Dress: J.Crew Gwen Dress ($178)
The simplest way to make an outfit from your basic navy dress is with a white blazer. This one from H&M has a great shape and an even better price. A traditional blazer is great, but if you want something different, try this long, tweed jacket from Vince Camuto. Very Olivia Pope.
For the accessories, I chose a simple “nude” shoe. You could sub in a light grey or snakeskin if you prefer that. I also love the mix of the red satchel with the aqua necklace, it’s one of my favorite color combinations. Want a cheaper satchel? This Nine West Double Vision satchel is a great under-$75 alternative.
Prefer cardigans to blazers? This navy dotted cardi from J.Crew Factory is a lovely choice. I also like this Merona cardi with a navy fan print and this ikat cardigan from LOFT (also in petites). Plus-size? Try this teal and navy dotted cardigan from Land’s End.
The tote is from BCBGeneration and comes in more than a half-dozen great colors. I love the pale mint and the light coral. I also like the dark cognac color on the pumps as an alternative to flesh-tone shoes. This outfit keeps to a neutral color palette, but it does it with style and class.
I have been waiting weeks for a reason to use this adorable scallop-edge jacket. I also found a similar jacket in white at Modcloth, and a swingy one at ASOS in pink. You can also pair the lavender Topshop jacket with gray and white, or mix it with jewel tones.
This bag is pretty cute for something in the under-$100 range. If you prefer something simple, try this uniquely shaped Ore satchel from Yoox. And to play off the colors of the jacket, I chose these earrings in a deeper purple hue.
Lastly, I put together an outfit for those who can go sleeveless at work. I like to pair simple sheaths with bold printed and colored scarves. This abstract, almost-watercolor print caught my eye immediately. I also like this floral-printed scarf from Club Monaco and this interesting pale blue scarf with a modern take on paisley prints.
I paired the dress with a simple flat, but you could wear a pump if you prefer. To pick up the colors in the scarf, I chose this teal bag. You could also choose a purple dome satchel if you’re so inclined. And since the dress is sleeveless, it would benefit from the addition of an inexpensive stack of bracelets.