How to dress when you don’t have a dress code

“I’m not in a work environment where I have to wear a suit and tie everyday, but I still want to look sharp.”

“I’m a software engineer and we have a ‘look’ — jeans, t shirt, sweater and sneakers but I want a more elevated style that is still functional. Something that would say, ‘Yes I’m a software engineer but hella stylish and can totally be director one day.’ ”

     These are common challenges that I hear from my clients around navigating what to wear to work. Many people work in super casual offices and are confused about what to wear to convey that they are serious about their job, amazing at what they do and are capable of being promoted.

     They are surrounded in a sea of free oversized hoodies, baggy jeans and logo t-shirts that they become overwhelmed about how they can develop a professional style that doesn’t put them front and center.

Look familiar?

Updating your style for such a casual environment can seem risky. If you wear anything that your coworkers aren’t wearing (eg. a free oversized hoodie or baggy jeans) — there is a possibility that others could take notice and ask you, “so why’d you dress up today?”.

     Or worse, they’d could think that you are trying too hard and then you’d be the center of attention. (eek!)

What we *think* we’d look like if we updated our work style vs what our co-workers are actually wearing.

The good news is that you can update your style to look like you aren’t trying too hard.  You can create a style that looks effortless, polished but still fits into the casual work context.

     So today, I’m going to show you how you can use 4 well-known casual pieces to create a more elevated, professional style.

1. The Hoodie

Why does this work?

– FIT: everything fits his body perfectly.

– COLORS: they are unexpected and understated.

– SNEAKERS: this is the perfect accessory to express your personality. You can either do a solid color or a more fashion forward pair.

2. Denim

Why does this work?

– FIT: all pieces flatter his body well and don’t add extra weight.

– COLORS: you can never go wrong with grey, navy, black and white.

-POLO: because this style has a collar, it can feel a tad more formal. But it is made more casual here with jeans and sneakers.

3. Black Pants

Why does this work?

– COLOR: this has some personality with a pop of the teal long cardigan.

– STYLES: this outfit is all about basics with a twist. For example, it’s not just black jeans, they have a coating on them to make them more interesting. – VERSATILITY: pair this outfit with sneakers for super casual, casual flats for elevated casual or heels for dressed up.

4. T-Shirt

Why does this work? – SIMPLICITY: two main pieces are very casual (t shirt and jeans) but are taken up a notch with the blazer and the loafers. – COLOR: notice the pop of the shoes, if you want to tone down you could do sneakers as well. But main focus are simple colors (white/dark blue) that are understated.

If you want more style guidance and support, I have two options for you:

  1. Follow me on Instagram and sign up for my email list where I regularly post about style stories, tips and more!
  2. If you don’t have time to figure this all out and are ready to get long term style solutions, apply to become my private client here. I’ll help you create the perfect, timeless style for your body type and lifestyle.

-Cassandra NYC Personal Stylist and Founder, Next Level Wardrobe

Do This When You Don’t Know What to Wear

Today, I’m going to share with you a fashion formula that you can use immediately to look put together, effortless and professional- for any work occasion.

What most of us normally do every morning:

  • You walk to your closet, put something on, look in the mirror and it doesn’t look quite right…(but you can’t figure out why)
  • So you then decide to switch the top, then see it has a stain…
  • Then you realize you don’t like your pants…
  • And now your entire outfit is just not right…
  • After 15 minutes you decide to put on outfit that looks ‘good enough’ because you are late.

Instead, do this:

Statement Sweater
Classic Trousers
Timeless Sneakers
Effortless, Put Together, Classic Style

This easy to remember formula can be used for men and women of all body types to quickly put together an outfit you’ll love.

Check out some inspiration looks for how you can style this:

Cashmere turtleneck with baggy trousers and fun sneakers. So chic!

Crewneck sweater with classic grey trousers and effortless sneakers. Wow!


Founder, Next Level Wardrobe

PS- Want more regular style inspiration? Be sure to follow me on Instagram.

