Wear to Work: Perfectly Preppy

February 28th, 2006

Just because you’re at the office doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your sense of style. Show off your preppy side with an on-trend sweatervest over a button-down shirt, and spice things up with a pair of cropped pants.  Add a pair of killer flats, and you’re good to go!

Where to Wear: This outfit is strictly Business Casual–it’s good for a polished look at a more casual workplace.  We’d have to recommend skipping this one for offices with more strict dress codes–don’t try this one at Corporate.  The cropped pants, in particular, might raise a few eyebrows. 

Fashion Formula = Button Down Shirt + Sweatervest + Cropped Pants + Flats.

Stenographer Button Up Folding Fan Vest
Stenographer Button Up Blouse | $78 at Anthropologie (left), and
Folding Fan Vest | $78 at Anthropologie (right).

Chaiken Cropped \"Lindsey\" Pants
Chaiken Cropped "Lindsey" Pants | $112 at Bluefly

Marc Jacobs Blue Suede Studded Flats
Marc Jacobs Blue Suede Studded Flats | $314.99 at Bluefly

Entry Filed under: Ready Made Outfits,Women

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. andhina  |  March 5th, 2006 at 6:43 pm

    I think the idea of the style is cool, but I still feel something missing. Accessories, maybe?? SInce the basic idea is preppy, I thnk it will be great if a hair band is added. A satin hair band and the style of Jackie? That would make perfect!!!

  • 2. Trisha  |  March 6th, 2006 at 6:47 am

    What a great idea! Thanks, Andhina! The hairband would not only go well with this outfit, but it’s also perfectly on-trend. Best of both worlds.

  • 3. Laura  |  March 9th, 2006 at 9:33 am

    I like this idea, however what about the women how are short. They may be able to pull off the cropped pants, but by wearing flats makes their legs look even shorter, as if part of it has been cut off. In my experience you see more women on the shorter side then on the tall side and wearing cropped pants is challenging. I feel you need something that is going to accent those legs and make you look as if your legs are longer and flats don’t do that.

  • 4. Jan Wells  |  March 10th, 2006 at 8:05 am

    What 10 ft. tall fashionista EVER decided that cropped pants looked good on ANYONE under 5″10″??? It’s ridiculous. MAYBE in the fall, with boots, but NO WAY summer for the vertically challenged. Makes ’em look like Hobbits. Now the leg hugging capri pants are another story.

  • 5. Trisha  |  March 10th, 2006 at 4:24 pm

    Yup, we have the cropped pants mentally filed under “For Tall Girls only.” Believe me–I understand…I’m only 5’0″! For shorter girls, I would switch out the cropped pants for tailored trousers and/or switch out the flats for shoes with a nice solid heel (it’s work, after all).

    Maybe we should leave a note on each of these outfits saying what body types it’s good (and bad) for. What do you think about that?

  • 6. Olivia  |  March 14th, 2006 at 9:13 pm

    The outfit is kind of boring. I think the button down shirt is ugly, i think that the vest is fine, maybe just wear the vest, but loose the button down shirt. The pants are okay….i think they need to be shorter. And the flats are cute.

  • 7. Trisha  |  March 15th, 2006 at 12:00 am

    Agreed that this isn’t the most exciting outfit in the world, but to be fair, we’re constraining ourselves to work appropriate outfits :)

    What interesting outfits have you seen in the workplace? Would love to get tips for future Wear to Work posts!

  • 8. Lindsay  |  March 30th, 2006 at 8:46 am


    I wonder if you could help me?

    I am a second year student studying a B A Hons degree in Journalism at the Creative Arts University, Farnham, Surrey.

    Basically I want to write a feature article and base it on fashion and how I feel it is becoming boring. I wonder if you could share simular views?

    For example do you think people get bored of fashion examples today? Models that present clothes that don’t appear to be realistic, and many of the models look frail and thin and don’t set very good examples to young women in particular.

    Not many magazines focus on basic clothing, such as jeans and vests and how to “dress up the basics” (especially for those who don’t have much money.)

    My main point however, is originality do you think that women dress originally? Or just follow the latest fashion trends?

    On the other hand are women becoming reluctant to follow the new trends? And also do you think fashion stores are becoming uninspiring? I will be extremely grateful for any opinions which you have!

    Best regards,

    Lindsay Ullmann

  • 9. Janet Pena  |  May 3rd, 2006 at 12:17 am

    I agree to some degree. It just depends on a woman’s creativity.
    I own a fashion boutique for women and biggest problem I see is women dressing younger than they should.
    I also see women taking some of the younger trends and incorporating it with their day to day wear to the office which can be pulled off with the right mixtures.
    Where we are, California, alot of vintage insprired items are being incorporated into a teenagers wardrobe. So now my daughter raids my closet for some older hip styles to mix with her own.
    I believe in fashion there are no rules, except be age appropriate.
    Confidence is biggest thing a woman can wear when rockin a new trend or unique style. And always keep basics/classics in your wardrobe no matter what!
    I don’t know if I answered any of your questions, but I certainly wish you luck on your paper.

  • 10. Christina  |  June 16th, 2006 at 9:49 am

    I think that many things in fashion are styles that are recycled and updated for the time period. A lot of the styles on the runways are not realistic at all. They are made for women that have unrealistic figures but to defend the stylists alot of styles are meant for you to incorporate into your own personal style. Another thing I’ve noticed is that depending on what style your going for its either boring, plain or has been done before or its just real extreme and plain ugly. Wheres the happy medium. What about making styles that are flattering to all shapes and sizes?

  • 11. Suzy  |  October 31st, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    Preppy look for the office? If want to get to the board room… think style. If you want to stay in the mailroom…preppy rock on.

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