There are plenty of reasons to keep a few casual work outfits on hand, but the number one? For those days you wake up and desperately wish you could just wear sweats to the office. We know, easing up on the dress code at a conservative lawyer’s office is totally different from dressing down in a creative field, so we’ve pulled together a variety of HR-approved getups for almost any work environment. Here are the 11 casual work outfits we plan to copy in the very near future.
11 Casual Work Outfits That Aren’t Just Jeans and a T-Shirt
1. Breezy Blouse + Loose-fit Jeans + Ankle Boots
You spend your entire weekend in boyfriend jeans, so why not find a way to work them into your nine-to-five? Balance out that loose denim with leather ankle boots (either heeled or flat) and a pretty blouse (like a silk button-up or a puff-sleeve top).
Shop similar styles: Stine Goya top ($190); Boyish jeans ($168); Tony Bianco boots ($166)
2. Sweater Dress + Sneakers
You’d be hard-pressed to find an outfit more comfortable for a day packed with meetings. Stick to midi dresses (too long and you’ll look like you’re wrapped in a blanket burrito; too short and your coworkers might wonder if you forgot pants) to keep things HR-approved. And feel free to get colorful with your pairings—don’t feel obligated to stick to basic gray or black.
Shop similar styles: Cable Stitch dress ($70); Nike sneakers ($110)
3. Sweatshirt + Faux-leather Pants + Low Block Heels
This is an example of opposites working in wonderful harmony. A low-key gray sweatshirt tucked into a pair of leather trousers looks effortlessly cool and is just the right level of polished for your desk job. However, if your office is slightly dressier, we’d suggest swapping the hoodie for a cashmere crewneck.
Shop similar styles: PJ Salvage sweatshirt ($58); Lucy Paris pants ($98); Sam Edelman heels ($120)
4. Oversize Knit + Wide-leg Trousers + Flats
If your office has more of a buttoned-up setting, dressing casually can actually extend to the silhouette of your outfit. For example, pairing your comfiest wide-leg pants with an oversize turtleneck sweater isn’t frumpy but it sure is easy to wear while looking like the boss you are. Opt for knits in neutral hues and leave the busy prints or lettering for the weekend. Finish with some closed-toe ballet flats and you’re good to go.
Shop similar styles: Lou & Grey ($90); Theory pants ($365); Frye flats ($188)
5. T-shirt + Dark Trousers + Pointy-toe Mules
How do you get away with wearing an easy T-shirt to work? Wear one that’s cut close to the body (this is not the time for your boyfriend’s shirt) in a bold hue like emerald green, ruby red or navy. Tuck that into some dark trousers (bonus points for contrast stitching) and step into some statement shoes, like pointed mules in stark white. You could easily re-create this outfit with dark-wash jeans, but be sure to avoid raw hems and other distressed details to look as professional as possible.
Shop similar styles: J.Crew T-shirt ($27); La Ligne pants ($325); Botkier mules ($138)
6. Oversize Jacket + Midi Dress + Tall Block-heel Boots
Go with the flow in a loose-fitting midi dress and slouchy leather boots. You could rock a floral number, but a solid color or simple stripes are also great options for an everyday dress. And if you really prefer flat shoes, opt for a dress with a bit of a higher hem (i.e., right below or just above the knee) to keep your proportions in order.
Shop similar styles: Never Fully Dressed dress ($125); Everlane jacket ($170); Børn boots ($200)
7. Button-up Shirt + Joggers + Sneakers
Good news: Joggers are basically sweatpants and you can definitely wear them while taking calls and running presentations. Just try to keep your blouse simple and classic to offset the sporty pants, whether they’re metallic silk or black nylon. In terms of shoes, you could go with sneakers, but we think block pumps or pointy ankle boots will make you feel more confident for the big meeting.
Shop similar styles: Vince shirt ($295); Express pants ($88); Cariuma sneakers ($79)
8. Cotton T-shirt + Suit + Sneakers
Details are everything if you’re trying to make a suit feel casual. So button your blazer over a fresh crewneck tee (again, not too loose) and make sure your white sneakers are sparkling clean. One more thing: Test out a two-piece that isn’t basic black or classic gray. Now is the time for cheeky embroideries or funky colors (even millennial pink).
Shop similar styles: Petite Bateau T-shirt ($29); Brooks Brothers blazer ($498) and pants ($248); Adidas sneakers ($80)
9. T-shirt + A-line Skirt + Flats
Opt for a skirt that hits just below the knee, isn’t too form-fitting and is made from fabric that feels a little luxe (silk, brocade or lace are great options). See, the right skirt can transform even the most basic white tee into something totally appropriate for your morning meetings.
Shop similar styles: Splendid T-shirt ($48); Victoria, Victoria Beckham skirt ($430); J.Crew flats ($84)
10. Denim Jacket + Jeans + Flats
Ah, the Canadian tuxedo. Wearing denim on denim has a similar vibe to wearing an actual suit, only much more casual (and much more comfortable). Go all out with matching denim washes or switch things up and pair a black jacket with blue-wash skinnies, or a dark raw-denim top with white wide-leg crops. The world is your denim-covered oyster.
Shop similar styles: Madewell jacket ($118); Levi’s jeans ($98); Banana Republic flats ($88)
11. Turtleneck Tee + Track Pants + White Sneakers
Why, yes, you can wear track pants to work. The trick lies in pairing them with more prim and proper pieces like a classic turtleneck and stark white sneakers or a crisp cotton button-down and pointy-toe flats.
Shop similar styles: Uniqlo turtleneck ($30); Adidas pants ($77); Vans sneakers ($60)