for a short (20 minute) cycle to the office regardless of weather. if it is properly rainy, i just wear leggings and pop the trousers on when i arrive.

  20. Julia says...

    Totally. I’m frequently stressed in the morning about what to wear/what goes with what, and my intention the night before to select an outfit is an honorable one but I typically leave it until right before bed, when I’m too sleepy to make decisions, so I rarely make good on that goal. I recently thought I should commit to picking out 5 outfits on Sunday evening and that would eliminate the daily stress– takes a bit more effort on Sunday but pays off. That said, I have a small apartment and a tiny closet that’s jam-packed, so there’s no natural way for me to lay them out. Enter: good old-fashioned clothespins! I ordered a pack of small multi-colored clothespins on Amazon and have been ‘tagging’ my outfits on the hangers in my closet -a color for each day- on Sunday night. It’s helpful that I can look at my closet and see two pink clothespins (one on a skirt, one on a top) and know that those two items can go together, or one blue clothespin on a hanger for a dress, for instance. My closet looks maybe a bit odd but fun with all of these colorful little clothespins. Like the budget/small apt version of Cher Horowitz’s system ;) (and I have to give credit to my boyfriend for coming up with this idea!)

    • Diana L. Tisdale says...

      Genius!

  21. I LOVE that this post was about Brass, as soon as I saw the post title I thought, “Brass!” before I even knew that’s who this was about! I just started stocking up on their clothes last month and I am in love. I pair my Brass ensembles with Everlane shoes and a Birdling tote and the same pair of concave Tatiana Cabral Smith brass earrings every single day. I’ve never felt so put together at work and I get a lot of compliments on my outfits. Their clothes are insanely durable and comfortable. I don’t think I will ever be able to go back to wearing non-sustainable clothing again. The quality is just too good, and Brass’s style is exactly what I’ve been looking for my entire life. Thank you for sharing their work!

  22. Lauren says...

    It takes a bit of time to upload your wardrobe pieces, but I started using the app Pureple and it creates outfits out of your existing pieces a la Cher Horowitz. It’s a life (and time) saver in the morning!!

  23. Emily M. says...

    I love these tips — and Brass makes beautiful clothing — but as a rather tall woman (5’8), I find these dresses look slightly short for work. On me, they would be downright unfortunate. For work dresses, I prefer to go to the knee so that when I sit down, I’m not showing off my goodies.

    Is this just me or no?

    xo

    • Heather says...

      Not just you. I ordered several Brass dresses and they are very pretty, but much too short for a tall lady like me (I’m 5’10). I tried to rationalize that I could wear them as tunics with tights, but what I wanted was a dress – not a tunic. I returned everything.

    • Kate says...

      I agree, Emily! I do love their pieces but if they come up to my mid thigh while standing then you can pretty much be guaranteed a free ticket to the fireworks show when I sit down. With that in mind, I love the pants and that tank. Also love that when I clicked on the link, the model had a relatable body type that I found so beautiful and refreshing!

    • Lisa says...

      Me too! I always like it when the company posts the height of the model, so I know if something will be long enough for me.

    • AlissaM says...

      I’m only 5’6″ and I share this struggle. I work in a moderately conservative office and I wouldn’t be comfortable wearing dresses this length to work, though everything else about them looks great. I often buy tall sizes for dresses because an extra two inches makes a dress appropriate for my office… and makes me more comfortable as well.

    • trish says...

      Totally thought the same, and frustrating that all the dresses (except the maxi of course) are so darn short. The fabrics and colours look beautiful but I’m not physically comfortable in something so short. In fact I often wonder who can wear these dresses….

    • Lauren says...

      5’10” here and I have the hardest time finding dresses that don’t show my goodies. I’ve had luck with Banana, J. Crew and even Old Navy buying my normal size in the “tall” version. The proportions are more appropriate for us tall ladies too!!

    • Claire says...

      These things pictured are so pretty, and I am intrigued with the description of Brass as a company. The slouchy pants caught my eye. I am hippy (pear shaped), and good pants are hard to find.
      I am not tall, but even so I am also not comfortable in short dresses, for all of the reasons so creatively described in the other responses. I like Boden for dresses because they give you the option of a regular length or a long length. Even though I am average height I often pick the longer length.

    • Sarah says...

      I’m 5’2″ and I bought a maxi dress from Brass last summer (the black tank dress with pockets – which I love by the way!) and I’m pretty sure I didn’t even have to hem it, though I did have to tailor the straps because they were too long. So taller ladies might have some struggles with the fit.

    • eden says...

