A Little Extra Prep In My Step

Looking back, I think I’ve always probably been a secret prepster. The stripes… the brights… the penchant for balancing everything out with a nice, sensible neutral… I’m telling you, it all adds up! And to be honest, a preppy formula is just the kind of no-brainer logic my work wardrobe needs: pick a pattern (in this case stripes, but polka dots or checks are also acceptable), pick a solid (I’m a lean, mean, green wearing machine), pick a blazer (or cardigan) and then roll said blazer’s sleeves up, 1) as an homage to the quintessential hey day of the preppies, the 1980s and 2) because you’re practically physically incapable of not pushing up your sleeves, so you might as well roll them up neatly. See? Simple, clean, and straightforward enough that my groggy, sleep deprived brain can handle it in the wee hours of Monday morning.

 Blazer: Forever 21 (similar)

Trousers: The Limited (similar)

Pumps: Target (similar)

Necklace: J Crew Factory (similar)

Concrete Jungle Cat

I used to watch movies and TV shows about working in a formal business setting and think, “Nah, that will never be me”. But I think we all know by now that life has a funny way of flipping the script when you least expect it. Yes, I recently traded the non-profit world for a more corporate lifestyle and I would be lying if I said I didn’t experience a little culture shock. I knew that my casual Fridays were long behind me but I failed to foresee just how much this shift would change my style for 40 hours out of the week.

I mean, I knew I’d have to lay off the spikes and skulls, trade some of my louder statements for something more sensible, and leave my light-up sneaks and dinos at home, but I hadn’t really anticipated just how much of my eclectic wardrobe would not be applicable to my new situation. You see, I have a pretty extensive shoe collection (some would call it legendary), but I don’t own a single, sensible black flat or pump (I know, I know… blogger fail). I have a vast collection of skirts and dresses, but only a handful of them are actually office appropriate either due to their style (tootle-oo tutu) or length (the average retailer cuts their dresses for girls with much shorter legs than mine. I’m basically too tall for the regular section, not tall enough for the Tall section #NotAGirlNotYetAnAmazon). As a person who has always found great joy in expressing myself through fashion, the idea of morphing into some kind of office drone gave me serious feels.

But then I started to find ways to inject a little bit of me into my nine to five again. A pop of color here, a wild print there, and a subtle, yet sassy accessory over yonder and suddenly I’ve rediscovered the element of fun in getting dressed and *snap* the job’s a game again (that Mary Poppins, you guys. So wise). So while I will still invest in a few more respectable office basics like those black pumps (you didn’t really think I’d turn down the opportunity to buy more shoes, did you?),   my creativity will always be on display.

Pants: The Limited (similar)

Sweater: Target (similar)

Heels: Target (similar)

Necklace: JCrew Factory (similar)

Watch: Charming Charlie