Summertime Business Casual Work Outfit

striped pencil

Top: Ann Taylor sz XSP (similar in XXS)
Skirt: BR (thrifted)  Blazer: H&M; (old)
Shoes: Ann Taylor Perfect Pump in “Saddle Brown” sz 5

Summertime work wear for me is very simple. For a business casual environment (no blazer required), I usually reach for a colorful sheath dress or comfy tee with pencil skirt. If you have a favorite casual top, don’t be afraid to try it tucked into work skirts or pants. On days when I may be sweating up a storm, I much prefer machine-washable tees to delicate blouses that require costly dry cleaning!
striped pencil2

Belt: J.Crew (using hole puncherPearls: eBay (search for 80″ or 100″ pearls)  Ring: YSL Arty

striped pencil1

Plus it’s easy to slip into shorts or jeans after work for running errands!
Jeans: Gap Legging Jeans in “faded dark,” size 00 Petite (be wary the petite length is quite short!)

striped pencil3

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  1. WOW Your looking so smart and innocent, your dresses looks so superb… my sisters was looking for this type of shirt…..

    Posted 10.4.13 Reply
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    Posted 10.4.13 Reply
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    These outfits are so effortlessly chic!
    Quick question though, I'm doing a summer program at a hospital and the coordinator has said not to wear jeans, but to dress in a "business casual" style…however, I've seen a lot of business casual outfits include jeans? Should I just stay away from jeans, or find a really nice and more "formal" pair?

    Posted 6.17.13 Reply
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Stop wearing skin tight stretchy skirts, and instead opt for something tailored with a little extra room (a cm or two should do.) Also, wear thinner shirts, rather than heavy knits. And belt.

    Posted 8.24.12 Reply
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    Very delayed comment, but how do you tuck in your shirts to skirts so that the line from the shirt does not show? A lot of my shirts hit me on the hip, meaning I get a line going across the back of the skirt over the bum (not flattering). When I bunch/roll up the shirt so it falls above my bum, I lose some definite in the waist since it gets a bit bunchier. Any tips?

    Posted 10.12.11 Reply
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    see past what? what did anon at 8:43 refer to?

    Posted 7.13.11 Reply
  7. @Anonymous I just got my first Birchbox today! I acknowledge it's kind of a waste of money (paying for samples) but it's fun, like a little treat. I'll post my thoughts later this month : )

    @Mae Lu Fast Food and Fashion is hosting the next petite fashion challenge, and part of it is dressing for extreme heat in the summer!

    @Shelli Lynn Hi Shelli, it's an old one from Ann Taylor that I borrowed from a friend. They have pretty decent costume jewelry!

    @Anonymous at 8:43PM – I moderated your comment to avoid ruckus, but to answer your question – yes it's frustrating and saddening to me, but there are so many wonderful readers and bloggers on here…I'm trying to see past it : )

    Posted 7.13.11 Reply
  8. @Lizzy and @Anonymous Thank you two SO much! I love reading my favorite blogs for the same reason…to take in tips and inspiration that work on women of various shapes and sizes. Thank you two SO much! I love reading my favorite blogs for the same reason…to take in tips and inspiration that work on women of various shapes and sizes.

    Posted 7.13.11 Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    i totally agree w/ lizzy. even though i'm taller, i can still use the suggestions you've given. I've been following your blog for a few months now & love your personal style. keep up the great work! 🙂

    Posted 7.12.11 Reply
  10. Lizzy wrote:

    I'm exactly nine inches taller than you, but all of your excellent advice still applies to me– that is what is so great about your blog!
    As a working gal, I love how you show us how to make professional clothing look fashionable and chic! Now I know I can add a little flair to my usually boring work outfits 🙂 Thank you!

    Posted 7.12.11 Reply
  11. Anon readers – I moderated some comments on here, but thank you for taking the time to leave me a note. I truly appreciate your kind words and support!

    Posted 7.12.11 Reply
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    I'm with Mae Lu, cute outfit but not one for S FL summers 🙂

    Posted 7.11.11 Reply
  13. Jackie wrote:

    Jean! Congrats on hosting the Haul!! You did great!

    I love the necklace you're wearing in the video =)

    Posted 7.11.11 Reply
  14. Anonymous wrote:

    also, pleaseee make a blog entry for birchbox!

    Posted 7.11.11 Reply
  15. OSeñorita wrote:

    Love your style!!!

    Oh and btw, Orange Señorita Shop is one of the sponsors of Vivawoman's July Giveaway Contest. We are giving away almost 2,000++ worth of Human Nature products. We do hope you can join and participate. 😀

    Posted 7.11.11 Reply
  16. Mae Lu wrote:

    I love this style session!

    Do you have suggestions for hot/humid summer gear? I love this outfit, but I feel that long sleeves would really be stuffy and oppressive in Detroit's summer humidity and heat (it got up to 102 in the car the other day/97 outside, and totally humid!)!

