JCPenney gets you dressed for the office

BlogHer Original Post

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and JCPenney.

 I have mixed feelings about the casual office; business casual is easier on the wallet, for one thing, and more practical in terms of overall wardrobe building.  At the same time, though, somewhere along the line "casual offcie" became code for "Hey I'll just wear this crappy old hoodie from 1986 because my office is always cold." 

No.  NO NO NO.  Absolutely not.  

Natalie works in a casual office, but recently she was promoted, and she needs pieces that are more business and less casual.  As a busy single mom of three, though, she doesn't have the time or spare cash to shop for herself.  Fortunately, BlogHer and JCPenney came to the rescue with a $300 shopping spree.  Perfect timing.

Natalie is a petite plus size, so we concentrated on pieces that made her look taller, and that defined her waist.  We also looked for pieces that she could wear to the office and on the weekend, and that she could mix and match and dress up or down.

Natalie's favorite find was this fabulous jewel-toned twinset; the square neck of the shell frames her face so very nicely, and the cardi's V neck helps pull the eye down to her waist.  Natalie can wear the shell under a jacket (she bought one very similar to this washable suded jacket, in a rich chocolate brown) or she can pair it with another sweater in a neutral (she also bought a black kimono style sweater, to replace the hoodie in her office, but a shell would work equally well under a hip long cardigan).  

JCPenney has some great sweaters for plus sizes this fall; for the casual office, a great belted cafidan is a good alternative to the hoodie that lives in your desk.  A cardi with a belt is fantastic for plus size women, because the belt emphasizes the waist line and creates an hourglass figure.  This cardi, by St. John's Bay, balances a slim line with fall's chunky knits.  Perfect (and $34.99 -- even better).

To keep a basic cardi or simple jacket from being too casual, Natalie wants to add some great wide leg trousers to her wardrobe.  Pants are huge this fall because they are an easy way to incorporate menswear into your closet without looking masculine.  

Natalie opted for simple extended-tab trousers; the leg falls straight from her hip, which makes her waist look wee and tiny and her legs look longer. She can pair these with a beautiful blouse and tailored shirt for meetings, or with her twinset for days when she's not seeing people outside the office.  Either way, she will look professional and polished and like a manager.  These modern fit extended tab pants by Worthington come in basic black and a cool crossdye, and retail for $31.99.  Excellent.

This post is part of a series; I shopped with eight Oklahoma bloggers, all of whom came home with brand new wardrobes.  You can read about the first two shopping trips here and here. Would YOU like to shop with me?  You can!  BlogHer and JCPenney are giving away a $300 shopping spree, which includes a virtual consultation with me! Go here to enter!



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