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Not Ready for Hard Pants? Here’s How to Elevate Your Casual Favorites for the Office and Beyond

It’s the best of both worlds—you get to keep your comfy, stretchy, favorites while looking put-together and polished at the same time.

By Madeleine Kim

Ever since the world started opening up, I’ve developed a probably premature nostalgia for my quarantine wardrobe. Don’t get me wrong—the rise in vaccinations and decline in cases is champagne-toast, jump-for-joy amazing. But now that there’s an end in sight, I’m realizing I’m not quite ready to go back to all hard pants, all the time.

What if we didn’t have to give up our comfy work-from-home staples? I’m not recommending that you wear sweatpants to the office, but there are a few easy ways you can elevate your casual pieces for work—or for the many social engagements that are suddenly on your calendar again. Here are three looks to try, modeled by M.M. employees Taylor, Melissa, and Amanda.

Give Your Leggings New Life

We don’t suggest doing this with your athleisure staples, but the (recently restocked) Stella leggings are in a league of their own. They have the same amount of stretch as the leggings you wear for yoga, but with more structure and polish. The result? They look like sleek cigarette pants. So really, dressing them up with the elegant Bridget top, Ella sandals, and Briar earrings isn’t much of a stretch (which is something you can easily do in the Stellas, just saying).

Lose the Layers

Sometimes less is more, and that’s definitely the case when it comes to this unexpected outfit. The silk Jensen trench was designed so you can wear it as a jacket or a dress. Sure, it looks incredible with jeans and a T-shirt, but to really let the Jensen shine, I say wear it as a dress. With generous lapels, bold buttons, and waist-defining sash, all the styling work is done for you—just add strappy sandals.

Blaze New Trails

We all love a good jeans-and-blazer combo—but when it’s 90 degrees and you’re headed toward an hour-long subway ride, denim just isn’t going to cut it. Luckily, there’s another (Miyako-approved) outfit formula you can follow: work-appropriate shorts + polished underpinning + blazer. White sneakers and hoops will keep your outfit on the power-casual side, but you could also swap in heels to (literally) step it up.

Madeleine Kim

Written By

Madeleine Kim

Madeleine Kim is a Brand Manager at M.M.LaFleur, where she started out as a stylist. She loves developing styling-focused content and creating newsletters that bring the M.M. community together.

See more of Madeleine's articles

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