This is the second in a series of 4 posts brought to you by Nordstrom.com: Think Less Buttoned-Up—it’s a New 9 to 5.
Maintaining a neutral palette for a business casual wardrobe is a no brainer. Neutral colours are easy to remix into countless outfit combinations and they naturally communicate a non-nonsense and professional vibe. Wearing colour, on the other hand, needn’t make you look unprofessional. HOW you wear it makes the difference.
This professional outfit makes a statement with a rich colourful jacket:
- The Classiques Entier atelier woven jacket ($248) is an effective splash of colour.
- Keep the rest of the clothing simple and neutral, like with Macy’s Charter Club layering shell top ($17.99) and BCBG’s Carolyn wide-leg trouser ($178).
- You can finish off the look with neutral handbag and footwear, but I took the opportunity to add a bit of bright color with Kate Spade’s New York Kylie pump ($298) and Steve Madden’s candy coated snake embossed faux leather tote ($98).
In the next example, colour is added to a business casual outfit through a layering shell top and handbag.
- A Sejour’s neck tie knit top ($48) drapes well because it’s made of a rayon blend. Sleeveless tops are especially great to layer under cardigans – no sleeve bunching.
- The blue Tarnish vertical glazed leather shopper ($148) combines a relaxed look with sufficient structure, and is available in eight colours!
- The colourful pieces are grounded by neutral basics like Michael Kors roll tab sleeve cardigan ($110), and the Martin fit taupe suit pant from Banana Republic ($98.00).
- Steve Madden’s Ulltra snakeskin pumps ($55.96) add texture and spunk to the classic integrity of the ensemble.
If you’re bright colour shy, add low contrasting colours to neutrals instead of the high contrasting bold colours I’ve shown here. I’ve chosen bright colours because I gravitate towards them, but softer, muted, pastel or darker colours are also great options. Furthermore, you can swap out the coloured top in the first outfit for a neutral and layer over a cardigan in a colour. You could also leave both outfits entirely neutral and add colour through accessories like belts, rings, bracelets, beads or scarves.
If you want to play it safe, add only one or two colourful items (including accessories) to one outfit. But if you are not colour shy and it’s appropriate for your business environment, wear colour from head to toe. You’ll be perfectly on-trend this season sporting colour-blocked outfits.
Do you wear colour in your work environment, or do you prefer to stick to neutrals?