If all you have to show for the holiday season is a nagging credit card bill, consider this your cheat sheet to looking expensive on a dime. Sharply tailored jackets, pants and skirts, styled with pops of primary colors are a foolproof way to spiff up your everyday office attire.
Crop tops at the office? Mais oui! A general rule of thumb: Make sure you wear a shirt underneath that leaves nothing to chance when it comes to exposing your midriff.
H&M Conscious Crop Top ($39.95) in Pink; H&M Full Circle Skirt ($59.95) in Pink; Zara Checked Shirt ($59.90) in Ecru/Red; Express Satchel ($59.50); Nasty Gal Shoe Cult Jasper Sandal ($78) in Black; Hue Basic Anklet Sock ($6.50) in Black
It’s all about vertical integration for spring, so top off a crisp white blouse and pleated trousers with a striped jacket.
jcp Striped Blazer ($65) in Navy; Mango Boxy Cotton Shirt ($29.99) in White; Zara Jacquard Trousers with Buckles ($19.99) Available In Stores; Nordstrom Street Level Reversible Faux Leather Tote and Wristlet ($48); LC Lauren Conrad Heels, similar style Journee Collection Enzo High Heels ($59.99) in Leopard
Balancing work and play has never been so easy. Make a tough-as-nails leather skirt office-appropriate by adding a demure peasant blouse and a classic trench.
What glass ceiling? A single-sole stiletto in a bright bolt of blue gives an otherwise athletic-influenced ensemble just the right amount of girly-girl you’ll need to rise to the occasion with the big boys.
Simply Vera Vera Wang Fem Fan Dress ($78) in Nice Navy/Pure Night, available early March; AE Hooded Utility Jacket ($89.95) in Ebony Grey; Calvin Klein Belt ($48); Nina Vedette ($94.99) in Blue Kidsuede; Hue Jean Socks ($6.50) in Bella Blue; H&M Grey Purse ($39.95)
Miniskirts can hold their own in a staff meeting as long as you manage your proportions. Opt for an A-line over a body-con style and balance out the short hemline with a low or flat-heeled shoe.
Express High Waist Textured Tweed A Line Skirt ($35.94) in Black Pattern; Express Tweed Short Sleeve Structured Top ($35.94) in White; Forever 21 Modernist Monkstrap Shoes ($32.80) in Black and Fancy Quilted Shoulder Bag ($24.80) in Cream
There’s a certain type of joy you’ll get from knowing your pants are working overtime even though you’re off the clock. A high waist, fitted ponte pant is a wise investment choice that goes from serious to sexy with the change of a shoe.
Express 24 Inch Studio Stretch Jacket ($58.80) in Pitch Black; Tommy Hilfiger Shirt ($99); LC Lauren Conrad Skinny Ponte Pants ($26.40) in Black; G.H. Bass & Co. 2-Tone Weejuns ($75.60) in Burgundy; River Island Quilted Backpack ($60) in Black
Athletic details and an uber-feminine lilac hue are the perfect storm of sporty and sweet.
J. Crew Stripe Sleeve Merino Sweater ($95)
Break up an otherwise all-black outfit with a white, bow-detail belt.
Banana Republic Tuxedo Bow Belt ($49.50) in Chalk
You can never go wrong with a classic trench. It’s a must-have for every working girl.
H&M Trenchcoat ($49.95) in Beige
Consider a graphic, windowpane check sweater as that second layer in the office.
Fossil Cassie Saddle Shoulder Sweater ($88) in Black
Leather backpack? Check! Bucket bag? Check! You’ll cover two trends at once with this piece.
Bebe Backpack ($69) in Black
Who says a blazer has to be black? Opt for a preppy, striped print.
Gap Academy Blazer ($88)
Mix this ladylike gray midi skirt with an electric-hued crewneck.
Mango Premium-Flared Midi Skirt ($69.99) in Gunmetal Gray
Toe the waters of spring’s bold hues with a bright blue suede pump.
Jessica Simpson Claudette Suede Pump ($78.95) in Cerulean
An asymmetrical, color-block skirt gives even the most simple of white button-down shirts a shot of personality.
JC Penney I ‘Heart’ Ronson Colorblock Faux-Leather Skirt ($50) in Black/White
A cobalt blue, A-line dress is not only flattering but also eye-catching.
The Limited Seamed Fit & Flare Dress ($98) in Blue
It’s sheer but just modest enough, so you can be on-trend without pushing the boundaries of the office dress code.
Pale Sky Swiss Dot Blouse ($69) in Black
Black ponte pants with a high-waist fit are kind to all figures!
Armani Exchange High Waist Ponte Pant ($88) in Black
Loosen up! This slouchy tailored jacket will balance out the structure of a classic pencil skirt.
River Island Unfastened Blazer ($90)
Consider the ankle strap a stylish seatbelt for your feet.
Sole Society Audra Pump ($64.95) in Black
This chic gray and white combo takes the guesswork out of matching your top and your skirt.
Sheinside Grey Long Sleeve Asymmetrical Knit Top With Skirt ($58)
A wardrobe makeover in minutes: ditch your usual black tote for this luxe, cream shoulder bag.
Tinley Road Sienna Shoulder Bag ($95) in Bone
Layer this sophisticated vest over a menswear-inspired button-down and roll up the sleeves.
Trouve Trouvé Blazer Style Vest ($88) in Navy-Dusk
Coach Bleeker Mini Skinny In Painted Dot Coated Canvas ($38) in Brass/Love Red
Trouve Trouvé Blaxer Style Vest ($88) in Navy-Dusk