Four Easy Office Style Secrets

Plan ahead - a week's worth of outfits

Getting dressed for work can be monotonous, tedious and even downright frustrating at times. But the good news is that it doesn't have to be! With a little careful planning and some strategic budgeting, you can make your work wardrobe as exciting as your job. (Or add excitement to a job that you don't love!) Here are my top tips for getting dressed for the office:

1. Plan Ahead
I don't know about you, but I'm not much of a morning person and I feel zero creativity when I'm in a rush to get ready for work. That's why I think taking 20 minutes on the weekend to come up with some outfits can be really beneficial. I like to shut the door, put on some music and get in the zone for a little while. You will be surprised at what you can come up with if you just give yourself the space to get creative! Write down the outfits you come up with, create a few extras in case of weather changes, and then throughout the week you can consult your list to find an outfit that works for your day ahead. Can't find anything on your list that you want to wear? Revert back to a favorite outfit you've worn a month or so ago. (It's perfectly fine to repeat outfits at the office!) Planning ahead will save you time (think of the wasted minutes in the morning, trying on everything you own) and make you a better dresser.

J's Picks:
New York and Company Fitted Pencil Skirt with Flared Back, $39.95
Express Studio Stretch Wide Waistband Editor Pant, $59.90
Limited Wide Waistband Pencil Skirt, $59.90

Focus on bottoms

2. Focus on Bottoms
Have you just started a new job, or are entering the work force for the first time? It can be frustrating to know where to begin. My advice is to start with the bottom half. Invest in 5 solid colored bottoms (pants or skirts) and 2-3 pairs of neutral work shoes. You can wear these bottoms and shoes every single week and no one will notice. Once you have those, focus on buying some fun shirts, cardigans, and accessories. These are the less expensive items, and by switching them up with the different bottoms, you wardrobe will look much bigger than it actually is!

J's Picks:
Gap Embroidered Peasant Skirt, $59.95
Ann Taylor Polished Cotton Corseted Skirt, $69.99
Limited Full Pleated Skirt, $69.90

Create a uniform - cardigans and pencil skirts

3. Create a Uniform
Simply your work wardrobe by focusing on a "uniform." Your uniform might be dress pants and blouses, collared shirts and skirts, or full suits. Whatever you love and feel most comfortable in at work can be your uniform. My personal work uniform is pencil skirts and colorful cardigans. Pencil skirts work well for my body type, so I have a drawer full of them in all kinds of colors and prints. I also love the fun colors that cardigans come in, so by mixing and matching them, I have an easy work wardrobe that I love!

J's Picks:
Old Navy Women's V-neck Cardigans, $24.94
Banana Republic Jewel Button Cardigan, $59.90
LOFT Crew Neck Cardigan, $39.50

Have fun

4. Have Fun With It
Your employer wants you to be great at your job, but they also care about your work/life balance. Showing some personality and having fun with your wardrobe says that you still have time to care for yourself and your appearance! Not to mention that wearing something that you feel great in can boost your office self-esteem. Don't be afraid to express yourself through your clothes (within reason) and wear some fun things to work.

J's Picks:
Express Ruffle Front Button Down Blouse, $49.90
Limited Drew Safari Ankle Pant, $69.90
LOFT Tiger Safari Print Woven Skirt, $69.50

This is a guest post for Shecky' and The New Professional.