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Image via: 9to5Chic.com
It might be Friday, but technically Friday is still a work day, so I'm going to talk about interview wear. Dressing for interviews is a lot like dressing for something like a first date in the sense that they're both stressful and exciting situations, and if you aren't comfortable or don't feel like yourself on the outside (ahem, first impressions), then it's going to show. Now, some fields have their limitations, but even so it's important to wear styles, colors and textures that will give you one fewer thing to worry about. 


I've been going on a fair amount of interviews during my job search, and I don't typically like to duplicate outfits for several reasons 1) an opportunity to make an outfit is an opportunity to make an outfit, I'm not just going to pass that up. 2) Different potential jobs warrant different looks. 3) Different times of year require different levels of layering (duh). 4) There's something that just feels wrong about re-wearing an outfit that was designated for a similar but not quite the same event. Because these interviews are usually in the fashion realm, I get to have a bit of fun with my look and accessories and show my personality, but I don't like to stray too far from the conventional rules. I'll wear something like a button down, but wear one trimmed in leather, buttoned to the top with a statement necklace (similar to the above). Or I'll wear a pencil skirt, but one that's brightly colored with colored pumps and a blouse with an asymmetrical hem untucked. If I go with a dress, I usually keep the style and color simple and add personality with accessories and lip color. Work pants? I don't really own any, but I do have a pair of plaid ankle trousers from J.Crew that I'll pair with a patterned top and bold pumps. There are a lot of options, even with limitations.


Now, to the photo. Not everyone has to wear "work appropriate" clothes to work, but these types of silhouettes are important to have in your closet in the event you have to dress for something with that type of attire. This doesn't mean you should run out and buy a sad, gray skirt suit, and Ahn of 9 to 5 Chic demonstrates this remarkably well. This outfit is so simple, yet still unique and shows her personal style. She just tucked a plain, neutral button down into a leather pencil skirt and paired it with pumps like so many workforce women have. But the bold bib necklace, striking (but not distracting) lip color and bright bag pull this outfit away from the snooze zone and show that she is professional, honors that type of dress code, but doesn't let it keep her from adding personal touches. We can learn a lot from this approach.
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I have a very extensive accessory collection that I've been adding to for years, but it's been a while since I've bought anything new. There are a bunch of trends I've been eyeing to add to my inventory. Though I don't typically shop for accessories specifically, and usually pick them up as I see them, these are some things I'll have in mind when I'm out shopping in the near future.

