W2015 7: 3 Ways to Avoid Office Frump

W2015 7: Moody Reds

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Despite my fondness for the "business casual" style, the idea of dressing in actual office clothes makes me uncomfortable. For one thing, I've been spoiled by Seattle (the casual-ist of all casual cities) and by the company I work for, which is fairly forgiving in the dress code department.

Secondly, I just can't help associating traditional office clothing with middle-aged frumpiness. In America, it seems only elite businesspersons seem to wear corporate clothing that actually suits them. The majority of office employees stick themselves in frumpy cardigans, tacky ties, hopeful-but-badly-tailored blazers, and cheap ballet flats. When I visited London, I was shocked (and frankly delighted) to see commuting professionals in classic black coats, leather shoes, and beautifully tailored business suits. Maybe it's a different story somewhere like New York, but my point is this: Honor your capable, ambitious soul by putting a bit of thought into your professional image!

Here are three starter tricks, illustrated in today's capsule outfit:
   -Wide Leg, Tall Shoe.   Don't even think about pairing ballet flats with a wide-legged pant. Ever. I don't care how tall you are, your feet will look shrunken and weird and totally undignified. Leave ballet flats for cropped trousers and straight-leg pants. Trust me.
   -Rock a Power Color.   Neutrals are great, but they don't offer much personality. Keep things alive and kicking with camisoles and shells in your favorite colors, then knock yourself out on neutral blazers and cardigans.
   -Showcase Interesting Jewelry.   Now, by my standards, this necklace is hardly interesting. Still, it adds a level of contrast to the outfit. Determine what your version of "interesting" is, then run with it. Statement jewels, boutique finds, vintage pearls, initial pendants... Whatever your style, show it off!

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