      I completely agree! I have enough dresses in my closet that I love but are just a bit too short for feeling professional in the office and I’ve learned not to buy anything that doesn’t have a little extra length too it. Too bad, because I love the style of these otherwise! There’s a market for classic, more work-appropriate length dresses for sure.

    • Alexandra says...

      No, not just you. I am 5’11, so most dresses are like shirts on me anyway, but I find these even for a regular-sized women rather short as a work dress (pretty though as going-out dresses). I would constantly pull on it when sitting down … for work dresses, I can recommend the tall section at Banana Republic and J Crew. As someone said below, the proportions work then as well.

  24. Kristin says...

    Unrelated, but I just want to say how much I appreciate that when you post a sponsored post, you explain why you’re partnering with the brand. With Nordstrom, for example, you always mention that they have great customer service. And I’m like, YES, Nordstrom does have great customer service! So even when it’s a brand/company I don’t already know and love, I know that you’ve put thought into exactly what you like about the company and why you’ve chosen to partner with them. Thanks for being so thoughtful about this!

    • Sara says...

      Seconded!

    • Claire says...

      yes, thanks for this! I appreciate it too.

    • Sarah says...

      Agreed! Also, Nordstrom is doing their half-yearly sale through June 3, and I would love to see what CoJ editors are coveting!

  25. kiki says...

    as always, your timing is perfect! i was just driving to work this morning lamenting over WTF i’m going to wear to work this summer. In the past, I usually have just worn shorts, but I think I’ve landed *of an age* and in a position at my office where even though I’m “allowed” I probably shouldn’t roll up in denim cutoffs anymore. LOL.

    • Shannon says...

      What about linen shorts or high waisted shorts with a belt/tie? You can definitely pull those off and still feel a bit more put together.

  26. Rachel says...

    I found myself craving a uniform for ease but missed the creativity when it came to creating outfits for myself so I devised a outfit schedule that serves me and my closet well. Every day of the week has a format – Monday is dresses, Wednesday is skirts and and button ups, Thursday is pants and knit tops. Tuesday and Friday in my office are “Dressed up Denim” for the cost of a $20/year donation to charity. I kept forgetting to wear my denim so this way I get my “money’s worth”. Each morning I wake up and instead of deciding whether I want to wear pants, a skirt, a dress or what top to wear with any, I just choose from the category ie pencil or a-line skirt. Things move much faster while still giving me creativity. And if I don’t feel like wearing that day or the weather won’t allow, I switch it up and go back on schedule the next day.

    The first trick is editing your closet down to only things you really love to wear and are comfortable in. If you’re uncomfortable or itchy at work, it’s going to show on your face and in your attitude – no need to keep holding onto such a piece.
    I also found that have a palette of colours you like, that look good together, etc makes shopping so much easier.

    • “Day of the Week” outfits is a great idea! I may have to adopt that strategy.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      love that idea, too!

    • AJ says...

      I do a similar thing, but with pants – I’m not much of a dress person. Black pants on Monday, colored pants on Tuesday, and dark jeans on Wednesday.

  27. Lindsay says...

    Yes! Making fashion choices overwhelms me in the way elevators freak you out, Joanna. The idea of a few staple pieces and a variety of accessories would be a good thing for me.

  28. Lisa says...

    I work for a non-profit arts organization where the dress code is very loose. Some people wear t-shirts and jeans, while others wear suits and ties. I have a basic uniform of jeans, a cute top, and blazer with fun jewelry. However, if I have a big presentation or meeting, I usually try to do a blazer with a cool printed dress or tailored trousers. Working in the arts allows me to be creative with my wardrobe, which is a blessing and a curse as I always feel justified in buying new clothing!

  29. Erin Hohlfelder says...

    So excited to see Brass on Cup of Jo! Awesome women developing awesome (and ethical, affordable) clothes! xx

  30. Hannie says...

    This reminded me of this very thoughtful experiment I found by someone who wore the same dress every day for a month: https://goldzipper.squarespace.com/1-dress-1-month/

    Her videos and blog are super interesting to me because the approach she takes towards her wardrobe is very analytical and mindful!

    I looooove the inner purse idea. I had an ipsy subscription for a year and I think my favorite part of it was all the little bags I received. They are so useful for things like this as well as traveling or just organizing things at home. I even used one for the gym and filled it with resistance bands, my lock, headphones, and some face products so I always have the basics. I tied my little member bar code on the zipper so I never lose it and can never forget my bag of essentials!

