Top 5 of the week: Business casual

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This is actually a request, from a reader named Meghan, who writes, “I’d like to know your ideas for business casual. I’m packing for a conference in Chicago and kicking myself that I didn’t ask about this sooner!” This is a tough one, as it has been seven years since I’ve worked in an office, and from what I understand, things have gotten much more dressed-down since then. Which is cool, but can be confusing when you want to look on point. My advice is to play things pretty straight: it’s a look I like anyway, and one you can’t really go too far wrong with. I’d start off with a nice cashmere V-neck.

And then I’d go for some tailored-but-casual trousers, like these chinos from Vince.

Under the sweater I’d layer a cotton button down like this one.

I’d have a little fun with footwear and go for these burnished metallic boots. (Here’s a cheaper pair I  like too.)

And—just so I wouldn’t come across too preppy, I’d throw on this faux fur jacket.

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11 Thoughts on Top 5 of the week: Business casual
    Trina
    19 Oct 2017
    7:06am

    Thank you for this post! Boy, did I need something new for work!

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    Tami
    19 Oct 2017
    8:39am

    According to this post, I have nailed business casual today! Sitting at my desk wearing a grey cashmere sweater (everlane), khaki cropped chinos (jcrew), and a pair of pony hair booties. Love the validation this morning in what’s been a rough week at work.

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    Rae
    19 Oct 2017
    9:49am

    Love this outfit. It would work every day in my creative world; especially with the shaggy jacket. Those super spendy boots are just perfect.

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    mlinky
    19 Oct 2017
    10:32am

    A slouchy cardigan is also a good option.

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    Mary Alice
    19 Oct 2017
    11:03am

    I love everything about this!

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    Viajera
    19 Oct 2017
    11:40am

    I *like* that jacket. (Cuban cigars!!!)

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    Sara
    19 Oct 2017
    11:49am

    Really want to try the Everlane cashmere, but I wish they made it in a deeper V. May just try sizing up a bit.

    Love those boots! Fortress of Inca makes a great pair too that’s about half the price. I wore these out in black a couple of years ago.

    https://www.fortressofinca.com/adriana-coco-gold/

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    eliza
    19 Oct 2017
    1:24pm

    Business casual is really hard — and this is a great outfit! I try to have one weird/different/popping out item in my biz casual wardrobe to keep it interesting — jewelry, shirt, just one thing. (I work in TV so can get more “creative” at times)

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    c.w.
    19 Oct 2017
    1:33pm

    I have a pair of metallic booties similar to the ones you show and have worn them and worn them. I didn’t think they’d make a “neutral,” but they truly do go with everything.

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    Elle
    19 Oct 2017
    4:36pm

    Sweet fancy Moses, love it all! ESP the *boots* and *jacket*!!

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      Mamavalveeta03
      20 Oct 2017
      12:49am

      Ditto! Super special!

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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