Tag Archives | Office-appropriate

Workwear: Business Casual Staples

Recently someone asked about my workwear staples and without hesitation I immediately launched into my go-to list. Overly dramatic hand gestures included. And while I may not be able to share my unnecessarily enthusiastic pantomime here – I swear I’ll have my YouTube channel up & running soon! – What I can share are pictures & recommendations for helping solve this common problem.

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Dress Codes:

I for one work in a business casual office, and while it’s easy for the men – The unofficial uniform is slacks & a button-down shirt – For women there’s much more grey area in terms of appropriate dress. And while I’ll admit that I like formality and tend towards classic, traditional styles, there is definitely still room for creativity even if you have a dress code.

Different work environments are going to call for different attire – While a strict business dress code will require suits on a daily basis, an informal workplace may permit jeans. It’s up to you to find, read, and comply with your company’s rules. Today I’ll focus on the middle ground – Business casual – But don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about your specific situation!

Staples:

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Pencil Skirt

Regardless of your age or body type there’s a pencil skirt out there that will make you feel beautiful and, dare I say it, powerful. It’s a flattering style for most and really simple to style. Wardrobe building block #1 in my book!

Recommendations: Basic and Bold

Sheath Dress

What’s great about a sheath is how versatile it is – You can go from casual Friday to business meeting with minimal effort which is a must for any woman-on-the-go.

Recommendations: A classic solid colored sheath is a must as well as a fun, printed version

Blazer

If you haven’t invested in a great blazer yet I urge you to pick one up as soon as conveniently possible. A cropped black blazer is an essential. The second piece in the blazer family that I’d recommend is the boyfriend {read: oversized} version.

Recommendations: Cropped & Boyfriend

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Pumps

A classic black pump is worth splurging on. You can wear them to work or for play, and investing in a quality pair means having a heels that are comfortable and will last for a handful of seasons.

Recommendations: A basic black pump is a must and a neutral heel will also come in handy

Slacks

Mixing & matching separates wouldn’t be possible without the perfect slacks. While there are a number of brands out there with great, office-ready slacks at a lower price point, the one thing that I recommend holding out for is the perfect fit. If need be, find a tailor.

Recommendations: Slim fitting, wide leg, and cropped are all great options

Blouse

For many body types, mine included, finding a perfectly fitting blouse can be a challenge. However, once you track it down you won’t be able to live without it. They go perfectly with everything from jeans to a pencil skirt and can quickly & effortlessly go from day-to-night.

Recommendations: A crisp white button-down is a must, and you can have some fun with prints or bold hues

Tips:

Something that has been important to me from day one at my office was being taken seriously, and that has been reflected in my dress each day since. So ask yourself – Do I look professional? You can be comfortable. You can be stylish. But you must also be professional if you want to be seen as a professional.

Keep yourself covered. Midriff, thighs, cleavage, and shoulders should be covered. Sorry! No short skirts, no separates that expose your tummy, and no spaghetti straps.

My top two tips when it comes to making your office wardrobe work for you are to: (1) Get a steamer, quality iron, or send your shirts & slacks out to be cleaned & starched, and (2) Find a tailor you like. Cut and fit can change everything. Trust me.

{Pictures from Workwear Pinterest board}

Stay tuned for all the menswear staples next week!

What are your work wardrobe Must Haves?

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MCLV Style: Prim & Proper

Working in the corporate world means that my office style tends towards classic and traditional – I keep my arms covered and wear knee-length skirts or dresses 4 – 5 days a week. But just because my style is fairly formal doesn’t mean I can’t have fun with work fashion!

