The new year is almost here and tomorrow will be the twelfth and final installment of the 12 Days of Holiday Parties outfit series! If you need to catch up, past posts can be found here.
A patterned ponte skirt paired back to a pink v-neck tee and a black blazer with grosgrain ribbon tie. Pair with black pumps.
Where to wear it:
To a friend's dinner party (or when you are hosting your own!) and as a festive work outfit on New Year's Eve.
Why it works:
I love ponte skirts in general, but a bold pattern definitely sweetens the pot. I chose the bright pink as the base of the outfit because I like to wear something besides red and green to holiday parties. The black blazer grounds the look and prevents it from looking like an Easter ensemble. Another way to style this skirt would be with a black long sleeve tee layered under a white open cardigan.
Last week the New York Times posted a Room For Debate discussion about whether or not stilettos (and high heels more generally) are appropriate for the workplace. Contributors tackled the question in the context of health, style and professionalism, but what really stood out to me was that there isn't a consensus on what is appropriate footwear for women at work. We have many more options that our male counterparts which is great when trying to find a shoe that is comfortable as well as stylish, but it also means that we don't have an easy answer when we are trying to decide if we can or should wear a particular style. A black pump is a fairly standard pairing with a suit, but when does it become too high?
My rule of thumb is that 3 inches is the maximum height for work and that platforms should be avoided in the office. Of course, there may be some exceptions, for example, some heels that technically have a platform front are designed or covered in outer material so that the platform is hidden. The biggest variable is your office culture. If you work at a fashion magazine, then chances are the norm will be to wear heels considerably higher than 3 inches and if you work in a law office you might feel that a wedge is too casual and that only a navy or black sensible pump will be acceptable. But regardless of your job, you should choose a shoe that is comfortable.
Below the slideshow shows a few shoe options based on different office environments and dress codes, but only you know what will and will not be viewed as appropriate in your field. Let me know in the comments what you look for in a shoe for work. Do you rotate through several styles or wear the same one every day? Comfort or style (or hopefully you get both)? Are your shoes a bright and cheery hue or do you stick to neutrals? Share your thoughts as well as links to any shoes that you love for both comfort and style!
It's finally Labor Day weekend and the end of summer which means that we can start seriously prepping our closets for fall. At the beginning of every season I like to take stock of what I already own so I can avoid missing staples or buying duplicates--fall is especially important since these pieces can be worn through April!
When going through your clothes, be sure to try on anything that you haven't worn recently. You may discover that some of last year's favorites no longer fit or are looking rather threadbare. Pay particular attention to your pants, even your work trousers that you may still be wearing regularly. Many dark colors start to fade so if it looks like you will be needing an update soon, it is better to start your pant search early in the season when there are plenty of options available- don't wait until your current go-to pieces are no longer salvageable.
If you find that your wardrobe is missing entire types of pieces, make sure not to go overboard and buy multiples of the same item in many colors. Cardigans are a great example of this. As any long time reader of this blog knows, I am obsessed with cardigans and wear them everywhere--I even have a dedicated cardigan for wearing while doing laundry! Although my passion for those buttoned sweaters has not wavered, I do find myself going through waves of admiration for specific ones. To be prepared for these moods, I have every style of cardigan imaginable: v-neck and crew neck; long, short, and 3/4 sleeve; cropped, boyfriend, and hip length; zippered and buttoned; patterned and solid; and even the cousin of the cardigan, the sweater jacket/blazer. The point is that not every style works for every occasion and although it is tempting to buy up a rainbow of colors in the first one you find that fits, it is better in the long run to do the extra legwork and find a few different options so that you are not limited by your clothes.
When not rocking a cardigan, I am almost definitely in a blazer and one of the best things about fall is that the temperatures are finally cool enough to wear a tweed blazer without sweating half to death! While I am not usually one to shy away from color, I do recommend choosing a neutral color for your tweed. A well fitted blazer is not a disposable piece so while the pink or kelly green tweed may be appealing now, your wardrobe would be better served with an investment piece in a more traditional grey, black, navy or brown. That doesn't mean, however, that the piece needs to be boring to be serviceable--the Boden blazer that is shown below has great trim detailing and beautifully polished buttons.
Sparkly jewelry is a great way to create visual interest as the colors become more subdued in the cooler weather, but if you prefer playing with pattern, there are still many options! Tweed is great for adding texture, striped tees can be layered under just about anything, scarves run the gamut of prints, and patterned skirts are one of the season's most darling pieces. A printed skirt is great for mixing up your traditional suiting options and this grey and black Boden polka dot skirt is one of my favorites.
Ponte academy blazer
This is exactly what I look for in a non-suiting blazer. It is tailored, low-maintenance and easy to move around in. Ponte is a great fabric because it has some stretch to it, resists wrinkles and transitions well from work to casual.
Also, Gap is having a 30% off sale that ends tomorrow (October 2nd).
Wear to Work:
Layer a colorful knit or shell under the blazer. Pair with trouser jeans and a dark belt. Accessorize with either a colorful scarf or by cuffing the sleeves once to show off a sparkly bracelet.
Pair your little black dress with a skinny belt worn at the waist. Throw on this blazer instead of a cardigan and scrunch the sleeves for a sleek dinner outfit. Don't forget the colorful heels!