Pencil Skirt POW: Working It Black, White, and Printed Chic Wednesday

Outfit Mission Statement:  Mix your feminine, chic pencil skirt with neutral mixed prints and classy jewelry for a put-together, fun, boardroom-ready look

Working it Wednesday outfits are professional career clothes, often a step or two above Manic Monday outfits. The POW (Piece of the Week) is the pencil skirt in general, and the cabi Fall 2016 Sigourney skirt in particular. A pencil skirt is perfect for work, of course. The chic professionalism of the pencil skirt pairs perfectly with a cute jacket or blouse for work. But it also lets you get away with some more interesting choices, as it adds professionalism to anything.  So, you can mix prints, wear a more causal shirt, and other things, and still look ready to take on the boardroom. This outfit is a fun mix of two cabi seasons and a mix of prints.

Tips:

  • Play off the professionalism of the pencil skirt for unique and fun pieces
  • For a more put-together and professional print mixing, keep your prints to the same neutral colors, like black and white
  • For all-day comfort with the left of a heel, opt for wedges
  • Professional doesn’t have to be serious, feel free to mix prints in surprising ways in professional pieces
  • Add a pop of color in an otherwise black and white outfit for a pop of color and interest
  • A bun will also add some professionalism to more casual pieces, and compliments the chic, feminine pencil skirt

Outfit Breakdown:

 

Related Posts:

  1. Plume POW: Working It Classic & Modern Coco Wednesday: Create a career outfit with the same put-together professionalism as a suit with a few modern interpretations of classic pieces.
  2. Beyond POW: Working It Long, Lean, and Versatile Wednesday: For a long, lean professional look, wear dark neutral layers over a white shirt, a longer pencil skirt, and a cropped jacket.
  3. Go-To POW: Working It Classic Nautical Wednesday posted March 23, 2016: Combine the perfect black work trousers with a classic nautical jacket for chic, preppy, and professional look that implies success .

 

 

Beyond POW: Working It Long, Lean, and Versatile Wednesday

Outfit Mission Statement:  For a long, lean professional look, wear dark neutral layers over a white shirt, a longer pencil skirt, and a cropped jacket  

Working it Wednesday outfits are professional career clothes, often a step or two above Manic Monday outfits. The POW (Piece of the Week) is the Beyond Tee from cabi Fall 2016. The Beyond Tee is so versatile that it can easily transform into a professional look—just add a pencil skirt, white button-up blouse, and a jacket and you are ready for the boardroom. There are two different ways you can style the Beyond Tee in this professional look—the “Long Professional Vest” technique or the “Professional Back Tie” technique. The Professional Back Tie gives a more polished professional look, and the Long Professional Vest gives a creative, flowy look that offers two minor variations (an open vest look and a closed vest look).

Depending on your office environment, you can also skip the jacket and wear the Beyond Tee over the white blouse, for a vest-type look. I didn’t show this, but it is another great twist on a professional office look with this versatile top.

Beyond Tee Styling Technique: Long Professional Vest with two options

To rock the “Long Professional Vest” technique (slight adjustment from Beyond POW: Black, White, and Comfy Manic Monday):

  • Put it on the frontwards way with the tag in back for a lower neckline, to better display the shirt collar
  • Tuck the bottom of the tunic part of the tee shirt (not the panels) into your skirt
  • Wear the panel down each side in one of two ways:
    1. Closed: Pull the panels closed in front, leaving minimal gap, and creating an almost dress look
    2. Open: Pull the panels more apart, creating an inverted V shape that show more of the bottom of the outfit under than the top
 Long Professional Vest: Closed

Long Professional Vest: Closed

 Long Professional Vest: Open

Long Professional Vest: Open

Beyond Tee Styling Technique: Professional Back Tie

To enjoy the “Professional Back Tie” technique, which is a variation of the Simple Back Tie in Beyond POW: Versatile Layers for doing it all Saturday:

  • Put it on the frontwards way with the tag in back for a lower neckline, to better display the shirt collar
  • Take the two panels and wrap each back on its side—so wrap the right on around to your back on the right and left on the left
  • Tie the two panels in back at about your natural waist
  • Tuck the tunic part of the tee into your skirt, creating a vest type of look

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips:

