I cannot believe that summer is officially over (for me) and I return to work tomorrow. For those of you who do not know I am a full time school psychologist for the school system in which I live. It is a large district with approximately 70 schools. I am on the same yearly schedule as most teachers which is why I have not been at work this summer. As a school psychologist I work under the Special Education department. I serve on a team of Pupil Appraisal staff that coordinates special education evaluations and provides support for both regular and special education students. Specifically, as a school psychologist, I administer behavior assessments, educational assessments, and intellectual assessments. I also provide supports to teacher and parents in the schools, regarding special education services and evaluations.
Okay, enough about my job, back to the clothes. This year I really aimed to revamp my workwear wardrobe. In the past I typically just bought a few new pieces and didn’t really put that much thought and effort into my work clothes because to be honest, work clothes can be boring. I even went as far as keeping them in a totally separate closet since they weren’t really the same as my ‘play/weekend clothes’. This year I have bought pieces that can be worn both at work and on the weekends. I typically gravitate towards a pretty basic color palette of black, white, grey, olive green, with some prints and stripes thrown in. I wanted to create a capsule of sorts to honestly just make my life easier in the mornings knowing that I can grab a pair of pants and easily find a top to go with them. I feel like I’m off to a good start with these purchases and will certainly be adding to it as the year goes on and the seasons change.
Let’s talk work pants. Ugh. I truly have been on a mission to find a great pair of work pants since I first needed to start wearing them. What I found was that finding the pants wasn’t as issue, but finding quality ones was. In the past I would always buy the Old Navy pixie pants because they come in a ton of colors and cute prints. But I found that after wearing and washing them for a month they would shrink significantly. Other pants I would buy and they would fit in the morning but by lunch they were so stretched out they were nearly falling down. This year I believe I have some great pairs at different price points:
Women’s Skinny High Rise Ankle Pants: I went to Target and tried on all of the different skinny ankle pants I could find and I fell in love with this pair. They have the perfect amount of stretch, are a good high waist (with belt buckles and real pockets) and are a great length. I have mine rolled under about 1″ and honestly they don’t look bad just tucked under, but I might get them hemmed. Love that these come in several colors and are a great price point at only $25. They run true to size, and I am wearing my normal Target size 4.
Petite Riviera Pant in Marisa fit: Oh Loft…. Almost every year I try to order some pants from Loft and they never ever ever fit right. Despite the fact that I LOVE their jeans, I just couldn’t seem to make it work with their pants. I went in the store and, not kidding, tried on 15 pairs of pants in all different fits and sizes. I FINALLY ended up finding a pair that fit like a glove and plan to buy them in multiple colors! Typically I am a 26/2 regular at Loft. In these pants the petite seemed to work better for my height and I sized up to a 4 (which is normal to size up one size if you switch to petites). I am obsessed with how comfortable, stretchy, and pretty these pants are. Best part is that they are on sale right now for $39, which is such a steal!
Petite Roll Cuff Girlfriend Chinos: I first fell in love with the sage green color of these chinos but fell even harder when I put them on. I unrolled the cuff because I didn’t care for the way that looked and the length was perfect with the cuff unrolled. I plan on getting these in the coastal grey color also. Perfect look for a more casual outfit!
Cropped Paperbag Waist Pants: If you follow any fashion blogger or shop on Amazon then you’ve seen these pants. I was not expecting them to fit well and was quite surprised when they did. They are made of a pretty thin material so I would stick with a darker color (unless you want ALL the lumps and bumps showing). They are SUPER comfortable and feel like you’re wearing high waisted lounge pants. These will be great for those preschool clinic days when I’m having to chase 3 year olds around the room!
I actually have quite a few tops that will go with the pants above so I didn’t overdo it on tops and will likely add in some more cardigans/sweaters when the weather cools off.
Bird Strappy Cami: I grabbed this cami off of the sale rack to have something to try on the pants with and actually ended up buying it because I love the print and it was only $20 (which it still is and is stocked in all sizes). I have several of these camis from Loft ( here and here ) and wear them all of the time. They look great layered under jackets and cardigans for a transitional look.