  31. My purse is full of mini bags. One for cosmetics/hand cream/lip balm. One for period supplies. One for snacks. One for kid supplies. One that’s just for my colored pens that I use to keep my planner color coded and organized because I have too many kids. Ha. It’s so much easier to find what I’m looking for in my purse, AND it makes it easy to grab what I need when I switch bags!

  32. sasha says...

    I’m not sure about professional, probably depends on your field, but I agree that short skirts/dresses aren’t that comfortable. I don’t like my legs bare anyways, so I wear leggings or under shorts under all dresses/skirts. I’m a preschool owner/teacher, and leggings and a dress is pretty much my uniform. But I couldn’t do my job in a short dress and bare legs, at least not without a bunch of four year olds laughing at me.

    • Andrea says...

      Yes. I liked the essential dress, but it is too short on a taller person.

  33. Joanna Schuth says...

    I am lucky; I work in higher education where neat, clean casual is the name of the game. I wear everything from sundresses and pencil skirts to jeans and tees!

  34. Samantha Klein says...

    Oh my god. Thank you for introducing me to Brass. It’s so perfect for me, I might cry.

  35. Nickie says...

    I recently bought a small pouch for the beauty things I like to carry with me every day (concealer, blotting sheets, hair things, etc.) and it’s been so helpful!

    Society6 has sooo many cute options https://society6.com/carry-all-pouches.

  36. SB says...

    I read the “work uniform” post here years ago, and fell in love with the idea! It took me a while to talk myself into taking the plunge, but eventually I bought five of the same black shirt (the Lush Perfect Roll Tab Sleeve Tunic) and wear it pretty much every day. I also have most of the other colors of the same top for when I want to mix it up (if you can call that mixing it up). It fits perfectly every time (regardless of when I last had a burrito…) and having multiples means I don’t have to think too much about the laundry status. I throw them in a suitcase with a variety of bottoms for business trips, and don’t have to worry about wrinkles, ever.
    I wear all different types of shoes and scarves on a day-to-day basis, and it took my coworkers two months (thats 40 re-wears!) to notice. I can wear ponte pants in pretty much any color for business casual, tuck it into slacks or a pencil skirt for more formal days, or wear it over straight-up leggings for casual Friday.
    The ability to get up in the morning and just not think about “what do I wear?!” is completely refreshing. I can’t imagine ever going back.

    • Julie says...

      Thanks for this! I’m tall and always looking for tunic-y tops that still look professional.

  37. Those are some very cute dresses. Unfortunately my office is too cold to wear dresses in the summer.

  38. SFOrd says...

    Would love to plan a week’s working wardrobe on a sunday evening. However, living in the UK the weather changes daily (rain, hail and gales on Monday and warm sunshine on a Tuesday with often a 10+ degree change in temperature!). The night before I usually have an idea of what I will be wearing, knowing what I will be doing the next day, however, this can often change on the morning depending on the weather – You cant depend on the weather forecasts where I live either – the weather can be totally different within a 30 minute drive of home – it comes from living on the coast and working 30 minutes away located on the edge of a moor!

  39. I run my company from my home office and honestly wear work out clothes for the days that I am at my desk (and no makeup – best thing ever!).

    When I leave the house on weekdays I essentially have two wardrobes to choose from – one for site meetings and another for client meetings. Site meeting wardrobe tends to include jeans and sneakers (or at least flats) and client meeting wardrobe always comes down to dresses or skirts.

    Of course I have about a million other reasons to leave my office (showroom visits, consultant meetings, working lunches) and for these days I just grab whatever moves me in my closet that day.

  40. JB says...

    I want a signature look so badly. My problem is, I don’t decide if I LOVE a piece until I’ve worn it for 6 months and realize the seams hold, it’s not pilling, it washes great, the colour stays, etc. and by then I can’t go scoop up 8 more of the same thing.

    I want to find that perfect black pant/white shirt combo and a black dress and just stock up! I’m also plus size and 6 ft tall so extra barriers to finding things that are well made. Recommendations welcome!

    • Andrea says...

      Universal Standard! I also swear by Lane Bryant’s ponte trouser pants, which come in tall lengths. When they’re on clearance (like right now!) I’ll stock up on 3-4 pairs. Unfortunately LB is really hit or miss on quality, as is Eloquii. But the ponte trousers I’ve worn 2-3 times a week for a year before they give up the ghost.

    • Maggie says...

      I really like Everlane and Loft, though Loft’s quality is touch and go. I’m 5’10 and plus size, so I feel your pain on not finding things that are well made. I end up doing basically what is described in the article – I have a couple of black/navy dresses that I wear all the time and change out jewlery/cardigans/shoes. Some of the dresses are super simple cotton ones from old navy, and some of the dresses are nicer ones (my favorite dress is a Calvin Klein one that I think is from Macy’s or Lord and Taylor).

