What to Wear to Work When You're Out of Ideas (and Low on Energy)

Updated 05/01/19
Original Graphic by Viviana Duron

We often associate office attire with stiff briefcases, blister-causing stilettos, and formal suits. Since that doesn't leave much room for low-key but creative style moments, and because it often ends up costing us quite a bit of cash to keep our workweek wardrobe fresh, we decided to seek a solution by asking Lauren Eggertsen of Who What Wear, our sister site, to help us think of comfortable, stylish, and casual work outfits to wear Monday through Friday.

"When it comes to dressing casually for the office, make sure at least one article of clothing is tailored and polished," Eggertsen says. "For example, if your office allows for jeans, top the look off with a structured blazer and pumps. Want to wear a T-shirt? Try pairing it with a midi skirt and patent loafers. As long as you achieve a balance between off-duty and elevated pieces within your look, you'll never look unprofessional or sloppy (and you'll still feel casual and cool)."

For a chic batch of eight casual work outfits to get inspired by as well as some rules of thumb to make your morning routine a little easier, click through below.

Casual Work Outfits
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

The Classic Shirt

If you want to wear light-wash relaxed jeans, consider pairing them with a classic button-down collared shirt. Since it's associated with business-casual attire, it'll instantly introduce office-appropriate vibes to your look. The look is simple, understated, and chic when styled with dressier shoes, a ladylike bag, and a funky jacket.

Vivetta Embroidered Collar Shirt $324
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This embroidered collar shirt puts a fun twist on the traditional staple.

Work Outfits
Modern Legacy

A Dramatic Coat

Long and dramatic, a coat like this one is the perfect way to bring some formality to your otherwise-casual outfit. The plaid print and perfect cut even dress up the sneakers.

Checkered overcoat
Mango Checkered Overcoat $120 $99
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Oversize yet flattering, you can't go wrong with this fall-ready coat.

Work Outfit Ideas
Sylvie Mus

Comfy Heels

Here's proof that classic jeans and a T-shirt can look polished enough for the office. Add a sleek, crisp white blazer and on-trend kitten heels, and you're ready to head to the boardroom.

Suede Pearl Pump
Maryam Nassir Zadeh Andrea Leather Mules $448
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The silhouette of these metallic mules is unique yet understated. They'll liven up any outfit at work or otherwise, but we think they'd look particularly stylish with cropped trousers.

Office Outfits
Brooke Testoni

Something Satin

This is the perfect outfit to wear to work if you're heading to a social function or date night after since the silky dress can be flirty or professional depending on how you wear it. A pair of sneakers makes it feel more approachable, while the edgy black jacket ensures you won't be breaking any office dress codes. Just add some simple jewelry to polish things off.

Satin Midi Dress
Vince Satin Midi Dress $345
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This satin midi dress is insanely comfortable and versatile, not to mention it packs well so you can bring it along with you on every trip.

What to Wear to Work
Fashion Me Now

Old-School Trousers

Retro-inspired and subtly quirky, we love these plaid cropped trousers. Though they can look formal if needed, you can also pair them with something simple and casual like a pair of booties and a denim jacket.

MSGM Tweed Knit Trousers $655
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These tweed camel trousers with frayed edges are everything.

Casual Work clothes
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Simple Loafers

Now this is how you master the monochrome ensemble. We also love how this outfit takes notes from traditional styles and gives them a modern twist. And when in doubt, flat loafers are always a comfortable option.

Tallis Flat Loafer
Via Spiga Tallis Flat Loafer $250
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These sleek loafers put a modern spin on the loafer.

Office Style
Maja Wyh

The Statement Skirt

We love the artful layers and rich fabrics in this skirt. With sleek black boots and a leather blazer, it strikes the balance of intrigue, serious business, and whimsy. This getup also happens to be an example of how to wear a tee shirt to work without feeling underdressed.

Raquel Midi Skirt
Tanya Taylor Raquel Midi Skirt $350
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Complete with a flattering cut, ruffles, and dark green khaki, you'll wear this over and over again.

Office Style Inspiration
We the People Style

A Flowy Maxi

Who says you can't wear your favorite bohemian floral maxi to work in the fall? Make it look more refined by pairing it with simple slingback shoes, a khaki jacket, and a dressy bag.

Carlton Pussy-bow Floral-print Georgette Maxi Dress
Ganni Carlton Pussy-Bow Floral-Print Georgette Maxi Dress $250
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This purple-and-gold georgette maxi dress will make a statement on any occasion. Tone down the feminity by pairing it with some sneakers.

Looking for more work outfit ideas to try this week? These street style–inspired ensembles should do the trick.

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