+ Career Style

Career Style: The Dark Side

As a congressional employee, I see a lot of fashion faux pas.  The worst of these sartorial sins is committed on Mondays and Fridays when the Members are away and staffers dress down.  (Sometimes way down.)  But just because a suit might be overkill doesn’t mean that you should abandon professional attire entirely.  So let’s raise the bar a bit above khakis and jeans, shall we?

Blouse: Diesel Black Gold Blouse (Ssense, $168)

Skirt: Elizabeth and James Dotted Pencil Skirt ($168)

Shoes: Classiques Entier Marcella Pump (Nordstrom, $120)

Handbag: RoccaBarocco Empire Bag (Forzieri, $275)

Yes, this outfit is all black, and I don’t usually do all black.  But I wanted to create a modern look by mixing prints, and the easiest way to do that is with black.  

The high-waisted skirt, with its chic pleating and playful dots, is definitely eye-catching.  It’s the kind of piece that you’ll wear far more often than you should.  But with something this fabulous, who cares?

This blouse has a simple shape, but the sultry sheer fabric gives it extra zazz.  I would recommend wearing it with a black or nude cami.  Or if you want to take it up a notch, a lace camisole will add even more sex appeal.  

Just remember to wear a strapless bra, nothing ruins a look like unsightly bra straps.

These pumps follow two of Belle’s comfy shoe commandments: a round toe and a 3.5″ heel.  Toss in a gel insert, and you’ll be able to wear these adorable pumps all day long without the scremaing pain that usually accompanies high heels.

Too finish off the outfit, I’ve added a monochromatic, leopard print satchel.  By adding another pattern, you take the ensemble from pulled together to fashion forward.  And this satchel is surely large enough to hold your shoes, wallet, notebook, makeup bag, and whatever else you need to carry with you to work.

Why settle for jeans/trousers and a sweater when you can create an outfit with this much style?  So resolve to dress more professionally in the New Year, and embrace a new definition of “business casual.”  


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  1. Angie says:

    Great look, another awesome suggestion Belle. My office is mostly awkward guys, so may have to toss a sweater or blazer over the sheer blouse for day, but will definitely be showing off the sheer for happy hour.

    January 4, 2011/Reply
  2. Lisa says:

    Also glad you're back. A little bummed that you didn't win the fashionista vote.

    January 4, 2011/Reply