      I’d LOVE any recommendations on white shirts – i have bigger arms, so I have a really difficult time finding sleeves that fit me and don’t constrict my movement.

    • JB! YOU ARE ME SIZED!

      This is so great!

      I’m 5’11” and cusp/plus sized and have found great success with Banana Republic pants for us tall folks as well as their collection of white blouses this summer – Banana republic factory has been doing really well also~
      For true plus-size Mango’s extended line as well as Eloquii are fantastic – you have to parse through to find thicker pieces with better fabric but it’s totally do-able in this online shopping world!

  41. Andrea says...

    A plug for us larger ladies – Universal Standard has great work pieces, I’ve always been happy with the style and quality. PLUS they have a core line marked “Fit Liberty” where they will exchange a piece for a new size UP TO A YEAR after purchase should your weight happen to fluctuate.

  42. I use an awesome app called Stylebook to keep track of my clothes and plan out combinations that will fit my needs for a variety of circumstances (I’m a school administrator and teacher, so my needs can vary from school events to a parent meeting to being outdoors with 7th graders).

    And I plan ahead….everything organized on Sunday night, with a spare outfit at the ready just in case. I call the week’s outfits “the bullpen” and when the bullpen is empty, it’s Friday!

    • Becca says...

      I love Stylebook! It was a lot of work upfront to photograph everything and edit the images, but it takes 99% of the stress out of getting dressed since I can plan ahead–and design outfits while I’m watching TV or standing at a bus stop. Plus I love the data it pulls together about what I’m wearing on a regular basis and what I’m not.

  43. I love love love the idea of organising your closet based on occasion, how come I didn’t think of that before?! Also you guys are the best at incorporating sponsored posts, totally natural and still completely interesting to read without being crazy sales-y. <3

  44. shopgirl, eu says...

    I bought myself a clothes rack, which I have placed next to the closets. Then I select and hang some pieces, depending on the season, which I then wear and combine all week. A couple of skirts, trousers, one or two dresses, some blouses, a sweater, cardigan.. like 10-12 pieces, and below two or three pairs of shoes and that’s it. So I do not even open other closets during the week ….

  45. Margot says...

    So lucky we don’t have a strict dress code! I can dress up whenever i feel like it or i can show up in a “casual Friday” outfit on a Tuesday! That doesn’t mean we are not fashionable, giving we work with fashion brands. The perks of back office job!

  46. D says...

    This is a really nice looking brand, but it still seems pretty expensive to me. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been out of the US for a while so salaries and prices seem much higher than what I’m used to. I work in a tricky environment- I might need to be perfectly polished one minute then unpacking dusty boxes the next. I can’t see spending $68 on a black tank top even if I was just sat at my desk all day! For this aesthetic I prefer Uniqlo, which is unfortunately one of the top 3 fast fashion corporations in the world and thus contributing to the fashion wasteland. But I’m still just 30, barely earning anything and pricey basics aren’t in my budget at the moment!

    • Cynthia says...

      Even if you buy fast fashion, if you take care of it, it will last. Cold water wash, gentle cycle, and air dry, and these garments will last for years. I could buy a $68 tank, but I won’t.

  47. Anni says...

    I love the toppic!
    Actually through CoJ I learded that I need a uniform to have relaxed mornings!! THANKS!!
    (I still think of the „dress-like-.Matilda-day“)

    And since reading your blog I have a color scheme in my wardrobe, mostly blues and greys and blacks in all varieties…that all goes together so well :)

    I work as an architect, so often I am out around the sites getting muddy. So I have to find a middle between looking ok for the office and looking not too posh when climbing the scaffolding :)

    I own some pairs of blue, black and grey jeans and pair them with white/navy striped tshirts and a cardigan. My coworkers sometimes laugh because there is always stripes with me, but it is just so easy in the mornings.
    I have luxurious sneakers though, which are totally worth its money! I wear them EVENY day to work! Common project.

    With a 4 and 6 year old to get out of the house by 7.30 in the mornings I just cannot afford the time worrying about what to wear.

    Thanks again for the tipps!!

