I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read this HuffPo story about female lawyers in Chicago being ambushed, Stacy-and-Clinton style by the Bar Association. At the “What Not to Wear” seminar (actual title), they were fed a laundry list of Fashion Don’ts: no heels, boots, bare arms, bright colors, or engagement rings. While the feminist in me was seething, the shopper was plotting: wouldn’t a “what to wear” guide be more useful? Since we’re in that business, here’s a comprehensive list of Spring office attire Do’s. Take that, Chicago Bar.
1. A Classic Oxford. They recommend never showing your arms, but we know you occasionally need to roll up your sleeves and get dirty. Stock up on classic oxfords like this Cotton Camp Shirt ($68) from Ann Taylor. The cotton is lightweight and breathable –perfect for the summer months.
2. Feminine Floral Blouse This J.Crew Collection watercolor shell ($150) is crisp and businesslike, with a twist. Wear it belted with this J.Crew Patent oval-buckle belt ($19.50, originally 29.50) under a cardigan or blazer.
3. A Flattering Pencil Skirt or Black Pant Never underestimate the power of the pencil skirt: it’s slimming on almost any body type and always professional. Our pick? Banana Republic’s elevated pencil skirt ($59.50) which comes with a touch of stretch. Also classic, a black pant that’s comfortable enough to live in (because you practically will). Theory’s Max C ($245) is made of tri-season wool, is a best-seller and a personal favorite.
4. A Comfy Yet Sleek Pump After years of searching, I found the perfect work pump: Söfft’s Napoli III ($88.95) is incredibly comfortable, without lacking style. You’ll be able to climb the corporate latter, sans blisters and back pain. Now that’s what I’m talking about.
And remember in the bare-legged summer months, always shave and moisturize. A tinted bronzer like Michael Khors Leg Shine ($32) wouldn’t hurt either.