WORK STYLE: RUFFLES AND BLUSH

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

 Work Style - Ruffles and Blush
Well I did it, I jumped on the blush bandwagon. I have to admit I resisted it - not the more pigmented pink of the patent leather belt or the sunnies, but the pastel pink of the blouse. I usually go with warmer neutrals but this is the year for blushes and pastel pinks and I couldn't resist. It's just so pretty. What do you think of the colors?

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RUFFLE BLOUSE: BANANA REPUBLIC | VEST: H&M (sold out online, similar HERE)| HIGH-WAISTED JEANS: FOREVER 21| BELT: ANN TAYLOR | PUMPS: BANANA REPUBLIC | CROSSBODY BAG: FLYNN | SUNGLASSES: ILLESTEVA

I'm all about outfits that can double for weekend and work so you'll find me wearing those a lot. I think to some extent the lines between business and everyday wear are blurring in the same way that "athleisure" is now a thing. 90% of the time, work attire today means business casual rather than formal business wear. I guess it's a double-edged sword because "business casual" gives you a lot of range to interpret the term but can also leave you wondering what the boundaries are and what's acceptable.

It's hard to find a definitive formula on what constitutes business casual but personally I look out for a 3 simple things when considering what could pass as acceptable workwear:

1. Don't show too much cleavage or leg-age (the generally accepted rule is no more than 2 inches above the knee. If you are wearing something short you can definitely make it more appropriate by pairing it with super opaque, preferably dark, tights.

2. Incorporate an element of structure somewhere in the outfit. So for example if you wear a maxi skirt, pair it with a blazer for structure. In my look today the ruffled blouse gives the outfit a soft dreamy element and the long narrow line of the vest gives the outfit some structure even though it's a soft vest.

3. As far as accessories, a pump is the absolute safest bet. It doesn't have to be boring. I went with a nude pump for today's look but chose one with interesting features like the lace-up straps and the rich suede texture. And for bags, anything like a satchel, top-handle bag, a box-bag like the one I wore here, or a slim vertical tote are excellent choices.

Back to the outfit today. I love this blush ruffled blouse - it's such a pretty pale pink and a great way to do ruffles without going overboard, though I definitely love drama in fashion and love overboard too. I went with the Petite sizing and the fit is perfect with the V-neck not too shallow, not too deep. Side note: I promise I'll have my measurements up soon for reference. I highly recommend this one for any wardrobe, workwear or casual because this color and style goes with virtually anything. And since ruffled blouses are so on trend for this year, I've included a few of my favorites at the bottom of the post if you're in the market for one.

I layered this beige-y blush vest over the blouse to give the look some dimension and to add some warmth since it's still a little chilly. Unfortunately this color is now sold out online so I linked some alternatives below.  I chose nude/light camel lace-up pumps to keep the look workable for the office and the lace-up style will make these so pretty with dresses and skirts as well.

The bottoms are black high-waisted skinnies, aka mom jeans. I never thought I'd say this but I love mom jeans. They're great for showing off a waist line, making your legs look longer and of course for actually covering your butt when you have to move around. The pair I'm wearing are more like leggings, so they're really great for when you don't want to be too precious. If I'm wearing a thin denim like this I usually wear a longer layer that comes down to at least the hips to avoid showing any lumps and bumps.

This outfit is a nice alternative to the blazer or suit-jacket route - as I was saying earlier, a good business casual outfit.

The black top-handle bag was a recent find and I love the design. I'm always happy when I find things that aren't ultra popular yet. I generally gravitate towards clean lines and structure without a lot of branding so the aesthetic of this bag appealed to me right away. As far as wear options, I mostly carry it by the top handle because top handle bags are having a moment and I love that style, but there's also a strap for cross-body use which is helpful.

I meant to just talk about blush and ruffles today but for better or worse this post turned into a lot about how to put together business casual outfits! Anyway, hope it was somewhat useful.

Thanks for bearing with my meanderings, have a great week and see you back on Friday!



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