  48. G says...

    As a hospital physician I basically get to wear pajamas to work. I love it but occasionally miss wearing something cute and put together. I also love getting to wear my allbirds every day :)

  49. Savala says...

    Yikes. An XL is a size 12/14?! The clothes seem nice and the ideas are good — but why not work with a size-inclusive company like Universal Standard? It sucks to see Cup of Jo promote a brand that (statistically speaking) a good chunk of readers can’t shop at and, more importantly, whose business this brand doesn’t want.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we would be thrilled to work with universal standard, and love featuring them regularly in editorial posts. also, elloqui, which has such a great range of styles. brass is a very small company at this point, and unfortunately it’s often not viable financially to produce a wider range of sizes at first, but then they will add them later. i’ll ask brass about this, and i’m confident (seeing their commitment to ethical manufacturing, a model who is a size 10 vs 0, etc.) that they will have passionate and aligned thoughts on this. thank you so much!

    • Andrea says...

      Smaller companies I’ve reached out to about extended sizes have always said it’s something they’re working on and usually give me an estimated date of roll-out (Cuyana, Mata Traders). Direct feedback to these companies is helpful, I think. Mata Traders even asked me about what styles I’d like to see, fit considerations, etc.

      And I have noticed CoJ now regularly features extended size options on non-sponsored fashion posts, which is much appreciated! :)

    • Lauren says...

      I agree with this. With the average woman in the US being a size 14 or 16, this line is not representing them. I understand the limitations of a small business, but they’re leaving out a significant portion of American women by stopping sizes at basically a 12. Even 1-2 sizes up would make a world of difference for a lot of women. These clothes are great, but it’s disappointing to see an ad for a company that leaves so many women behind.

    • Jay says...

      Hi Savala, Jay here, one of the co-founders of Brass. Really appreciate you taking the time to check out the site and leaving your honest feedback. The best way we can improve is to hear from women via email, like Andrea mentions below. We really do take your feedback to heart :) And as Joanna mentioned, we are committed to providing more sizing options. It is something we are working on right now and hope to have in place at the end of this year, start of 2019. Incorporating women into the development process has been part of our mission from the start. We believe that if you want to make clothes that truly serve women, they should be part of the conversation. So, we’re doing exactly that with extending our sizes. If you’re interested in being a part of that process, we’d love to have you and you can sign up here: https://brass.clothing/SizeSignUp. We’ll be asking for your opinions and thoughts on product via survey and online and in-person meetups. Thanks again and we look forward to including more women with our sizing soon!!

  50. Kit says...

    The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees helped me narrow down my existing wardrobe and figure out what I actually need to buy more of (vs. buying for a fantasy life). She asks you to make specific lists of things like overall vibe, pant length, skirt type, sleeve type, and how often you do x per week.

    My go-to is a 3/4 sleeve sheath dress with ankle boots.

  51. Karen says...

    Some of these things are very nice., and I’m thrilled to see more ethically-made clothing–kudos! Is it just me, though, a 42-year-old academic who’s 5′ 8″ (so not super-tall), who feels that these dresses are far too short for comfort? Some of the short dresses look… well, like shirts! I can’t imagine going to work in something that is several inches above the knee. It just doesn’t strike me as comfortable or, frankly, very professional.

    • Holly says...

      42 year old teacher here, same height. I thought the same thing- not professional. I always wonder if dresses that length are just made for shorter people, or if people actually dress that way for work.

    • h says...

      Same. That “basic” dress is cute, but I personally can’t imagine my go-to work dress being mid-thigh with a V that deep. It’s not that anyone would really care (I’m also an academic and have tattoos and wear tanks etc all the time), I just think I’d be tugging on it all day.

    • Louisa says...

      How funny — *I’m* a 42-year-old academic and was going to say the same thing! – I love the look of these dresses, but they’re much too short to wear to work.
      I have learned to shop by length when I can – so having a measurement with clothing helps me – even things listed as “knee-length” often aren’t.

    • Elise says...

      Agreed! I work in a conservative environment and need dresses/skirts that hit no higher than just above the knee.

    • Sarah says...

      I have a hand-me-up dress by them from my sister that can only be worn with leggings, but also I’m 5’11” so this happens all the time.

    • Jenn says...

      I was thinking the exact same thing! I love dresses that hit right above the knee because I don’t have to worry about playing with my dog, crouching down to pick something up, or reaching up for something on a shelf. If I wear anything shorter I’m always nervous that I’m going to flash someone!

    • Louise says...

      I’m 5’0″ and while the length of the dress would be fine for me, the V would not. I have a short torso. It’s a shame because that dress is adorable.

  52. Love Brass! I did a “City Scout” post for their blog last April (on my town of Nelson, BC)…plus embrace a minimalist (mostly grey:) wardrobe and work uniform myself. Jay and Katie do fantastic work – fun to seem them featured on Cup of Jo!

