Happy hump day my loyal blogger fam, how has your week been so far? The last couple of days have been pretty intense for me. Not only am I working long hours but we have new team members that require lots of training and I have had some complex issues to figure out so my brain is tired. I have to tell you despite what people might think accounting is definitely not boring!
I wanted to say a special thank you for all the love you have been giving me on Monday’s post, I am so thrilled you are as excited about these looks as I am. It is still a close race on which look you like best so if you haven’t left a comment make sure you do because I am going to tally them up at the end of the week.
For the second instalment of my “Working with Torrid“ we are going to move away from professional looks and on to business casual which is probably the most common dress code you see in today’s work environment. I also think it is a very grey area as what is considered business casual can vary greatly from one company to the next. * This post is sponsored but the opinions are my own, as always, xoxo. *
It was particularly interesting to see the reaction to one of Torrid‘s Instagram posts yesterday featuring the new “Studio Collection” Bermuda shorts. I knew as soon as I saw them that they weren’t for me but when I was reading the comments I was like wow, people have some strong opinions! Not to worry, I already shared mine and requested a relaxed leg and more shorts with longer inseams. Rest assured that they heard you loud and clear which is one of the things I love about Torrid .
One of the things I am struggling with personally when it comes to my business casual wardrobe is figuring out how to incorporate denim. This is the fourth Firm I have worked for over the course of my career and it is the first one where I can wear jeans any day of the week. I remember my first week and I saw partners come in wearing jeans and I was like wow I have never seen this. And honestly I wasn’t sure how I felt about it.
And for the record I work for two female and two male partners and it is the women who are doing it. They both are thin with a great sense of style and I love so many of their outfits. But I found myself questioning whether it was professional or not and would wearing jeans take away from my professionalism. I know that deep down it comes from the discrimination I faced in the workplace in the past and having my professionalism questioned because of the blog and what I choose to post on social media.
But if I am completely honest with myself I think I also doubted that I could look as polished and effortlessly put together as they do wearing jeans. I let myself question if being fat would impact what people thought of me. And even though I don’t want to think it I know very well that the bias exists. Fat women, particularly women size 24 and up are challenged to find work wear that is appropriate, accessible and affordable. It limits our abilities to land jobs, get promoted and even keep our jobs.
The thing that I realized recently is that I don’t let the clothes wear me, I wear the clothes. I need to make the choice to feel confident in the way I portray myself in a pair of jeans the same way I do when I wear a suit. Because being recognized as a professional has nothing to do with what I am wearing. It’s how I carry myself, how I speak, how I connect with others and ultimately how I demonstrate my knowledge and expertise.
I work for a woman who is superwoman in my eyes. She literally does it all and I am amazed every day. It was one of the number one reasons I took this job. Accounting firms are still very much old boys clubs and it was important to me to finally have the opportunity to work with strong successful women. So I am going to take a page out of her playbook and try to incorporate some more casual looks into my business casual wardrobe. And after all these years of not being able to, I certainly should take advantage of it!
While I recognize that many of you can’t wear jeans every day I hope you take inspiration from this look for casual Friday where more people can wear jeans to the office or as a great option for the weekend. I am also sharing a second look that is my go to office look.
I would be remised if I didn’t start off by talking about these jeans. If I am going to wear jeans on a weekday or to a client meeting they need to be sleek and polished. No rips, embellishments or too much distressing for me. Keeping that in mind I totally love a nice dark wash or even black denim. They are crisp and clean and give your leg a long straight line.
These are the Premium Stretch High Rise Skinny in a dark wash. Skinny jeans are a challenge for me because of my Lipedema. Since I have a bump around my knee it can make it difficult to find a leg opening that will go over it. And if I size up then it just makes the problem I have with the waist being too big because of my pear shape that much worse. I chose this style because they have the highest rise that Torrid offers combined with the skinniest leg opening but they are designed for an extra curvy figure. And if you are less curvy then they are designed to give you an hourglass shape so I say that is a win win.
