One of the challenges of gainful employment is finding a balance between your office wardrobe and your off-duty style.
Even if you work in the most casual environment, there is generally a notable difference between the types of clothing you’d wear to the office and the fashion you’d wear during your off-duty moments. Buying two separate wardrobes is not really a practical option — for both closet space and financial reasons.
If you’re a client of mine or read this blog frequently, you’ll agree that my general style mantra is: fewer, better things.
Most of the time that means investing in the best quality one can afford — for the best fit and best fabrication. If you want a wardrobe with some longevity, this strategy is a MUST when it comes to closet staples (cashmere sweaters, silk blouses, blazers, classic denim, pumps, etc.). However, it’s often hard to resist the lure of fast fashion when it comes to seasonal trends and those fun, whimsical pieces that keep your look current and fresh.
When I come across images like these I get a warm and fuzzy feeling and give myself an internal high-five.
For a few years I’ve been practicing a more restrained kind of styling using a very basic formula:
Better Quality + Fewer Things = Wardrobe Happiness
I’m sure you’re tired of me preaching the virtues of this more “mature” approach to building a wardrobe, but the proof is in the pudding… or in the street style image, in this case. When you have a great arsenal of basics in classic mixed neutrals, they can take you places — many, many, many places. Not only do they all work together, mixing and matching in perfect harmony but you’ll love wearing them every which way!
With Cleveland struggling to break out of the 40’s + 50’s and rain pretty much every day (total bummer!), this look is the ideal solution to feeling put together and seasonal, during this less than ideal Spring. The TRENCH COAT may be my all-star award winner these last few months!
While this is an “off-duty” weekend look, a simple swap of the jeans for slim-cut, WHITE PANTS, and the sweatshirt for a soft GREY SWEATER and it quickly becomes an office appropriate outfit! Need a quick change for a night out? Change out your loafers for a pair of sky high SINGLE STRAP SANDALS (THIS is a less expensive dupe!) for an unexpected twist!
Now, onto my favorite part… accessories! I discovered the KARA bag earlier this week while shopping for a client. It has that minimalist look I love and a price tag I love even more! If you’re looking for a comfortable handbag that has a bit of structure without looking too formal, this is for you!
As for the shoes — you know I love me a good LOAFER! These NINE WEST beauties are a slight departure from traditional loafers with their fun, white soles. Oh, and they’re currently on sale for under $70!
When putting together posts, I am always conscious that everyone has different financial priorities and different budgets when it comes to shopping. I’ll admit I tend to have expensive tastes, but I’m realistic and I like to invest in pieces and items that I know will be timeless and carry over, season after season. That being said, those “splurge” items get constantly mixed and matched with bargains that I pick up each season that are more fun, trendy additions to my wardrobe. Occasionally, I hit the bargain hunter motherlode and come across something that is super affordable, yet equally as nice and of the same quality as something comparable at a much higher price point. At that precise moment, I squeal with joy and do a little happy dance, usually in my head, but occasionally in public.
I’ve rounded up some of my BEST broke girl finds for this season. Take a look, but be forewarned… they’re REALLY good.
This guy is the epitome of PERFECT one piece. No wonky tan line worries here! In addition to being a super flattering style in a modern color palette, it’s also supportive, lined and bound to be a flattering option for those days you want just a little more coverage. I’m all in.
What can be more classic than a black and white stripe? This pair also happens to be the perfect length. You know, that sweet spot where you can sit down without worrying about exposing your nether regions to the public, yet short enough where you don’t feel dumpy and matronly? You can dress these up OR down, and for under $60 (with a BOGO promo on shorts going on too!) you really can go wrong.
O.K., I own this clutch. It’s a STEAL. While the reviews are mediocre at best, I beg to differ. It’s the ideal size for your night-out necessities and comes in the best colors to coordinate with all of those dresses you’ve bought for upcoming summer weddings. The style is also a streamlined basic with no fancy bells or whistles to make it look dated next year. C’mon people- LEATHER, for under $30!!! Just craziness, I tell you.
I love shirt dresses. They are seasonless, they are flattering and they are timeless. This one comes in the softest grey color that I adore. Dress it up with strappy heels and a clutch (see bargain #3, above!) or dress it down with a skinny belt and a simple slip on sneaker and you can literally go anywhere with this dress. BY the way, how AMAZING would this dress look paired with a pop of neon!? Don’t mind me… I’m just styling all of the ways I want to wear this guy!
Blank Denim is a premium denim brand available for a fraction of other “designer” jeans. A good pair of white denim is so hard to come by, but this pair nails it. I NEED these. Get em’ while you can- they just hit the ShopBop sale and are bound to go fast.
If you are a living, breathing female I highly recommend you own at least one simple camisole in your closet. A cami can be a serious wardrobe workhorse taking an office appropriate suit to night, with a simple drop of a jacket. Now, how gorgeous would this silky cami look with some jeans, a tan and barely there sandals? H. O. T.
I still can’t get over the intricate cording details on this dress… for under $60! It’s the ideal lightweight, easy silhouette you want to throw on on a hot summer day. Picture yourself in this dress, a light wind blowing through your hair with a cold lemonade, iced tea, margarita in one hand. Got it!? Now hurry and get this dress.
Have YOU made any serious shopping scores lately? I would love to hear about them!