    Gorgeous as always. Wish I could watch that video but I'm here at work.

    Mae Lu @ thereafterish.!

    Posted 7.11.11 Reply
  17. Hahaha… Being creative is really fun, rite! And it saves lots of cash, as well. I love mix-matching, too! In my today's post I wear a dress as a top and throw a blazer over it; then take off the blazer again for going out in the evening. ^__^

    LeeAnne, Style N Season

    Posted 7.11.11 Reply
  18. Pink Sade wrote:

    You're so cute and adorable! Love this post with it's easy pictorial how-to

    Posted 7.11.11 Reply
  19. newpetite wrote:

    love how you make the same pieces work for you as formal or casual!

    Posted 7.11.11 Reply
  20. ACC wrote:

    This has become one of my favorite summer office uniforms! I never get sick of pairing stripes with everything I can get my hands on. I'd love to be able to rock the blazer as well, but this is impossible in the D.C. summers. (Btw, brand-new petite blogger here – you've been such a great style inspiration!)

    Posted 7.10.11 Reply
  21. Shelli Lynn wrote:

    Jean – I love your blog. I've been reading for about a year and you've given me so much inspiration to make more of my daily dressing routine. I never thought about combining a tee with a pencil skirt — great idea! I love the necklace you are wearing in the video and in the pics from your trip to LA wiht the other bloggers. Where is it from? I've been looking for something very similar and so far I can only find one by Stella and Dot…

    Posted 7.10.11 Reply
  22. I'm into stripes too and i just adore your pairing skills !!

    Posted 7.10.11 Reply
  23. Great post! I've actually been doing the long-sleeved tee/pencil skirt/belt look lately and I was a little worried that I was cheating or being lazy with the tee. But you look great so I'm going to keep doing it =)

    Posted 7.10.11 Reply
  24. i love this outfit! i'm obsessed w stripes lately. So cute ^_^

    Posted 7.10.11 Reply
  25. Your style is so effortless. I always love the way you mix your outfits. I've watched the video last night and couldn't stop laughing at creepy Wendy =)

    Posted 7.10.11 Reply
  26. Arora wrote:

    I've seen shirts like that on the rack all the time and never considered them thinking they would be too casual for work. Your outfit looks great and so work appropriate! I wish I had tops like that now.

    Posted 7.10.11 Reply
  27. Anonymous wrote:

    On the second thought, you are kinda still serious but trying to be perky!

    Posted 7.10.11 Reply
  28. Anonymous wrote:

    OMG…not so serious for once! LOL!

    Posted 7.10.11 Reply
  29. R.L. wrote:

    You've become so great at videos Jean! Can't wait to see more from you! I bought that same striped top and love pairing it with my Longchamp and Bensimon sneakers. Makes me feel almost French! I love how you were able to dress it up for biz casual too. Hopefully H&M; puts out another version of that blazer. I wish I had snagged it when I got the chance, you shown how versatile it is!

    Posted 7.10.11 Reply
  30. Anna wrote:

    This is absolutely beautiful – I love the combo of the striped tee and the skirt. I actually have a mini in this color and I think I could rock it in the winter with tights and a striped light sweater. ADORE!

    Posted 7.10.11 Reply
  31. Michelle wrote:

    I love that top! I have been such a LOFT girl…I really need to venture into AT more often!

    I agree with Annie…you are such a natural on camera! Lol! at Wendy's cameo and your comment about "men on the subway" complimenting your ring…and the look on your face was priceless, too! :p

    Posted 7.10.11 Reply
  32. Love how you can take that piece and make it work for the office and for weekends! This is what I've been trying to do lately – taking pieces and making them work for different occasions. Have to admit that working in such a casual environment I can easily wear EXACTLY what I wear on the weekends into the office.

    Posted 7.10.11 Reply
  33. Jen wrote:


    Posted 7.10.11 Reply
  34. I love how that shirt can be transformed for almost any occasion! <3 stripes. Are you using a diff camera or editing technique for these pics? You look so different compared to your other my eyes anyway. LOL

    Posted 7.10.11 Reply
  35. Ping wrote:

    jean– that top is so versatile. looks so nicely put together with the blazer. definitely very summer casual and nicely done!

    Posted 7.10.11 Reply
  36. I found this shirt for $10 and took pics for it yesterday! So please don't think I am copying you! LOL

    And what a great video- you are like a video NATURAL Jean! Great job! 🙂

    Posted 7.10.11 Reply
  37. I absolutely love the blazer over your tee. I wish I was more creative when it comes to business casual. I always freak out when someone tells me an event is business casual because I don't really know what to wear. This gives me a better idea of what that means. Thanks so much! 🙂

    Posted 7.10.11 Reply
  38. Jenn wrote:

    I think the optional layer pulls the whole outfit together. This is such a cute tutorial!

    Posted 7.10.11 Reply

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