  53. love, love, love brass. and love katie and jay too (truly awesome girls behind an awesome brand). their ponte pant is a favorite! but so many great pieces. so happy to see them here!

  54. Jeanne says...

    Brass: Thank you for featuring models of all sizes and their details. It helps me make more educated choices and limits exchanges and returns

    • Lisa says...

      Totally agree. How are you supposed to know how long a skirt will actually look when the model is 5 foot 11 and wearing a size 0? On them it could hit mid thigh whereas on me it might be mid ankle

  55. Maria says...

    The hemlines of these dresses would never work for me at work. I can’t imagine reaching for any of these. Maybe for bed? Holidays? Otherwise, too sloppy, short and untailored. A shame, the concept is a good one.

  56. Sarah Brandabur says...

    SO happy you featured Brass. A friend told me about them a year ago and I have bought several pieces (and plan to buy several more). I own the Ponte Pant and the Pencil skirt, both in black. I have worn the pants 2-3 times a week all year at work and LOVE them. Comfortable, high quality, stylish, go with everything, ethically made, don’t break the bank.

    IS THERE ANYTHING BETTER?

    So thankful for these women and the clothing line they have thoughtfully designed!

  57. These look lovely but probably won’t fit. Another shout out into the void for more cool brands to carry petite sizes, pleeeeease!

  58. Katie says...

    Thanks to the whole Cup of Jo team for doing such a great job with sponsored posts lately. It’s been cool to see you guys incorporate all the reader feedback about labeling things as Sponsored while still keeping the posts worthwhile and interesting. I think so many of the frustrations people have with the internet lately is a combination of lack of transparency and lack of ability for users to give input. You ladies have done such a good job of addressing those things in a way that is respectful to your readers and still creates value to you as a business. It’s so impressive!

    • Kate says...

      Three cheers for this! I wholeheartedly agree! Way to actively listen, engage and participate with your community. Keep up the great work – we love you all so much.

  59. Alex says...

    CB, please post your PhD dissertation!

    I love my work uniform (I am a university prof). It took me a while to land on the right look, but now: jeans, blazer, muscle shirt – and funky boots/shoes/heels depending on the weather and my mood. There is a lot of variety and style possible, but I feel great knowing what I’ll wear without needing to make too many decisions pre-coffee. ;)

    • Melanie says...

      Ah! Can we please talk more about this?? I’m starting a faculty position next Fall in a very male-dominated department (mechanical engineering) and the idea of a work wardrobe terrifies me. I panic just dressing for conferences. I can just never find a balance between feeling comfortable, stylish, confident, not too sexy, not too boring, and still feel like my myself. How did you do it?

    • Katie_B says...

      I’m also a prof with a jeans/blazer work uniform. When I started my job, I was like, “great, now the conference clothes panic is all the time” and bought a suit. I quickly realized I do not like wearing a suit, and black skinny jeans and a black blazer still looked professional but made me more comfortable.

      I *do* think it can be more difficult for female profs (especially younger ones) to appear appropriately “professorial” in the eyes of their students or even colleagues – which is frustrating and unfair. Some of my female colleagues and I joke about wishing for a return to academic robes, so we could just toss a robe over whatever and feel like a Harry Potter movie all work day:)

    • Alex says...

      Katie, it’s so true! During my first year, I wore a dress and blazer, but over time realized that comfort mattered the most. When I can ignore what I am wearing, I can focus on my students, audience, colleagues etc.

      Melanie, I suggest just trying on different outfits and seeing how you feel (not just how you look).

      Also (nothing to do with clothes): take an improv class! There is nothing better for feeling good when you get in front of a crowd. :)

  60. Sarah says...

    By any chance can you share where the bag in the first picture is from? Thanks so much!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask!

    • Christina S.M. says...

      Sarah, try solesociety.com. I got a similar style one, not exact, but definitely the same forest green color from them a few years ago. They have lots of great options.

    • Sarah says...

      Thanks Joanna and Christina!

  61. Jessica says...

    Thanks for publicizing a brand that focuses on ethical manufacturing!! So appreciated!! It makes me so happy!

  62. Meg says...

    Yay, Brass! I have two dresses from them and they are GREAT. I needed to get one tailored – the torso was just too baggy on me and definitely not in a slouchy-chic kind of way – but I get compliments every time I wear them. I will say that I like some of their fabrics better than others, but I think they’ve switched things up a bit now that they’ve expanded their line. Go ladies go!!

  63. diana says...