{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Embellished Empire-Waist Dress – Donna Ricco from Nordstrom, T-Strap Heels – Zara, Top-Handle Handbag – Zara, Black Leather Bow HeadbandBanana Republic, Geometric Gold Bracelet – BCBG, Gold Wrap Ring – JewelMint & Black Bow Ring – Forever 21}

{You can view this outfit on both Lookbook.nu and Pose}

{Check out outtakes from this shoot here – Just log into Facebook to view}

What drew me to this was the embellished empire waist, it gave the retro-silhouetted dress a little something extra. And because the waist is already so dramatic I usually skip the necklaces with this dress and just pile on bracelets and rings. Or in this case, a black faux leather bow headband – J’adore! <3

What’s the dress code in your office? Do you usually dress formally, informally, or business casual like me? Do you have a work “uniform” that you usually wear?

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Links You’ll Love

Health & Fitness:

Dark Chocolate Cherry Zucchini Bread

I was quite the little baker this Summer and I have to say that this was one of the tastiest and most creative recipes that I tried out – Dark Chocolate Cherry Zucchini Bread.

A short, energizing yoga workout is a great way to de-stress and stretch out after a long day at the office in your desk chair – Women’s Health yoga video.

Love Thy Self! Gala Darling agrees and wants to help you – 10 Radical Self Love Exercises To Boost Your Summer Lovin’!

A vegetable stir fry with either a grain or soy, tempeh, or tofu is one of my favorite quick & easy mid-week dinners so I enjoy finding new sauces and combinations to try out, like Peas And Thank You’s Szechuan Broccoli and Quinoa.

You don’t need a full hour for a workout to be beneficial, fit in some walking and short bursts of exercise whenever you can! Before work, during your lunch break, before a class starts – Get Fit In Only Fifteen Minutes.

Fashion:

Being able to break out all of your jeans is one of the fun things about Fall dressing. Check out FabSugar’s The Ultimate Fall Denim Guide — Every Trend, Cut, Color, and Fit.

My favorite part about Fall is the outerwear – I love full ankle-length coats, peacoats, trenches, blazers, basically anything that I can get my hands on – Coat Check: How to Take Your Look in a Ladylike Direction.

Most of us wish we could get more sleep, so why not save a few precious minutes in the morning by speeding up your beauty and makeup routine? How To Do Your Makeup In 5 Minutes (Really!)

Dressing for work doesn’t need to be boring, from colorful separates to chic suits to fabulous sheath dresses, Harper’s Bazaar has the answers – Stylish Work Clothes.

Our 6 Favorite Breast Cancer Awareness Products

Celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness month with some stylish pink finds – From beauty products to accessories and jewelry, no matter what you’re in the mood for you can support this great cause. Mama’s A Rolling Stone – Our 6 Favorite Breast Cancer Awareness Products.

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MCLV Style: Pleats & Peplums

Happy – it’s almost the end of the week – Thursday! To celebrate I’d like to share some of my recent looks so that I can show how hard I’m working to meet my June fashion goals.

I have to confess, one of my favorite parts about having a stand-up desk at work is that I can wear pleated skirts to the office without having to worry about the pleats getting squished by sitting on them all day!

It’s the little things in life. 🙂

SkirtVince Camuto from Bloomingdale’s, Wide-strap tank – Zara, Cardigan – H&M, Mary Jane’s – Merona from Target, Rings – JewelMint, Vintage & Juicy Couture, and Watch – Vintage

You can HYPE this look on Lookbook.nu or shop similar pieces on ASOS Style Finder or by clicking the hyperlinks in the outfit breakdown above.

When I saw this skirt I knew that it was going to be mine, I loved both the stripes and the pleats. It’s also a fun length, almost like a cheerleader skirt (which I’ve never worn.,I swear). This whole look was inspired by the brightly colored, stripe-filled Jason Wu for Target Collection. And my love of stripes, of course.

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I also recently made my first peplum attempt of the season. I’ve seen so many cute variations of this trend lately – from simple peplum tops to fun & wild peplum dresses – and I wanted to give it a try as well.

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Liz from Late Afternoon has a fabulous and one-of-a-kind style, she frequently appears in my Looks of the Week posts, and I took her peplum outfit above as the inspiration for the look that I put together below.

