There are times where I miss getting dressed for the other "areas" of my life, and then of course there are moments that I'm grateful I get to wear comfy clothes whenever the day calls for them in the land of zoom meetings and online school. I had the chance yesterday to put together 3 different outfits for 3 different areas of my life all using the same outfit plan and some of my most worn and loved closet staples. I think you can easily adapt these outfits and follow along with items you likely have in your closet or maybe find a few new gems in the links below!
Let's go over the basic outfit plan first:
Neutral Cardigan + Chambray Shirt or Plain T-shirt + Colorful Bottom + Neutral or White Shoe. You can dress this up even more by adding a blazer and pumps OR dress it down by using a hooded sweatshirt and running shoes. No matter how you interpret the plan, it should work for you!
For the "office" version of the outfit, I wore this new sweater skirt from Loft. I love it! It's cozy and soft, but is substantial enough in weight that it doesn't show bumps or pucker. I'm wearing a 24/26 which is now sold out, but up to a 22 is still available. Even better? It's on sale right now for only $10. Another option I found is available at Old Navy and goes up to a 4x.
In the picture, I'm wearing a short sleeve, light weight, chambray blouse. This one is from Kohls and has very limited sizing left in this color (I must have told too many people about it!) but it comes in other colors (like the white one I have and love too!). They are on sale right now for less than $15 and tie up around the waist so well in the spring and summer because there is less bulk to tie. Wearing a short sleeve or sleeveless version of a chambray shirt is one of my "tricks" for office wear. I don't get overheated and they always layer better. I'm not in the business of taking off layers when in the office, so no one knows the difference. I did find a chambray blouse at Nordstrom that would work well and also a classic button down option from LandsEnd that is only $32 right now on sale.
The cardigan sweater from Loft in this creamy, super soft, great ivory color. The plus size is completely off the website now (they do this all the time and it irritates me to no end!) but they likely will bring it back. It is available in straight sizes so I have that linked currently. There is no wool in it, so it works well for me and my sensitive skin. I did find almost an identical match of a sweater at Nordstrom and a budget friendly option at LandsEnd for $22 on sale right now.
My shoes. Oh, my shoes. You know when you've been "hunting" a piece for a long time and once you find it, you want to tell the world!?! Well, this is my version of that moment I suppose. Being on my feet all the time (pre-pandemic) for work or other activities led to me developing plantar fasciitis. I now know I can't mess around with shoes that don't offer arch support. However, until recently, I wasn't able to find a loafer that I liked, styled well with multiple outfits and fit without rubbing. Then these gems came into my life! I have the black and taupe colors, with my eye on a few more colors too. The best news? I found the taupe color marked down from $130 to $75 here! If you don't need supportive shoes or you aren't in the business of spending $$ on shoes, there is a very similar pair offered at Old Navy with great reviews.
My glasses are Warby Parker and my absolute favorite style in Whiskey Tortoise color. This company is great to work with and has the best customer service. They are doing a lot for the community in terms of support and I love getting great glasses (for less than $100) while helping support their mission. If you don't need prescription glasses, there are some great blue light blocking ones from JCrew Factory that I really enjoy.
Next up is the "teacher" look. This is really a simple way of saying that in between space where you don't have to be dressed up professionally for the office, but you're not in your weekend lounge clothes. So this works for stay at home moms, work from home moms/women, casual work environments and of course, the group that has my heart forever and for always - teachers!
In this look, I'm wearing my Birdies which are all leather. However, this color is no longer available. Now that I've found the Vionics mentioned above, I'm usually wearing those instead. However, there are times you need an all leather option instead of a suede loafer. I did find this budget friendly option at DSW for less than $50.
Jeans in a color other than white, blue, gray or black are ones are still what I would consider a closet staple. I love teal jeans and burgundy jeans and they make changing up a look so easy. I find those 2 colors are likely the most versatile and go with most seasons when I need them to. The pair I'm wearing in the picture are from Kohls and are on sale for under $25. Important to note, I needed to size up to a 26 in these as they run very slim in the leg, but once I sized up, they are comfortable! Another option of jeans I love are these from Nordstrom - which are on sale for less than $30 and come in teal and burgundy! Highly recommended - even at full price! I wear a 24 in these.
A denim button down shirt is something I apparently like to collect. I have multiple options in my closet. This could be for fear of never being able to find one that I like for the upcoming season or simply because I know I wear them all the time and they will get worn and used. The shirt I'm wearing in the picture is from Old Navy and is my "winter weight" chambray. It's heavier fabric with a good drape (sized up one) should you want to style it over leggings or wear with a big cozy sweater. If you're looking for a lighter weight one, both Old Navy and Nordstrom just released 2 "spring" versions (lighter weight fabric) that I can recommend. I size up in these as well.
My neutral pointelle boyfriend cardigan sweater is a new find from Walmart of all places! It comes in 4 colors and is under $20. I love it! I sized up to be able to layer with my winter weight chambray shirt, but my normal size fit just fine over a t-shirt. I likely will get a second color in my normal size to wear later in the spring. A very similar option is available at Lane Bryant if the Walmart one doesn't work for you.
Earrings pictured are from Nickel & Suede. I'm wearing size large. These are my current favorite neutral pair because they have just a bit of shimmer and texture, but still are easy to blend into many outfit options!
Finally, my comfy and cozy outfit is how I would choose to dress in our work and learn from home life most days. It feels as basic as it comes - but that's also comforting. My cardigan sweater is from loft and no longer available (a few years old actually!) but I found 2 very similar options at Kohls - found here and here.
My leggings are another amazing Walmart find! These leggings are under $12 and I own them in almost every color. I wear a 3x and they fit so well. They are high waisted, but not up to your bra high waisted! They wash well, are warm and cozy, don't ride up or down and make me feel pulled together! Seriously, don't miss these!
The V-Neck t-shirt I'm wearing is from Universal Standard in an XL (equivalent to a 26). They carry regular and plus sizes in all their clothing options, which I really appreciate. I also find they get the "cut" of a plus size body better than most companies. For example, on this shirt - the V isn't too low and it's not too wide at the neck like many plus size options are. The fabric is also smooth and a bit silky, but is a heavier weight so it drapes nicely. I'm wearing a nude bra underneath and you can't see through it. It is a true bright white - so if you're not into bright whites, this one is likely not for you. My second V-Neck t-shirt that I have and love to wear is from Kohls and is very budget friendly! You can usually catch them on sale for around $6. They are tag free and cotton. I size down in them to a 2x because they run large. If you want an oversized fit, stick with your normal size.
And last but not least, I find when I'm dressing casually fun shoes help put a bit of pep in my step. I just got in these Saucony bullet shoes that I found on sale. They are so fun and will work out perfectly for spring. I'm not sure if they are truly winter appropriate, but for inside the house or a quick Costco run, they will work out just fine! If you want a more classic, budget friendly pair that will truly pair with anything - you might want to check out this option from Old Navy. Great reviews on these!
Hope you all are able to give your closet staples a fresh look and try some new pairings of your current wardrobe (maybe even mixed with some of the items mentioned above). If you try a look out or decide to buy one of the mentioned items - let me know how you like it! I love to hear from you and I'm just a message away.