Professional Style: Back in Black

Mar 5, 2024

For all my ladies who still commute to an office every day. For the girls whose dress codes weren’t relaxed post-pandemic. For the women who still need to dress like it’s 2019. This post is for you.

This photo from Pinterest struck me in the face.  The simplicity of this look makes it easy to wear and easy to recreate.  But it still feels timeless, elegant, and perfectly chic.  Let’s talk about it.

The Shoes // Usually, I would save the shoes for last, but WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THEM.  Obviously, the sandals in the photo were not D.C.-friendly/lawyer-friendly.  But I thought a slingback style could give you the airy, strappy look in a more professional package.

These Kate Spade Maritza Slingbacks are divine. Cue the angel chorus.  I adore the pointy toe mixed with the cool, not-too-prissy bow on the strap.  There are very few of these left, so if you want them, snag them.  Nordstrom is already sold out in most sizes.  Amazon has a few more, but not many.

The Sweater // Easy, breezy, classic — this crewneck sweater from J.Crew in cashmere or cotton is a great staple.  It looks great with jeans, under a blazer, on its own, or layered over another shirt.  The cotton version is under-$50, and because it’s J.Crew, the size range is a bit more expansive.  If you prefer a v-neck, they have those too.

I like a sweater for this look because it raises the bar from casual to work, but if you want a more casual look, you can try this with a cotton tee.  Just be sure to choose one that has slightly heavier fabric so it holds its shape, or else it will start to look sloppy.

The Skirt // The front-slit is the key to making this a-line Theory skirt work.  It takes the skirt from basic pencil/basic a-line to something a bit more stylish.  Nordstrom has a plus-size option.  And if you want something under-$100, try this H&M skirt.

Looking for a different style?  This look would also work well with a pleated skirt.  This box-pleat skirt is an absolute dream (but the price is a bit eye-popping).  This Nancy Yang a-line skirt is probably a bit more my speed.

Accessories // The inspiration photo shows a gold necklace just peeking out of the woman’s collar.  I spotted this bead necklace with an in-line black diamond pendant and had to put it in the post.  For something under-$125, this long, bobble chain from Missoma is bound to become your favorite, every day necklace.  

And, obviously, there is the black-faced watch that really steals the show.  This Daniel Wellington one is an easy wear at $199.  Want to really splurge on a watch?  Watches can be a good investment, as many hold or increase in value.  The Real Real is a good place to shop for them pre-owned.  This Bulgari Serpentine watch caught my eye.  I also loved this NYT article last year on women who wear and collect designer watches.

Lastly, the belt.  This look won’t look as polished without a belt.  But skip the metal buckle and go for something with a black buckle.  This ba&sh belt is a great option.

Styling // This look needs lipstick.  Even if it’s just a nude-to-you one, like this slightly rosy Gucci shade Call It A Day.  You need that bit of color when wearing all black.

I love the look of the wearer’s tousled bob.  It’s so breezy and chic at the same time.  If you want that kind of texture in your hair, regardless of length, you should try adding Amika’s Undone spray.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}

 

Career Style, Posts, Style, Work

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  1. k says:

    Wow, I love this post and the inspo! This is right up my office lawyer/but still semi-casual alley and it feels a little French, chic and so polished. Thank you for making my heart sing! When I’m feeling like I need color, I look to a pop of red/pink as a light neck scarf.

  2. EM says:

    This post is so helpful! I am really struggling to get back into the swing of dressing for the office and refreshing my work wardrobe. Love this outfit and excited to recreate it!

  3. Allie says:

    I loooooooove this look, and all the options you found to re-create or innovate it. For some reason, the inspo gives me classic Meg Ryan vibes in all the best ways.

    Thanks!

  4. Carrie C says:

    Is there any chance of finding that exact skirt? It’s absolutely amazing!!!

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