2020 Update: We still stand by some of this advice on what to wear to work on the weekend, but let’s face it: it’s an old post! Here are more recent discussions on comfortable workwear for late nights at the office, as well as an updated take specifically on what’s too casual for a weekend in the office. You may also want to check out our recent roundup of the best jeans for work, as well as the best sweater blazers.
In this feature, “What to Wear To…” we tackle attire for office events that are outside the confines of the 9-5 office day.
It’s the Aughts, and Blackberries and the Internet mean most work can be done from home. Still, there are times when there’s just no way around it and you’ve got to go into work on the weekend.
This presents a special challenge: you want to look cute, cool, hip — but you’ve also got to look professional. If the hours are long you’re going to want to be extremely comfortable. Odds are good the air conditioning will be at full blast, so you also want to be warm.
2020 Update: These are some of the best jeans for work (affiliate links): 1) Paige 2) Madewell 3) Topshop 4) Wit & Wisdom 5) Levi’s
Also – these are some of the best sweater jackets in 2020: gray / gray / green / navy with pockets / cropped navy
We’ve found a bunch of great jackets that have a structured look to them, yet they’re made of fleece, jersey, and other fun fabrics — they’re almost as comfortable as your old reliable sweats. With a nice (non-ripped) pair of jeans, and a cute pair of closed-toe shoes (or even nice sneakers), these can maintain your dignity, broadcast your cool, and protect your comfort.
We first discovered Iisli a few years ago, shopping casually at Bergdorf’s — we randomly picked up a gray sweater coat and were absolutely amazed at the structure and fit of the jacket — trust us, this brand is something else.
This blazer is in a lightweight jersey, which is uber comfortable, and has patch pockets and unfinished edges throughout (for a weekend feel). Iisli Safari Blazer, $348 at shopbop.com.
This swing coat is, unbelievably, made of fleece. The detailing on it is exquisite — pleats start at the shoulder and go to mid-back. Mike & Chris Theodore Fleece Jacket, $235 at Pink Mascara.
Oooh, another Iisli sweater-blazer, this time in a metallic gold knit. Iisli Bianca Knitted Blazer, on sale at Net-a-Porter for $238 (was $398).
This Ecoganik jacket features zip pockes, a wide neckline, and trench-inspired detailing at the cuffs and shoulders. Teresa Longsleeve Jacket in Moss, $185 at CoutureCandy.
We like the way this looks like a double-breasted cardigan until you look closer and realize it looks a bit like a trench. Colombo never had it so good. Mike & Chris Lionel Hooded Trench, $185 at Pink Mascara.
Sweater coats can be great — for about the first hour you’re wearing them. After that, they do an unfortunate thing where they start to misshapen and too big, and you end up looking like you’re wearing a bathrobe. So, we lurve that this jacket looks like a sweater coat but is made of 100% organic cotton fleece. Ecoganik Mia Jacket, $158 at CoutureCandy.
This fleece pea coat has double-breasted styling and a bit of a fishtail at the back, which we love. Project E Fleece Pea Coat in White, $143 at Revolve Clothing.
At the lower end of the spectrum, this fitted blazer by Free People is a bright spot in a dreary office weekend. Marrakesh Fleece Blazer, on sale for $39 at freepeople.com.
Readers, what are your tips on what to wear to work at the weekend? What do you think is too formal — and what’s too casual?
Welcome, Above the Law Readers! In addition to this advice on what to wear to work on the weekend, are some links to other pages you might be interested in:
Tool of the Trade: LeechBlock
10 Things to Know About: Wearing Button-Down Shirts
5 Tips For Surviving the Day After the All-Nighter
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not a weekend worker
ugh…maybe find another job. ugh.
Wow. $150-350 (except the last one) to work alone in the office on a weekend? Are you kidding me?
On weekends when I go to the office I wear sweats, flip-flops, shorts, all things denim a hat or a bandu. It’s the weekend and I came to the office. There is no dress code and just being there makes me look uber-professional!
Are you kidding me? I can see these outfits being worn on a “jeans Friday,” as our firm has from time-to-time, but not on a Saturday or Sunday. I work for a very large firm and live in Houston. Shorts, t-shirt, and flip-flops are de rigeur, even in an office. It’s the weekend for crying out loud. And yes, even the partners are wearing shorts and flip-flops!
Thank you, commenters! I have found this entire site extremely disappointing (if unsurprising), and I’m glad to hear from those in the trenches whose views and values seem to align with mine. How is it possible that it’s 2009 and the only thing that matters–still–is how women look??
I find that people in my building, let alone my office are EXTREMELY casual on the weekends. That said, I live in Texas, where humidity is an issue and bosses prefer not to swelter in the heat as well.
Beside the point is that aside from the Teresa Longsleeve from Couture Candy, I thought these jackets were fairly hideous for any environment. Quality items can be found in a shopbop sale or at Nordstrom or Express/Zara for far less money and far more style.
agree with all the above. Southern California in the house: sweats/yoga pants in winter (not too clingy) and a fleecey hoody or shorts or jeans or a casual skirt in summer and certainly no jackets that cost more than a mid-range, decent suit! And those jackets, except for the last two, were not that impressive. Oh, and frequently the A/C is OFF on the weekend, so you will melt in more than one layer, especially as the summer sun comes through the window in the afternoon….
I wouldn’t dream of wearing anything like flip-flops or yoga pants to the office on the weekends. As one of the few women attorneys and the youngest by a number of years, I don’t want my bosses to see me looking like a college kid who just rolled out of bed to go to class. When I go in, I wear a nice trouser-style pair of jeans, a stylish top, and sandals or casual non-athletic-style shoes. I see the male partners in my office wearing nice jeans or khakis, a polo or button-down shirt, and boat shoes on the weekends, so I try to do the female (but more stylish) equivalent of that. It’s funny – my firm is not particularly formal during the week, but I can’t imagine it being as casual on the weekends as some other places apparently are! Just goes to show you that you need to take all of these great ideas for what they’re worth and tweak them to fit your personal situation.
Here in New York City, at least at my firm, there are NO flip flops or shorts. Ever. Everyone has to be on the top of their game at all times, as people get laid off every day. There is no room for error. I find Corporette’s advice very helpful, and when dressing for weekend work (as I’m unfortunately doing more and more often these days), I still won’t even wear jeans.
As per Corporette’s advice, I purchased a bright red sweater-blazer and have been getting good use out of that.
At my firm its mostly female and on weekends people where what they feel most comfortable in. Even if someone is staying late they sometimes bring a change of clothes or go home and change and come back comfortable. Comfort is important outside of business hours (8-5 M-F). However during business hours everyone but the runner can’t wear capris of any sort (however they can wear knee length skirts). We also have the occasional jeans Friday.
I don’t know who wears flipflops to work, first of all. Ever. But also, this article has the ugliest pile of outerwear I’ve ever seen. I wouldn’t wear any of it. On a Saturday or otherwise.
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