*This post was sponsored by On The Plus Side but all thoughts and opinions are my own. You can also find this post over at On The Plus Side!
I come from a family of sales and marketing professionals, but I’ve never owned a suit. Sure, I purchased exactly one blazer and fancy pencil skirt to attend journalism conferences and interviews during and post college but once I started working in the editorial department at a tech start-up a few months after graduation, I realized that a business casual environment was really more of my lane.
When you’re plus size, business casual can be tough to navigate. Because plus size bodies are often oversexualized, wearing something fitted even if it’s knee-length with a high cut neckline can be deemed inappropriate. If a straight size counterpart wore the same thing, it would be no problem. The recent virality of “teacher bae” is a good example of the double standard applied to curvy women in the workplace.
Throughout my working years, I have been called aside by HR more than once but most notably was when I was told that my jewelry was too gaudy and that I needed to think more delicately about my necklaces. I still laugh about this. Working in a corporate environment even if it’s business casual can be stifling for personal style and self expression.
These days, I work a few days a week at a marketing and advertising firm as a freelancer and since I am not client-facing, my attire is business casual. Throughout my time working there, I have picked up on some cues off appropriate office wear including what one of my coworkers called “business leggings.” Basically all it really means is that they are opaque leggings that mirror a fitted pant. My go-to business leggings are the Capri Leggings from On the Plus Side.
These cotton jersey knit leggings are never see-thru so I don’t have to worry about any undergarments making a surprise appearance. Because of my height, a lot of leggings bunch at the ankle for me so the capri length allows me to pair my business leggings with a comfortable but cute, work-ready shoe.
Tunics and long cardigans make for the perfect complement to my business leggings. For the Fall, I am loving the Frances Cardigan from On The Plus Side. It’s made from a soft knit fabric which makes it easy for all-day cubicle wear and also features bracelet length sleeves so you can add a little wrist bling.
I paired it with a simple white tank and a gold statement necklace to bring out the gold in my shoes. I like that this cardigan can be worn open or closed with the draped front button. If your office isn’t quite ready for business leggings, try On The Plus Side’s Tailored Stretch Twill Pants for the same level of comfort with a more relaxed fit.
Business leggings and comfy long cardigans are my secret to surviving cubicle life. I may never own a plus size pantsuit but I have conquered business casual in a way that works for me and my office environment.