What to wear to work…no matter the dress code

I often hear from clients and friends that they are confused about what to wear to work.

Some common questions I get include:

  • “I recently started my own company after working in a corporate setting. How do I dress in that middle ground (aka business casual)?”
  • “I am the face of my brand and want to be more thoughtful in my appearance- how can I get a lot of wear out of my wardrobe for all the press I will be doing?”
  • “I recently got promoted and notice that management dresses in a different way. How can I dress better to be more in line with them and their image?”

Here are 6 Next Level examples of how you can dress for any work environment:

Notice that these looks are not:

  • Overly complicated or uncomfortable.
  • Reuse the same pieces but for different contexts.
  • Fashion forward pieces that are going to go out of ‘style’ in 6 months.

What do you find challenging about your work dress code? and why? Email me at [email protected], I’d love to hear from you!

And if you don’t have time to figure this all out and just want it done for you, click here to apply to become a private client.


NYC Personal Stylist + Founder, Next Level Wardrobe

How to instantly look more put together

What do all these outfits have in common?

and how do these outfits look compared to those above?

What was the first thing that stuck out to you for all these looks? Was it the fit? A specific item they were wearing? Or did you notice the colors?

The biggest difference between the first batch and the second is COLOR. The first batch has too much of it and the second batch showcases outfits that are more thoughtful in color coordination.

How does the second batch of outfits look cool, cohesive, approachable and more put-together?

These outfits focus on only FOUR colors! These 4 colors are season-less, look great on all body types and look amazing when paired together to create an outfit.

Today, I’m going to share with you “Next Level System” that I use for all my one-on-one clients to make sure they avoid style boredom with their wardrobe.

First, let’s look at this color hierarchy pyramid that I’ve created.

This is a guideline that you can use for your wardrobe to ensure you have the right colors in your closet.

Next, let’s dive into the details with some outfit inspiration.



These colors are light to dark of Navy and Grey. You can also incorporate the Tonal prints as seen in the 2nd the 4th picture.


This is where you can interject seasonal color trends.

One of the biggest reasons that I recommend my 50/40/10 Rule is because I have found that it will make you look instantly more put together, intentional with your style and prevent common frustrations. We have all had those moments that we put on the same top and bottom — why? Because it’s “one less decision that we have to make in our day”, it fits, it’s comfortable and it’s just fine.

Don’t have time to figure all this out and just want it done for you? Click here to apply to become a Next-Level private client!


NYC Personal Stylist + Founder, Next Level Wardrobe

Who is your style role model?

When I chat with new clients, I always ask them if they have someone that they look up to for style inspiration- it could be someone in their life or online.

Many guys that I talk to 99% of the time do not name anyone and I understand why. Talking about your favorite place to shop, how great your outfit looks or where you get your alterations done are not hot topics among men to chat about with their friends!

But, I believe that it is important to surround yourself with people that you look up to- in any area of your life- so you can learn from them, observe and ultimately this will help you become an even higher quality person.

Surrounding yourself with men who have great style is no exception. While it may be more challenging in real life to find these role models, you can find them online.

It is important to do this because:

  • You can figure out what you like and don’t like.
  • You will get tons of inspiration about where you want to take your personal style.
  • You will get comfortable and ok with saying ‘I want to dress better.’

So let me introduce Jeff, Sundar and Kevin. You may have seen or heard of them before- they run a few small companies called Amazon, Google and Instagram.

What do these guys have in common?

  • They are busy entrepreneurs.
  • Developing their style didn’t come easy to them. Understanding how to put together outfits wasn’t intuitive.
  • Their time was most valuable to them so they would pay anything to outsource looking better.

Ultimately, these guys realized that dressing better communicates a refined image and impression– before they even open their mouth to speak!

Jeff, Sundar and Kevin are great examples of style role models that have made the transformation themselves and look much better.

Who is your style rolemodel and why? Shoot me an email at [email protected] and let me know!


Founder, Next Level Wardrobe

PS- Want more regular style inspiration? Be sure to follow me on Instagram.