Thursday, September 29, 2016

fall fashion, style tips, work style, corporate style, office style, professional attire, corporate chic, sleeveless trench, feminine style, petite fashion, petite style, 9 to 5 chic, business attire, mules, lace dress, work satchel

VEST: Similar in wool HERE or under $100 HERE | DRESS: ZARA, also love this HERE | MULES: OLD similar HERE | SUNGLASSES: LOFT  | EARRINGS: OLD similar HERE | BELT: J.CREW or HERE

Fall is all about layering and one essential piece, especially for work, is a sleeveless vest or trench. A sleeveless trench works really well for the office for both Summer and Fall depending on the fabric you choose. I like having a simple camel option in my wardrobe because it compliments Fall colors like brown, red, navy. My trench is a light material that I wore quite a bit in the summer. If I were buying one for the Fall and Winter, I'd go with a slightly warmer one in wool or wool-blend for more functionality in the colder months (linked above and below).

Fashion is mostly art but it's also a little bit science and therefore, formulaic. This work outfit is based on of my favorite style formulas so in this post I'm sharing 3 style tricks that you can use to create chic work outfits for Fall with pieces you have in your own wardrobe.

For this outfit I styled the camel trench with pale blue for a slightly different take on a classic color combination. I also used textures (like the lace of the dress and the calf-hair of the belt) to add richness to two fairly muted colors. Blue and brown are a match made in heaven.

A lace dress is always a good investment because it's so versatile. You can wear it equally well to work, a wedding or even the weekend. I mostly wear dresses and skirts and really, as long you're comfortable in them, there's no reason to keep dresses for "dressy" occasions.

This Zara dress is the prettiest shade of blue. I frequently go for subtle colors that can change with lighting and are somewhat neutral. This dress looked grey to me the first time I saw it and can look anywhere from slate to pale blue to almost lilac depending on what you're wearing it with. I love the midi-length because it looks more sophisticated and this dress has incredible detail given the price. I love the mini ruffles and intricate lace pattern. It's also really soft, fully lined and has a pretty tie at the neck which is perfect for showing off the nape of the neck with an updo if you're wearing it to a formal occasion.

I grabbed these chandelier statement earrings from Ann Taylor a few months ago and have worn them so much. These aren't available any longer but I've linked a couple of others for you that are in neutral tones and will go with almost anything. A good pair of statement earrings will dress up the simplest outfit. If you want to see an example, the folks at J.Crew are the masters of this - just cruise to see what I mean. I went with blue in mine because Navy is one of my core wardrobe colors this year.

If you're a regular reader you may be getting tired of these mules but seriously, these go with everything and are super easy to slip into. Plus mules are so in style right now it's hard not to reach for these. I've always loved mules and this season between mules with architectural heels and platforms on every style of shoe imaginable, I'm a little giddy.  I love this style so much I'm already on the hunt for my next pair - this time maybe something with a little feminine detail.

VEST: Similar in wool HERE or under $100 HERE | DRESS: ZARA, also love this HERE | MULES: OLD similar HERE | SUNGLASSES: LOFT  | EARRINGS: OLD similar HERE | BELT: J.CREW or HERE



Adding texture to your outfit makes it visually more complex, which makes it more interesting. So think about using different materials and "feels" when putting together your ensemble. For example, I used a combination of lace, calf-hair and suede to compliment this sleek sleeveless trench. A few other great texture mixes in the Fall are warm fuzzy coats with silky blouses, which you can see here and denim and lace, as I wore in this post.  Next up for me, chunky knits with dainty lace skirts!


Layering always makes your outfit more interesting, so look for layering opportunities whenever you can. If you're a dress lover like me you can do a simple sleeveless layer like I did here, or just pair with a cardigan for work. As temps drop you can also add a coat on top of it all for even more layering. Remember to layer thin if you're going to add a coat into the mix so that the look doesn't get too bulky.

In addition to layering being cute and keeping you warm, you also get more use out of clothes when you layer. You can't wear a summer dress solo in the Fall or Winter but you can wear it for a whole new season, maybe even two, simply by layering. Throw a sweatshirt on top of your slip-dress easy chic day look for running errands or getting coffee. Mixing dressy with casual is another style trick to create effortlessly chic looks. Check out this post to see an example of mixing styles where I wore a tiered dress with a super casual accessory to create the perfect outfit for a day of museum-traipsing, errand-running, and playground-hopping with my 3 year old.


I used two main colors in this outfit - blue and brown. Everything I'm wearing is a shade of blue or brown/yellow. Within the blue palette, I combined pastels (my dress) with jewel tones (my earrings which are a deep rich blue). Similarly my vest, shoes, sunglasses and belt are different shades of brown/yellow. This is a super easy styling trick that you can use to create an outfit that's guaranteed to look pulled together. An added plus of using shades within a given color palette is that most things in your wardrobe will compliment each other and make it easy to mix and match.



  1. I'm loving your color palette and that vest is perfection!

    xo Jen
    Skirt The Rules

  2. Everything is perfect on you!

  3. Lace + Leopard + those earrings. What a fresh combo!


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