Kayla Heisler

Do your workwear looks need a major revamp? Before you reach for your credit card, shop your closet first! Wearing clothes you already own in innovative ways can give your day to day work outfits an entirely new feel.

1. Double cozy

Source: Instagram // @modedamour

There are layers to this! Why wear one super cozy sweater when you can wear two? Select two sweaters in the same color pallet, and use one as a base. Tie the other around your shoulders for a look that’s preppy-meets-chic.

2. Embrace vibrant

Source: Instagram // @nnennaechem

Stand out by pairing your ultra bright jacket with an equally bright patterned mock neck. Make sure that the jacket you select has a color in you patterned top to avoid creating a look that’s too over the top.

3. Keep it simple

Source: Instagram // @aemiliafay

Wearing something a new way doesn’t have to be complicated. Look for unexpected combos that you don’t typically reach for. A button up short sleeve blouse that has a more casual vibe is instantly elevated when paired with structured high waist trousers. Let your accessories and shoes determine if you lean in a direction that’s more laid back or polished.

4. No blouse, no problem

Source: Instagram // @marianmoneymaker

Keep a formal blazer from feeling too stuffy by keeping the other elements of your look more relaxed. In lieu of reaching for a formal blouse, select a solid tee shirt. Instead of wearing a something expected like dress pants or a pencil skirt, opt for a bottom with a fun twist such as scalloped edges or a fringe.

5. Crisp meets comfy

Source: Instagram //  @tamumcpherson

Looking for a work wear look that’s fashion forward and still comfortable enough for the office? Try this out: layer a lightweight pullover over your most fabulous bell sleeve button down. Accessorize with a statement necklace to really pack a punch.

6. Belt it out

Source: Instagram // @ootdworkwear

Switch up your style by using one super common accessory in an uncommon manner. Wrap a belt that’s color contrasts with your jacket around your waist for an uncommon twist. It’s an ideal way to stand out from a sea of suits.

7. Keep a hold on summer

Source: Instagram // @ada_oguntodu

Don’t pack up those tanks from summer just yet. If you remember the early 2000’s trend of camisole over tees (think of award show Ashley Tisdale and Hilary Duff), consider this the more grown up version. Layer a stretchy tank over a button up and tie for a look that’s both professional and fun.

8. Half-tucked and belted

Source: Instagram // @jeanwang

If you’re looking to shake up your wardrobe, don’t assume that you need to create a look that requires multiple interacting elements. Changing up how you wear a single item can make a major visual difference. For example, if you’re accustomed to wearing certain items one way—like wearing your blouse tucked in if you typically go for an untucked style.


Kayla Heisler is an essayist and Pushcart Prize-nominated poet. She is an MFA candidate at Columbia University, and her work appears in New York's Best Emerging Poets 2017 anthology. 

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