  • Wearing a mix of darker neutrals with a white button-down adds a level of professionalism
  • On warmer days or in more casual offices, leave the jacket at home and wear the Beyond Tee in either style over the white blouse and pencil skirt
  • A cropped jacket over dark neutrals can give you lean look by lengthening your legs and emphasizing (or creating) an hourglass figure, especially if it has a light band at the bottom
  • Look for a pencil skirt with darker side panels for additional slimming and lengthening
  • A knee-length or slightly longer pencil skirt length is very on-trend, but best for those of average height or taller (the longer skirts work better on taller women, generally—if you are average height the knee-length is quite flattering)
  • If black washes you out, look for dark grays and navy for strong, professional power outfits
  • When wearing a mix of dark grays and blacks (with white) for work, feel free to keep the scheme going with some gray shoes—you can even go a little more playful with them (these are gray tweed and higher than I tend to wear professionally)
  • With a sleek professional clothing look, you can opt to wear your hair down (although a sleek up do always works and will up the professionalism)
  • If you have some cool back detail on your top, such as the tie in back, a short crop jacket will allow you to show it off

 

Outfit Breakdown:

If you would like the Beyond Tee or other cabi, contact your cabi stylist. If you do not have one, please contact me in the comments or via email, reach out to my stylist Joni Allen (via email or phone: 770 502-5243 [call or text]), Leigh Cheatwood-Harris (a friend’s stylist whom I have worked with also and can recommend: email and her site) or find a cabi stylist near you.

 

Related Posts:

  1. Destructed White POW: Working It Professional, High-End, Destructed Wednesday: Mix high-end, sophisticated pieces with your destructed jean for a rich, yet edgy, boardroom look.
  2. Pleated Star POW: Working It Printed, Pleated & Classy Wednesday:  When you start with a dressy skirt, you don’t need to add a jacket to be profession, just a crisp blouse and sophisticated accessories
  3.  Plume POW: Working It Classic & Modern Coco Wednesday: Create a career outfit with the same put-together professionalism as a suit with a few modern interpretations of classic pieces

Pleated Star POW: Working It Printed, Pleated & Classy Wednesday

Outfit Mission Statement:  When you start with a dressy skirt, you don’t need to add a jacket to be profession, just a crisp blouse and sophisticated accessories

Working it Wednesday outfits are professional career clothes, often a step or two above Manic Monday outfits. The POW (Piece of the Week) is the Pleated Star Skirt from Canvas by Lands’ End. A pleated skirt can be a great formal office look with a jacket. But you do not need a jacket for a dressier office look. Instead, add classic and classy pieces, such as a white blouse, statement pearl necklace, sophisticated leopard print belt, and a nude suede pump for a professional take on the pleated skirt with panache.  

You’ll notice I added some extra flair with the on-trend wrapping of the button down top. Unlike what I had previously, this shirt, the cabi Fall 2106 It’s a Wrap Shirt, is designed so you can wrap it. There are some buttons that help and the shirt has a trapeze shape to accommodate his. You can also wear the top without wrapping it, for a looser trapeze style. It’s a fun, yet professional top that can easily be worn two very different, on-trend ways.

This star pleated skirt has a lot of office possibilities and can provide a fun career look that still remains professional. It also could be a fun wardrobe staple for a woman in politics.  She could rock the vote by wearing the skirt with a cardigan in more casual settings, a nice white shirt (like this), is more formal settings, a navy jacket in a debate, and a campaign tee shirt for fun. I’d vote for her (at last her wardrobe)!

 

Tips:

  • When starting with a dressy skirt, consider adding a crisp white blouse, and sophisticated accessories for a polished, profession look without a jacket
  • Look for versatile pieces that literally transform for an easier budget and time packing, such as this workhorse white blouse that can be a flowing trapeze style or chic wrapped blouse
  • With a standout print skirt and bold print belt, consider a nude pump to not distract
  • Add a bold belt to draw attention to and narrow the waist, especially when combining a white shirt and a white backed print
  • A crisp white wrap blouse will extenuate curves, giving you a more hourglass shape, while still looking professional
  • Remember what I said about leopard print (go for fine quality, not trashy)

 

Outfit Breakdown:

Interested in purchasing? If my post inspired you to buy the lovely Pleated Star Skirt from Canvas by Lands’ End or other items from Lands’ End, please consider using my referral link. I’ll get 25% off my next order and be very grateful! Let me know you used my referral link, and give you a shout out including links to your social media.

 

Related Posts:

  1. Bardot POW: Working It Wrapped, Classy Linen & Denim Wednesday posted June 08, 2016: Make your denim shirt work for work by pairing it with a classic neutral linen trouser and sophisticated accessories.
  2. Plume POW: Working It Classic & Modern Coco Wednesday posted April 06, 2016: Create a career outfit with the same put-together professionalism as a suit with a few modern interpretations of classic pieces.
  3. Go-To POW: Working It Classic Nautical Wednesday posted March 23, 2016: Combine the perfect black work trousers with a classic nautical jacket for chic, preppy, and professional look that implies success.

