Prest-o Change-o: Professional to Party

I think one of the biggest wardrobe mistakes women make is to have too many party dresses. Once upon a time, I had more party dresses in my closet than tops. Now I have 2. It’s not that I’ve stopped going to parties (although I’ll admit that my clubbing experiences look more like a scene from “Neighbors”’ these days), but that I’ve learned the value of being able to mix, match, and accessorize pieces in my functioning wardrobe.

Maybe it’s my skill in rationalization coming into play (on some days I believe it’s my superpower), but it doesn’t hurt so badly to invest in quality everyday pieces when I know that with a flick of the wrist, I can remix them into formidable party outfits.

Here are my keys for turning office wear into party all-stars:

  1. Invest in staples with special details. Impeccable cut, intriguing fabrics, extraordinary details-these are what make a piece easy to take to the next level.
  2. Have a few anachronistic, luxe, or just plain weird accessories on hand. The last thing I want to see at a party is someone looking perfectly respectable. I want to see your personality ringing through loud and clear.
  3. Make use of your skin. I don’t want to see your skin at the office, but once the party starts, show me your neck or arms or legs (just remember-pick ONE. The idea is to live on the edge, not to fall off it).

How to do it:


For work, this spade scarf adds drama to a sweater and textured scuba skirt (see #1) combo. Black boots and tights create a long, lean leg in the absence of skin.


In a matter of minutes, I’m ready for the party with a printed shoe (leopard is my favorite), a “maximalist” bow belt (#2), tsujzed-up sleeves, a vintage brooch from my grandmother’s closet, and fishnets (#3).

Now show me yours!


Black Bubble-Textured Scuba Skirt, Bitte Kai Rand.

Mustard Sweater, The Limited.

Black Tights, Spanx Assets, Target.

Black Booties, Calvin Klein.

Dotted Spade Scarf, Kate Spade.

Party Accessories

Fishnet hosiery, Victoria’s Secret (in stores only).

Leopard Calf-Hair Pumps, RALPH Ralph Lauren, via TJ Maxx.

Poufy Bow Belt, Bitte Kai Rand.

Antique Brooch, inherited from Grandmother.



Work it, Girl!

bows and culottes

Being relaxed for work doesn’t have to mean looking sloppy. I break out these roomy culottes with loafers on days when I’ll be on my feet for 8 hours. They’re comfortable, but a refined fabric reads more “office appropriate” than “pyjama.”

I (still) love a black and blue color combo-très chic. And in my opinion, it’s impossible to go wrong with a Chanel-esque jacket; it’s appropriate in the workplace and polishes up a weekend outfit.


Black crepe culottes, Banana Republic.

Bow-tie tee, Holly Bracken via 5th and Hall.

Jacket, Ann Taylor.

Silver Loafers, Calvin Klein.

Adorable photographer’s assistant, self-made (with a little help ♥).


Sophisticated | Polished | Rebel

In my last post, I recommended choosing three descriptive words to hone your personal style. Mine are sophisticated, polished, and rebel. These are the things I want people to resonate with when they meet me.

As you might surmise, each of those words features in varying levels of prominence depending on the situation. Today’s outfit is one I would wear to work, so sophistication and polish take center stage, with just a bit of smoldering rebel in the accessories.

Navy Dress Hooded Trench Bucket Bag

The demure pleated neckline, lightweight wool fabric, and navy color of this Elie Tahari dress reads “sophisticated,” while the chocolate-piped trench and tasseled bucket bag add polish.

Nine West Navy Bow Shoes

Add a bit more polish with bow-topped blue suede heels.

Gothic Ring

Just because you’re dressed for work doesn’t mean you can’t show off the edgier aspects of your personality. The SFW method involves showcasing them through your accessories. This claw-encased ring lands squarely in the rebel camp…

Pyramid Studs

…while these diminutive pyramid studs further the rebel theme.


Three distinct words, but it all adds up to a cohesive look.
Have you been thinking about your three words?

Photography courtesy of Emily Plank Photography.