How to add more color, interest & style to your business casual wardrobe.
At the beginning of a new year, it would make sense that most people are more open to trying something new. Sure, my January began with a post-holiday cold, some serious sugar withdrawal and a few days of painfully cold weather – but now I’m finally feeling refreshed.
What’s new today? For starters, welcome to the new and improved Commmandress Business Casual Makeover.
(Business Casual Friday was fine, but it doesn’t capture my end-goal.)
On a smaller scale, today I finally understand why I’ve been repeatedly visiting a group of terrific pictures of a bold Diane Von Furstenberg sweater (which also happens to be on an incredible sale – hooray!).
It’s a really sharp sweater – but that alone is not enough to keep me coming back for another look.
The real appeal of these images is that they so beautifully illustrate the topic of today’s post: how to wear a bold – or even a bold and bright – sweater to work. Check it out:
These outfits look professional and chic, but the wrong wool sweater can make you look like you belong on a comfy couch under a pile of blankets.
(Or, even worse, that you are a comfy couch under a pile of blankets. You’ll know you’re rocking this look if a child or pet tries to sit on you – hopefully in the privacy of your own home.)
How to Pull Off a Smart “Sweater Weather Business Casual” Look
(1) Look for sweaters with a modern design. This DVF sweater is a sophisticated update of the classic fair isle sweater.
(2) Look for sweaters with an on-trend color palette. In Exhibits C-E, the Fetish Pink sweater’s clashing orange and pink look great together because they are separated by a muted grey and blue.
(3) Choose fitted sweaters with a streamlined silhouette. Avoid anything bulky, baggy or couch-like.
(4) Pair your sweater with neutral separates – preferably in the same color family as the sweater. My favorite combination above is Exhibit A, which shows the brown sweater with a rich DVF Panel Marta Stretch Leather Pencil Skirt in Black Mahogany ($299 on sale – limited sizes only; regularly $598; also available in Black). I also prefer the Fetish Pink Sweater paired with navy (Exhibit E) rather than black (Exhibits C & D).
(5) Pick separates with classic designs and clean shapes – but they don’t have to be tight. The DVF sweater looks great with a pencil skirt (Exhibits A & B) or an A-line skirt (Exhibit D). Although the sweater is shown with fitted jeans and pants (Exhibits C & E), it would also look lovely with straight-leg jeans or pants.
(6) Keep your accessories simple and minimal so they don’t compete with the sweater.
(7) But on the other hand – if you’re feeling particularly bold – you could pick one standout accessory. Exhibit B pairs a chic leopard print bag with a (relatively) monochrome outfit – and it looks absolutely fabulous!