Is the office AC turned up a bit more than usual, or are we just starting to feel an imaginary chill from all this fall fashion talk? It always seems like right after you finally nail your warm weather 9-to-5 style, tanks, maxis and heeled sandals need to be subbed for more substantial pieces, and that transitional turnover can seem really overwhelming (navigating new trends is one thing, plotting how to layer them is another story). But it doesn’t have to be. Instead of reaching in the back of your closet and settling for last season’s same-old looks, here are five easy work wardrobe swaps you can make to stay stylish at the office now through fall — and all for under $100.
Ditch the Blazer for: a Sleeveless Blazer
ASOS Sleeveless Ponte Blazer ($69): You’ll never think of the traditional blazer as the end-all-be-all work layer ever again once you slip on a sleeveless version. Similar to a tailored jacket, this garment streamlines any outfit, just in a very of-the-moment way. Use its exaggerated hemline to break up the proportions of your outfit when you’re wearing a maxi dress or long pants or to dress up a sweatshirt when you’re letting the cozy girl boss in you shine.
Ditch the Oxford Shirt for: a Shirt Dress
Zara Linen Shirtdress Belt ($50): What’s better than getting the same professional polish as an Oxford shirt in toss-on-and-go form? Wear your shirtdress with mules these last days of summer to give the look some easy edge. When things start getting breezy, throw a pair of trousers on underneath. Otherwise, a pair of colorful tights and knee-high boots should be your backups.
Ditch the Pencil Skirt for: an Envelope Skirt
Topshop Crepe Wrap Midi Skirt ($75): Thanks to the wrap detail that forms a subtle, asymmetrical hemline, your go-to office skirt just became a water cooler talking point. It’s the modern way to mix a classic, more conservative cut with sexy details — consider it a must-have if you’re a desk-to-date regular.
Ditch the Basic Work Pumps for: Minimalist Loafers
Urban Outfitters Ivy Loafer ($59): Not only will your feet thank you for this wardrobe swap, but minimalist loafers will be as effortless to pair with your work uniform as those basic work pumps. It gets even better: because of their masculine flare, these versatile shoes will give outfits you’ve worn time and again a completely different feel (did you hear that, lazy girls?)
Ditch the Tailored Trousers for: Culottes
Nasty Gal Cool Lots Culottes ($58): Just like kimonos did last year, getaway-synonomous culottes have made a full transition into any-season wear. How can you not be intrigued by the thought of wearing these cropped trousers to work? They have an effortlessly chic feel, but are structured enough to go with your best power tops. If you’ve learned to pull off sweats at the office, this is your next step.
What subs do you make to update your work basics for the new season? Tell us in the comments below.