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Professional Style: What to Wear to the Office

Finding great plus size style for the office can be challenging when you work in a professional environment. I’m not sure why, but so many designers seem to think that business equals business casual or even casual attire today. While I normally work from home, I do go to the office from time to time and have a 4 day trip coming up, so what to wear has been on my mind a lot. If you check out the What’s in My Closet posts, you will see I’ve been busy shopping for weeks and now it’s time to put it all together into stylish business outfits. Personally, I love to mix and match pieces which works out great since I live in a little different climate than I work in. I’m betting there will be at least a 20 degree difference between the average temperatures between the two, if not more, for this early October trip with my destination being cooler.

Taking a first look in the closet, I realized I needed a wardrobe refresh since it’s been a little over 6 months since I was last at the office. I started by going through my closet to take stock and clean out the pieces that were worn out, didn’t fit well, or I just didn’t like. That exercise resulted in two big storage tubs of clothes making their way out of my closet to make room for some new pieces. Looking in my closet at what was left in my closet, it was clear that layering was the obvious choice. I looked to my favorite retailers, magazines, and bloggers for some style inspiration and came up with a general plan. I wanted to pick up some black and white prints, something with a zebra print, and oobi belt, and a blazer in a great fall shade to compliment the classic pieces in my closet. It didn’t take a lot of looking to find what I needed at Igigi.com, Asos.com, Eshakti.com, and LaneBryant.com.

Professional Business Style with a Modern Edge
Lane Bryant delighted me with a modern business look perfect for the office with this look, though I wanted to put my own twist on it. I bought the Mulberry ponte blazer and quilted Oobi belt in the picture from Lane Bryant to pair with a basic jersey knit pencil skirt from Asos.com that I had picked up last fall and a zebra inspired print shell from Igigi.com. All I needed to make the look perfect was a pair of classic black pumps from my closet that I got at Payless.com, nude pantyhose, and some simple small silver hoop earrings. The Oobi belt really takes this classic style up a notch and gives it a great curvy shape. you can easily recreate this look by giving a classic skirt suit or blazer and skirt in your closet a fresh look by adding an Oobi belt.

Comfortable Business Style for a Day of Meetings
Logn days of client and/or team meetings call for a professional, yet comfortable look. I really love pairing a maxi dress with a blazer for these situations. This pairing allows you to skip pantyhose or a firm shaper and easily adjust to whatever temperature you encounter in a conference room. When I bought the Mulberry blazer at Lane Bryant, I also picked up one in black since they were having BOGO days and a ponte blazer is such a flexible piece, who couldn’t use a couple! The black blazer will work perfectly with either of the black and white maxi dresses I bought at Igigi.com during tLabor Day sale. This pairing will also work with black pumps and silver hoops I planned on wearing with the first look saving me room in my suitcase. This might also be my pick for traveling in since temperatures on airplanes are much like those of conference rooms and I can easily clip on a pair of flats for making my way through the airport and change into the pumps on my way to the office.

Signature Professional Style
I love nothing more than a great dress, make it a maxi and I’m in heaven, so my next choice for this trip is a fabulous dress I picked up from Zulily.com last December. The cream and black combination is perfect for this season as well and the modern geometric print is classic. This dress also needs minimal accessorizing, making it a perfect travel choice. I can wear it with the black pumps or flats, depending on what they day holds. I toss a pair of small gold hoop earrings and a bracelet to add a little personal flare to this look.

Professional Business Travel and Transitional Style
I saw this look at Asos.com and had to have it! This look is perfect for making your way from the office to a flight. The tailored culottes paired with heels look very professional, yet had a great modern edginess. I really love this mesh and striped top. It’s just the right balance of trendy and classic. If I run into a client meeting the last day in the office, I can pair it with a blazer and belt to take it up a notch. I’m going to toss in a pair of large gold hoop earrings and black statement necklace to pair with this look just in case I get the opportunity to have a little fun with it. I do have a creative position after all!

Other Necessities
Making my way to and from my hotel to the office will require some kind of coat I’m sure. It’s the perfect opportunity to give the cream colored car coat I picked up a Lane Bryant last spring some exposure. It’s not too heavy to take up a ton of room in my luggage, yet it will be plenty warm since it’s fairly long. I always toss a pashmina in my bag when I travel since it can be used as a scarf, wrap, or blanket. If it’s really chilly there, I’m sure that it will deliver just the right warmth playing the role of a scarf. I’ll also toss in a swimming suit and fabulous red bag for fun.

Evening Style
When I travel, I like to make the most of my time, so I try to fill my evenings with networking meetings and dinners, so I may or may not change clothes before heading out. Given the opportunity to make a quick change, I do like to have a little more fun with my evening style. I’ll toss in a pair of jeans and black t-shirt wear with the mulberry blazer, large gold hoops, and a pair flats for a casual dinner.

I flying from the office to Vegas for a conference on this trip, so check out what I’m packing for Pubcon and two romantic weekends with my husband this year too.