    Ugh, everything’s so cute CAN I GET A COUPON CODE?!

  64. Cali says...

    How does one become a Cup of Jo model??

  65. C B says...

    Oof, it hurts me to read that getting dressed should be simple to move onto things that matter. Granted, my PhD was in the topic, but clothes are the second thing, after our body, that we equate with self. Clothing helps us connect to our subcultures, asserts our identities, and primes our energy and mood for the day. The idea of reducing such a lovely act of creativity for pragmatism hurts. I think the better question is–what creates bouts of outfititis? Is it the wrong clothes (I refuse to wear ugly boots in the winter, and it’s a problem), or is it holding onto an external, false idea of what we’re supposed to look like? What makes you feel good and why? How do you want to feel today? I love waking up and asking myself which superhero I want to dress as–today it’s white heeled mules, oversized boxed silk, and a pencil skirt–williamsburg corporate :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, i want to read your thesis! what an amazing (and relevant) thing to study, and clearly you have such brilliant thoughts on the matter. thank you, CB!

    • Hannah Joy says...

      This so encapsulate perfectly my feelings about clothes! I have also noticed that the clothes I choose affect my posture, which in turn micro-adjusts my behavior. I have tried to notice which outfits lend themselves more to “power stances,” whIch might be all in my head, but even so it works! Cheers to you for putting it out there, clothes DO matter. And your outfit sounds fierce.

    • Ro says...

      Ooo good point! I get what they’re going for here, with the idea that you can just throw on something cute and move onto work. And for women who feel frustrated by getting dressed or just don’t care, that could be a welcome thing.

      But for others getting dressed really can be an important part of the day. I recently started putting more effort into my outfits, even though I’m I work from home. After months of wearing dirty yoga pants I’ve decided to wear pretty blouses, jeans, and bright lipstick. Not a big deal, but I feel so much better about myself and about life in general — not to mention it’s so much fun :)

    • C B thank you for articulating this! (i also want to read your diss). i always wanted to have a uniform but am just too playful / indecisive to make that work for me so instead keep a fashion instagram to keep me accountable to making creative and life-affirming decisions every morning (and am lucky, as a professor in the tropics, to have a chilled-out work environment fashion-wise). in the great words of rupaul, “we’re all born naked and the rest is drag.” today i am wearing uniqlo jeggings i will be wearing long after the jegging apocalyse (has it already happened? please don’t tell uniqlo), a linen t shirt, and a literal cape, because when i wear it, i feel like a superhero.

    • ne says...

      Yes please to the sharing of this phd thesis! Any chance we could read about it?
      I struggle with clothes… and if were richer, and could simply afford outsource the washing, ironing etc – maybe I would care more about it… but life is short and I cannot do clothes…

      I wont just put on anything, so I end up wearing the exact same thing pretty much all the time… which is pretty similar to how the guys around me dress as well, actually!

    • Louisa says...

      Oh I love it!! – It reminds me of a book I read when my daughter was born about how intimate and wonderful diapering is. And it changed how I viewed the whole thing – a little break in our day to just be together in this most basic and intimate of tasks. Your post is going to totally change how I view getting dressed in the morning!!

    • Heather says...

      CB thank you for writing this. I went through a process a little over a year ago during which I created a work “uniform” of about 10 interchangeable pieces (several of which I bought in multiples). This was not an inexpensive process. I did this because I absolutely had decision fatigue, because getting dressed in the morning while also getting 3 kids dressed and out the door was stressful, and because I felt like I needed to step out of the frenzy of fast fashion, which places additional pressure on women to KEEP UP and SPEND. My closet looked so streamlined, and that was nice. But, this experiment failed, and it’s because my uniform was boring and not me. A capsule requires versatile (bland) pieces, and I never feel more like myself than when I’m wearing a flower-print dress, quite possibly the least versatile clothing. I think you are right, that the stress of getting dressed may be about other things: my refusal to accept my post-babies body, or ordering clothes online and then being too lazy to return the things that aren’t perfect for me (or hanging on to clothes that were expensive but just aren’t right for me) so my closet is full of mediocre clothes that I don’t love. I’ve felt bad for not succeeding with my capsule wardrobe, and you’ve given me a refreshing outlook. Thanks.

  66. Amanda says...

    Wish they had more sizes at the top end of their size scale. Seems many of their pieces would complement a broad range of sizes but they don’t have larger sizes listed.

    • Andrea says...

      Universal Standard has a similar style; stylish, high quality basics, and they go up to 32.

      I have noticed CoJ start to include links to similar pieces/brands with bigger size ranges on non-sponsored fashion posts (THANK YOU!)

