Wear to Work: Conservative with an Edge

WeartoWork

Wear to Work: January 21st
Many of our clients, who need to be in a suit for work are looking to add edge without compromising appropriateness.  If you are in a position where a suit is either mandatory or just the best choice, there are a few things you can do to look conservative AND chic. First, understand that in order to add dimension and visual interest to your outfit, it’s going to be in the details.  Instead of a solid navy suit, look for one with either a pinstripe (above) or some texture. J. Crew’s Super 120 line is surprisingly affordable for a company that charges $100+ for a sweatshirt. This suit will cost you less than $400. When buying a suit, avoid suit “sets.” A set is when the jacket and pant/skirt are all on one hanger and are one price.  It’s better to purchase the jacket and bottom separate, so you have control over the sizes.

To give this suit interest, I went with a subtle navy and black Diane Von Furstenberg print.  Don’t be afraid to pair a pattern (pinstripes) with a print.  Doing so elevates the look and creates the dimension you desire.

The neckline and fabric of the blouse call for a delicate layered necklace. No matter how much I look another brand, I still come back to Stella and Dot for modern, well-priced pieces. For the earrings, I went with a slim gold hoop, but you can grab a stud just as easily. A simple black tote, to keep the look clean and burgundy pumps finish the look. If your bag has an unnecessary tag or logo dangling from it, I recommend removing it.  Otherwise the extra hardware pulls your look down.

Let’s take a minute to talk about pantyhose. I know a lot of people think they are old fashioned. I happen not to mind them. In real life, wearing them all depends on your audience and industry expectation. I wear pantyhose for most of my corporate work and it’s always Donna Karan The Nude Collection. It doesn’t look like I am wearing anything; my legs just look amazing.

Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

5 Comments
    1. I like the quality and style of Stella and Dot which is why I recommend them for costume pieces. Any other brand at their price point feels like junk. (And no I do not sell or have any interest in selling S&D:)) I hit up J Crew outlet for some fun, under $30 pieces, and I like Nordstrom online – their selection online is so much better than in the stores. Target and Forever 21 are good for on trend and inexpensive items. The challenge with that later stores is they break and fall apart in a few wears.

  1. For inexpensive costume jewelry, I go for the online store Baublebar.com – I think they have great pieces for a good price. I’ve had some for several years that are holding up well.

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