midi/pinky rings
I'll admit that it took me a little while to get on board with this trend, but when I thought about the fact that it meant more opportunities to wear rings, I realized I needed to buy some immediately. I love the variety offered, and that some midi rings are big enough to wear as pinky rings. The more options the better. Urban Outfitters has a decent collection.
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Image via: Vogue.com
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Images via: BaubleBar.com
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nameplate/monogram necklace
I love the look of these layered with other necklaces of various lengths. These come in so many cool fonts, and there's nothing more personal and individual than something with your name or initials. The big monograms have been popular for the last few years, and I love the more modern look of this Bauble Bar one.
word necklace
Along the same lines as the name necklaces above, I love how unique these are. Actual words are so expressive, though, and add a certain type of quirk to an outfit. These are a nice alternative to a bib necklace if you're going for a different kind of look while still wearing a statement necklace. If only Lanvin would collaborate with a fast fashion retailer.
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Image via: Lanvin.com
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Images via: (top) JewelryBrief.com, (bottom) BaubleBar.com
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Images via: (top) Asos.com, (bottom) JenniferFisher.com
chain bracelets
I already love chain necklaces, but sometimes arm parties go better with certain outfits. I'm loving the look of delicate bracelets right now, but mixed with more bold pieces, sometimes the look is even better. These are classic and feminine with a little extra personality if worn alone, but are a type of neutral that work well amongst other jewelry styles when stacked or layered. 
embellished bib necklace
Bibs are one of the easiest ways to transform an outfit from basic to eye-catching, and I'm loving the ones covered in jewels. They come in all shapes, sizes, materials and colors, and dress up a casual outfit or add something really unique to a dressy outfit. It's an all-you-need accessory, and though they might seem a little bulky, they're worth the styling challenge.
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Images via: (left) DeniseFashionDesignerClothes.com, (right) KateSpade.com
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Image via: BaubleBar.com
unconventional initials
I love initials because, like name jewelry, they're something special and unique to you. Many places are getting modern beyond just the hanging charm with initial jewelry, and the new options are so interesting. This Bauble Bar necklace also comes in bracelet form. 
mismatched stud earrings
These are the easiest, most understated way to have a little fun with an outfit. There are tons of options, and if you want to add a little bit of interest to whatever you're wearing, they don't add weight or bulk, especially if you have multiple ear piercings. Buy a bunch of sets of matching ones and mix it up, or buy a set of mismatched ones and you can reflect your mood quietly with your accessories.
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Image via: CatbirdNYC.com
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Image via: CatbirdNYC.com
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Image via: UrbanOutfitters.com
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tiny skulls
Skulls could be the most goth of accessory charms, but the way they're done in dainty sizes on delicate chains in girly metals create the perfect irony. Worn alone or layered, these fun pieces are pretty but don't take themselves too seriously. The perfect kind of jewelry for day to day or making a dressed up look a little different.
hamsa  jewelry
I don't wear religious charms too often because I think they're a nice symbol during certain events or days. But I love the meaning behind the hamsa, as well as the look of the charm. I've seen so many beautiful ones in all sizes and designs, but I can't get enough of these tiny, unembellished ones for everyday wear. 
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Images via: (left) PeggyLi.com, (right) Etsy.com shop Lotus411
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Image via: ShopGella.blogspot.com
Oversized knits and plaid are probably two of the biggest trends of the moment, and this outfit helps show just why that is. I'm still in denial that winter is imminent, and while I futilely hope for one last (long lasting) warm up in the weather, it's pretty clear that I'm just going to have to deal with the reality of the season until real warmth starts to come sometime in April (hopefully!). Until then, when I have to face the elements outside, I will rely on blanket-like sweaters to act as the next best thing. It's easy to look frumpy with huge, thick knits, but it's also not the hardest to temper the shapelessness with feminine aspects, like the above extremely cute skirt. The length and style are the perfect opposite to the sweater, and the solid black bottom half is perfectly simple to let the real elements of the outfit stand out. Though it's simple, it's not forgotten. I mean, those boots. This girl knows how to keep it stylish and feminine without sacrificing the warmth factor.
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Image via: FashionGoneRogue.com
My birthday is this weekend, and since I share it with one of my friends, we're celebrating for two nights. The main objective of my birthday is to hang out with people, so the festivities are designed around that goal. But that doesn't mean I don't think about what I'm going to wear. As much as I'd love to go full out fancy, the reality is that I want to dance and I don't want my feet to hurt by the end of the night. This dashes my heeled dreams a little bit, but priorities are priorities, and I guess I can wear heels another time. This brings me to the styling in the above photo. The model has on a gorgeous Balmain dress with some heavy duty rings and moody makeup (that isn't too heavy) to match. This girl is the coolest. I actively want to be her, especially with her skill at pulling off this long sleeved mini, which could be extremely glamorous, in a tougher way by wearing it a little oversized and styling it just so. Those boots are awesome, and I love how she's not wearing this with tights. Somehow she's made a blinged out mini dress a little masculine, and it works. Not only does it dress down this all-over embellished dress, it's a fresh way to style this type of look. This outfit serves as a reminder that your clothes definitely don't sit in just one category, and if you want to wear that fancy dress to a not quite as fancy event, all you have to do is think outside the accessories box. 
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One of my favorites in my collection, Lulu Frost "Impromptu Pin." Image via: ModaOperandi.com
Brooches are often associated with the likes of school librarians and grandmas, but I feel like they're really an underrated accessory, and you can do so much more with them than just dressing up a nice coat or pinning them to a blazer lapel (which are both great options!). The Glamourai gives a great photographic guide on how to wear them a few ways, and they're an accessory that I try to incorporate into my outfits fairly often, and there are so many ways to wear them. Brooches are a nice alternative to statement necklaces and earrings.