 

Or, learn how to work It in the other Working It Wednesday posts!

 

 

Destructed White POW: Working It Professional, High-End, Destructed Wednesday

Outfit Mission Statement: Mix high-end, sophisticated pieces with your destructed jean for a rich, yet edgy, boardroom look

Working it Wednesday outfits are professional career clothes, often a step or two above Manic Monday outfits. The POW (Piece of the Week) is the cabi Spring 2016 Destructed Slim Boyfriend jeans. Destructed jeans may not be everyone’s idea of office appropriate. If this doesn’t work for your office, consider regular white jeans, white linen pants, or other white pants instead. As discussed in Pretty in Pink & Pearls Sunday Best, the trick to making destructed jeans work for dressier occasions, like work, is to combine it with dressier/more professional pieces, even over the top dressy/professional pieces.   High-end pieces with special details can be the way to do that. Think designer. Think quality. Think professional. The high-end Cruise Jacket is a perfect example of a classy, professional piece with rich details, like gold and enamel buttons. Even with destructed jeans, you can create a rich, boardroom-ready outfit by combining them with sophisticated and classy items.

 

Tips:

  • Mix destructed jeans with high-end, professional pieces that have rich details for a sophisticated, yet edgy, office look
  • Add a lux leopard print belt for a funky, yet classy touch
  • Mix sophisticated patterns, like a nautical stripe and classy leopard print, to add class and style
  • Grab a designer handbag for a polished finishing touch
  • Look for luxurious, but not loud, accessories to add further sophistication and affluence
  • Consider rich fabrics, like suede, faux animal hair, and luxurious woven fabrics to contrast with the rips
  • Style your hair in a sleek chignon for a smooth, put-together look
  • Combine different shades of white for on-trend sophistication

 

Outfit Breakdown:

 

 

If you want of these cabi pieces, contact your cabi stylist ASAP! The season is closing, but she may still be able to help you with samples or have access to the retired season pieces. If you do not have a stylist, please contact me in the comments or via email, reach out to my stylist, Joni Allen, via email or phone: 770 502-5243 [call or text]), or find a cabi stylist near you

 

Related Posts:

  1. Go-to POW: Working It Classic Nautical Wednesday posted March 23, 2016. Combine the perfect black work trousers with a classic nautical jacket for chic, preppy, and professional look that implies success.
  2. Bardot POW: Working It Wrapped, Classy Linen & Denim Wednesday posted June 08, 2016. Make your denim shirt work for work by pairing it with a classic neutral linen trouser and sophisticated accessories.
  3. Plume POW: Working It Classic & Modern Coco Wednesday posted April 06, 2016.  Create a career outfit with the same put-together professionalism as a suit with a few modern interpretations of classic pieces.

 

Bardot POW: Working It Wrapped, Classy Linen & Denim Wednesday

Outfit Mission Statement: Make your denim shirt work for work by pairing it with a classic neutral linen trouser and sophisticated accessories

Working it Wednesday outfits are professional career clothes, often a step or two above Manic Monday outfits. The POW (Piece of the Week) is the cabi Spring 2016 Bardot Shirt. Of course, the easy way to dress up a denim shirt for the boardroom would be to add it to a two piece suit, or wear a blazer, or do any number of rather predictable, but interesting, things. However, for a lovely denim shirt with special details, like this one, you don’t need to go the easy way. Simply add professional, quality pieces that say class and sophistication, and you can make it work!

Tips:

  • Dress up your denim shirt for work by pairing it with a nice, professional pair of linen trousers in a neutral
  • Add classy accessories and shoes to add sophistication and professionalism
  • Consider mixing lighter neutrals for a cultured look, such as cream, beige, burnished gold, and leopard print
  • A fine quality leopard print belt can add class to a work look (but be careful of going overboard, leopard can get trashy is there is too much or the quality is poor)
  • Just because it is a button-down, it does not mean you need to button it all the way down!  Consider a diagonal wrap instead (see directions below)
  • Want more sophistication? Add a designer handbag
  • Consider a nice crisp cream linen, for a more refined look
  • Tuck in your shirt for a dressier look

 

Directions for Wrap Tuck:

