Slouching Toward Business Casual

Theory shirt, J.Crew pants

I’ve received many comments and requests to feature some workday outfits that don’t include jeans. While many workplaces (especially in my part of the world) are just fine with jeans in the office provided they’re not the crazy, heavily distressed variety, there are some office dress codes that preclude them, or women who just aren’t comfortable wearing them. I get that. If I have a meeting on the schedule, or know that I’ll be seeing anyone from Upper Management, I’ll often dial up the formality just a bit and grab a pair of trousers instead.

I’ve been resistant to the “slouchy” pants trend for the office as most (especially with elastic ankles and/or drawstrings) still read as “loungewear” to me. And it may be that my eye just hasn’t adjusted to the silhouette yet, but finding a pair that flatters my shape hasn’t been easy. On a recommendation from a store Sales Associate I tried these J.Crew Curator pants and fell hard for them. Even though they have pleats (yikes!) the fabric is soft and drapey enough that they don’t add bulk where I least want it. A side zipper helps too.

J.Crew Curator pants, Sam Edelman Okala

Can you tell I love the pockets?

For me, these trousers hit that sweet spot between soft and tailored. Yes, they’re polyester, but are lightweight the quality of the fabric seems quite good. I wash-tested them (cold water, low heat dryer) and they came through brilliantly (photos were taken after washing). The Curator pants would be a fabulous “dress pant” choice for warm weather travel. Also available in Navy.

Burberry watch, Theory blouse

I’ve tried to balance the soft slouchiness of the outfit with some clean and crisp accessories.

Earrings: Pearl Paradise, similar // Shirt: Theory // Pants: J.Crew // Watch: Burberry, similar // Shoes: Sam Edelman (also available in Wide widths!)

Sam Edelman Okala pumps

Pumps are another way to move the dial toward the “business” side of Business Casual. They don’t have to be pointy toed or super high-heeled. If your office is one of those with “No Sandals” in the dress code, this year’s d’Orsay and open-back ankle strap styles are a cooler option for summer than a completely closed shoe, and will usually pass dress code muster. Last year when I was reading so many rave reviews about these Sam Edelman “Okala” pumps, I toyed with getting the style in zebra stripe but dithered too long and missed out. The black leather option will be very wearable and they’re just as comfortable as everyone has claimed!

Have you tried any slouchy trousers? Those of you who wear slouchy or cropped pants to the office, how do you style them?

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22 Comments

  1. fashmr paul
    June 9, 2014 / 5:36 am

    I think this is a lovely business casual outfit. Love the pattern on the blouse, and the shoes look really nice.
    :0)
    Paul

  2. June 9, 2014 / 5:38 am

    Love those pants, and the flash of foot does elevate the outfit perfectly. Also, rose gold + black = hooray.

  3. June 9, 2014 / 5:43 am

    Yes, I most definitely like the slouchy pants look, and these are a great find. You polish the look beautifully with shoes and watch.

  4. plutrell
    June 9, 2014 / 6:14 am

    Those are great pants…I rarely wear sandals in the workplace…shoes like the ones you are wearing are perfect.

  5. Sophie
    June 9, 2014 / 6:58 am

    This outfit is gorgeous on you! It is soft and casually elegant. You look both comfortable and happy in it. This is the kind of outfit that can effortlessly go anywhere. Very French!

    Sophie

  6. June 9, 2014 / 7:17 am

    These pants are very dressy looking and versatile. I think your choice of shoe is fun too.

  7. Leslie
    June 9, 2014 / 8:43 am

    I love this on you – it’s very slimming and elegant.

  8. Barbara
    June 9, 2014 / 10:01 am

    Could I ask how tall you are? I fear that they will be too short….

    • une femme
      June 9, 2014 / 6:53 pm

      Barbara, I’m 5’1″, but my legs are proportionally long for my height. These pants would probably be slightly more cropped on a person of average height.

      • Barbara
        June 10, 2014 / 5:17 am

        Thank you for the quick response! I always admire your choice of clothing items and beauty products for those of us on the other side of fifty. These pants have an inseam of 24″ which, on moi, would look like “highwaters” rather than cropped….sad, because I think that it’s a great find!

  9. stylecrone
    June 9, 2014 / 10:48 am

    I haven’t worn slouchy pants for a long time, but I like the silhouette on you and I’m intrigued. The shoes are a special touch and the watch is a beauty.

  10. Duchesse
    June 9, 2014 / 1:39 pm

    Love these pants, they go with everything! To me- besides an elegant shoe- real jewelry adds polish so I would also add a string of jade (colour, anyway) or coral beads, or a chunky pendant.

  11. June 9, 2014 / 2:02 pm

    You look fabulous! Very elegant. I wear slouchy tops a lot, but I’m scared that slouchy trousers wouldn’t flatter my somewhat plump self. Trouser shopping is very confronting for those of us who struggle with weight as trousers tend not to be very forgiving. I don’t want to find out that I’m actually creeping up a size from where I thought I was… Somehow if I don’t see the number on the tag, it’s not actually happening (even though of course it is, dammit).

  12. GingerR
    June 9, 2014 / 4:11 pm

    I have to agree that in many of the offices that I’m familiar with a 50+ professional woman wouldn’t be wearing jeans, except on a snow day or a Friday. I like the silhouette of these on you but fear that my pear shape doesn’t have the upper body curves to compliment the full pants + pleats. I think I’ll stick with the seersucker pants from AP this weekend. They’re a better cut for me.

  13. June 10, 2014 / 1:15 am

    I really love this look on you! It’s one of my favs in fact. I like to wear the same combination on holiday but with a white cotton shirt.

  14. June 10, 2014 / 6:35 am

    This looks fabulous on you. Elegant and casual both. Pants are the hardest thing to fit on me; I wear them, but when I want to look really nice, I stick with (wrap) dresses. Love your watch too.

  15. Diane
    June 11, 2014 / 8:08 am

    I ran out at lunch yesterday to my local J. Crew and voila they were 50% off. I purchased the pant in navy and black. Thank you very much!

  16. June 11, 2014 / 9:18 am

    Love this look! Especially with the sex-ay shoes.

  17. June 13, 2014 / 10:46 am

    those shoes are DIVINE

  18. Karen
    June 18, 2014 / 1:21 pm

    I love you in the Curator pant~ Now try with a slouchy white tee and those pointy nude flats for a casual look. I haven’t tried the slouchy pant yet.

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