Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Shaded Plaid Faux Wrap Pleat Front Dress

Sleeveless Work Dress: Classiques Entier Shaded Plaid Faux Wrap Pleat Front Dress Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

I like plaid anyway, but shadow plaid on a lovely navy silk dress? Sign me up. I like the faux wrap details at the waist, as well as the soft pleats on the skirt. (If sleeveless isn’t appropriate at your office, try this one with a shrunken blazer (such as this one or this one) or a simple shrug or bolero.) It’s $268 at Nordstrom, sizes 0-16. Classiques Entier Shaded Plaid Faux Wrap Pleat Front Dress

Here’s a lower-priced option available in misses, petites, woman, and woman petites.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]   

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Coffee Break: Acqua di Parmi

acqua di parmaI’m curious, ladies — what are your favorite summer scents? I took a break from wearing perfume years ago when my sons were babies, but I’m starting to get into scents again, and am on the hunt. In years past, my summer scent was the men’s cologne, Acqua di Parma; Nordstrom notes that it is “a composition born from sunny Sicilian fruits and a harmonious blend of floral essences such as lavender and damask rose that merge with woody notes of vetiver, sandalwood and patchouli.” (Not surprising, I guess, considering vetiver and sandalwood are two of my favorite scents — I definitely tend to prefer darker, deeper notes.) It’s $105-$173 at Nordstrom. Acqua di Parma ‘Colonia’ Eau de Cologne Natural Spray

Psst: Know your office (and your coworkers) — many readers have noted in the past that they haaaaate working with people wearing heavy perfume

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Psst: White House | Black Market has some great sales going on right now — take an extra 40% off already reduced prices with code 62787.

Work Outfit Ideas with Summer Blazers

work outfit ideas with summer blazersLast week we rounded up a bunch of summer blazers — I thought I’d put together a few outfits using some of the pieces. Ladies, what are your favorite ways to wear summer blazers? Do you try to make sure your outfit looks good both with or without your blazer, or are you ok with looking a little unfinished on your commute? (Or, is your blazer the afterthought, and do you just throw on whichever blazer you keep at the office?)  

Work Outfit Idea #1: Floaty Blues

In addition to an interesting white blouse and a pencil skirt, I pictured this classic, hip-length blazer with a scarf.  A scarf can be a great way to play with the colors of a blazer if you want to. You can pick out a small color featured in the scarf and use it to tie another element together (such as if you went with a dark green skirt here instead of a simple navy one), to help you decide what color shoes to wear (you could easily go with beige heels with these light colors, but I pulled out the black in the scarf to go with basic black pumps), or even start to play with patterns, such as if we’d mixed a pinstriped skirt with the floral scarf.  My favorite way to wear scarves is long and loose, like a second interior collar to the blazer, but you can check out all of our ideas for how to wear scarves to work. (Plus: if you end up taking your blazer off your outfit still looks more finished than it might if it were just a white blouse and navy skirt.)

work outfit idea - light blue linen blazer with pencil skirt

Pictured, clockwise: Blazer ($77 today!) / necklace / white blouse / scarfwatch /  earrings / skirt / heels

(On the hunt for basic black pumps? Check out our Guide to Comfortable Heels.)

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Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: Single Breasted Jacket

Pinstripe Blazer: Norma Kamali Single Breasted JacketOur daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

YAAAASSS. I don’t know what it is with me and striped blazers. I hate stripes normally (even the much-loved Breton t-shirts), but when I see a good striped blazer I go a little nuts. I like the alternating pinstripes here (vertical on one side, horizontal on the other) and the raised seam details throughout — it’s a chic, fun take for a casual day. The blazer is $315 at Shopbop, available in sizes 0-6. (At Lyst, the whole 0-14 size range is available.) Norma Kamali Single Breasted Jacket

Here’s a lower-priced option and another in petite and tall sizes; two plus-size alternatives are here and here.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

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Weekend Open Thread

Block Heel Summer Shoe: Steve Madden Carrson Sandal Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Block heels are where it’s at this summer, and these affordable beige sandals from Steve Madden are even more affordable than usual, considering Nordstrom price-matched someone else’s sale — they come to $67 (from $89). All sizes are still in stock, and the shoes are well-rated. (For some reason the glitter versions of the shoes are shown as having 37 mostly positive reviews and the others, none.) Another good sign: the models wore them in half of the outfit pictures on Nordstrom sales — someone told me years ago that models often get to chose which shoe they’re wearing if they’re running through different outfits quickly, so if they wear a particular pair in multiple pictures it’s because it’s comfortable. Steve Madden ‘Carrson’ Sandal

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Frugal Friday: Pleated Sleeveless Blouse

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

uniqlo pleated sleeveless blouseI was just in Uniqlo the other day, and this pleated sleeveless blouse was being displayed with tons of bottoms. It’s difficult to find a single view that shows how pretty it is from both the front and back, but it’s a floaty, almost misty georgette that is flat in the front but pleated and swingy in the back.  Now: I wouldn’t plan to throw a blazer or cardigan over this one (although, hmmn: a mini-shrug), so if you need or want to wear sleeves at your workplace, I’d skip the look. (Know your office!) But if you’re ok with sleeveless blouses and on the hunt for a swingy, pretty top, at $19 it’s hard to go wrong with this one.  It’s available in four colors, sizes XS-XL; instructions say to hand wash.  Pleated Sleeveless Blouse

Psst: I only saw the Supima t-shirts while checking out, so I did not try them on, but for those of you who have been looking for an opaque white t-shirt — give the Uniqlo ones a try.  Thick, soft fabric.  Also, I was happy to see that this previously recommended dress and cardigan jacket both look great in person.

Here’s a similar plus-size blouse with pleats.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

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