    • Jay says...

      Hey Amanda! Jay here, one of the co-founders of Brass. Really appreciate that you took a look at the site and let us know that you’re interested in seeing more sizes! We are working on adding sizes 16, 18, 20 + and want to make sure we include women in this size range in the conversation. Including women in the development process has been part of our mission from the start, so if you’re interested in contributing to the conversation head on over here so we can be in touch: https://brass.clothing/SizeSignUp

  67. Kate says...

    Love the shoes she’s wearing! Can you share where they’re from?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask! xo

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      they’re by louise et cie: http://bit.ly/2LriPcs

      hope that helps!

  68. I have a semi-work uniform. It’s always something high-waisted on bottom, with a shirt tucked in and leopard print shoes.

    I go into the office a couple days a week, one of those days I wear a pencil skirt and a cute casual shirt, button down, light sweater, tucked in. Then the other day I wear wide-leg crop jeans and a shirt, button down, light sweater tucked in. With loafers or ballerina slippers in leopard print. I have a variety of pencil skirts (that are naturally high-waisted), and a few pair of high-waisted pants. So I just have to pick a combo, which is pretty easy.

    These are the crop jeans that are a go-to, once a week: https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/denim/demiboot/point-sur-wideleg-crop-jean-in-white/J1896?color_name=chalk-wash

  69. All outfits look super comfy yet sophisticated!
    Lovely pictures ?

  70. Zoe says...

    This brand is totally new to me and I am impressed! I don’t have to dress that nice for work but I am really digging this concept of essentials and “editions”. The price points are doable and they are shown on real women sized models. Bravo! Love that last dress, might have to pull the trigger.

  71. Rachel Elizabeth says...

    Yes! In simultaneous response to both of your posts today, ironing and setting out my outfits for the week on Sunday night has indeed been a life saver! I only just started doing so this year which is largely due to my husband’s influence. We are both introverts and feelers (according to Myers-Briggs), but what motivates and inspires us tends to be very different. My husband is very independent and pattern-driven and, in the past almost 9 months (!) that we’ve been married, his need for patterns has brought a lot of balance to my life :) I tend to put things off until the last minute and tend to avoid the monotony of doing the same things in the same order every day. But, establishing some patterns, particularly when it comes to clothes, has been like a breath of fresh air in my life this year!

  72. LeighTX says...

    I don’t plan out what I’m wearing ahead of time–I usually make that decision while I’m in the shower weighing whether I have time to shave my legs (today is pants day!). But I am careful to keep my closet organized so I can find everything quickly–dresses, skirts and pants are all organized by color, tops are hung by color and then by sleeve length. I also turn my hangers around after something is worn once, so I don’t wear it again for a while; that keeps me from reaching for the same boring things day after day.

    • Sheila says...

      I do the same with the hangers, but I leave the unworn pieces together to one side, so I automatically look through that section first. If the hanger hasn’t turned around by the end of the season, I have to have a DAMN GOOD reason to keep the item. My friends have received A LOT of my clothes by utilizing this method, so they love it! :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s such a great system! want to try this.

  73. Alexia says...

    Maybe it’s just luck, but I’ve noticed the offices I’ve worked at (a small law firm and a think tank) tend to be more casual than I expected. Of course, I’m still a college intern, but I really expected everyone (especially in DC!) to be dressed really professionally, although I admittedly err towards the side of formality in my wardrobe generally, so maybe that’s it. I’m curious… does anyone work in an office that requires super professional clothing and if so, what industry do you work in?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      my friends who work in law or finance have strict dress codes; and my friend who is an agent/events manager also has to dress formally. my friends in book publishing usually have to dress up, depending on their imprint. curious to hear from others!

    • Sheila says...

      I’m a social worker for my state’s child welfare agency. On the days I’m in court I dress professionally, but otherwise it’s much more casual. I’ve been in court A LOT this month (it varies significantly), and I feel like I’m running out of “court clothes!”

    • Kate says...

      I worked in D.C for 5 years, Alexia and my job required me to dress quite formally. We called it “business professional”. Everyone has a different idea of what that means but in my world it was a full suit. This could mean a suit dress or skirt set but always a full suit. We never had casual Fridays. If the temperature peaked over 90 (which is every day during a D.C summer) we were allowed to wear open-toed shoes but only on Fridays. That was the only exception! I worked in communications for a large federal agency. Perception mattered a great deal. Now I work in marketing for a recreation department in Ohio and I’m slummin’ it in jeans and a tank. It’s awesome :)