Floral Dress – Vintage from Belle Cose, Peplum top – Zara, Patent (faux) Leather Oxford Booties – Wild Diva, Necklace – Express, Rings – JewelMint, Vintage & Juicy Couture, and Bracelets – JewelMint & Forever 21

In these photos is doesn’t appear that my body type is ideal for the peplum trend, but I decided that it was just the silhouette of the dress I’d chosen to wear under the peplum top. Besides, as far as I’m concerned the highlight of this look is the jewelry anyway. The finger-length floral ring is a recent acquisition from JewelMint and I’m madly madly in love.

Peplum Attempt Take II

Peplum Top – Zara, Pencil Skirt – Zara, Black & White Jacket – Zara, Round Toe Pumps – Very Volatile, Tweed Handbag – Kate Spade, Necklace – Asos, and Rings & Bracelets – JewelMint, Vintage, Forever 21 & BCBG

You can HYPE these looks on Lookbook.nu or shop similar pieces on ASOS Style Finder or by clicking the hyperlinks in the outfit breakdown above.

“I’m a Zara girl, in a Zara world…” I was definitely singing Barbie Girl in my head all morning. 🙂 The pencil skirt did a much better job of complementing the volume of the peplum top than the floral dress that I chose the first day. I’m glad that I gave this another try and didn’t give up after the first attempt was a disappointment!

What do you guys think? Are you willing to try interesting new trends each season? Or do you prefer to stick to your tried-and-true personal style?

A special thank you to my friend Liz for her help with these pictures, I’m an awful subject because I’m so uncomfortable in front of the camera, and I appreciate her never-ending patience with me!

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2013 Resort Collections

Did the breathtaking Chanel Resort 2013 and Oscar de la Renta Resort 2013 collections whet your sartorial appetite for more gorgeous warm-weather clothes?

Me too!

I’ve narrowed down some of my favorite looks from all of the gorgeous 2013 Resort collections for you. I wish I had the time for a full review of each lovely show, but alas, I do not. Enjoy these highlights!

As usual, the Stella McCartney show was cheerful and fun, offering beautiful clothing in a fun atmosphere. Games, a lemonade stand, celebrities & fashion insiders, and gorgeous models sporting gorgeous, summery pieces. Perfection!

Roomy silhouettes, matching separates, strong lines, and beautiful, flattering prints. Yup, it’s Stella!

Florals, animal prints, shirt dresses, oversized blazers, matching short & top combos, lace, and pretty pinks & yellows. Ready for Summer?

Cute. Fun. Flirty. The Carven show was filled with great, wearable separates. A few dresses were sprinkled throughout the show, but the separates were the highlight. This collection had Alexa Chung’s name written allll over it!

The mixing of bold hues and use of colorblocking are really eye-catching in this look. The details are really great, I love the two-toned heels, contrasting collar on the jacket, and cute little Peter Pan collar on midriff-baring top.

This muted paisley cap-sleeved shift is a fabulous day look. You could easily wear sandals or flats with it to run errands around Paris!

I was thrilled when I heard the news that Miss L’Wren Scott was planning to show her first Resort collection this season. I’ve been a longtime fan of her Fall and Spring lines, I adore her ladylike silhouettes and the phenomenal attention to detail that her garments always have. And this fabulously retro collection, tailor-made for Mad Men or Pan Am, was worth the anticipation.

Aren’t these striking silhouettes, fabrics, and colors perfect for warm weather. Very eye-catching!

Sweater sets, mix n’ match separates, sleek sheath dresses, and matching hats & lace up heels were just what the doctor ordered. A ladylike spin on traditional Summer fare.

Marc Jacobs was all about brights, prints, and separates. As always, the show was busy, a fabulous chaotic mess of fabrics and patterns and color. Oversized, baggy shorts paired with sequined T-shirts, maxi dresses with cut-out backs, midi-length dresses and skirts in a-line silhouettes, and bold colors embellished with sequins, lace, and shimmering brocades. A feast for the eyes!

Voluminous shorts can be hard to pull off, but in these adorable prints and colors, I bet many will try next Summer!