Women’s Striped Crewneck Sweater Tank: I also randomly found this on a sale rack at Target and loved everything about it. I don’t really like to wear long sleeves under jackets and cardigans so this sweater tank is perfect. Best part, it is still on sale for under $15 and stocked in all sizes!
Women’s 3/4 Sleeve Boatneck T-Shirt: This shirt is a must whether you’re buying work wear or not. I have had a different version of this shirt for a couple of years now and I still wear it all of the time. It is a great staple and made of the softest, breathable cotton. Comes in both black and white and only $12.99!
Peplum Casual Tee: I found this tee shirt on Amazon and immediately ordered in three different colors! I have worn the white one several times already. I love this type of tee that can be dressed up or down and is actually very flattering. I like how the material is drapey and not too thin (no camisole needed). At under $20, I consider this one a must!
Slim Fit Sleeveless Turtleneck : I walked by this sweater at Target and had to have it. It’s a great material, not too thick, and will be a great staple.
I didn’t go crazy on outerwear just yet since it is still very HOT here in Louisiana, but I did get a few things and want to share some go-to’s that I already own.
Pocket Duster Sweater: I found this on a sale rack at Loft and loved the color so much that I had to try it on! It is such a great lightweight sweater that can be worn now (if you’re office is chilly) and later in the Fall with jeans and booties. Comes in three colors and is currently still on sale for around $30!
Open Front Blazer Jacket: I thought there was no way this way going to be any good, but I was wrong. I have been looking for a tan, boyfriend blazer to wear both at work and on the weekends and LOVE this affordable option from Amazon. It is fully lined, is made of a great material, and drapes nicely. For $34, I was VERY impressed.
H&M Long Jacket: I bought this blazer last year from H&M and nearly wore it out I love it so much. for only $35 it is great quality. If the ‘long’ style isn’t for you I like this option as well.
Backless Mule Loafers: I randomly found these on Amazon and knew I had to try them! Since I’ve gotten them in the mail I’ve worn them at least 5 times. They are a perfect neutral to go with all of my work clothes (and regular clothes). Love the gold detail buckle across the top. Definitely do not look or feel like $40 shoes!
Leopard Slip On Loafers: I ended up sending these back because there was just something about them that I didn’t quite look right on my foot. However, they are SUPER comfortable and squishy on the inside so if you are in the market for a loafer and this is your style, I say go for it! I also ordered the black leather version and sent those back as well for the same reasons.
Tory Burch Minnie Ballet Flat: These are my absolute favorite shoes for work and will last you for years. I have had mine for almost three years now and will a little cleaning they look good as new. I am hoping to get the nude pair this year for work (hint hint Nick).
This is my list of things that didn’t quite make the cut but I wanted to include anyway with my honest opinions. I wasn’t going to include them at all but one time I shared a pair of jeans that I did not personally like and someone said to me “Thanks for sharing because that’s the style of jean that I like”. So I figured that I would share these:
Leopard Long Sleeve Button Down: I actually almost kept this one because I liked the material and the print but ended up sending back because I didn’t think it would look good with the sleeve rolled up (which is how I like to wear long sleeve button ups).
Black and White Leopard Button Down: I really wanted to like this because I loved the print so much but the bat wing sleeves weren’t doing it for me. That’s simply a personal taste that I do not like on myself but I still LOVE the print and the material was nice
Sheer Leopard Print Button Down: This was a no for me right out of the box. I know the description says sheer but the picture online looks better. The material is wayy too thin so back it went.
Collared Button Down Shirt with Pockets: I also really wanted to like this shirt and even steamed it when I took it out of the box because I knew I was keeping it. But I tried to style it one night for dinner and just couldn’t get it right and I think the white buttons were throwing me off.
Whew, that was a long one! But I hope you enjoyed this Workwear try-on on Instagram (also saved in my highlights if you missed it). I figured since it was SO much that putting it in a blog post made me most sense so that you could reference back later on! Let me know your thoughts, I always love to hear feedback on if you want more posts like this.