Vintage Scarf

Scarf:  Hermes (very old, similar here, here and here); Shirt:  Brooks Brothers; Skirt:  J. Crew (in petite sizes here; similar here; Sunglasses:  Ray Ban; Earrings:  Tiffany; Shoes:  Sam Edelman

I love using scarves to add a pop of color and a feminine element to clean classic pieces, like this cotton button-down and tweed pencil skirt.  I love the slightly retro look, and it's a nice way to mix it up instead of always wearing a statement necklace (which, don't get me wrong, I also love).  Scarves are also great because they are so timeless--my mother received this scarf as a gift over twenty years ago, and here I am still wearing it today!  If you're not sure how to tie a scarf, there are tons of youtube tutorials that are super helpful (and can give you a bit more inspiration!).  These tutorials also show you how versatile a scarf can be--you will certainly be seeing this scarf and others tied in a variety of ways here on the blog! 

If you're looking to expand your accessory collection to include a scarf, take some time to peruse the variety of colors and patterns available in stores right now.  One think I love about them is that you can find scarves in almost any print for almost any style, but when you fold or tie it, you just see the colors.  If you find one in a fun (or funny) print, it can be your personal little inside joke for the day at work.  Anything to make the day a bit more joyful, right!? ;-) 

Let me know in the comments whether you've ever wanted to try wearing a scarf to work, or whether you think they're a bit more "ladies who lunch" than "boss babe".

Polished in Pink

 

Dress:  Rachel Parcell (similar here, here and here); Earrings:  Bauble Bar (similar here and here); Shoes:  Sam Edelman;  Bag:  Coach (similar here and here

I try to think outside the box in terms of where to shop for clothes for work.  There are the professional attire go-tos that I can always count on for work-appropriate items (Theory, J. Crew, Banana, Ann Taylor, etc.), but if I only dress in clothes from those stores, I feel like I either look like a cookie cutter "corporate woman" or a walking advertisement.  Neither look is a very personal expression of style. 

Instead of building an entire work wardrobe from these standard "work" stores, I try to mix in pieces from more unique sources (at least as far as work clothes go).  I found this dress when browsing the relatively new clothing line of one of my favorite bloggers, Rachel Parcel (creator of the blog Pink Peonies).  While she does not design for work per se, she designs feminine, timeless, conservative pieces at a reasonable price-point, so she occasionally has items that work for the office.  Other stores that often have updated items that work for the workplace are Club Monaco and & Other Stories.  While you probably won't be able to fill your entire work wardrobe at these stores, they often have more interesting and unique items that can help personalize your work look a bit more than the more traditional "professional" stores can.  

As far as this particular dress goes, I love that it is a classic pencil silhouette but features the very on-trend (and very feminine!) belle sleeves.  They add a little structural style, but aren't so frilly or fussy as to make the look too wedding-guest-y for the office (also a good reason to avoid all-over lace).  I also love the color.  It is a pale shade of pink that, while very feminine, reads more sophisticated and mature than some brighter shades would.  While I certainly don't shy away from femininity at the office, I do try to avoid coming across as cutesy or girly.  When wearing more trendy silhouettes to the office, I think it's best to stay away from bright colors (save those for the sheath dresses!).