Wear them in the most straightforward way, but choose brooches that really echo your personality. They're easy to find at flea markets and vintage shops. Price really isn't important here, these are more of a statement. Attach them to the shoulder of a plain top or the lapel of a blazer or sweater to dress up a simple look, or accessorize a plain dress this way for a more unique look.

It's so easy to get creative with brooches though. String one onto a chain and turn it into a statement necklace to add options, but use the popular collar trend to your advantage and fake a statement necklace with a bigger brooch by pinning one to the neck of the collar right in the center of the two flaps. I did this with this Target dress that I totally copied (and got on sale!) from Blair Eadie there and the brooch pictured above. I was wearing it during the day, so I threw on a thick sweater jacket and tights and shorter leather boots to make it a little tougher and more casual. If your brooch is a little smaller, pin it to the corner of your collar for an eye catching detail. 

Go a little early 2000s with your brooches and bunch them on a jean jacket collar or shoulder. Or you can add them to a bag if it wouldn't ruin the fabric, or pin one to an artfully slung scarf. If you're wearing a blouse with cuffs and aren't rolling them up, you can add one or a few to a cuff instead of a bracelet or watch. 

Keep an open mind next time you're browsing for accessories and pick up a brooch. When making an outfit and none of your existing accessories seem quite right, it might be just what you need.
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Image via: HallieDaily.com
The best part of unseasonably warm fall weather is the freedom you can take with layering without feeling at risk of overheating with a coat, because you don't necessarily need a coat. Yesterday's temps reached into the mid-60s here in NYC, and my favorite thing to do in that instance is to ditch a coat and utilize fall clothes to their potential. The Vanity Fair best dressed list 2013 member here, the blogger behind Hallie Daily, does the fall layering thing well with color and silhouette. I'll admit first thing that I am very much not a fan of her shoes in this picture, but a pump is a great idea with this otherwise low key and casual outfit. I love the bright yellow against the bright blue pants and her choice of a red coat (but only if you need it!) and the way the bright patterned shirt underneath ties everything together so well. The v-neck sweater over the buttoned to the top shirt which hangs out from the bottom just so is perfectly styled to look intentional, but also laid back. I love that she cuffed the pants, but this outfit can work so well with pretty much any fall flat or heel. The clutch makes this a little more formal, and just like the shoes, many different bags could work with this look, too! The best thing about it is that most people already have all these elements in their closets.
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Image via: Target.com
what it is: Merona Kadence Wedge Ankle Boots
what I love it: I've been looking for desert boot wedges for a while now, and between my particularities in price, color, wedge color and fabrication, wedge height and ankle height, it hasn't been an easy search. I saw these at Target a few weeks ago and snatched them up, and I couldn't be happier that I did. I love the idea of heeled shoes for day, but they have to be low enough to be comfortable walking around and casual enough that they don't look weird coming out before dark. These meet all those requirements, just in time for fall. I wore them with jeans running errands and meeting a friend for lunch, but they also work with skirts and dresses, especially with a little sock action. They are perfect for days you want a little lift but want to stay comfortable, or nights when you want to keep it casual, but not too casual.
where to get it: Target, $34.99
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Forever 21 (men) button shirt, Forever 21 dress, Joe Fresh tights, TJ Maxx boots
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Urban Outfitters double chain reverse cameo necklace, Kate Spade exclamation point necklace, Dakota Watch Company watch
I'm savoring these days of relative warmth because I'm not sure how long they'll last now that we're nearing December. These are some of my favorite and most versatile items of clothing I own, so I'm glad they can work together. First, the dress. My mom actually picked this dress off of a messy rack at Forever 21 and tried to force it on me because this simple shift dress in classic navy and white stripes is really not my style. Once I tried it on and it fit perfectly, though, I decided to go for it. It's an all-seasons dress that works just as well on its own with flat sandals as it does with a blazer or cardigan and heels for a more polished look. But I'm not so inclined to polished on a regular basis, so here I go for a little irony by tying up a men's flannel at the waist for some slouchy layers and pattern mixing. Gray tights act as a neutral connection between the top part of the outfit and these loose-fitting heeled boots that add a relaxed coolness to an outfit. The tied shirt leaves the front part of the dress visible, so I break it up with layered long necklaces and add a little bit of business with a mixed metal boyfriend watch. There's a lot of styles going on in this outfit, but keeping some of the polish while layering other styles iss what makes things interesting here.
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Image via: TheCut.com
This picture of Gwen Stefani is actually really old, but the outfit seems surprisingly modern. I'm on a bit of a dressy kick this week, and shorts with tights deserve a mention because I hate for the seasons to limit what I can or can't wear. Tights make shorts possible in the cold temps, and I think Gwen's mostly black look here is great for the upcoming colder months. The tie, to me, is the only dated/questionable thing about this outfit, and it's an easy accessory to lose. Besides that, the buttoned collar with statement necklace and cool belt really add dressy personality to this look and the heels finish off the formal feel. It's definitely a bold look, but keeping the colors understated except for the shorts and just the accessories bold pull it together and make it appropriate for those upcoming holiday parties or just any winter night out.
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(1) Max Mara (and Dorothy Gaspar gloves), (2) Armani. Images via (top to bottom): Eonline.com, source unknown
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(1) Olivia's coat/accessory wardrobe, (2) Ann Demeulemeester, (3) Ralph Lauren. Images via: ScandalMoments.com (top 2), RalphLauren.tumblr.com
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(1) Tory Burch, (2) Salvatore Ferragamo, (3) Burberry Prorsum. Images via: Eonline.com, VodkaInfusedLemonade.com, TalkingWithTami.com
By now, it's obvious that I wish Olivia Pope was real and that I go into a shallow depression every week once I'm done watching Scandal. There is just so much to learn from her, especially from her carefully thought out wardrobe choices (which aren't fictional!). Olivia is always walking purposefully to destinations around Washington, D.C. putting out fires, and it's not a city without seasons. Most of the Scandal year, we see Olivia in a number of different coats, and when you see a nice, well-tailored coat over an equally nice outfit, it's inspiring to up your outerwear game.

