Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Favorite office clothes

Re-examining favorite sources for work clothes inspiration...it is fun to make myself some cute work-appropriate dresses of nice wools and things, and I've been looking around at images I've saved and at new sources for cute work clothes.  Here are some of my faves, collected over the past year or so--so most of them aren't current):

J.Crew (this one's recent and I have plans to make it already...):
(I'm going to use this McCall's pattern):

Anthropologie dresses, for a slightly funkier look:
Don't remember:
My Theresa:
Lulu's, I think:
Mad Men:

Anthro skirts:
Hm... I think I'm going to need a grey skirt with black piping.

I have some great patterns to start with, too!  Mostly Simplicity (some of these I have, some of them I plan to buy next time JoAnn's has them for $0.99):

Tell me--what do you wear to work in an office?  Do you wear things you've made, or keep it to store-bought pieces?  All offices are different, but how can you mix being fun and fashionable with looking professional?


  1. Yay for work clothes. I actually really love sewing work clothes and a good percentage of my work wardrobe is sewn, although I struggle with making tops to go with the skirts that I sew a lot of. My office is pretty casual but I've nevr felt unprofessional in something I've sewn

  2. I love making work clothes- dresses mosty, but also some skirts. I work as an alterations manager for a bridal shop, so I like to show off what I've made to the seamstresses there. They are AMAZING and far better at what they do than I can ever hope to be, but its still fun to show them my simple projects.

  3. Blessings on your new job and I hope you have a great day tomorow!! Isn't it fun to plan out sewing projects!!! I look forward to seeing what you make. I am in the planning stages for Spring sewing, even though there are a couple of other winter pieces I want to make.

  4. Good luck -- you will do great. I didn't sew when I worked in an office, so I wore all purchased suits. But as someone who has been in an office for many years, I would say, just make sure everything is fully lined, well pressed, and never on the tight or revealing side. But you know all that. :-) That's just my generic two cents.

  5. I've been reading your blog for a bit, and love seeing all your tutorials though I can't sew myself. :) I mostly stick with embroidery, and knitting or crocheting. I also live in Portland, and wanted to give you a big congrats on the new job with Metro!! How exciting! I hope you have a great experience. I also happen to be getting married next August, so congratulations on that too, and best of luck with all the planning.

  6. I have quite a lot of those patterns. I highly recommend the Amazing fit red sheath dress and the 2475 skirt.

  7. Good luck on your first day tomorrow! I'm pretty new to your blog. I've been reading for about a month now and your tutorials and ideas are so creative and fun!

  8. I love your future work outfit choices! I usually wear my thrifted/ store bought items to work, but occasionally I like to mix in a handmade piece. I work in a high school and elementary school, so I don't want to wear anything that's too dressy, uncomfortable or fragile; not easy to clean; or something that I would get super upset over if it got lost or damaged.

  9. Anonymous1/02/2011

    I have several of those patterns I just bought at Hobby Lobby at 99 cents! Hope you have fun making them :)

  10. I love the J Crew dress the most and the pattern you found matches perfectly, you could even do it in black and white gingham to be like the Mad Men dress inspiration.
    Congratulations on the new job!

  11. I love all the dresses you've picked out - they look like they'd be so comfortable. Of course, I'm choosing comfort because I haven't worked in an office since the '90's when everything was skirts, pantyhose and pointy-toed heels. If I had to go to work in an office tomorrow, my wardrobe would most likely be black pants and colorful tops, sweaters and jackets.

  12. love those more classic looks! sadly, i don't dress up much at work since i don't have to, but i've started wearing more dresses/skirts with tights this winter. i usually stick with j.crew chinos (my favor and i have 4 khaki pairs, 1 grey, 1 red), top with cardigan and comfy shoes!
    i'm newer to the sewing scene and have yet to complete something i can wear to work, but it's a goal i'm working toward :)
    congrats on the new job!

  13. Anonymous1/02/2011

    I wear one thing I made everyday be it a skirt, a sweater, a piece of jewelry or a scarf. I work in a conservative environment and used to only wear black suits, skirts , twin sets etc. Then I started sewing and knitting again and wanted to incorporate this into my professional life. Wearing things I create has forced me to care more about details in my sewing/knitting (linings, french seams, buttons, hems etc) and forces me to "dress up" just a bit more. A colleague once complimented my style as an anthropologie version of professional dress- unique and with an eye towards detail.

  14. Great patterns! I LOVE that Simplicity 2475 skirt! Have to get that pattern myself, and do it up in grey with black piping. For work I mostly stick to separates -- skirts or pants with a blouse or sweater. Although I do tend to wear dresses a little more frequent in the summer. Good luck on your first day! It's always exciting starting a new job! :o)

  15. I've made the BurdaStyle Ruffle Front (Coffee Date) Dress several times! Once as is, once with sleeves, and once transformed into a top.


  16. Thanks for all the ideas! I'll be working in an office for the next month and while it's very casual I'm taking it as a perfect excuse to make some dresses!

  17. Ooh you've managed to make the prospect of going back to work exciting - hurray for dressing up! My office is really casual and most people wear jeans, but I like to "play offices" and dress smart at least most of the time. Comfort is key though - pencil skirts are great for pretending to work for Stirling Cooper, but not so good when walking to the tube or sitting down for 7 hours.

    Good luck in your new job!

  18. Good luck to your new job, I'm sure it'll be fine!
    I'm not a dress or skirt woman so in my work I allways use pants (it's also more pratical because I never know what will happen in a days work!).

  19. I really love that first J. Crew dress - so simple and pretty! And the patterns you picked out are perfect - you are going to have an awesome work wardrobe!!!

  20. Great post idea! You are going to be the best-dressed person in the office :)

  21. Thank you all so much!! I love hearing your ideas and suggestions and what you wear to work.

  22. I'll be excited to see what you do with BurdaStyle's Coffee Date dress - it's on my list, too!

    My office is pretty casual, so I wear jeans and a tee shirt most days. I've altered a LOT of my clothes. On most days, I can say "I made this" or "I altered this."
    Not today, though. Today's a sweatshirt kind of day.

  23. Just found your blog and really enjoy this post!! I´m always sewing to wear at work, on the weekends... it´s hard, but I try hard too!! My office is very casual, so a lot of things made by me perfectly fit to wear!! Love your choices, specially the retro dresses!! Good luck from Barcelona!!!

  24. Anonymous1/03/2011

    I work for thee local government, and while most people in my office don't really dress up, I love doing it. I wear a lot of store bought clothes just because my sewing isn't the greatest yet. I have however worn a couple of skirts I have made with some button up shirts and bold jewelery and I always get complimented. The skirts I usually make have retro, bold prints. I'm known as the office "fashionista". I think as long as things aren't too short, or show too much cleavage, and are lined(or in my case, you own a good slip, I hate lining :P) you can be really fun and still professional, and it sets you apart.

  25. I certainly wear things I've made to work! Once someone compliments me on my outfit, it's always fun to say "Thank you , I made it." There aren't a ton of ways to really express yourself at work, but making your own clothes is definitely a great way to do so. I actually enjoy our dress code now that I've learned to sew!

  26. I absolutely love the dark blue petaly one. :D



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