Summer Staples for a Casual Work Day


All of the Nordstrom anniversary sale posts I’ve seen have made that craving for all things fall, and cozy sweaters, and cute boots start to kick in but I will stay strong! Before we all go and lose our minds about that sale and stock up on all the cute boots and sweaters when fall is still a good two months away from even starting to feel like it (I never have been one to plan ahead) I want to stop and talk about what’s been getting me through these summer days. It always feels like it takes me half the summer to figure it out, so maybe next year I can get smart and just look back on these posts for a reminder of what I truly might need to be adding to my closet.

Last summer our dress code went from a summer policy of jeans being permitted every day, to them deciding to make that a permanent policy once fall rolled around. My work style was really on the casual end of business casual already with the fact that I haven’t worn a pair of dress pants in probably three years really driving that home, but it’s slid even further to the casual end since that policy change. This outfit is a perfect example of one way I’ve found to stay true to that while still feeling a little bit more put together for the work day, made of up all the items that I have been picking up on repeat this summer…

Strappy Wedges

A few weeks ago I was waiting to cross the street and a girl waiting next to me complimented me on these shoes. As I thought about where I got them and how long ago so I could tell her (because isn’t that always the reaction when someone compliments part of your outfit, or is that just me?) I realized that these things were a Target buy over three years ago. They got me through a pregnancy that first summer and they’re still going pretty strong! After all this use I couldn’t imagine a summer work outfit without them. Mine have just recently started showing enough wear that this will probably be their last summer, and I’ve been eyeing these as their replacement.


Great Fitting Skinny Jeans

I have owned at least one pair of these jeans at all times for longer than I’ve owned those strappy wedges, everytime a pair starts to get a little worn I just restock with a new pair. I love the darker wash which I think is key to making denim look as professional as possible and the rise is perfect in my opinion – none of this low rise business because I don’t have the ability or interest in pulling that off anymore, but not so high rise that it makes a statement. Is that over analyzing a pair of skinny jeans? Probably. Also, I am a bargain shopper to the core and first fell in love with these jeans because I can find them for typically somewhere between $10 and $15 at a local discount store (Discount Fashion Warehouse if you live in the Columbus or Cincinnati, Ohio areas) but by now I’m so hooked that my cheap self would probably pay full price if I was ever left with no other option. 🙂

Comfortable Button Up

A button up shirt just instantly makes me feel like I’m upping my game so these are my immediate go to on those days that start out with me feeling like I could use a boost. For a dressier look the Portofino shirts from Express are my favorite, but something about summer leaves me reaching for this more casual option. Plus it’s so versatile and you could pair it with a lace skirt for a dressier look like this or go even more casual by pairing it with distressed shorts like this. I’m even excited to layer it up like this in the fall!

Medium Sized Tote Bag

I just can’t imagine anything smaller than a tote bag for work because you’ll usually find me carting around a pencil bag full of my favorite pens, at least two journal sized notebooks, whatever book I’m currently reading, an obscene number of lipsticks and glosses, and a snack. And this is in addition to the normal things you’d find in a purse! My current favorite is this bag I found during my most recent trip to the outlet mall (the blue color I have just isn’t available online apparently), but another good option if you want a simple tote with usually a pretty good selection of colors available in store is this one – I said I was a bargain shopper!

Mixed Metals

Red Giraffe Designs is a local favorite of mine for hand stamped cuffs and you can’t beat that $20 price tag. I currently layer up a silver and a brass one that each have a message with meaning to me on them and most days you’ll find me with them stacked on my wrist. The only thing I’ve noticed is that they’re not exactly comfortable if you’re carrying around a large toddler on your hip and since mine often feels the need to be attached to me if I’m within eye sight, I tend to take them off as soon as I get home for the day. But another good find has been her rings.



5 thoughts on “Summer Staples for a Casual Work Day”

  1. Love this! It always takes me a little while to figure out each season – you’d think I’d be used to it by now that they all come around once per year, but often I find myself wondering what the heck I even wore that time last year… Relying on some simple formulas and go-to pieces is a big help. And the great thing about everything here is you can totally make it work in another season too! Love the color of the bag.


    1. Thanks Anne! And I feel the same way, what the heck did I even like to wear last year? As I’ve been continuing to fine tune my closet even more I’ve been trying to make sure that pieces can transition well for more than one season so hopefully this is a sign that I’m finally figuring out how to do that with intention! 🙂


  2. Yes to all of this. It’s timeless and classic, yet still looks so fresh. I need to try those jeans you recommend. I can’t for the life of me find a pair of jeans that I don’t want to trash by the end of the day. I feel like I’m always tugging and pulling at them because they get too stretched out/saggy/etc. I’ll have to give that Express pair a try!


  3. Pingback: The Basics

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