I talked Kylee into another Work Wear Wednesday post because two looks are so much better than one am I right?! I’m not kidding when I said I pulled a 360 in the car when I saw these two shirts in the Talbots window. I’ve recently discovered Talbots for work wear and while I will say they are hit or miss for me, they do have the cutest, festive tops! Their Christmas selection was on point and Valentine’s Day is too. One reason that I love their selection is that everything comes in petite and plus sizing which is great for this petite girl!
Whether you work in an office, a classroom or just want a cute and semi professional outfit this Valentine’s Day (or week of), Kylee and I’s looks are casual enough to take you from work to play. For size reference we are both wearing XS’s in our heart embellished tops. If you aren’t sold on either of these looks or just want some more inspiration, see below! Use the arrows on the left and right side of the screen to scroll through my selections and click any image to shop it directly!
My go to places to shop for work wear have definitely evolved over the past couple of years for several reasons, but mainly because I realized you don’t have to forfeit quality for price. I have found that shopping the sale racks at some of the higher end stores is just as budget friendly as shopping at some of the lower end stores where the quality is not usually as great. I do want to point out that in the early stages of my career, my go-tos were always TJ Maxx, Forever 21, H&M, or Ross and that all of these stores below are just as comparable if you shop them the right way!
LOFT– What in the world did I do before I discovered LOFT? To be honest, my bank account was probably a lot happier. Not because it is overpriced but because the sale items are good. Almost TOO good most of the time. LOFT is almost always having 40-50% off the entire store, even new arrivals. This is great for all of my working gals that are trying to stick to a budget but also want to stay on trend. LOFT has new arrivals almost every week! Both my top ($12) and pants ($35) are from LOFT as is the majority of my work attire these days.
Nordstrom– The motherload. Nordstrom is a more recent discovery for work wear because I was always weary of their prices. The trick is to haunt their sales and know specifically what to look for. Depending on if I am shopping for something specific or just want to browse I will go about it two different ways. If you know what you are looking for, go ahead and type that into the search bar and then filter by “sort by price: low to high” that way you can weed out the higher priced items. If you just want to browse the site for work wear, there is actually a work wear section here where you can choose between contemporary workwear, trendy workwear, or casual workwear. Then simple filter by “sort by price: low to high”! The great thing about Nordstrom is that shipping is always free which is not the same for most other retailers.
J Crew Factory– If you are a J Crew lover but not a J Crew price tag lover, then you know that J Crew Factory is where it’s at. J Crew Factory is the outlet store for J Crew so everything is majorly discounted. My personal favorite things to shop for at J Crew are their bottoms- so I’m talking pants and skirts. I have everything from velour skinny jeans to pencil skirts from J Crew. I love that I am always the same size so ordering online is not a total crap shoot. Once you find your size in J Crew you can’t go wrong!
Head on over to my Instagram and click on today’s picture for more places and Instagram accounts that provide work wear inspiration. And if you are looking for even more work wear looks don’t forget to check out the rest of my Work Wear Wednesday posts.
Today’s post was sparked by a question that I asked on my Instagram and that was simply, “What does your day consist of?”. Anytime I ask you all a question, I will answer it as well. But I couldn’t answer it as well as I hoped to because I still have not gotten a grasp on how the heck to manage my time as a “full time blogger”. I’ve said it once before but I was SO much more productive when I had two jobs (working full time and blogging on the side) than now when I just have the one.
I know it can’t be just me that struggles with staying on task and time management because I get asked all the time “how I do it all”. Or at least I did whenever I was working full time and blogging on the side. But to be frank, I am just now in a place that I feel like I can speak to that question. Funny enough, it’s when I don’t have a full time job taking up all of my time. In fact, I have ALL the time in the world.
Maybe it’s because it’s frowned upon to watch an absurd amount of Instagram stories in the workplace or because there isn’t a TV offering to play the newest episode of This Is Us but ever since I started blogging full time, I struggle DAILY to stay on task. Do I have time management issues? Most definitely yes. Although I wake up early, have a planner/notebook glued to me at all times, sit at my computer for 12+ hours a day, and stay up late most nights, the day normally ends with me feeling like I didn’t put a dent in the amount of work I needed to.
The thing is, when it comes to a corporate job, you are normally given a set of responsibilities that you are responsible for each day. You come to work and know exactly what needs to be done. There might not be a start and stopping point but at the end of the day, you know you can pick back up again tomorrow. You don’t go into work with open possibilities and completely free range of your schedule. Most of the time, you also aren’t having to tap into those creative juices.
Having that much “free time” and creative ability is both a blessing and a curse because it can take you in 500 different directions. This is not a great thing when you have a hard time staying on task and completing one thing before your mind jumps to another. I want to work smarter, not harder. And to do that I’m realizing the important of what my full time job taught me. Why I was SO much more productive when I had 2 jobs instead one just one. So let’s start with the basics.
