Tis the season to refresh yourself! The new year brings a fresh start and, for many of us fashionistas, that often means a closet overhaul.

Ironically, this is also the time of year that many folks set the intention of being a little savvier with their spending. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your style, though. If you’re living the 9-5 life, you understand business attire can drain your bank account and totally cramp your chic.

Never fear – you’ve got the former Goodwill Fashionista here!

I’ve got some great tips for sprucing up your office style while staying on budget. These trends are easily created with pieces you probably already have hanging around your closet. And I’ll share a little secret with you. If you don’t have what’s on my hot list this year, late January is the perfect time to check out your local Goodwill. Remember all those fashionistas that are overhauling their closets? They’re filling the racks with “new to you” fashions for all your business affairs!


1.) Stripes. Easy, right? Not quite. Be strategic with your stripes, gals. I’m not talking your classic pinstripe suit either. Find stripes that incorporate other patterns.

I scored this incredibly unique striped skirt at the Goodwill trunk show (Forever 21 – $6.99) over the summer. I was initially hesitant to put this bold horizontal stripe over my tail end but the floral patterning balances the bold and softens the pattern.

Pair stripes with classic solid pieces. A striped crew neck tee that you consider weekend wear could be perfectly chic paired under a solid blazer with a statement necklace, ankle length tapered pant, and pointed-toe heel. Pairing a casual stripe with some more sophisticated pieces gives an effortlessly styled elegance.


2.) Pinks. The 2017 spring trend runways were full of pink. It is a bit strange to think pink in the depths of winter, but finding a neutral pairing will make it easy.

I adore this blush, chiffon, necktie blouse (Who What Wear – $5.99 at Alexandria Goodwill)! It’s perfect for the office – stylish, modest, with a pop of personality. I pair it most often with a navy pencil skirt and patent nude heel but this pink also is a perfect pair to any shade of gray for winter months. In the spring, it will still function as a match to a khaki or ivory piece as well.

Also, you can pull some pinks as underlays to darker sweaters. Think pink button down with black V-neck sweater.


3.) Ruffles. I can feel your shudders. I am not talking the haunting necklines of your nineties Easter dress – think more of soft, feminine lining styles. Here’s a great example: this frock was scored from the Goodwill trunk show this summer (Zara – $12). It’s got a sophisticated ruffle that outlines the chest; the subtlety is polished and clean without being frumpy.

On my “to score list” at Goodwill this season? A pencil skirt with ruffle detailing. Ruffles can work to create shape – just be mindful of where they lay!

4.) Bootcut Denim. With a sigh of relief I can finally say that non-skinny jeans are trending! This has been inching it’s way back into wardrobes for years but the millennial generation has had some serious resistance to this trend.

Strangely, I am writing about this denim trend for the office. As we move into a new generation, office life is becoming more and more casual. At my day job, we have Jeans Friday which has been a great blessing to my wardrobe. I am looking forward to scoring more bootcut styles this season to wear to work; they give a vibe of sophistication when paired with a chunky heeled boot (also trending!). I prefer a dark wash with slight whiskering which creates a beautiful shape and the darkness keeps them looking ultra-professional.

Pair your bootcut with a bold, plaid oxford or even a delicate silk blouse.

I hope you find new love in your closet this season with my 2017 Workplace Fashion Forecast! Which trend will you incorporate into your workplace attire?

Karen is a young professional currently serving as a recruiter for a Defense Contractor. She is a dedicated volunteer in her Southern Maryland community where she coaches Special Olympics and serves the St. Mary’s County Commission for Women. Karen is the former writer behind the DC Goodwill Fashionista Blog and has an undying passion for second-hand shopping. Follow her thrifty adventures on Instagram: @k_wattt.