Hi everyone! I'm Anna Belle, from The Anna Belle Blog! I write about the style and beauty products that I love (and can afford). I'm really excited to be guest posting for Bri while she is away! Naturally, I will be talking about work clothes, I suppose (ha! pun intended). I've worked mostly in educational fields, so the rules are a bit more relaxed than your average Wall Street office. As I started pretty young and have still not graduated to Professor Corduroy McElbowpatches, however, I try to keep it pretty professional. In order to streamline the morning process, I found that over the years I have created a few formulas that keep me pulled together, but still allow for a little creativity.
The first formula is pretty easy to understand. A classic black blazer (A JCrew factory blazer is pictured here) and a basic pencil skirt create a very professional base for the fun shirt. I love wearing my graphic tees (Butterfly Tee, Old Navy, $15) in similar colors so they are almost unnoticeable. Similarly, a rather loud and large print is mostly hidden by the jacket (Piperlime, $64). Lastly, sequins. I wear tons of sequins to work in this way (this tank is from piperlime and on sale for $65!) A good hint when looking for these kind of accent shirts: So much detailing these days is on the shoulders or the sleeves. Those shirts are great, I suppose, but the cool part gets hidden by the jacket, which is no good! Those shoes are Karen Scott (Macy's $40). I find them super comfortable. Plus, I think the low heel and pointed toe makes a perfect professional shoe.
So by now, you and I are sick of black. Formula #2 uses more color! A simply, but super professional, dress (Dorothy Perkins, $27) can be paired with either a bright colored cardigan (or blazer) or bright colored heels. I might lean towards finding a dress in a true navy, rather than this cobalt color, but even that works here. The tweed blazer is from H&M ($40) and the cardigan is simply a JCrew mixed tape sweater ($50) - I have at least 5 of them because the long torso cut is useful for both dresses and skinny jeans! If you wanted to stick to a more neutral jacket (like this tweed blazer from Gap, $118), I would look for some fun shoes. These pink galaxy shoes are ModCloth ($65), the teal from Ivanka Trump ($90), and the snakeskin from Debenham ($75). Because tights are going to be tricky with this look, I would lean towards cute schools in warm weather, bright colored cardigans in the winter. To be sure, blue is easily my favorites color, but you could replicate the formula with greens or red or etc.... If your office is truly conservative, there are a few other ways to get some color into your day! Certainly jewelry or nail polish are options, but my number one, student approved, approach: 12 pack of dry erase markers.
So funny story, as you might have guessed from formula 1 and 2, I prefer dresses and skirts. So the first time I wore my pants suit, it practically shut down the class ("Are you wearing pants?!?!" "I hope so, it would be really awkward if I forgot"...). So late in the semester, I was exhausted and lost my patience for skirts. I was teaching the history of rock and roll that day and decided that I could go a bit thematic (it's incongruous to lecture on the socially conscious themes of early rap music in a pencil skirt...). So I wore a blazer, a neutral blouse, and my normal low heels with coated black denim. I taught my first class early in the morning and had a short break before the second class. Within 15 minutes (!) I have students in my office: "There's a rumor that you are wearing leather pants and we had to see." Moral of the story: If you want student to come talk to you, wear faux-leather pants. I hope that you have enjoyed my take on easy work clothes! If you like this, you should come check out the recent post I wrote on another (stunning color-blocked) blue dress!
'til the next time, Anna Belle