Earlier this evening, I had the pleasure of hosting a local workshop on "Maximizing your Work Wardrobe." After some nervous mulling in the shower, I threw together a list of some of tips learned over the years.
One topic that we discussed was shopping for versatile pieces, including items beyond "traditional" office wear that one would love just as much on the weekends. When I was an intern, I loaded up on button-up dress shirts, trousers, and suit-style blazers. I didn't enjoy shopping for them, did not feel compelled to shell out for alterations, and almost never wore them outside of work. Although those are still the most conservative and foolproof pieces for a corporate office, I've had much more fun shopping and dressing outside of that realm.
This outfit is comprised of various pieces collected over the years, none of which are traditional work pieces bought for work. The lace dress has worked beautifully for cocktails or a garden party; the comfy gingham shirt was guiltily plucked from the boys department; the waffle knit blazer is a fave for pairing with denim. Worn together, these pieces give off a feminine yet academic vibe that is conservative enough for my office.
Another topic we discussed was how to change up the look of 1 item by accessorizing, layering, or unconventional styling. I immediately thought of Cee, and dedicated a slide to her "10 ways to wear a lace dress." Reading Cee's blog inspires me to experiment more with layering...for example, rather than simply wear this dress under a jacket, layering a boyish button-up shirt and worn leather belt provides both visual interest and extra warmth.
To lessen the eyesore of two busy patterns, I used a monochromatic palette, added a block of solid with the blazer, and kept the accessories neutral.
Readers - What are some of your favorite tips for maximizing your work wardrobe?