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  • Writer's picturePaxton Lewis

A Week of Outfits: A Common Theme

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

So as I mentioned in my first blog post (and in many more posts to come), it is so important to me for women to have affordable options for business fashion. In my opinion, affordable options does not mean having one store that sells paper-y button downs in two colors or itchy-but-mostly-business-appropriate sweaters. Affordable options means having the same access--in availability, quality, and affordability--as men to buying business clothes.

What I often hear from men in the corporate world is that "women are lucky because they have so many more options" or that "women are 'complicated' when it comes to fashion and that's the reason corporate fashion is more difficult for women." To put it nicely, I think this is a bunch of bullshit. Okay, maybe that's a little bit more frank than it is nice. But it is the truth. Women's "options" or "complications" are not driven by the working woman's needs. They are driven by an industry that continues to make female fashion about sex appeal. Yes, female empowerment is often a driving factor as well. And yes, feeling "sexy" is important. But feeling sexy comes in many forms. In the corporate world, confidence is sexy. And I am most confident when I feel like an equal competitor in the workplace and that includes how I dress.

So a common theme in my outfits is incorporating brands that meet my accessibility standard. This means carrying several styles and colors, maintaining quality in material, and protecting my wallet (unless by every color which is possible). So with that, here is a little recap on four outfits from last week (I was too tired/busy at work on Wednesday, so one outfit is missing) plus yesterday's outfit!

Monday, October 22nd:

I'm a huge fan of the tank top, skirt, and heels look--especially for someone my height (5' 1 1/2", yes the half inch matters haha). This long skirt from Lulu's is so fun. Be aware of the split in the skirt and where it would lay on your personally. Since I'm so short, I love the split because I can wear long skirts without looking like I stole something from my grandma's closet (although her fashion was impeccable). I added a simple white tank from H&M. And the collar adds a more professional look to this tank top so that I don't always need to keep a blazer around. And my shoes are from NA-KD, which also carries a lot of affordable business-appropriate styles!

Skirt: Lulu's, size small; Top: H&M, size small (my top is no longer available, but here is another H&M option that I would wear with this outfit; Shoes; NA-KD, size 6.5 (shoes are super old, but here is the closest style I could find on DSW, but it's a little more pricey that I was hoping! ~$80)

Tuesday, October 23rd:

This stripes-on-stripes look is so fun. I love adding a unique touch to standard business outfit. So the subtle vertical stripes on this button-down and pencil skirt look adds a little flare to the business casual style. This button-down is from Bershka and it was only $9.95!! I love that the buttons aren't visible, offering a cleaner look. The shirt itself has more of a linen feel (without the wrinkles) so it isn't too restrictive. This pencil skirt is from Express and I bought it on sale for $35! They have some of the best sales! So if you can wait to purchase new business clothes, sign up for their newsletter and prepare for the countdown to those pre-Black Friday sales. My shoes are from Ann Taylor. Any time they have a sale I check in on their shoe options. They can be pricey (around $130) but Ann Taylor knows how to do a sale right. I found these shoes for $35 a few years ago. And despite being a light nude suede shoe that I wear weekly, these shoes still look almost brand-new!

Skirt: Express, size 0 (currently on sale for $41.94); Top: Bershka, size small (on sale for $9.95 and there are so many more colors!!); Shoes: Ann Taylor, size 6.5 (here is a similar shoe that I love)

Thursday, October 25th:

Burgundy is one of my favorite fall and winter colors. So you are going to see a lot of similar color patterns to this one. Here I am wearing a simple long sleeve top from Bershka, which comes in several colors ($19.90). These pants are the High Waisted Plaid Culotte Pant from Express. The culotte pant is technically supposed to be a cropped pant, but if you're a munchkin like me, buying cropped pants as full-length pants is one of my favorite life hacks to avoiding alterations! Finally, my shoes are from DSW! I almost exclusively wear pointed toe shoes--mostly because I don't love open-toe shoes for work and I think the pointed or almond toe-shape is so classic.

Pants: Express, size 0 (on sale for $47.94!); Top; Bershka, size small; Shoes: DSW (Vince Camuto), size 6.5

Friday, October 26th:

I was clearly excited for the Fall weather. And I am even more excited about this cozy casual Friday outfit! This matching sweater-skirt set is from Bershka. It is so soft and classic. The off-white color is perfect for any season! And I'm really excited to share how I would pair each piece in this set separately as well! :) These boots are from DSW and mimic the "sock boot" style, except they're a little bit more supportive which I love.

Sweater-Skirt Set: Bershka, size x-small; Shoes: DSW (Bamboo), size 6.5

Monday, October 29th:

For a more casual suit look, I paired a lapel-less blazer and pencil skirt with a soft cotton turtleneck. I also love pairing the not-so-perfectly-matching burgundy blazer and skirt together. This skirt's slightly-textured-look with this blazer's slightly-edgy-look create a simple but unique suit style that balances nicely between business professional and business casual. I added a pair of pointed-toe pumps (surprise surprise) from DSW because I'm me and I love pointed-toe pumps with everything!

Blazer: Express, size 2 (on sale for $76.80); Skirt: Express, size 0 (on sale for $35.94!!); Turtleneck: Banana Republic (Outlets), size x-small; Shoes: DSW (Nine West), size 6.5

Thank you for reading! And as always, please reach out if you have any questions, comments, or feedback! Xo, Pax

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1 Comment

Nov 25, 2018

Love the matching set from Bershka! It makes for such a great and easy outfit! ❤️

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