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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Break Room

Conservative Work Outfits (That are Actually Cute)

For those of us who work in a corporate environment, it can be hard to find great outfit inspiration. Not only does a conservative office dress code usually restrict anything sleeveless, denim, or remotely short or tight, the unspoken rules of the office often frown upon anything too bright or trendy.

So does that mean you’re confined to the standards of slacks and button-downs in various shades of black, white, and grey?

According to some of our favorite bloggers, absolutely not! We’ve pulled together some of their most fashion-forward (yet still appropriately conservative) 9-to-5 outfits to inspire your work week.

Elaine from Clothed Much 


Elaine loves pops of color, and has perfected the art of incorporating them into her work wardrobe in a professional way. From the big (bright red skirt) to the small (contrasting red belt) to the barely-there (subtle red lip), she shows that bright colors don’t have to be banned from the office.

Jessica from What I Wore

Jessica What I Wore

If you, like Jessica, love texture and pattern, use them to your advantage! Bold choices—like an emerald, lace, or patterned skirt—can definitely work in a conservative office, as long as you keep the rest of the outfit simple and neutral.

Images left, center, right courtesy of Adam Quick for What I Wore

Kate from The Small Things Blog

Kate The Small Things

Kate’s a hair stylist, so she doesn’t have to wear a conservative corporate outfit every day—but she looks fabulous when she does! Jewel tones like these are an easy way to incorporate color into your professional wardrobe—just pair them with neutral tops and simple accessories to keep the look clean and professional.

Liz from 26 and Counting

Liz 26 and Counting

While pencil skirts are fabulous, let’s be honest: Pants are way more comfortable. And Liz proves that they don’t always have to make up the bottom half of a pantsuit, even in a conservative office. She pairs them with a complementary blazer for an office-ready look—but keeps her outfits interesting with a bold color, fun necklace, or trendy pattern.

Jean from Extra Petite

Jean Extra Petite

Jean’s ultra-classy work look gives us corporate gals hope of standing out in the midst of an ocean of suits. She chooses glam accessories in bold colors, but the shape of her basic pieces (pencil skirts, tailored pants, and structured blouses) keep her look classic and sophisticated. It’s the perfect way to display your sense of style—professionally!