Working With Style {Dresses, Accessories, and Thrifting}

Hey everyone my name is Jenn and I blog over at >Pdx Momma. I am a full time working mom in HR and a photographer in all my spare time (sarcasm font). It’s taken some serious time to figure out my style, especially being a plus sized gal who doesn’t make a ton of money. Options can be limited, but I have finally figured out what works for me and how to afford it!

Getting out of the house in the morning is never fun as we all know and especially when you throw a toddler into the mix who also needs to get dressed, food in his belly, and out the door (with my husband thank goodness). One of the tricks I found for simplifying clothing options is a painfully obvious one. Dresses. With a dress you are only worrying about 1 piece of clothing. You’re not worrying, “does this top look good with these pants?” I probably wear a dress to work at a minimum of 3 times a week. I have only recently started adding in skirts as well cause they are not as simple.

My favorite dresses are with sleeves so that I do not even have to think about a cardigan, but in the PNW it’s cardigan season pretty much all year so I also have a stock pile of every color and sleeve length imaginable. I also rock some awesome spanx under my dresses Winter and Summer!

My next style trick I learned last year to stop being afraid of. Belts. Now belts are not for everyone, but if you have a natural waist at all (not apple shaped) then belts not only add in a fun accessory, but can be super flattering. I have also been able to buy a dress a size up that I found on super sale and belted it to make it work (see top left, below). It never hurts to accentuate the smallest part of your body!

Speaking of accessories. Since I do not have a huge wardrobe (compared to many I know) I switch things up with accessories quite a bit to stretch my outfit options. That striped dress on the top left made into a skirt with that shirt on top and statement is a good example.

OK last secret. Thrifting. Goodwill is your friend. See all those dresses… 90% are from Goodwill and all were under $10. The belts are all from GW and probably $3-4 a piece. Cardigans are expensive on their own and with as many as I need/have thrifting is the only option. Don’t even get me started on shoes!! Ross and TJ Maxx are both a block from my work and that’s super dangerous, but I also score big from them since I can pop in so often and raid the clearance racks. For work options I try and pick things that can go from Summer-Winter and always “work appropriate” of course. My office doesn’t have casual Friday so I am dressing up 5 days a week. Thrifting takes time and I am aware of that, but trust me it’s worth it!

I hope I have inspired you to try dresses and maybe belts more often… and if you are not already trying second hand clothing then do it! I hope to see your looks on Instagram (#officefashionshow and #workingwithstyle) very soon! If you wanna follow along on Instagram/Twitter you can look for the hashtag #officefashionshow and #workingwithstyle my handle on both sites is @oskarsmomma.

Now it’s your turn to link up your Working With Style post! I can’t wait to check them out.  The linky will work for the whole week so there’s time all week to link up.

photo(39)Jenn lives in rainy hipster filled Portland, OR with her husband, (almost) 3 year old Oskar, and rescue mutt Oden. She works full time as an HR Manager and runs a successful photography business in all her “free time.” She likes honesty, a well composed photo, and things that should’t make her laugh… but do. You can find her blogging at Pdx Momma and on IG and Twitter as @oskarsmomma.


  • mrshiggison says:

    Thrifting, FOR THE WIN!
    I love your style, it always reminds me to wear a dress…for some reason mine hide in my closet- that’s dumb of me.

    Another great thing about thrifting is that you can basically always be changing up your wardrobe choices for cheap. You don’t have to repeat (unless you want to) because it’s affordable to donate your old stuff & buy “new”.
    Great job, Momma!
    mrshiggison recently posted..Eww. Stop that.My Profile
    Twitter: mrshiggison

  • Kate says:

    I love all your belt looks! My favorite is the black and white with the red belt and necklace. I like to wear dresses to work too (though not as frequently in Chicago winters -brr too cold walking to the El), but never think to wear them with a belt. I will have to remedy this soon. Thanks for the great tips!
    Twitter: katieyoda

  • Shannon says:

    LOVE your style!!

  • I love your look–those outfits are all amazing!
    Tragic Sandwich recently posted..Sticking With What WorksMy Profile
    Twitter: tragicsandwich

  • Rebecca says:

    I love your style too!! You totally rock at putting great outfits together and I’m shocked to find out how much of it is thrifted! I’m getting myself to GW ASAP!
    Rebecca recently posted..Avery’s Birth Story: Follow UpMy Profile

  • Jamie says:

    Such cute ideas! Love the dress idea — you’re right! It’s just one piece — no hassle!
    Jamie recently posted..December 2012 Round-UpMy Profile

  • Tracy says:

    You’ve proven to me that I need more dresses in my life.
    Twitter: wa_tracy

  • Suz says:

    I’m looking forward to wearing dresses more when I’m done nursing. And I’m taking your tips on belts to heart. I’m currently kinda afraid of them!
    Suz recently posted..White Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake CookiesMy Profile
    Twitter: suzstreats

    • Jenn says:

      Just remember to wear the belt at your smallest point. I remove the belt loop thingies from dresses ( if I can without damage) usually because my waist is much higher that they give room for.

  • Mary Beth says:

    I love all these looks…. and they look so great on you! Wow. I’m floored. One of the best WWS we’ve had in a while! You’ve inspired me! I’m always afraid of belts. I have a few I rarely wear in sight. I need to be more brave! Oh and I LOVE GW and thrifting! Great finds there for the kiddos too.
    Twitter: bloombing

  • Mary Beth says:

    OK I just have to comment again. 12 outfits!? You were *committed* to this post. I am SO impressed. You’ve up’ed the game!
    Twitter: bloombing

  • Madonna says:

    I have always been afraid of the belt, but you totally rock it. I’m not a dress person, but I think I could pull it off with the amount of cardigans I wear.

  • Beth says:

    Yes to the dresses!

    Now that I’m nursing and pumping at work, I’ve ditched the dresses temporarily, and I miss them, but they are not so friendly for other needs.
    Beth recently posted..PhotobomberMy Profile
    Twitter: Beth_ismyname

  • Laura June says:

    I LOVE getting my work clothes at Goodwill! I will find name brand slacks with the tags still on for $5 or less! Apparently I need to also peruse the dresses. I just wish I had more time for thrifting!
    Laura June recently posted..LatelyMy Profile
    Twitter: juneofthemoon

  • ChadIngram says:

    My favorite dresses are with sleeves .So that I do not even have to think about a cardigan. It’s cardigan season pretty much all year, and then I also have a stockpile of every color and sleeve length imaginable. I also rock some awesome Spanx under my dresses winter and summertime. Thanks for sharing this valuable articles.

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