Under-$100 Transitional Multi-Taskers

Aug 20, 2014

Since moving out West, I’ve had to learn to dress down for occasions that I would have dressed up for in D.C..  And it’s weird.  I still relish any opportunity to break out a good dress or a tailored suit or cocktail attire, but they’re further and fewer between.  But I still want to look nice and dress well, so what’s a girl to do?

To make it through the early fall months, I’ve picked up a few pieces that bridge that fine line between dressy and casual.  The kind of pieces that can be dressed up or down by changing shoes, bags and separates.  Multi-taskers.  Here are a few of my favorite inexpensive, versatile pieces.

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Pim + Larkin Knit Minidress ($89)

I can wear this dress today with colored flats and a simple tote.  I can wear it in September with bare legs and ankle boots.  And I can wear it after the snow flies with tights and knee-high boots.  It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s a must have.

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BR Embossed Top ($69, petite and tall)

I bought this top in both ivory and black.  I loved the black, and returned the ivory.  Why?  The fabric is on the thin side, which is no problem in the darker color, but deeply annoying in the lighter one.

I like the texture and the puff sleeve.  I’ll wear this with skinny jeans, colored trousers and pencil skirts all fall long.  Come winter, I’ll layer it under white blazers and chunky cardigans.

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Tinley Road Ava Blazer ($89)

Leather and leather trims are huge for fall.  I don’t want to splurge on them myself, because they’re not going to be staple pieces.  But a fun blazer like this with the notched collar and a rolled sleeve spices up basic tops and tees.  You can also layer it over dresses for warmth on a chilly fall night.

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Halogen Seamed Pencil Skirt ($69, also in petites)

This is this skirt’s third appearance on the blog.  I love it that much.  The berry and teal hues are the perfect wear in multi-season colors.  Wear them now with lighter neutrals or pastels.  Wear them in the fall with charcoals, camels and navy.

The quality is excellent for a skirt twice this price, the fit is awesome and I’ve already worn mine a half-dozen times since I bought it last month.  Great purchase.

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  1. Sara says:

    When I moved back to Nebraska last year, I felt overdressed ALL the time. I’m back in DC now and I feel underdressed. 🙂

  2. MissMaple says:

    I’m wearing one of my four halogen seamed pencil skirts right now. It’s my oldest one and it still looks good after two years of at least bi-weekly wear!

  3. MLKSAH says:

    Ditto on the skirt. I am wearing the berry today, and I’ve been using the black skirt since the spring. I hope they bring back an all-navy version in petites soon.

  4. Justine says:

    In the spirit of this post, I thought I’d share my latest find. Belle previously featured the Three Dots Twist Waist Dress (https://caphillstyle.com/capitol/2014/05/07/a-dress-that-does-it-all.html). Karen Kane now offers a v-neck version with full-length long sleeves: https://www.karenkane.com/store/apparel/dresses-1/tiffany-twist-front-dress And it’s under $100!

  5. AC says:

    Ditto on the Halogen skirt. I took your advice and purchased a teal one during this year’s sale, and I’ve been in love with it ever since I wore it on Monday. Great find! I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for more sales so I can buy it in other colors.

  6. Emilie says:

    Thanks for this post! I am about to move from D.C. to Texas, from a government contracting position to an in-house job at a tech firm. When I was there for the interview, everyone was in cargo shorts and t-shirts. While that will never be me, I’m clearly going to have to learn to dress down a bit myself.

    Keep the advice about learning how to dress Friday business casual all the time coming! Cause I’m going to need it 🙂

    • Betsy says:

      I’ve been in Austin for 15 years and now I hardly remember how to dress up anymore on the rare occasions I need it! With the scorching heat, the casual vibe is really helpful. Good luck and welcome to Texas!

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