Billowing mid-calf length skirts, contrasting prints, bright florals, collared T-shirts, thick strap Mary Jane’s, and belted waists. Could there be more elements in these looks?

I’ve been a fan of Phoebe Philo’s work at Celine since day one. The lines, the silhouettes, the pants, the chic minimalism, the accessories. Oh lord, the accessories.

All-white is great for Summer and this unbelievably chic look is perfect for next year. Just add some chunky jewelry and you’ll the be best dressed girl at the resort!

Black & white never looked so good! This is the sort of style that is universally flattering and can work for most women. And that bag… Swoon!

The colors and fabrics of this look really make it stand out. The clean lines mixed with the eye-catching colors is a great combination.

I’m a sucker for a pretty pattern and easy, wearable separates, which makes most of the Tory Burch collections right up my alley. This year’s resort show included mixing & matching patterns, thick banded sandals, striped & checkered pieces, over the shoulder bucket bags, headbands, short shorts, and even seashell accents.

These striped pants are fabulous, they’re flattering, fun, and versatile. You could just as easily throw them over a bathing suit with a simple white T-shirt & sandals as you could pair them with killer heels & a strapless top for nighttime.

These checkered shorts caught my attention immediately, I thought there were too cute paired with the chic, structured navy jacket.

Preen had great  florals, maxi dresses, and striking separates, but these two looks really stole the show in my opinion. I loved the dramatic quality of the color choices and the striking cuts.

This mix of fun, floral prints is really eye-catching and the cut of this dress is incredibly flattering. You could easily go from a daytime shopping trip to clubbing with a change of shoes, handbag, and accessories.

I love a maxi dress with a unique twists, like this one which has a more structured t-shirt silhouette, more daytime than beach time.

Michael Kors showed lots of solid colors and dazzling gold pieces. His silhouettes were simple and classic, the colors and occasional pattern definitely took front stage.

Great summer nights dress. Pretty, flattering and versatile, the perfect piece to take on vacation since you can wear it multiple times!

Without a doubt my favorite piece from this Resort collection. Fabulous cut and perfect styling, those gold sandals are killer!

You can always count on a Moschino Cheap and Chic show to be playful and entertaining, and the clothing to be cute and fun. This collection was all about gorgeous outerwear, whimsical prints, and relaxed, chic separates in cool greens and pale blues.

I love the light, Springy green of this coat, the relaxed silhouette, and the muted print. I’m also smitten with these retro spat-inspired black & white booties. Tres chic!

All the pieces of this look are great, but what makes it so striking is the combination. The oversized sweater paired with fitted black short, the to die for colorblock handbag, and the ridiculously cute striped peep-toe wedges. Great combination!

I always look forward to all of Jason Wu’s shows, his designs are inevitably chic and polished. Each and every look could go straight from the runway to the street outside the show without missing a beat. Classic, well-tailored, and timeless, these clothes are a great investment!

I NEED THIS! That’s the first thing I thought when I looked at this collection. These looks are eye-catching and too adorable for words. Pieces from this collection are definitely going to make their way into my closet!

And I’ve saved my favorite for last… Rachel Zoe! Fun, sexy, and completely drool-worthy. Daywear, club gear, bathing suit cover ups, all with a little drama and a 70’s spin. Just the way we like it!

Mod perfection. LOVE.

So sexy & chic! I love the black & white combinations here, the slim pants and the flirty a-line skirt are both fabulous. Love!

Great colors! The skinny suit is too chic for words and I love the darker florals, it’s a unique color scheme for summer.

Source, Source, Source & Source

If you dying for more check out the following reviews and summaries for the fabulous 2013 Resort Collections – FashionVibe’s Resort Report, FabSugar’s Over 250 of the Best Looks From Resort 2013, and Refinery 29’s 17 Resort ’13 Collections That Blew Us Away.

What do you think of this collection of Summery runway shows? What were your favorite collections and pieces from the Resort 2013 lines?

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