Style + Career Style, + Work

Monday Outfit: Professional and Sophisticated

When I first moved to D.C., the only thing that I could think to wear was business suits.  Over time, I remade my wardrobe with  more feminine pieces  — sheath dresses, long jackets, statement jewelry.  But how much easier it would have been if Instagram and fashion blogs had existed in 2005.

If you’re not following The Davis Standard on Instagram, stop what you’re doing, and go follow her.  I’ll wait.  Her sophisticated, corporate-appropriate style is really something to behold.  And this outfit, which mixes textures to create a tone-on-tone masterpiece, is no exception.

Recreating the outfit in the original camel hue proved to be a challenge.  I toyed with the idea of remaking it in grey, white, or black, but navy seemed the best option.  Unlike black, the tones can vary slightly and it won’t ruin the look, and most of us own navy separates.

Sweater.  Bloomingdale’s C line has the widest selection of cashmere basics at affordable, mid-prices.  This cardigan with an open-shawl neckline is a wardrobe staple for professional, business casual, or weekend.  Petite? LOFT Outlet has a similar look for a steal.  Plus?  Try this Madewell cardigan.

Tank. Silk camisoles are a versatile option.  They work for daytime or evening.  And if you snap up a good quality one (and care for it), you can wear it for years.

This camisole is from Intermix and clocks in just under-$100.  I love the feminine cowl neck detail.  But my favorite silk camisole is this v-neck style from Brooks Brothers that comes in a wide selection of colors.  If you need a bit more coverage, try this discounted Rebecca Taylor tank.

Skirt. A basic navy pencil skirt is a must if you like dresses and skirts.  This Banana Republic wrap-front pencil skirt gives you a little extra style (also in tall).  Brooks Brothers has an incredible wool pencil skirt for under-$100.  I think it’s better quality than J.Crew, and a similar price.

Plus-size?  This Calvin Klein skirt is on deep discount.  Petite?  This Ann Taylor skirt is always a good option.

Accessories. Let’s begin with the sunglasses.  Under-$20 with a designer look, these Amazon sunglasses are flattering on many face shapes.

For jewelry, I chose this simple, chic Gorjana Parker bracelet.  The larger links are fantastic.  It would be perfect for layering.  I also added this chunky, but not too big Michael Kors watch.

This bag from Cuyana is a great work bag.  It’s big enough for travel or for hauling your daily must-haves.  I add Cuyana’s canvas pouches to help organize my personal items.

Lastly, for the heels, I chose these Ann Taylor pumps.  For a classic option, the Sam Edelman Hazel pumps are perfect.  Wide feet?  These Lifestride pumps have a simple, stylish look.

{image by Vincent Guth; this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}



  1. SSC says:

    I love this! What would you do for legwear in the winter? Navy tights seem like they might be a bit much, but I’d hate to do a different color and break up the look.

    December 9, 2019/Reply
  2. Katel says:

    Any ideas for a blouse with at least a cap sleeve? Even the modest option feels a little bare for a more conservative office if an overheated conference room caused one to shed the sweater.

    December 9, 2019/Reply
  3. FW says:

    I’m so tired of seeing dress and skirt looks with pumps for the winter. Let’s get real – if you are a pasty girl like me, no one should be subjected to your bare legs in the winter and tights just ruin the look. Plus it’s just cold. Any other options here that I’m missing? Is it just pants for us all winter long?

    December 9, 2019/Reply
    • Belle says:

      You can add black tights to this and I don’t think it would ruin the look at all because the shoes are black. You could also add a micro-fishnet.

      December 10, 2019/Reply
  4. Emily says:

    This look is just gorgeous.

    December 10, 2019/Reply
  5. Donna murray says:

    Hi! I have followed your blog for years and have appreciated your advice so much. A couple of years ago you suggested nude fishnets for wearing with dresses in winter months for those outfits where black tights just will not work. I bought some at the time and have loved them. I believe they were from Nordstrom but they no longer carry them. Do you have any recommendations for nude fishnets now? Thank you very much!

    December 18, 2019/Reply