Summer Brights

Dress:  Ann Taylor (old, similar here); Jacket: Ann Taylor (old, similar here); Scarf:  Banana Republic (old, similar herehere and here); Earrings: Bauble Bar; Bag: Coach (similar (on sale!) here); Sunglasses: Kate Spade Outlet (similar here); Shoes:  Sam Edelman 

Hopefully these bright and cheery colors will distract you from the fact that I have been MIA the last couple weeks.  Finding time to photograph is trickier than I thought, but hopefully we've figured out a good schedule going forward.  Thank you for sticking with me!

This is one of my favorite summery outfits and I've been so excited to share it with you!  I think the summer is a great time to wear really fun outfits to work.  The conservative white dress suit (I also have the matching skirt) is a great base that can go in many different directions.  With the extremely hot weather we've had in DC the last couple weeks, the bright scarf pairing made me feel like I was lounging poolside instead of stuck at my desk.  You're probably starting to pick up on the idea that I love scarves--but I love them because they are so versatile and can make a solid dress into a unique outfit!! It's a styling trick that works equally well with a bright-colored scarf paired with a navy or black dress also.  I've paired a couple great options above.  A white dress also works great with a chunky gold necklace for a bit more of a glam vibe. 

I'll be so sad when the summer is gone and this scarf is out of rotation (it just wouldn't seem appropriate in November...). What are some of your favorite seasonal pieces?  Anything you're looking forward to for fall?  Let me know in the comments! 

Ladylike Pleats

 

Skirt:  & Other Stories (similar in blush here); Shirt:  Cuyana; Scarf:  Longchamp (similar colors here; here and here); Earrings:  Tiffany; Sunglasses:  Kate Spade Outlet (similar here and here);  Shoes:  Sam Edelman; Bag:  Coach

The pleated midi skirt trend is one that I wish would never go away!  I feel like such a lady whenever I put them on and love how graceful and elegant they make me feel throughout the day with their beautiful movement.  I also love this trend because it was relatively easy to translate to the office.  While I often see (and love) them paired with a cami and sandals, simply swapping the cami for this dressed-up silk shirt, popping on nude pumps, and finishing it off with a coordinating scarf were some easy tweaks that make this look ready for the workday.  It's hotter than hot in DC right now, but if you're in a chillier climate, a classic white button-up would also do the trick! 

As you can tell, I don't shy away from feminine outfits for work.  I don't think there's anything inherently less work-appropriate about an outfit that is not an adaptation of the men's business uniform (which, no matter how beautifully you cut and tailor it, is what a suit is!), so long as the fabrics and accessories match the formality of the rest of the people in the office.  This skirt, paired with the beautiful silk t-shirt and silk scarf, is.  I'll note that there are some situations in which it's best to stick a little more closely to the business formal uniform, and I'll be discussing ways to personalize those outfits in later posts.  Let me know if you think it's always better to stick to more traditional workwear, even on a day-to-day basis. 

In other news, I will be going to Paris next week for a girls' trip with my mom, my aunt and my sister :-)  I'll keep you up-to-date on any workwear shopping I do both here and on instagram (@thepolishedblog).  If you have any shops to recommend, please let me know in the comments below! 

 

Sunburst Necklace

 
 

Necklace:  Bauble Bar (similar here, here and here); Earrings:  Bauble Bar; Blazer:  Ann Taylor (similar here); Shell:  Ann Taylor; Pants:  J. Crew (similar here); Shoes: Sam Edelman;

One way I love to modernize and personalize classic outfits is by adding a unique eye-grabbing accessory. As I've noted before, keeping accessories in professional finishes (like all-gold) allows you to explore more fun shapes and styles. This gold sunburst necklace is a perfect example. At work, a dramatic piece like this should be the star of the show, so it's best to keep the rest of the outfit relatively understated.  I love the way this necklace grabs the light from behind the jacket and adds a little glamor to an otherwise-sleek, conservative outfit. 

I usually wear simple stud earrings at work but have started experimenting with more interesting styles. While I've been loving the tassel trend recently, they can start to get uncomfortable and annoying when you're wearing them for the entire workday. I'm finding that ear jackets are a great way to mix up earring styles a bit while staying comfortable and office appropriate. This pair is great since I wear a lot of white and gold, and I love how it coordinates with the necklace.

Both the necklace and the earrings are from Bauble Bar; it's one of my favorite places to find fun, office-appropriate jewelry that is good quality for the price.  I highly recommend checking out the site if you're looking to add a bit of pop to your office wardrobe without breaking the bank. 

What is your favorite statement piece for the office?  A great necklace, shoes, a bag?  Let me know below!