Jacket-Free Work Looks that are Acceptable for the Office

jacket-free work looks

Despite the fact that many offices around the country are becoming more dress-casual, there are still work situations where going jacket-free is frowned upon.  And even if jackets aren’t required, some women feel more comfortable and finished with a tailored topper piece.  If this is you and you are looking for some jacket-free work looks that are equally acceptable for a more conservative work environment check out these ideas on how to do it right.

Jacket-Free Work Looks that are Acceptable for the Office

Even if your work environment isn’t conservative or an environment where you feel a jacket is preferred, you can still check out these ideas on how to make your business-casual looks more pulled together.

#1- Blouses

jacket-free work looks

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If you tend to buy basic tops for layering under jackets and cardigans (you can check out my list of favorite styles here), unfortunately, these styles really can’t stand alone.  In order to go jacket-free, choose tops that have professional detailing and look finished without a lot of fuss.  Typically, these types of tops look better without a layering piece than with one.

In the outfit above, I selected this cotton stretch shirt with a twist detail from BOSS Hugo Boss and styled it with a basic pencil skirt from J. Crew.  To finish the look, I added these blue suede pumps from Cole Haan, gold Panacea necklace, soft blue stud earrings from Kate Spade and orange bag from Tory Burch.

#2- Tunics

jacket-free work outfits

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Tunics can be viable workplace pieces in lieu of a jacket as long as they are professional and not too weekend looking.  Additionally, tunics come across as far less unfinished than basic button down shirts do.

In the outfit above, I styled this tunic blouse from L.K. Bennett with a pair of navy skinny pants from Theory and finished the look with a pair of stack heeled pumps from Marc Fisher, a colorful necklace from Jose & Maria and tall tote in olive from Banana Republic.

#3- Dresses

jacket-free alternatives

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Dresses are probably the best jacket-free alternatives for the workplace because they often look polished without a lot of effort.  However, there are still some things you want to keep in mind when choosing a professional dress for work when you don’t plan on wearing a layering piece over it.

First, your dresses should have sleeves.  Rarely is it acceptable to walk around sleeveless, particularly in a more conservative work environment.   Next, if you want your dresses to standalone, choose styles that aren’t too basic.  Detailing like a belt, interesting seaming or professional detailing are the way to go.

I styled the Max Mara dress above with a pair of nude pumps from Sam Edelman, added simple jewelry using this Zoe Chicco necklace, a pair of semiprecious drop earrings, and finished the look with this purple Ted Baker satchel.

It is possible to go jacket-free in more conservative work environments if you choose acceptable alternatives that can stand alone.