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Favorite Workwear Suggestions of 2016

Every weekday here at Corporette, I offer one suggestion for an item that I would wear to work. Sometimes readers love the item, and wow do you guys hate it sometimes. Sometimes *I* love it, sometimes it was just the best I could find given the restraints (for those who haven’t noticed, Monday and Tuesday tend to be pricier items, Wednesday is in the $100-$150 price range, Thursday is in the $50-$100 price range, and Friday is in the “under $50” range.) Still, as the end of the year approaches I thought I’d look back over the past year and choose my personal favorites from the things I recommended… each picture is from one month, starting with January in the upper left-hand corner.

If you’re curious, here are links to the similar roundups from 201520142013, 2012, and 2010.

Jan / Feb / Mar / Apr / May / June / July / Aug / Sept / Oct / Nov / Dec

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Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Fringe Knit Midi Skirt

First off, I would not expect this skirt to be bulletproof — I’d expect it to snag and maybe to fit in a very body-conscious way at the beginning of the day. If you’re looking for a $29 skirt that has a bit of fun with fringe like this, though, this is a great one to consider. For static electricity reasons, I would definitely get a plain black slip to wear underneath. (It’s also available in white.) The skirt comes in sizes XS-L and is on sale at Saks Off 5th for $29.99 from $78. Catherine Catherine Malandrino Fringe Knit Midi Skirt

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Coffee Break: Voyageur Halle Nylon Backpack

Holiday travel is coming up — buckle up for cancellations, annoyances, and more. A backpack can make travel that much easier if you’re schlepping with a lot of other stuff — it’s certainly ergonomically better. This simple, chic bag from Tumi is $295 at Nordstrom, but do note, there are a lot of colorful floral Tumi backpacks on sale for as low as $145. (Amazon also has a ton!)  Tumi ‘Voyageur Halle’ Nylon Backpack

Psst: looking for a backpack for work? Check out our recent roundup.

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Thursday’s Workwear Report: Cutout Shoulder Sheath Dress

Readers go back and forth on whether or not they like cutouts. I’m a big fan, but I get a lot of pushback from readers saying they’re not professional — it’s definitely a know your office kind of situation. I think this dress in particular isn’t that bad because it doesn’t show more skin than you’d be showing if you wore a sleeveless sheath dress, plus it’s easily covered with a blazer or a sweater; if the cutouts seem too risque for your office, and more of an evening look, you can still take this from desk to dinner that way. The dress is available in purple, navy, and black in sizes 0-16 (regular and petite), and it’s only $99 at Nordstrom. It just has a few reviews but they’re very positive. Halogen Cutout Shoulder Sheath Dress

Here’s a plus-size alternative.

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Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Playing Favorites Mila Square Neck Sheath Dress

I always forget about Antonio Melani because I don’t frequently shop at Dillard’s, but this sheath dress looks great. A lot of their other sheath dresses do, too — they have sort of a Black Halo / Classiques Entier / Hugo Boss look to them, but of course they’re much more affordable. I like the squared notched neck here even though I sometimes have problems with personality necklines. This dress is good to keep in mind if you do shop at Dillard’s because they usually have a really big clearance sale on January 1. It’s available in sizes 0-14 and is $159 full price. Antonio Melani Playing Favorites Mila Square Neck Sheath Dress

Two plus-size options are here and here.

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Tuesday’s Workwear Report: ‘Melody’ Lace Trim Jacket

This gorgeous blazer has lace details on the front as well as the back. Its puffed sleeves honestly gave me pause, though, because even though it’s a nice feminine look, it also sort of reminds me of stuff that was very popular when I started the blog almost 10 years ago. I’m not sure whether we’re ready for a resurgence or if it just looks dated. (Also: Does “puffed sleeves” make anyone else immediately think of this?) Still, if the style doesn’t bother you, this is a great look for this time of year because you can dress it up or dress it down. You can wear it with a more colorful dress, like a purple or a red, or just combine it with muted colors, like with black and white as shown here. (There don’t seem to be any matching pieces available, unfortunately.) The jacket is $397 in sizes 0-12 at Nordstrom. Tahari Elie Tahari ‘Melody’ Lace Trim Jacket

Two lower-priced options are here and here.

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