  • Start with a denim shirt that is baggy on you (a size up)
  • Button the buttons down to your bust or a bit lower (more or less depending on the amount you want to wrap)
  • With your pants undone, take the shirttail of the piece that is on top (has the button holes), and wrap around you, creating a diagonal line
  • With a safety pin, pin the shirttail into this diagonal shape, making sure the pin stays below where the pants will tuck (if needed add more above the tuck line, just find ways to do it invisibly)
  • Tuck in your shirt, making sure to keep the diagonal
  • Add a belt for additional waist slimming attention

 

 

Outfit Breakdown:

 

Related Posts:

  1. Bardot POW: Ponte and Knotted Manic Monday posted June 6, 2016. For a comfortable, professional Monday outfit, dress up your denim shirt with a navy ponte pencil skirt
  2. Plaid POW: Working It Flannel Wednesday posted February 24, 2016. Even flannel can work in a formal office when combined with very professional pieces
  3. Plaid POW: Manic Flannel Monday posted February 22, 2016. For a cozy yet professional look, take one casual flannel and add lots of professional pieces

Plus, check out the other Working It Wednesday posts.

 

Margherita POW: Working It Buttoned-Down Flowy Wednesday

Margherita POW: Working It Buttoned-Down Flowy Wednesday

Outfit Mission Statement: Turn a sundress professional by wearing a white button-down shirt and a blazer over it

 

Working it Wednesday outfits are professional career clothes, often a step or two above Manic Monday outfits. The POW (Piece of the Week) is the cabi Spring 2016 Margherita Dress. In some ways this outfit plays off the concept we discussed last time—adding a blazer or cardigan to a sundress to make it work appropriate. To be even more professional, take it a step further: add a blouse too! In this outfit I am treating the sundress like a skirt and wearing a blouse and jacket with it. With a blazer and blouse, you can turn many a thing professional, especially this sundress. I love the blouse and jacket over the more casual flowy skirt with pockets—a touch of fun and flow with formality!

A white blouse is another wardrobe essential, make sure you have at least one. While you can use a variety of different cotton button-down blouses for this look, the white is more professional.

Tips:

 

 

Read More

Run Around POW: Working It Office Goddess Wednesday

Outfit Mission Statement: Bring some Grecian Goddess-inspired style to your office with draping in all the right places

Working it Wednesday outfits are professional career clothes, often a step or two above Manic Monday outfits. The POW (Piece of the Week) is the cabi Spring 2016 Run Around Skirt. There are a lot ways you can dress this elegant, comfortable, and easy skirt to make it work for a more formal work office. Wearing it with a black jacket will create a formal suit look with the added elegance of the skirt. I decided to mix it up some with bright colors and a fun jacket, while maintaining a professional look. The same discussion I had for Manic Monday’s outfit on wearing this skirt for work still applies—wear this in place of a more typical A-line or pencil skirt. The drape gives it a Grecian Goddess feel—a power piece in any office, right? For the added professionalism of a Wednesday outfit, make sure you added more professional pieces. Instead of a cardigan, wear a jacket. Instead of a tank, wear a blouse. Instead of strappy sandals, wear peep-toe heels. Add some professional jewelry, and you are ready to rock (or rule over from Mount Olympus) that boardroom presentation!

Tips:

  • Check out the tips for Manic Monday, as many fit here too
  • Mix classic work pieces, like a blouse and jacket, with a unique skirt for new take on boardroom goddess chic
  • When wearing neutral and smaller prints, consider popping a bright color in your blouse or accessories to add interest (and fun!)
  • As mentioned in the Plume Manic Monday, roll the jacket cuffs for a more modern take on the classic (and keep cooler during the summer heat or a hot flash)
  • When wearing a distinctive skirt and bright shirt, consider keeping your accessories and jewelry more neutral and basic, especially in more professional settings—but you do not need to be boring
  • Remember you can change the formality of the outfit by zipping up (or otherwise closing) the jacket some or all the way—the more closed the more formal
  • Power pieces for work can be ones that bring out the inner goddess in you, such as the draping on this skirt!

 

Outfit Breakdown:

 

Plume POW: Working It Classic & Modern Coco Wednesday

Outfit Mission Statement: Create a career outfit with the same put-together professionalism as a suit with a few modern interpretations of classic pieces

Working it Wednesday outfits are professional career clothes, often a step or two above Manic Monday outfits. The POW (Piece of the Week) is the cabi Spring 2016 Plume Top. Nothing looks more professionally stylish than the clean, elegant lines of Chanel suit. You can mimic this look much less expensively by wearing this bright sweater cardigan with lines and details reminiscent of classic Chanel. Add the always classic pencil skirt and a lovely blouse and you have a clean, classic, and professional look. You can add modern touches through things like the bright trendy color of the sweater and the contrast of the bright yellowish sweater and navy ponte pencil skirt. Even Coco would love the ease of this look! Remember, nothing says a professional career outfit needs to be boring or a plain suit.

 

Tips:

  • Pair a sweater with classic, elegant lines & details with a pencil skirt for a look just as professional as a suit
  • But, break up the more traditional single-color suit look by wearing the sweater and skirt in contrasting colors
  • If going for a classic feel, add those pearls, but modernize the look by choosing and elegant yet on-trend statement pearl necklace
  • If you look has a touch of an earlier time, like the 60s, play that up with a modern version of a hairstyle of that time (such as the French twist with a bit of volume) and maybe some cool sunnies
  • Neutral shoes allow your other pieces to take the spotlight
  • If you don't already have one, once again let me tell you, get a ponte pencil skirt and other ponte career clothes!
  • Button that sweater up for a dressier, more suit-like look, or leave it open for a more casual look (or vary it as the daygoes on based on body temperature and needed professionalism)

 

Outfit Breakdown:

  • Blouse: Plume Top from cabi Spring 2016
  • Sweater: Loren Sweater from cabi Spring 2016
  • Skirt: Lido Skirt from cabi Spring 2016
  • Necklace: This is the Fall 2014 cabi Contessa Necklace and no longer available. Consider instead these Stella & Dot options:
  • Earrings: These are cabi Fall 2014 Vintage Stud earrings and no longer available. But, consider these Stella & Dot options: 
    • Vintage Crystal Studs: These are about the same size and I tend to wear these interchangeably
    • Maddie Pearl Earrings: Perfect with the Starlet Pearl necklace, these elegant earrings will fancy up your outfit 
    • Déjà vu Studs: With a pearl on one side and a spike on the other, you can go classy or edgy
  • Shoes: These are beige suede pumps from Target last year. Here are some available options:
  • o   Lainee Pumps at Target
  • o   Glamorous by Aerosoles
  • o   Doppler Radar by Aerosoles
  • Sunglasses: Rectangle Sunglasses – Brown at Target
 

Go-To POW: Working It Classic Nautical Wednesday

Outfit Mission Statement: Combine the perfect black work trousers with a classic nautical jacket for chic, preppy, and professional look that implies success

Working it Wednesday outfits are professional career clothes, often a step or two above Manic Monday outfits. The POW (Piece of the Week) is the cabi Spring 2016 Go-To Trouser. These are the perfect professional pants—classic with an updated, chic silhouette. A good pair of black work pants are clearly a wardrobe staple and easy to style in a professional look. Anyone can throw on a jacket and blouse and have a more formal business outfit with these pants. But, you can also take the typical black pants outfit to new place—like say the sea?

The trendy, yet always chic, nautical style easily works in a formal office setting, especially with such a lovely, tailored jacket as the Cruise Jacket. The fine details, like the buttons and double-breasted styling, take it beyond your normal jacket or low-end nautical style. This preppy or even bon chic, bon genre jacket speaks of wealth and success. It also combines two power colors—navy and red! And yes, the navy striped blazer can and should be worn with black pants. Wearing navy and black together is not only very in, but is a classic and French look (adding even more sophistication to the outfit—see previous discussions about the combination here and here). In addition, it can be easier to combine black and navy than either color with itself. I’ve found it tricky to take two black separates and combine them. Often the blacks are close enough in color but do not fully match color exactly—so it looks a bit off or even like a mistake. The similarities and slight differences create a conflict the eye stumbles over—say with two separate navy pieces. However, you can take one black piece and one navy piece and easily combine them. The differences are enough that your eye recognizes them as intentionally not the same color and doesn’t stumble.

 

Tips

  • Do wear navy and black together for a sophisticate, smooth, and classic look
  • When wearing nautical pieces in a formal office setting, go for rich, preppy pieces that pull on the classic, tailored look
  • As discussed before, and especially in a more formal office setting, limit the nautical pieces to one  
  • Look for fine details like flattering seeming, special buttons, and delicate lace details to display professionalism, prep, and success (but not scream it)
  • A simple bun always works for more formal office dressing
  • To really play off the classical feel of the nautical style, choose vintage or vintage-feel accessories, like this classic locket
  • With such bold and strong colors, consider a neutral shoe to put focus on your outfit

 

Outfit Breakdown:

 

 

For this photo shoot, I am modeling the sample cabi Spring 2016 Go-To Trouser, which are a size too big. My own pair did not arrive in time. Keep in mind these should be a bit tighter and smoother if they fit correctly.

 

Michelle POW: Working It Navy Power Wednesday

Outfit Mission Statement: For an easy, chic, classic, and powerful formal office look, dress in all navy

Working it Wednesday outfits are professional career clothes, often a step or two above Manic Monday outfits. The POW (Piece of the Week) is the cabi Spring 2016 Michelle Cardigan. One easy way to look professional is to choose professional pieces in the same neutral color. Monochrome dressing is chic and classic. This can get rather boring though, or it can get very formal if the neutral is black. The best way to prevent either is to choose a “new neutral” with some pop, like navy. Another way to prevent it is to choose different fabrics along with garments that have unique elements, such as bold trim, chiffon ruffles, tiered hems, pockets, and drapes. Then, add some bold accessories. Depending on the formality of the office go with neutral shoes (formal) or fun bold shoes too (more casual).

Let’s talk a bit about the choice of navy for a moment. Navy is a fabulous color. I saw navy called a “new neutral” in some places, because it is not the traditional black, white, or earth-toned neutrals, but it still goes with everything. Try it. See? It does! (Olive green is another new neutral.) Most women can find a flattering navy, and really many navy tones are flattering on everyone. For those who want a dark color, but get washed out with black, navy is a great choice. Navy reads as professional and business-like, so it is the perfect choice for a more formal business environment. It is also a timeless color, which gives it some sophistication. The darkness and strength of the color makes it a power color—perfect for your power suit (or running for president). Because it is a dark color, it tends to be more slimming. I also saw it suggested as a good color for petites. Thus, navy is the perfect neutral color for a formal business environment and really the perfect color for any environment. Why aren’t you wearing more navy?

 

Tips:

  • For an easy to put together, chic, and more formal office look combine three professional garments in the same neutral color, but consider navy or another “new neutral” to add visual interest
  • Choose pieces with other elements of visual interest, such as bold trim, chiffon ruffles, tiered hems, pockets, and drapes, to keep the single color look from being boring
  • Add bold accessories to also add visual interest and to make a statement—the monochrome dressing provides a perfect platform to display these pieces
  • For a more formal work environment, consider natural shoes—but in a more casual environment feel free to be bold there too
  • Turn your necklace over and see what the back looks like—some pieces have interesting backs that can also be worn and may work better for some outfits. Here I am wearing a lovely necklace with bottle green etched glass, but backward so you see the gold and silver backing, which is its own fabulous necklace too. I have a few other necklaces I can do this with, which extends my necklace wardrobe significantly
  • For important meetings, presentations, days with the client, or other days you want to look strong, powerful, and sophisticated, consider dressing in navy

 

Outfit Breakdown:

Note: The Michelle Cardigan I am modeling here is a sample and a size too big. Correct fit would be more fitted and flattering.

Images in this photo shoot were taken by Bill Ruhsam.

Plaid POW: Working It Flannel Wednesday

Outfit Mission Statement: Even flannel can work in a formal office when combined with very professional pieces

 

Working it Wednesday outfits are professional career clothes, often a step or two above Manic Monday outfits. The POW (Piece of the Week) is the L.L. Bean Slightly Fitted Scotch Plaid Shirt in Deep Evergreen Tartan. This was a fun outfit to put together. I wasn’t sure if I could make flannel appropriate for a more formal office, and, look, I can and pretty easily. This outfits takes the tips from the Manic Flannel Monday post, where I discus show to do a more casual flannel work outfit, and applies them with even greater professionalism. So to incorporate professional clothing, make sure it is very professional. And nothing is more professional than a black or dark suit. Add a black suit jacket and black pencil skirt and you have an outfit that should work in the tenue de ville (or international business attire/informal [which is actually two steps up form business casusal]) office setting. Keep it going with a more formal hair style, such as a bun, and simple jewelry. Go with simple heels to look professional from head to toe. You can heighten the professionalism even further by wearing a long sleeves black jacket, which I discovered I no longer have. Now, don’t you want to rock some flannel in the workplace?

 

Tips:

  • Even the most casual of shirt (such as flannel) can work for more formal work environments if combined with a dark suit 
  • Keep accessories simple and fairly small
  • If you have longer hair, wear it up in a bun, French twist, or other more formal hair style
  • It is okay to go with trendier items as long as the pieces are not loud—like this three-quarter sleeve longer collarless jacket
  • Keep the shoes simple to and match them to the color for the suit for added professionalism

 

Outfit Breakdown:

 

Want to work a Spring version of this outfit? Consider this outfit that applies the same rules from the cabi Spring 2016 collection, but uses a denim shirt instead of flannel: Lido Jacket, Bardot Shirt, and the Lido Skirt. Accessorize with the Aurora Necklace, Aurora Stud Pack  and the Artisan Marquis Cuff by Stella & Dot. Then, slip your feet into the Good Lux heels by Aerosoles for the finishing touch.


Love POW: Working It Lady-Like Wednesday

Outfit Mission Statement: Look for feminine details, like gathers, ruffles, and flares, and add a feminine blouse to turn a blah business suit into lady-like office style

Working it Wednesday outfits are professional career clothes, often a step or two above Manic Monday outfits. The POW (Piece of the Week) is the cabi fall 2015 Love Blouse. This blouse makes a great pop of color in an all-black (or other neutral) suite, as you see here. I paired the Abbott Jacket with the Skater Skirt, creating this black suit. Black suits can often appear harsh, but I tone this one down not only with the feminine Love Blouse, but also by choosing suiting options with feminine features. The Abbott jacket has amazing three-quarter length sleeves with gathers and a twist to give them a unique and very lady-like appeal. The Skater Skirt has a fit and flare styling, which give it swing and more femininity. Together we have gathers, flares, ruffles, and twists for elegant business wear of the tenue de ville (or international business attire/informal) level of dress code. The skirt is also the very comfortable ponte knit I mentioned before—perfectly professional and perfectly comfortable.

 

Tips:

  • Tone down and bring a lady-like style to the stark black suite with feminine details, like a flared skirt or gathered sleeves
  • Add a pop of feminine color with a lovely blouse to also tone down the starkness of a black suit
  • As I said in Monday’s post, get ponte knit career clothes, if you don’t already have some (and add more if you do
  • For more formal office, keep your accessories small and neutral (such as gold or silver), but feel free to sneak in extra touches, like a belt
  • When you have a lovely collar, pop it up over the jacket collar
  • Create your own suit from separates, so they work great together and apart

 

Outfit Breakdown:

The clothing items in this outfit are all cabi Fall 2015, and no longer available. Contact me if you must have something and I may be able to direct you to a stylist who has it. Look for substitutes from your own closet or check out the alternatives below. I normally with make the POW a currently available item, but my blog launched later than planned and I wanted to share these outfits. The next POW will be of an available item, I promise!

  • Blouse: This is the cabi fall 2015 Love Blouse. To find a substitute from your own closet, look for a feminine blouse with a special feature. If you don’t have quite the right blouse to substitute in your closet, consider these cabi Spring 2016 alternatives:
    •  Vita Blouse: This gorgeous draped blouse is also sleeveless, and has a sexy cutout in the back. 
    • Bella Top: This feminize, fluttery blouse has a similar feel to the love blouse. 
    • Plaza Top: This classic, flowing blue and white blouse has a cute Henley collar.
    • Tivoli Top: This fierce black and taupe blouse has plenty of cool features.
  • Jacket: Shown is the cabi fall 2015 Abbott Jacket. For a business look, any jacket could work. But for this look, something with feminine details is best. 
    •  Verde Jacket: Not as formal, but t has his cotton/spandex mix is soft and stretchy and this green color is amazing! It also has lovely feminine details on the jacket pockets  
    • Lido Jacket: Also not as formal, this longer navy ponte jacket pairs well with the XXXX shirt for a suit look 
    • Cruise Jacket: Not as formal, but this nautical theme jacket can work in dressier business settings with ease
  • Skirt: This Skater Skirt is also from cabi Fall 2015. There is one skirt in the cabi Spring 2016 collection that could work, the Lido Skirt. This classic pencil skirt is in navy and has a tiered hem for a feminine touch. It is a works perfectly with the Lido jacket to make a skirt. Some skater or fit and flare skirt options: 
  • Shoes: These are older black open-toed shoes with a bow detail. Consider instead:  
    • Good Lux: Aerosoles with an open toe and buckle detail
    • Benefit: Peep toe shoes with a bow details, also by Aerosoles    
    • Benn Station: Also peep toed, with a punch design that almost looks like lace, by Aerosoles
  • Jewelry: For belt and bracelet, I am wearing the cabi Fall 2016 Heirloom necklace—the necklace converts into several different pieces. My earrings are Vintage Stud earrings for cabi Fall 2014. The cabi Spring 2016 Locket Necklace is also a convertible piece and can be worn as a bracket and belt also, and has a similar feel to the Heirloom. The Dolce Charm Earrings go well with the necklace, and continue the feminine feel.
 

Want to work a Spring version of this outfit? Consider this outfit that applies the same rules from the cabi Spring 2016 collection: Lido Jacket, Bella Top, Lido Skirt, Locket Necklace, and the Dolce Charm Earrings. Add the Good Lux: Aerosoles for the finishing touch.





More POW week 1: Working It Media Style Wednesday

Outfit Mission Statement: For professional outfits, limit your bold and striking pieces to two and keep accessories neutral and minimal.  

Working it Wednesday outfits are professional career clothes, often a step or two above Manic Monday outfits. The POW (Piece of the Week) is the cabi fall 2015 Media Jacket. This time, I took the blouse and jacket combo from the Monday look to the Wednesday look, trading the casual track pants for a more professional skirt. This skirt, blouse, and jacket combo is very professional, yet it packs power and color. The flowers and gathered collar of the blouse and the wrap overlap detail on the skirt give the outfit a feminine flair, which is balanced with the metallic, futuristic sheen of the jacket. Given the color and shine of this outfit, you can keep your jewelry and make-up to a minimum and let the clothing shine. Plus, the lovely gathered collar detailing means you can let the collar be your necklace for the day (saving some time looking for the perfect piece). Since this outfits has two of the same pieces as the Manic Monday outfit, I do not suggest wearing them the same week!

Tips:

  • When your blouse and jacket make strong statements, keep your accessories and makeup minimal
  • If you have a fancy collar, consider not wearing a necklace to bring focus to the collar (and not fight with it); if you do wear a necklace, go for longer styles
  • If you have a great jacket and blouse combo, consider ways to dress it up and down for variety and to stretch that wardrobe, such as this professional outfit and the more casual Manic Monday outfit
  • Don’t be afraid to combine two bold pieces, as long as you keep the rest neutral

 

Composition:

The clothing items in this outfit are all cabi Fall 2015, and no longer available. Contact me if you must have it and I may be able to direct you to a stylist who has it. I offer ways to substitute from you own closet or alternatives below. I normally will make the POW a currently available item, but my blog launched later than planned.

  • Jacket: Shown is the Fall 2015 cabi media jacket, which is now unavailable. From your own closet, you can substitute a cropped jacket and/or a flashy jacket in a shorter style. Or, if you want to purchase, here are a few other cropped jackets to consider instead:
  • Blouse: This striking and flattering wonder is also a cabi Fall 2015 piece, and no longer available for order. For this look, you can use a blouse with sleeves or not. Look for bright feminine blouses in your closet or here are some current season cabi pieces to consider:
    • Vita Blouse: The draped front and cutout back are similar to the amazing fall Diamond Blouse, so I know this blouse will be faltering and (when the jacket is off) sexy
    • Plaza Top: This one has great colors and a longer hem for when you are rocking leggings to work
    • Isla Cami:  For a bright animal-inspired print with button details, go no further
    • Blossom top: Like the Vita Blouse, this will give you the striking pop of color you see in the Amour blouse I am modeling
  • Skirt: Another Fall 2015 cabi piece, this flattering skirt can be exchanged for a neutral pencil skirt. If you are looking for something new, consider:
    • Lido Skirt: From the cabi Spring 2016 collection, this gives you a neutral navy pencil skirt with a tiered hem for a bit of added style (and it has pockets!!!)
    • Ponte Pencil Skirt: Ann Taylor has some great pencil skirts, including this slimming ponte one
    • Dobby Pencil Skirt: Another Ann Taylor pencil skirt in a more sophisticated fabric than the ponte
  • Shoes: Sorry, yes, another unavailable item. These are from Target last year, I think. But, Target has some good substitutes:
    • Orianna pumps: For the ankle strap look, from Sam & Libby, in faux lizard
    • Ankle Strap Stiletto Pumps: For something on the sexy side, from the Journee Collection
    • I also like the Head Role: Interesting lattice work for a funky and professional look, from the A2 Aerosole collection
  • Earrings: I kept it simple with gunmetal gray hoops. I bet you can find something similar easily. These were from Charming Charlie a few years ago.

 

 

Want an outfits that follows the same rules, but with spring pieces? Consider the cabi Spring 2016 Piazza JacketBlossom top, and Lido Skirt, with Wingback shoes by Aerosole, and the Inspire Bracelet and the Pavé Triangle Ear Jacket from Stella & Dot.