Business Casual Basics Under $50 from the NSale | Seersucker Sass

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Business Casual Basics Under $50 from the NSale

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I get it... You've probably heard a lot about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  I'm not going to try to sell it to you, either you need something or you don't, and I'm not here to convince you to max out a Nordstrom card so that I can make an affiliate commission off of you.

The purpose of my blog has always been to pass along big sisterly advice and help people out.  The question I get asked the most is about how to build a professional wardrobe.  When I was starting my career at a non-profit and making minimum wage, sales and outlets were how I did it.  I had a pretty finite budget, and being smart with my shopping really helped me to stretch every dollar.

In today's post, I want to help you do the same thing.  I've picked nine really great pieces under $50 that I think will help you build your business wardrobe.

(1) Knit Blazer ($40)

Why I like it - Good, budget-friendly blazers that will actually last are hard to come by.  The knit fabric makes this a piece that can transition from work day to weekend.  I also love that it doesn't button, because I've found that the buttons on women's blazers are awkward more often than not.

Colors available - Five:  black, black patterned, green, navy, and salmon.

(2) Curved Yoke Dobby Shirt ($45)

Why I like it - It's an easy piece, and I love easy pieces.  This would be great with dress pants, tucked into a pencil skirt, or with jeans and flats on a weekend or casual Friday.  I'm also a big fan of the exposed wrist, it appears delicate, but it's so functional.  Isn't it nice to be working on a project and not having to push your sleeves back?! 

Colors available - Two:  ivory and coral.

(3) Bell Sleeve Knit Top ($30)

Why I like it -  My mom bought me a black bell sleeve knit top for Christmas, and I wear it non-stop year round.  Now I'm on a mission for everyone to fall in love with bell sleeves the way that I have.  Bell sleeves are an effortless way to elevate a basic look.  I love to pair mine with a tweed pencil skirt, black pixie pants, or ripped black jeans.

Colors available - Four:  black, black and white striped, emerald, and white  (I want it in every color!)

(4) Vince Camuto Ponte Midi Skirt ($46)

Why I like it - I really like pull on pencil skirts (as opposed to pencil skirts with zippers) because I feel like zippers on pencil skirts are often out to suffocate me.  Wearing a pencil skirt is a really easy way to appear put together without putting forth much effort.

Colors available - Two:  grey and black.

(5) Steve Madden Trace Studded Mule ($50)

Why I like them - Versatility.  These are shoes that would be cute with skirts, dresses, or pants.  They could also be paired with jeans on the weekends.  (I've come to really appreciate pieces that are work and weekend appropriate... better cost per wear!)  I wear heels most of the time, but when I was starting my career I wore almost strictly flats because it felt like I was (literally) running all of the time.

Colors available - Four, but I chose the snakeskin because it's fun and I feel like it could go with just about any color.

(6) Scallop Trim Sweater ($39)

Why I like it - It's classic.  It's not a sweater that's going to go out of style in a few months.  In order to consider a piece a staple, I need to be able to style it more than three ways.  This sweater could go with multiple colors of pixie pants, multiple colors of pencil skirts, and jeans and flats on weekends.  I think the scallop at the collar is a nice touch that keeps it from feeling boring.

Colors available - Seven:  black, blue, white, navy, lilac, red, yellow.

(7) Ruffle Sleeve Top ($30)

Why I like it - I love dramatic sleeves.  I love them even more when they're short and I don't have to worry about them falling on my keyboard, into my desk lunch, etc.  This could be paired with work pants, pencil skirts, jeans, and even denim shorts.

Colors available - Six:  blue, navy, pink, purple (that looks like blush), red, and white.

(8) Convertible Cozy Fleece Wrap Cardigan ($46)

Why I like it - You're basically getting two tops for the price of one with this one!  I love that it can be tied up like more of a blouse or flow freely like a cardigan.  I keep a cardigan in the office and in my car year round thanks to intense air conditioning, and I think this may my cardi pick for the year.

Colors available - Six:  black, blue, grey/white mini stripe, gray, pink, and purple.

(9) Ruched Sleeve Stretch Crepe Blouse ($41)

Why I like it - Again, I love dramatic sleeves, and I especially love dramatic sleeves that stay out of your way.  This would be perfect with a pair of pixie pants or with jeans and sandals on the weekends.  I love the rich color of this top, it's perfect for fall.  (And if you keep a closet of neutral work wear, it should pair nicely with the pieces you already have.)

Colors available - Four: black and white, garnet blue floral, navy floral, and plum gold.

What do you think... see anything you need?  What are your personal work wear staples?


  1. Sometimes I wish I worked in a dressier environment and wouldn't look silly wearing business casual clothes to my job haha- I love outfits like the ones you've highlighted here! I did use the NSale to stock up on some pieces to wear to work this fall though! (Just casual pieces ;) )

    xoxo A

  2. SO many great picks! I will have to share this with my mom she dresses like that to work, I on the other hand wear pjs lol!

  3. Wow! So many great finds! Thanks for putting all of these together for us!

  4. I am so impressed by this round-up! I am always needing more business casual outfits. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  5. I love those mules! I kind of wish I could've gotten them haha.

  6. Gosh, I don't even work a 9-5 but you made me want to buy that blazer! I wonder if I could work it into weekend/going out/date night style without looking too stuffy?

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

  7. I'm always, always, always on the hunt for business casual clothes, especially tops. I can never find any tops that I like, but I really like the ones that you picked out. The bell sleeve knit top is right up my alley.

  8. I neeeed that ruffle top & those slides too, they'd go great togeth! n-sale is the *best* time to shop nordstrom because it's all about those savings. x, nicole //

  9. basics are always necessary to replenish every year!

  10. I have number 8 and it is the comfiest thing on the planet!! So so cozy! Also obsessed with those slides!

    The Classic Brunette