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Yellow at the office? Yes!
The winning color applied to workwear for August...and beyond.
A big part of my work as a personal stylist is getting women (and men) dressed for the office - in a way that makes them feel confident in their position and generally in their skin. Many times that involves nudging them into trying new shapes, styles, colors and combos. So today is all about pushing workwear out of its comfort zone for those of you who still clock in, IRL.
My plan here is to challenge your conception of yellow as “not for you.” It can be a very polarizing color. But yellow is really the best. It’s a conversation starter, it breaks up all your basics simply by being and it looks better on you than you think. At this point in the summer, when your office grey and black feels EXTREMELY sad, yellow can lighten the emotional load of being in midtown when the rest of Instagram is in Panarea.
Today I’m going to lay out (in five ideas naturally) why I think yellow is the perfect color to break up (or really build up) a conservative wardrobe for summer. Live a little, half the staff is on vacation anyway!
Tweeds and textures
This skirt is an old Marc Jacobs find from The RealReal, but putting yellow into basically the most conservative fabric on the planet is sure to make it feel office appropriate. Here I am wearing it in an office, with my “fancy” white t-shirt. The t-shirt has bell sleeves and is narrow through the body making it feel more like a top for work in 90 degrees. This Proenza Schouler skirt gives me the same feeling. On sale!
Also note, the yellow is far from my face (for all those “I can’t wear yellow” people. You really can!)
*The long sleeve version of this t-shirt isn’t available anymore. But here is the same shirt in short sleeve (same body shape and curve on the shoulders, its a winner.)
Giving tweed a run for its money on buttoned-up-ness…cable knit! I love this short sleeve knit from J. Crew. Man they’re doing a good job lately, no? I spotted it on their creative director’s Instagram and ordered it. Sadly, it didn’t arrive in time for me to show you IRL in the newsletter. I’ll throw it up on Instagram in a few outfits when it gets here. STAY TUNED! Why I like this knit in particular is because it has the sweetness of the pastel yellow and retro-short-sleeve poodle girl vibes BUT the henley takes it out of too-sweet cardigan territory and allows you to unbutton it a bit. It needs a little bit of skin to feel grown-up. Will pair so great with pleated linen shorts, a black pencil skirt, khaki or white pants, crisp light washed denim, you get my point.
Once again, I’m showing yellow far from your (my) face. This old Dries van Noten skirt is always in my rotation. Dressy and casual. It says summertime but its a heavy, textured silk fabric. Very office-friendly. No one is confusing this with your beach cover up. Styling ideas in the caption.
“Yellow florals” as a general concept is kind of a no-brainer for summer, I get it. Not helpful. But the right yellow florals that don’t look too too or too cheap (sorry to put it so bluntly) take a bit more investigating. Here are a few I endorse.
I don’t own these. But they are high on my list. How great would little Chanel (or these) ballet flats look with a black suit, or jeans and a white button down, or a navy A-line skirt and grey sweater. Look, I’m bringing the yellow even further from your face! Now you have no excuse. Even if you are nervous about the color, why not try it for your commuter shoe. :)
A Yellow Shirt
Easy enough. A yellow shirt with a black pencil skirt. Swap out skirt for jeans (if your office allows) or khakis, even better! Here is a silky version and a traditional poplin version. I love the collar on the darker yellow shirt (right.) Its also a very crisp cotton fabric with beautiful mother of pearl buttons. Very dressy for an extremely buttoned-up office. If you have a little more wiggle room, a silky shirt like the version on the left here (which is from a Hawaiian souvenir shop I found on my honeymoon) reads a bit more “August.” Maybe this one is the best of both worlds? Pale yellow, short sleeves, but still crisp.
Bonus! THIS shirtdress, which happens to be 80% off. I can see you leading a panel discussion in this, can’t you? It will drape so nicely over the chair and leave just your little ankle bare. You will crush it.
And these bermudas….
That’s all for today. I’ll leave you with a special shout out to my sister. The only person one can trust to tell you your bookcase is way too messy, clean it up! So hope you all enjoyed my tidied shelves. :)
P.S. No Five Things next week. My little family and I are taking our first EVER family vacation, just the three of us. Computer not invited.
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