(The alternative titles to this post were “co-op clothing” and “sartorial struggle” because I will forever love alliteration.)
Having gone through 3 co-op terms and a summer office job, I feel like my wardrobe has seen many iterations of my business-casual clothes. I’m really enjoying what I’ve been able to wear this term especially since my commute is super easy (read: no real need for clunky winter boots) and I’ve finally settled into a comfortable colour scheme + personal style.
If you glance at this summary grid of my favourite work outfits of this term you can pick up on the fact that I don’t wear colour and that I’m a huge fan of sweaters and asymmetrical hems.
summary of most of my outfits – can you tell that colour isn’t my jam?
Going into this term I knew that my style goals were to be comfortable and simple without being boring. As a co-op student, I want to stay professional, especially for meetings, while still carrying over elements of my personal style. I’ve taken a look at some of my favourite outfits so far in (almost too much) detail but you’re welcome to ignore all my blocks of text as you scroll through.
top: forever 21 // skirt: thrifted + tailored // sweater: mango // boots: zara
I never wear this top because it’s cropped and super inappropriate for the office but I layered it on top of a dark grey cami since it paired better with this skirt. I picked this skirt up at the thrift store even though it was a size 12 because of how gorgeous the pattern was. I don’t wear it often because I hand sewed it and so it’s a tiny bit looser than I’d prefer.
The sweater is a new addition from Mango and I love it because of the weight and the fact that it’s a colour! A neutral(ish) colour, but a colour nonetheless. My only issue is that none of my jackets are long enough to cover it so I look ridiculous layered up.
dress: simons // sweater: thrifted // boots: zara
This is definitely one of my favourite work dresses, can be either casual or business depending on what else you decide to wear with it. Feels like a giant t-shirt but has a nice hem detail to keep it from looking like a boring grey dress.
I also really need to replace this black sweater because it’s seen better days – if someone wants to point me to a similar style black sweater that would be amazing.
left top: thrifted // pants: pc * h+m // (unseen) shoes: lord and taylor
right top: h+m // sweater: pc * thrifted // jeans: pc * 7 for all mankind // shoes: lord and taylor
This seems like a good time to also introduce my shorthand of pc * in these outfit item details. It indicates that I bought it at Plato’s Closet aka my favourite place in the world. I might have to do an entire blog post on them later but you should Google them for sure!
Cream is a colour I’ve been trying to work into my outfits because I needed something to balance out all the black I have. The pants on the left are magical because they don’t wrinkle even after sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day. The heels are my favourite pair because the height of the heel makes it super comfortable to walk in all day.
We see my fondness for asymmetrical details on the right appear again. It’s been a year of owning this thing and I still can’t tell you if it’s a sweater or a sweater-scarf hybrid. One of my favourite finds from PC are these 7FAM jeans that make me question why I bother purchasing subpar jeans.
left blazer: pc * h+m // pants: zara // shoes: pc * franco sarto
right shirt: thrifted // sweater: mango // pants: pc * rw + co // shoes: zara
I also seriously love grids. I don’t pull the blazer out often because I actually hate wearing regular blazers at my desk (how do you comfortably type??) but it makes a nice statement piece without being too loud. While the grey pants are super comfortable, they also wrinkle within 30 seconds of sitting down on any surface.
The addition of the grid pants to my closet meant that I can wear my expansive collection of black tops without worrying that I look like I’m on my way to a funeral. The cream sweater concerned me at first because it’s acrylic and realistically I shouldn’t have bought it because I was looking for a wool/cotton blend but I needed a non-black sweater and it’s so cosy after a couple weeks of wearing it.
left shirt: pc * topshop // right shirt: h+m // pants: pc * forever the bay21 // shoes: zara
So I just threw these two fits together because all I did was swap out the shirt while keeping the pants and the shoes the same. You’ve probably seen these flats in a lot of my fits already and it’s because (1) I love pointed toes and (2) I’m lazy and I keep them at the office.
I’m a big fan of how the white shirt fits on me, especially with a front tuck that helps create a nice shape with the 1/2 sleeves. On the right, you’ll see me looking dopey because I was holding a handful of Nerds during the picture and because I’m naturally dopey. Ever since leaving my first office job in accounting I don’t tend to wear my button down shirts because they’re boring and honestly not that comfortable. I make exceptions for flowy materials with whimsical prints and in the case of this one because it’s fitted. The proportions worked surprisingly well and you couldn’t really see the lines of my shirt through the pants even though my issue with the pants is that they’re pretty thin.
left shirt: the bay // pants: zara // shoes: ??
right shirt: zara // sweater: pc * eileen fisher // pants: pc * gap // shoes: lord and taylor
I stepped out of my comfort zone on the left and matched up some grey on grey because you never see me in greyscale right? The Zara pants are super cute and I’ve gotten lots of compliments on the buckle detail. You can’t tell in the picture but the heels have a round toe (I know, super off-brand for me) but I only wear them around the office.
I wore some colour on the right with the dark teal EF sweater but I actually didn’t dig this look too much. The pants are actually cropped but I didn’t readjust after sitting at my desk so I just look like I’m wearing pants from my childhood. What I felt like this outfit was missing was the opportunity to show the trapeze shape of the Zara top and maybe black shoes so the grey isn’t fighting with the teal of the sweater.
My personal takeaways from this collection of fits:
- Wear what makes you happy, even if it means a closet devoid of colour.
- Proportions and fit really make or break an outfit.
- Vicky loves pointed shoes and Zara.
- Plato’s Closet rules my wardrobe.