I hate coats for many different reasons, but I now understand the need for nice looking outerwear. When I see Olivia patrolling the city streets in various lengths, colors and styles of coats, I'm reminded that coats can really enhance a look, or ruin one when they're not quite right. Take some notes from Olivia, then fill the several empty hangers in your coat closet. I didn't realize how many coats a person really should have until I moved to Chicago, (short, long, casual, formal, sort of casual/sort of formal...my head will start spinning) and though they're not cheap, they last and are an important investment. Once you get to a certain age or stage in your career, that slightly too small puffer coat that doesn't quite cover the bottom of your blazer or cardigan just doesn't quiiiiite match your sophistication level. Or at least the one you're trying to convince people you have achieved.

Olivia is always well-equipped for any level of chill, and her coats always look nice with her outfits. They're long enough to cover whatever is underneath and they can trick someone into thinking they are actually part of her outfit, which is the key. Whenever you get a coat, it should be versatile enough to wear with several different outfit combinations. Shorter and longer nice coats are extremely important for wear over both dresses/skirts and pants, and the neckline of the coat should complement the type of clothes you usually wear. If a lower cut neck opening adds confusion to your look, get one with a high neck closure. If you have an abnormal waist and a belted coat doesn't look quite right, get one that's well tailored using buttons and darts and ditch the belt. 

Most real humans don't need quite as many coats as Olivia, but she has such a variety and wears them so thoughtfully that it's a good idea to use her for guidance and to kind of shop a look for you. If you're meeting someone new during the colder months, the coat is their first impression of how you present yourself, so make it as good of a choice as Olivia always does.

Shop some Olivia look-alikes for her feminine, structured and indulgent outerwear look. Try this, this and this for some similar looks (I'm pretty sure that trench is one she's worn on the show). And if you can't get her Burberry duplicate, Gap has a worthy reasonable alternative.
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