Ask Belle: NYC to DC Style Essentials
May 30, 2013
I’ve been reading your website for weeks in preparation for my big move from NYC to DC for a grad-level (paid) internship with the federal government. Having lived in Manhattan for a while, my entire wardrobe has slowly turned into black…and black…and more black…and some grey or taupe as a splash of color. Am I going to look ridiculous in DC if I stick to my New York style? I’m terrified of color!
Do you have any tips for updating my wardrobe for a business casual DC office, without breaking the bank?
Thank you, Marissa
In the winter, black is fine. However, since this is technically the South, black is not typically worn in the summer. Here are some D.C. summer staples to lead you out of the darkness.
White Jacket. You can wear a white jacket with your black pieces, navy or grey separates, denim and bright colors. I like this peplum topper from Target (also comes in petites and plus), but if you want something more traditional, try this one button blazer. I also like this white tweed jacket and this crochet lace blazer from ASOS.
A Colored Sheath. A dress like this can be worn a-million-and-one ways. You can add a wide belt, a cardigan, a jacket, a blouse underneath, a colored necklace (this one is awesome!) or a printed scarf. And while this color is the shade on sale, the dress also comes in other hues, both neutral and summery.
A Colored Skirt. While I do believe that you should start with a navy pencil skirt, adding a colored skirt is also a good idea. Pair it with neutral separates (white blouses, gray cardigans) or contrasting shades. This orange skirt is also a good choice and I love this purple one from Banana Republic.
Printed Blouse. Jazz up your neutral basics with printed blouses. This DvF blouse has enough of a sleeve that you don’t need another layer and the mix of colors is fun, yet professional. This navy and white top would look spectacular tucked into a navy skirt. This ikat print blouse is adorable, and I like this watercolor floral top from Mango. Or try a black and white print blouse to use your existing black pieces and stay on trend for summer.