Planning a winter outfit look, for me, can be challenging. I want to look casually professional, and I have a variety of choices in my closet. In fact, except for my blue denim jeans, almost everything in my closet works for my office “dress code.” So why is this a challenge?
Although my work environment is nice in many ways, it’s older and the heating system is not perfect. Combine that situation with my sensitivity to cold temps, and most of what’s hanging in my closet doesn’t cut it.
I’ve felt tempted to adopt an “I don’t care” attitude since I have on more than one occasion resorted to wearing my coat or jacket for most of the work day, which pretty much hides whatever outfit I’ve put together. But I just can’t bring myself to dress in a way that doesn’t make me feel good.
This past week, I decided that my outfit focus would be on incorporating pieces into my looks that would keep me warm and feeling somewhat stylish.
Acknowledgement: The photos in today’s post are taken on my iPhone in the morning in a room that’s not well lit since I was taking them before leaving for my work day. Apologies for the quality.
Monday’s Winter Office Outfit
Monday is the day I should have worn my very warmest outfit. After a few days with no one in the office, Monday is the chilliest day, and it takes most of the day for the offices to start to retain the heat.
For this look, I layered two undershirts (I like Uniqlo’s Heattech long sleeve shirts – they are thin and don’t feel bulky under my tops), a fairly dense long sleeved t-shirt, and a duster cardigan sweater (I’m not kidding!). To fill in the gap around my neck, I added this lightweight, but voluminous, scarf. I’m trying to be creative with what’s already in my closet, so I added a wide belt sitting at the top of my hips.
Some things I notice about this look
- The duster length sweater is really slimming.
- With the belt added, the slimming effect is enhanced by the definition that the belt gives.
- The booties I’m wearing with this outfit have two features that supports a slim silhouette:
- a pointed toe
- 3 inch heels (the heels are wide and stacked, so they are really comfortable)
- Both of these shoe features elongate the leg, resulting in a slimmer outline
Unfortunately, I was still cold enough to wear my knee length coat for most of the day. It was this that triggered my thinking about why I even care what I wear when it just hides under a coat all day. But that led to two more ah-ha thoughts: (1) maybe I just need to dress warmer with sweaters on top, and (2) I care because dressing nice makes me feel better about myself than not dressing nice.
So here’s what I wore for the rest of the week.
Tuesday’s Winter Office Outfit
You’ve seen this sweater before in this recent post. I’ve bee wearing it quite a bit this winter. I love the camel color (not such a good representation of it at this time of the morning and in a poorly lit room). I ended up wearing the scarf shown (by the same manufacturer as the sweater: It is well LA’s Jersey Tuck Scarf) most of the day, but I decided to wear a chunky necklace anyway just in case I did take off the scarf or it showed through the openings.
For the first time, I wore socks (black) with these cheetah print cut-out oxfords. I was afraid it might look dumb, but it seemed to blend well with the black pants.
Of course, there are about 3 layers of undershirts that you can’t see!
Thursday’s Winter Office Outfit
By Thursday I was running out of warm sweaters to wear. This sweater is medium weight and not super warm. I layered two undershirts and wrapped around this gray knit infinity scarf. I chose my heaviest black pants for good measure. I stayed pretty warm on this day, but it was Thursday, and by day four of the work week, the rooms were hanging on to each day’s heat.
I really liked wearing the bulky gray scarf. The texture of the sweater and scarf are really similar, so they complemented each other, and the gray was a nice but subtle contrast to the black pants.
Key to wearing so much bulk on top is keep the bottom a sleeker silhouette with close fitting straight or skinny pants.
The boots with this outfit are a standard Chelsea style. These are my Blondo Liam waterproof boots that I should probably say goodbye to. They are great for the rain, and I like that they are super black and very comfortable. Since it was raining pretty hard on Thursday, I pulled them out for maybe one more wearing.
I didn’t get a photo of Wednesday’s outfit. On that day I wore the warmest sweater that I own – a fisherman knit sweater that’s so warm I almost never wear it. I paired it with mint green corduroy straight pants and tan suede booties. It was nice not to be dressed in dark colors and I was very cozy all day.
A Few Takeaways
Even though I toyed with the idea of not caring what I wore and just focusing a being warm, I really do enjoy wearing things that make me feel good. Since my tops and bottoms were fairly basic without a lot of interest, I added some accessories that would provide a little fun and draw the eye upward:
- scarves (plus they REALLY help with keeping my neck warm)
- interesting earrings
- necklaces, even if I wasn’t sure they would be visible at all times
- lip color (although I wasn’t wearing it in all of these photos)
I also always wear makeup. I know not everyone likes to wear makeup, but there are a few subtle tricks to brighten the face even with next to no makeup. It makes a difference. I plan to do a post on brightening and highlighting if there’s interest. Let me know by commenting below.
One more thing: a Beautycounter Deal You Should Know About
I’d like to let you know about a nice Beautycounter promotion: the Flawless in Five event. Flawless in Five lets you create a natural, beautiful face with 6 products in 5 minutes. The customizable collection of 6 is only $150 PLUS you get a free retractable foundation brush (retail value $35). It’s a super deal all the way around: 6 products at a cost of $25 each and a free brush.
What you’ll get in your Flawless in Five collection:
- Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation (10 shades to choose from) – I use it every day and love it – or Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer (5 shades) – my go-to when we were in Hawaii
- Touch Up Concealer Pen (6 shades)
- Color Define Brow Pencil (3 shades) or Brilliant Brow Gel (5 shades) – Hard to choose. Daily I use the brow pencil and set my brows with the clear gel. But I also love the gel in dark for my brow color.
- Lengthening or Volumizing Mascara (I prefer the volumizing)
- Satin Power Blush (seriously, the color lasts ALL day) (7 shades)
- Lip Gloss (12 shades)
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This promotion is good through January 27.