Dressing Up Your Dress Code

I work a mall job, you all know that. And my dress code is black and white. I'm sure a lot of you have a job, or have had a job in the past that required you to dress in a similar dress code (all black or black and white), and I've found many a time that it's hard to stay creative with your outfits if you work several days a week and you don't want to get dressed twice, once for work and once for play.

I know I don't. 

So I thought I'd give you all some tips that I've found useful in avoiding monotony in my work attire. I know it's a job, but you still want to look cute, right?

You want to be sure that you have some of the basics - a white tee, black tee, black jeans, black dress, and maybe a black pencil skirt. Those are things that will go with literally anything, so they're good to have around - especially the bottoms because you don't have to wash them as much. I don't know about you, but I only wash my skirts every 5 times I wear them, or if they actually look dirty. And I like high waisted pants, just because they are more versatile and easier to wear when bending over at a job so you don't have to worry about plumber's butt. Plus, high waists are stylish.

This blouse amps up the usual white button-up with the asymmetry. 

Now that you have the basics, you want to spice up your black and white wardrobe with some unique details. Trims, appliques, lace - you name it. 
I absolutely love this loose crop top from River Island. It is long enough to wear with my jeans and not have my midriff showing, and loose enough to wear when it gets really hot out.
This top is a new one I found at Nordstrom Rack (and the brand is actually called Lush!) and it's gorgeous. You can wear lace with camisoles underneath for a more modest look, or if the lace is already pretty covered up you don't need the extra layer.

Next we have patterns. Depending on the pattern, some will mix well together - like stripes and florals for instance. You can do patterned leggings (the ones below are See You Monday) with longer white or black tunics for when you need ultimate comfort. Black Milk leggings also have a bunch of plain textured black or black and white leggings that are thick enough to wear on their own.

Here are some looks I've done on the blog that I wore to work. As you can see, our dress code, while black and white, is still pretty lax. We can wear whatever color shoes and accessories that we want, and because we wear aprons, sheer tops aren't as much of an issue. Make sure to ask your boss what their policy on sheer tops are though, because some employers might not be as cool about it. 
I changed my shoes in between work and shooting on the last two, because I wouldn't be caught dead wearing heels to work. Make sure to have a pair of black flats for when you have nothing else to wear though - they are a lifesaver.

The last step is accessorize, accessorize, ACCESSORIZE. Again, this will depend on your employer, but if you can add color in any way - do it. Colored belts, headbands, jewelry, tights, shoes, anything you can think of. Because you are wearing black and white, any color goes with it. 

Basically, have fun within the confines of this lack of color wardrobe. You can do zebra print or black and white leopard print, polka dots and acid wash.

One piece that I've been ogling at for months now is this popular bit from Zara - the mini skort. Thankfully we're getting a Zara in Seattle within mere months, so I'll be able to see this baby in person and try it on.

Look at it and drool.

Again, these will all depend on what your employer will allow, but it's worth asking if you can wear something sheer or loud jewelry. Chances are if you work somewhere that style is a main part of their marketing strategy, you won't have too much of a problem. 

I hope those tips helped inspire you to spice if your work wardrobe!

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  1. Great post! I'd be so happy with a black and white dress code, its way more chic than wearing khaki Dockers and the company's shirt.


  2. ah this is brillant as im looking to get a waitressing job (all black) some really cute ideas here! i love how often you update its the best :)))

  3. I used to have a wear a crappy suit to work, it was navy with pin strips and a white shirt. I hated it especially as when I went to get my lunch in a local store people thought I worked there. When I informed that that I didn't they would get annoyed with me! Happily can wear what I please to work now. :)