Write EVERYTHING (yes, everything) down– I always assume “O, I will remember that” when in fact I most definitely will not. Although we literally have several means of doing this at our fingertips (computer, phone, Siri, notebook, etc), it’s easy to assume it’s a small enough task or thought that it does not have the significance to be written down. WRONG. The more you write down, the more accomplished you will feel when you check it off your to do list. It doesn’t matter how insignificant it is, write it down and you will thank yourself later. Taking a shower today? Write it down. Getting dressed today? Write it down. Waking up today? WRITE IT DOWN.
Plan, Plan, Plan– Even if you have to start out small, plan out your time. Get a planner that suits your lifestyle the best and start planning your little heart out. I am a firm believer in planning out each and every day but if that seems like too much, start by planning out your month. The easiest step to start planning is to write down appointments, important dates, meetings, birthdays, etc. Then try to get more specific with your weeks. Monday- answer emails, Tuesday – plan out blog content, Wednesday- meetings, etc. Then take that one step further and plan out each day in hour increments. I am learning that planning out my days to the exact hour is critical, otherwise I wind up with an endless amount of time which inevitably results in wasted time.
Get on a consistent schedule – I thought I hated consistency but what I’m starting to realize is that I thrive on somewhat of a set schedule. I actually need a schedule of sorts or I can’t function properly and if I had to guess you are probably the same. Even if it’s so much as making yourself respond to 20 emails before you have your morning coffee, devoting every Wednesday to focusing on XYZ, or putting a time limit on your phone usage, a schedule (and a consistent schedule at that) WILL make you more productive so that you aren’t left wondering what to do with down time. Play with your schedule until you find what works best for you. I have found that I am most productive on Mondays (maybe it’s because I just had two days off, maybe it’s cause I make my coffee extra strong, who knows!), but knowing this, I will always plan more thought provoking or time intensive tasks on Mondays. On Fridays I am not productive at all so I will plan easy tasks that don’t take much brain power to complete.
Put your phone down– I might as well tattoo this to my own hand. Remember how we used to write things on our hands with cool gel pens in grade school to remember them later? *Insert permanent tattoo here* It is by far my biggest struggle. Some days I will purposely leave it in another room so that I am not tempted to get on my phone. Although my job requires me to be on my phone a lot (and I like to make that excuse for myself), there has to be a heathy balance. If you know that you are not productive when your phone is near you, leave it in another room or give yourself ultimatums. For ex: you have to complete XYZ before you can get on Instagram or you must devote 30 minutes of undivided time to work to get 5 minutes of social media time. I actually just ordered this timer for this reason alone. If you know something is pulling your focus away, learn how to combat it.
Reward yourself– Remember when you were younger and your parents made you eat all of your dinner before you could watch TV? Or told you that if you made an A you could get the newest toy? Well it worked (most of the time) didn’t it? Adulthood is the same exact thing you just don’t have anyone telling you what you have to do. Now you handle your own bribery and rewards. The thing is if you have something to look forward to, most of the time you are going to work harder and faster to get to it. It might seem childish but it works and now that we are the ones making the call and not our parents, the reward can be way better (like wine!). The trick is setting the bar high enough to deserve whatever reward you are matching it with. For example, complete 20 emails and get 5 minutes of down time would be a reasonable reward not complete 20 emails and take the rest of the day off 🙂
I plan on doing an entire post soon with what a normal week looks like for me but since I know there are a lot of different professions out there, I wanted to share a few tips that could apply to everyones lifestyle. If you have any tips on how to work smarter instead of harder I would love love love to hear them even if it sounds like a no brainer!
In other news, both Kylee and I’s work wear are on sale or super affordable. My dress(get your true size) is under $30 and perfect for work, church or winter wedding! Kylee’s joggers are about the best invention to hit the work force and oh so comfy!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the question I get asked the most is always what is appropriate for holiday work parties. Well, it depends! Some companies go all out in which something along these lines might be more appropriate. My office always was a bit more casual when it came to holiday parties so I wanted to bring you two outfits that could work for a regular day at the office just a bit more festive 🙂
Both of these outfits would be appropriate for a work dinner party or casual party. My favorite way to “dress up” a sweater is to throw some party pants (or skirt) on with it! Easiest, most festive way to bring in some sequins, sparkle or festivity! See some more of my favorite party pants below.
And if you are looking for more options to wear with those party pants, don’t worry I’ve got you covered!
Lastly, if you are looking for gifts to give the boss lady, coworker, or employee in your life. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite items that are a working girl’s necessity.
As cliche as it sounds, no guy or girl can pass up a new coffee mug, especially if they are a coffee lover! My personal favorites are the ones with funny sayings or my initial.
2. Work bag
Most working ladies don’t want to carry a purse and laptop bag so a larger tote is usually a good compromise. Check out some of my favorites below.
3. Desk necessities
From one 8-5er to the next, there are a few desk necessities that after being in the office for a few years I can’t live without. Some of these items include picture frames (let’s make it a little homey in the office!), ceramic tray (for rings and other jewelry that might get in the way of a keyboard), and a docking station (to charge phone/ipad).
For some insane reason that I will never understand, office buildings are always the equivalent of the North Pole temperature year round. I always keep a few different colored cardigans/wraps at work for this purpose.