When in doubt, just add cardi


Dress: H&M (available in store, similar here) | Cardigan: American Eagle (old) | Shoes: Nine West (similar here) | Belt: F21

When I got my first 9-5 job out of college, I quickly learned the importance of investing in pieces that were both weekend and work appropriate. I didn’t have the funds to maintain two separate wardrobes for work and play (and never will) so I quickly fell in love with blazers and cardigans. It’s amazing what a blazer or cardigan can do for an otherwise casual outfit, and when accessorized right you can even make a plain t-shirt acceptable for the office.

When I picked up this dress at H&M for a birthday party, I didn’t quite realize how versatile it would be for me. I wore it to a birthday party with snakeskin platforms and bold jewelry, but realized that paired with a cardigan and wedges it’s perfect for the office too. I originally had on a white blazer with this outfit, but it just didn’t feel quite right. That’s when I remembered this ancient cardigan from American Eagle (another piece I never knew how to outfit). I threw it on and loved the summery vibe.

What’s your formula for making any piece appropriate for the office? Do you have a separate wardrobe for work and play or do you invest in pieces suitable for both?

89 thoughts on “When in doubt, just add cardi

  1. crazystylelove

    TOTALLY agree! I add a cardigan or blazer to all my dresses or outfits to make them work appropriate! That dress is so great on you. The colour is gorgeous and looks so cute with that cardigan. LOVE the new logo too!

    xo Jenny
    http://www.crazystylelove.com

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      Thank you so much Jenny! I love adding cardis and blazers to dresses..it adds another dimension to the outfit. Plus my office is always freezing, so they keep me warm. Thanks for the compliment on the logo too, I needed a little change! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Sharon

    You look adorable! These two colors together are just gorgeous! My office is pretty casual so I’m able to wear many of my weekend clothes to the office and vice versa.

    -Sharon

    Reply
  3. Katie

    I love every single thing about this outfit!! that polka dot sweater is adorable and looks so cute with your dress. and those shoes! I want them!! 🙂

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      I use the same method! I have so many blazers and cardis and adding them to an outfit adds instant class and polish. I like remixing my blazers on the weekends too and dress them down a bit with more casual outfits.

      Reply
  4. Rachel @ Making Life Fabulous

    This post is so timely for me! I have my first office job now, and I’ve been struggling with figuring out how to come up with good outfits without buying a whole new wardrobe. I’ll have to pull out some of my cardigans and see what happens! 🙂

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      You’ll be surprised at what they can do for an outfit! I have a lot of sleeveless dresses but they don’t always feel appropriate for work…throwing on a blazer or cardi always helps. Good luck with your new job!!

      Reply
  5. Style Journey

    Loving the vibrant green of your dress! It looks fab with your cardi. Blazers and cardis are always the perfect solution to making just about anything office appropriate. Most pieces that are purchased for my closet has to pull double duty in work and play. Also another rule is that you should be able to wear it at least 2 seasons 🙂 Heather

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      All good rules! I need to follow the last one a little more…I’m totally guilty of shopping for pieces that are only good for one season. I could lengthen the life of a lot of my pieces if I shopped for versatile items that are good for multiple seasons!

      Reply
  6. Anna

    A wardrobe must function 7 days a week from 9 AM to 9 PM. I come from a practical household where clothes go from work to weekend. It’s not even about not having the money to pay for a set of conservative black pumps for every day and Louboutins for outings. It’s a wasteful, excessive way of life I could never allow. I like that you paired the dress with a cardigan. Too many people wear blazers with their dresses and *most* of the time it looks off. A cardigan is indeed the way to go with a dress.

    P.S – that color looks absolutely radiant at you. Green is it for you

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      You make a good point – its incredibly silly to invest in separate pieces for work and weekend when you could just invest in pieces that function well for both. Cardigans and dresses are great together, and adding a cardigan to a dress is a great way to transition into fall weather also. Thanks for the compliment as well, I don’t own anything this color besides this dress but I’m thinking I should invest in a few pieces in this color!

      Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      Thanks for checking out my blog Beth! And yes I totally agree, cardigans are a must for work attire! Sometimes I get caught up in trends and forget to invest in the basics, but basics are the foundation of any good wardrobe!

      Reply
  7. Jessica

    yes i struggled with that when i had to start dressing “corporate” ahha but now i work from home so i don’t have to yippeee i looove the cardigan with the dress they are both really versatile!

    Reply
  8. Jenn

    Super cute! I try to make sure that majority of my closet can be worn on the weekend or in the office. I feel like it’s the only way I can be okay with spending all my money!
    recreateandrepin.blogspot.com

    Reply
  9. Emily grapes

    Love that outfit and especially LOVE your shoes!!! You on the bench is my favorite picture of you up there…cause I know you wanted me to pick my favorite. haha I have a hodge podge of clothes in my closet that I do my best to inner mingle for work and play. I wear pretty much everything in there except the t shirts. Though I don’t advise it, I’ve been pushing the envelope with wearing my flip flops w/the maxi dresses I’ve been wearing to work. (I don’t have enough nice shoes yet) and so far, no one has said anything…yet. I’m still waiting though. 😉 but until then, I’ll keep wearing them now and then. #rebel haha
    Emily at Amazing Grapes

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      haha thank you Emily! And of course I wanted you to pick a favorite. I try to do the same, and if I notice something hanging in my closet that I haven’t worn for a while I force myself to come up with multiple outfits in my head so that I get the most use out of everything! Here’s hoping you get some more shoes soon (you can never have enough) but until then keep rebelling with the flip flops!

      Reply
  10. Cardigan Crew

    I couldn’t agree more with the title of your post! You put this outfit together so well…the green with the dress and the shoes looks awesome and I love your polka dot cardi- lovely!

    Reply
  11. longdistanceloving

    cardigans = the absolute best. I have a rainbow of Jackie cardigans from J.Crew just for this purpose I love finding pieces (like your gorg green dress) which turn out to be versatile and happy pieces! such a great outfit, pretty lady. xoxo {av}

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      Agreed! I have so many cardigans yet I still want more. I have my eye on a hot pink one from H&M right now. Even though it’s about to be fall I still want to punch some color into my outfits this year! Thanks for the sweet comment 🙂

      Reply
  12. Bree

    Such an adorable outfit! I absolutely LOVE your cardi! The fun mix of the cardi with the bright green dress is fabulous <3
    Sorry I am commenting on everything – I LOVE your blog, I think you may have a new follower haha!

    Reply
    1. twenty-something Post author

      Thank you! That cardi has been hanging in my closet for so long so I was glad to take it out for a spin. And don’t be sorry, I’m so happy you’ve found my blog and enjoy it, I really appreciate all the comment love. 🙂 Heading over to check your blog out now!!

      Reply

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