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November 01, 2011  | by: Lindsay Shoemake

The art of mastering business casual isn't as hard as it may seem!

As some of us are saying goodbye to the college campuses that are synonymous with sweatshirts, casual T-shirts and sneakers, it becomes time to revamp our wardrobes by adding in pieces that are fit for both work and play.  The term “business casual” may sound daunting to some fashionistas, but once you get the hang of dressing for the workplace, you will find that every morning becomes an instant fashion show.

According to Lauren Conrad’s easy, breezy guide to business casual, the term is ambiguous and must be handled with care.  Lauren says that appropriate pieces for the workplace include fitted blazers, tops in nice materials like silk or pressed cotton, updated slacks and closed toe shoes with a modest heel.

Things that should always be kept out of the workplace (no exceptions!) include tops with plunging necklines, skimpy sleeveless tops, ripped or frayed jeans and shoes that are too casual, like flip flops.

Although wearing “grown up” staples like blazers, pencil skirts, and slacks may seem boring to you, these pieces can be brought to life though the use of fun accessories like colorful bangles, ornate belts, or a unique handbag.

By combining a sweater, dressy skirt and unique footwear, business casual is totally doable!

Popular retailers like Forever 21, H&M, Express, and Ann Taylor LOFT all offer chic and affordable workplace essentials, many of which are offered in an array of colors.  If you find a top or blazer that works for you, buy multiples for each day of the week!

Leave it to Lauren to compile a few stylish ideas to work with and take with you to the store as inspiration while shopping!  The look to the left is what the style icon considers “cozy chic,” and is a well-rounded ensemble consisting of a comfortable sweater, structured skirt, and uniquely designed wedge boots.

For more business casual ideas and inspiration, visit Lauren Conrad’s official site!

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