Work Outfit Ideas with Summer Blazers

work outfit ideas with summer blazersLast week we rounded up a bunch of summer blazers — I thought I’d put together a few outfits using some of the pieces. Ladies, what are your favorite ways to wear summer blazers? Do you try to make sure your outfit looks good both with or without your blazer, or are you ok with looking a little unfinished on your commute? (Or, is your blazer the afterthought, and do you just throw on whichever blazer you keep at the office?)  

Work Outfit Idea #1: Floaty Blues

In addition to an interesting white blouse and a pencil skirt, I pictured this classic, hip-length blazer with a scarf.  A scarf can be a great way to play with the colors of a blazer if you want to. You can pick out a small color featured in the scarf and use it to tie another element together (such as if you went with a dark green skirt here instead of a simple navy one), to help you decide what color shoes to wear (you could easily go with beige heels with these light colors, but I pulled out the black in the scarf to go with basic black pumps), or even start to play with patterns, such as if we’d mixed a pinstriped skirt with the floral scarf.  My favorite way to wear scarves is long and loose, like a second interior collar to the blazer, but you can check out all of our ideas for how to wear scarves to work. (Plus: if you end up taking your blazer off your outfit still looks more finished than it might if it were just a white blouse and navy skirt.)

work outfit idea - light blue linen blazer with pencil skirt

Pictured, clockwise: Blazer ($77 today!) / necklace / white blouse / scarfwatch /  earrings / skirt / heels

(On the hunt for basic black pumps? Check out our Guide to Comfortable Heels.)

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The Hunt: Lightweight Summer Blazers

summer blazers for womenSure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

As temperatures start to climb, that blazer starts to look less and less attractive — constricting! hot! layers! oh my! And of course, if you CAN get away with it at your workplace or job, you ditch the blazer for a sleeved sheath dress, only keep it in your office as a topper for air conditioning, or find other professional things to wear. But for those of you who want to wear blazers in hotter temperatures (at conferences, cocktail parties, and other networking events that may be indoors or outdoors), I thought we’d round up some summer blazers in linen, cotton, and other lightweight fabrics — we looked at lightweight blazers last year, but it’s time for an update.  (Update: check out three work outfit ideas for summer blazers.)

*If you are interested in plus-size workwear, please sign up for CorporettePlus, our newsletter! We promise not to blast your email more than once a week. (Right now it’s more like once a month.) In keeping with our Privacy Policy, we’ll never sell your email address.

(Here’s our 2014 roundup of linen blazers, our 2013 roundup of white blazers, and our 2012 roundup of summertime blazers.)

First, some of the Hall of Famers we mention above — these are the best selling styles that have been around for years and years:

summer blazers

Pictured: Navy blazer / white blazer / pink blazer / black blazer / navy blazer
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Three Work Outfits with Nude Flats

work outfits with nude flatsWhile I have a tendency to feature workwear with interesting details for our main TPS reports, I’ve always thought that the Hunt features were great ways to feature some of the more basic items of clothing that truly make up the workhorses of a businesswoman’s wardrobe. So today I thought I’d try out a new idea, and feature three work outfits using the item from our last Hunt: nude-for-you flats. You can see the full roundup of nude flats here, or nude heels here. (Beige flats are a neutral whether they’re nude-for-you or not, but to match your skin shade to find a nude-for-you flat, see the full Hunt for several options in darker shades. Pictured below are the six shoes we featured, but we rounded up a lot of others in specialty categories like comfort, affordable, wide widths and more!)

nude flats for work

Pictured above: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Below, our three work outfits using nude flats:

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30 Workwear Brands You Probably Haven’t Tried

30 Workwear Fashion Start-ups and Independent Clothing BrandsEvery professional woman shops at Ann Taylor, J.Crew, and Banana Republic for workwear — but what other options are there? I’m always inspired to see the number of workwear fashion start-ups and independent brands specializing in an aspect of workwear. Many of the founders have personally held corporate jobs, or created the brand to fill a gap in the market they saw. (If it doesn’t exist, create it, right?) These are some of the workwear fashion start-ups and other companies on my radar — ladies, which companies are your radar? Which have you purchased from (or which are you eyeing)? 

(N.B.: We’ll save companies specializing in bags and shoes for work for a second post!)

Pictured at top: Of Mercer / MM. LaFleur / Carrie Hammer

Independent Boutiques for Workwear

  • Argent – “We make smarter workwear. Someone had to.”
  • Citizens’ Mark (eco-friendly) – “Modern suiting for a generation of socially conscious, empowered women on the rise.”
  • Executive Ponies (Australian company) – “For the girl bosses and business babes.”
  • Gurjot New York – “The first collection ever designed for businesswomen, by a businesswoman, providing the best quality, fit, and design.”
  • Kit and Ace – “Technical clothing for men and women.”
  • Layo-G – “A luxury brand that provides edgy, tailored clothing for modern day women.”
  • MM. LaFleur – “A wardrobe solution for professional women. MM.LaFleur creates luxury apparel and accessories with the same attention to detail as a high-end fashion house.”
  • Of Mercer – “[F]ashionable and work-appropriate dresses, blazers, suiting & accessories for desk to dinner and beyond.”
  • Pivotte – “[E]asy care & worry free clothing for women on-the-go. Shop updated classics in technical fabrics for work, play, travel & everything in between.”
  • The Unstainable® Workwear Collection from Elizabeth & Clarke (taking preorders) – “Using a similar process that a flower does to repel the morning dew, our tiny Unstainable® fibers keep spills suspended above the fabric, preventing stains.”

Companies Perfecting the Office Dress

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How to Keep White Blouses White

Keep White Blouses WhiteWhile Kat recently rounded up white work tops for spring, we haven’t discussed keeping those tops white in quite a while. Before researching this post, my knowledge of how to keep whites white was limited to “wash them in the washing machine” (or more realistically, just don’t buy white shirts!), but to my surprise, there are many simple strategies to keep white blouses white. (If you haven’t seen it, check out our advice on washing “dry clean only” clothes, too.) Here are several easy tips:

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The Hunt: Nude Flats

nude flatsSure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Almost since this blog was born, we’ve done roundups of nude-for-you heels — beige heels, brown heels, pink heels and more. But I don’t think we’ve ever done a roundup of nude flats — so I thought we’d do one today. Ladies, do you wear nude-for-you flats as often as you wear nude-for-you heels? Which outfits are your favorite to pair with nude-for-you flats? Any favorite brands of flats, either for comfort or the perfect match to your skin?  

Update: Check out three work outfit ideas with nude flats

(Psst: check out our recent roundup of comfortable ballet flats, and of course our recently updated guide to comfortable heels.)

First up, some of our “Workwear Hall of Fame” styles — these are the best sellers and classics that have been around for years:

nude flats - classic styles

Pictured: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 

 

Before we get into today’s recommendations, some specialty categories:

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