Well I have to say these jeans did not disappoint and they actually far surpassed my expectations. I could get them up over my knee without any issue, the rise is nice and high so they sit right at my waist (even in the back!) and the waistband doesn’t gape because it has elastic built in on the inside. The front pockets are sewn in for a slimming and compressed look without being uncomfortable. And the fabric combines a super stretch with extra recovery. I was so happy not to be constantly hiking up my waist. I am wearing the size 30 regular. These come in 5 inseams so you can also choose your perfect length. I would normally get a short but I wanted to be able to wear a heel and not have them not be ankle length.
I wanted to pair the jeans with a blazer to give the look a bit of professional vibe but I chose one that was more on the casual side. This ivory long length blazer is simple and chic and goes with anything. I will say I was disappointed about the fabric because in the description online it said it was a knit which I was really excited about but it is actually more of a rayon similar to the floral blazer from my first post. I do love that it is lined and has a tie at the waist. I am wearing the size 6 which I need for my hips with the length. This is a very versatile piece and can be styled with many other items you likely already have in your closet. And I really liked that it was a light colour, something that wasn’t black that could be worn in all seasons.
The perfect layering piece to complete this outfit was this cinched super soft knit tank. It has an a-line silhouette with princess seaming that gives it an amazing shape. The long length is perfect with a skinny jean and the cinched neckline allows you to be as conservative as you need too. And you will never stop hearing me say how much I love bra friendly straps, especially for the office. The rich dark red shade gives it a luxe feel and they call this fabric super soft for a reason, it is honestly like butter. I got a size 5 in this but the fit is really generous and I would definitely size down to a 4 in the future.
When it came to putting the finishing touches on this look I have to admit I struggled. I contemplated wearing heels but I wanted to wear what I would truly wear in real life so I went with my favourite Torrid flat form sandals. Now these are from last year but flat forms are a huge trend this spring so I have a link to a similar pair. Alternatively I would wear a simple pair of flats. I love wearing a statement bag so this gold sparkle satchel was perfect, it acted as a metallic neutral but is still a conversation starter. I then added a gold bangle from a multi metallic set I got from Torrid and these white and black snakeskin wood earrings that are a subtle bit of texture and fun. This look is outside of my comfort zone but I felt powerful AND professional in it, I was ready to kick some butt!
For my second business casual look I had to stick to my tried and true wardrobe staple, the look I call a one and done, my favourite piece of clothing – the dress. I have to say when I get messages from women who haven’t worn a dress in 20 years I am always amazed because I honestly couldn’t imagine. Now this probably has a lot to do with my body type because dresses fit me really well but also I hate mornings so a dress is so much easier than coordinating separates. I decided to choose this sleeveless jersey knit maxi dress because it is effortless. A jersey knit is a great fabric because it doesn’t wrinkle, is breathable and has stretch. I love the rich purple colour and the surplice neckline and high low hem. I like a dress because it’s more comfortable than a suit but still looks polished. I am wearing a size 4 which is my standard dress size from Torrid.
I don’t know about you but one of the things I struggle with is showing too much cleavage. As a busty gal there is not much I can do. Because of this the Torrid bralette and I have become really good friends. It doesn’t add the bulk of a cami but gives you the coverage you need. And they come in so many different colours and prints you can add some personality to your look like I did with this floral one. I wear a size 5 in bralettes to accommodate for my cup size. So I know a lot of you will have the sleeve versus no sleeve debate and that all depends on what is allowed at your work place and your own comfort levels. I decided to add this blush shrug because I like the way it completes the look. But as it gets warmer I will definitely wear it without. I am wearing a size 6 because I like extra room.
The heels came out for this look because I know many of you enjoy wearing them and these low wedge sandals from Torrid are the perfect ones to wear all the time. The heel is only 2 inches and the wedge provides added support. And you can’t go wrong with a nude sandal for spring and summer. They also come in classic black. These simple hoops and the bangle are also from Torrid. And yes I mixed my florals by adding this darling purple floral bag. I love the juxtaposition of the dark and light florals together. This look couldn’t be more true to my personal aesthetic. And I know when I love my outfit it makes my work day go by so much faster.
This brings the second installment of this series to an end, I hope you have enjoyed these business casual looks. So can you wear jeans to the office? Do you? And don’t forget to tell me which look is your fave and why, Lisa xoxo.
Shop Look #1 Here:
Shop Look #2 Here: