Finding the right balance between expressing your personal style and following the company dress code can be one of the most challenging aspects of a new job. Ninety-percent of the things in your closet aren’t work appropriate, and you can only wear that black blazer so many times in a row before your cube neighbor starts to realize your lack of clothing.
Over my first few months of working in corporate America, I gradually transitioned my buying patterns to purchase items that can be worn both inside and outside of my 9-5. Last month, the almighty Mercedes Benz Fashion Week took New York City by storm. Full of fresh colors, clean lines, over-the-top patterns and metallics, MBFW 2014 left us with tons of inspiration.
I strongly believe in personal branding and classy representation. When you’re a woman in the workplace, it’s all about looking chic and professional without looking processed. Aside from a high-powered pencil skirt and pumps, it can be difficult to spice up your work wardrobe without looking inappropriate. To help you out, here are a few ways that you can put a professional twist on Spring 2014 fashion trends and be the talk of the water cooler.
Let’s start off with some spring beauty trends. Many designers, including Phillip Lim, accompanied spring fashion with a clean, glowing face. Those nasty cold temperatures that have been torturing your skin are soon to be in the past! (We hope…) It’s time to lay off of the heavy foundation and let your skin breathe! Yes, I know. We don’t all have skin like J.Lo. (I mean, seriously? She’s 44 and doesn’t look a day over 30. See: Exhibit A.) But hey, we can try, can’t we? Try using Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer and Copcacabana Liquid Illuminator to create a naturally flawless look. Stay away from heavy eye makeup this spring and let your skin do the talking. To keep yourself looking fresh through long workdays and countless meetings, pick up a tube of Revlon Photoready Skinlights in Bronze at your local drug store and throw it in your work bag. Apply to the cheeks, forehead, and bridge of nose with a wet sponge. You’ll have your colleagues wondering how you manage to look so flawless as you float around the office all day. (SHHH! It’s our little secret.)
I’m not one to jump on the pattern bandwagon. Most of the time, I feel like a couch when I wear patterns. (See: Pregnant Kim Kardashian) However, I really like the new geometric pattern trend. I can’t tell you what most of the patterns are (I failed geometry in high school), but I CAN tell you that they’re chic. The black-and-white color combo was also a hit with plenty of designers this year, including Carolina Herrera, Delpozo, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Jenni Kayne, and Zimmermann. I highly recommend combining these two trends. Try pairing black-and-white geometric patterns with a pop of color for a cool, modern, springtime look. Sure, floral and pastels are in for spring, but that’s a little safe, isn’t it? Change it up and take a risk. Wearing something unique (and appropriate!) in the office shows you’re confident and ready to tackle anything that comes your way.
Ralph Rucci, Altuzurra, Diane von Furstenberg and Jason Wu were just a few of the designers who incorporated metallic looks into their collections. Don’t be afraid to rock something shiny! Purchasing a pair of Sam Edelman metallic wingtips was a risky move, but they have proven to be one of the most versatile pairs of shoes in my closet. As shown above, pairing a metallic shoe with a floral pant adds a modern edge to a classic, elegant ensemble. Not feelin’ the metallic shoe idea? Try throwing on some metallic jewelry. No need to spend a fortune; get bang for your buck and shop the accessories department at Forever 21. When accessorizing for work, less is more. Stay away from huge, overpowering earrings.
For spring and summer, adding a bold pop of color can really tie together your look. Don’t be afraid to carry a bright bag like the pink and green ones pictured above. Add a spark to that glowing face with a bright lipstick. A vibrant tangerine lipstick was seen on the runway at Rag & Bone, DKNY and Monique Lhuillier. As much as I love this trend, rocking an orange lip usually isn’t work appropriate. As a happy medium, a Chanel lipgloss could be your go-to springtime lip. With as many colors as Sherwin Williams, you’re bound to find just the right color to add a pop without behind overpowering. I swear by my Chanel lipgloss, and I even keep a tube in my laptop bag for emergencies. (#IsThatWeird?) If you’re looking for a matte lip, try using Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick. They’re not kidding… this lipstick will stick with you through every single hour of your workday. You’ll be so busy that you’ll forget it’s there… until someone compliments it!
Make your office your runway! Nothing is as powerful as a successful woman in a chic outfit. XO, Abby
Beyond grateful for incredibly talented friends. Photo by @autumnishh and haircut and color by @julianakhair at @getpanache in St. Augustine! Love you both!
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