Remember when the summer would end and you’d go shopping for back to school items? You’d find colorful Lisa Frank folders, binders to hold your Teen Beat photos, and a new calendar for school assignments. Times may have changed, but back to school shopping can translate into your adult life. I think now is the perfect time to mix things up. Get a new bag, retool your wardrobe, and find a fun planner. Go all the way to finding a cute new pair of glasses if that will get you in the productive mood. When I was a student, I always loved shopping for new school supplies and outfits. It was a new beginning and it may be just the thing to bring some excitement to your daily work life. After all, one thing that hasn’t changed in adulthood is that the end of summer sucks. That’s why new shoes, bag, and a new outfit can really bring a whole new positive attitude to your life. It’s perfect timing for talking to your boss about that big promotion at the end of the year. All the new school gear always gave me a more positive attitude. If that translates to the office, people will notice. So below are the ways I think you can update your 9 to 5 uniform to hopefully make it feel less like a chore.
ADD A POP OF COLOR
An easy way to stand out in a sea of black and grey suits is to add a bit of color. Adding a bright top or pants is an easy, eye-catching way to mix it up and be creative while on the job.
1. Banana Republic – Cascade Top | 2. Zara – Tote Bag | 3. Mango – Belted Trousers | 4. Julie Vos – Lafayette Bracelet | 5. Louise et Cie – Esperance Pump
PRINTED PENCIL SKIRT
Swap out your simple black pencil skirt for something more fun. The slim silhouette is flattering on all body types. It’s a timeless work wear staple for a reason, so why not update it with a colorful pattern?
1. Madewell – Crepe Tank | 2. Sole Society – Callum Trapeze Tote | 3. J.Crew – Ikat Print Midi Skirt | 4. Cluse – La Boheme Watch | 5. Sole Society – Katarina Heels
MIX AND MATCH PRINTS
After you’ve mastered the last look, it’s time to take your style to the big leagues. Mix and matching prints can be tricky and overwhelming. But, no matter what you thought before, it’s appropriate for the work place. Confidence and keeping the prints in the same color wheel is the trick to pulling off this look.
1. J.Crew – Polka Dot Blazer | 2. Asos – Croc Tote Bag | 3. H&M – Pencil Skirt | 4. J.Crew – Gingham Blouse | 5. Sam Edelman – Tonia Pumps
GOODBYE BLAZER, HELLO CROPPED JACKET
I’m not saying to nix a blazer all together, but every once in awhile it’s nice to update a classic design and keep things interesting. This season, stay warm and HR appropriate by wearing a chic cropped jacket.
1. Mango – Jacquard Jacket | 2. Michael Kors – Adams Bootie | 3. Jigsaw – Waist Dress | 4. KT Collection – Long Gold Necklace | 5. Kate Spade New York – Cedar Street Maise Bag
Others to keep in mind…
Let Your Jewelry Shine
Want to keep your outfit simple? Then focus on accessories that make a statement and will bring lots of compliments your way. Accessories are an inexpensive way to elevate your look. Just don’t go overboard, but do have fun mixing and matching for more or less drama.
Carry a Statement Bag
Your bag may not come into play when sitting at your desk, but your workday starts when you leave your apartment and goes until you’re home at the end of the day. Factor in business lunches and meetings out of the office. Your bag makes a big impression, so you want it to be something that compliments your style. Also, if you’re not in the mood to dress up, carry a fashion forward bag and it’ll immediately transform your outfit.
Keep the Classics in Play
Like the pencil skirt, there are so many classic items that are a given when shopping for your work attire. Blazers, skirts, trousers, and pointed-toe shoes will always look polished and professional. They are items you should invest in and now is the perfect time to replace those worn out shoes. If you want to jazz them up, go for culottes over trousers, and a midi length instead of a pencil skirt.