I have started to become bored with my wardrobe. I wear the same outfits for work at least two times a week, and I have my canned go-to ensembles for work events that haven’t changed, even in accessories, since their original purchase. I’m starting to wonder if the executives at my meetings can recognize the blazer I wore during the luncheon where we exchanged cards the previous week. In an effort to punch up my fashion portfolio, I decided to mix it up a bit and buy some accent pieces â€” but accent pieces costing the same as my Armani will have me feeding my 401K right into my credit cards. Therefore I hunted down pieces for my updated (and budgeted) business wardrobe.
Blazers: I own suits, and unfortunately, suits that can’t be mixed and matched. And I have a closet full of slacks and skirts that could easily benefit from the compliments of a blazer. I gave myself one rule while shopping for â€˜accent blazers’: Don’t match the outfit; compliment it. Why would I turn my slacks into yet another matching suit ensemble with a matching blazer? Instead of going the easy and matching route, I sought out jackets with neutral tones to go with the clothes I already own, along with a couple of statement print and bold colored looks.
Tops: Since the top is the one item of my typical suited ensemble that can add a bit of personality to my attire, I am embarrassed to say that instead of originally shopping for â€˜statement’, I went with â€˜safe’. Scouring for tops that differed by price point turned out to be completely advantageous not only for my budget, but many tops I found actually out-styled my more expensive blouses! The button-down is always a classic to have on hand, but I was delighted to discover very professional tops varying in make, style and pattern – ready to pump up my black suit with a personality any day!
Shoes: Yes, I own those pinching high-heeled pumps that are best seen at meetings while seated. Luckily those meetings don’t happen every day so I feel I can wear a pair of shoes while typing on my computer that instead of presenting power and prowess, convey cute and comfortable. Unfortunately for me I didn’t own a pair of the latter. After wandering the shoe racks (and taking delight in my timing of the Nordstrom Anniversary sale), I am now a grand proponent of the wedge. Who knew that the Mary Jane and wedge would marry into such adorable footwear to go perfectly with my work attire, but not force my feet into early retirement?
Jewelry: Jewelry is the easiest way to make a statement out of my bland wardrobe. I’ve seen large accent necklaces everywhere lately, so I made a point to follow the trend and add some bling to my blazer! I’ve always been a fan of the jewelry Banana Republic carriesâ€”always unique and affordable. And I decided to go out on a limb and try to wrestle my way through the racks of Forever 21 for some fun pieces. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised with the stylish deals I discovered in that discount store!
With an updated â€” and more colorful â€” closet, I can now safely say that no one can label me â€˜fashionably repetitive’ at my next networking event. Thinking back to high school, I’ve once again become excited about picking out my outfits for the day ahead! With my high-powered staples and affordable accents, I can not only close the deal but do so standing out in style â€” with a bit of cash left over for those power lunches.
1. Vera Wang Lavender Label Jacket $190
2. Cynthia Steffe Astor Jacket Sale: $99
3. Crochet & Ruffle V-Neck Cap Sleeve Top $89
4. Colorblock Low Neck Halter Top $59
5. Stuart Weitzman â€˜Rolling’ Pump Sale: $179
6. Jessica Simpson â€˜Nesco’ Pump Sale: $59
7. BCBGirls â€˜Melissa’ Pump Sale: $59
8. Banana Republic Layered Pendant Necklace $49
9. Graduated Bead Necklace $5.80
10. Banana Republic Multi-Strand Broach Necklace $59