Oh She She! I am in desperate need of your guidance. Next month I am moving to Washington DC for my dream job. My problem is two fold: 1. I need to find a briefcase/tote that will hold files, my purse and (the horror!) a pair of leggings to keep my legs warm during my commute. I am totally unwilling to sacrifice my office skirts for comfort this early in my career. 2) I have just realized that my work wardrobe is much too neutral and I would like to spice it up a little bit with some colorful shoes and accessories that are both age and office appropriate. (Should 22 year olds wear silk scarves?) I want to stand out without channeling Elle Woods. Please Help. Thanks a Million! Desperate to Wow DC
Darling girl, you have enough to worry about with starting a new job, let's get this little dilemma under control so you can concentrate on the truly important stuff. (Like finding out where the really cute boys hang out after work.) Problem number 1: chic and stylish tote/briefcase. Not a problem. There are so many great choices today that you no longer have to look like you stole your boyfriend's manly-man briefcase. I'd opt for one with a platform bottom, especially a footed platform to protect the leather. I have this gorgeous little number. Plenty of room inside for files, phone, PDA, and girly necessities. Plus it has the added benefit of a detachable shoulder strap.
Next, how to add a little pizazz to an otherwise vanilla wardrobe. Note above briefcase, in cherry red! Très chic and rates highly on the spice factor. Same goes for shoes. In D.C. you will most likely be wearing suits, right? With a neutral suit you can pair a blouse and shoes from coordinating colors in the spectrum. Here's a nifty little tool that can help you determine which colors work well together. For instance, pair a seafoam or teal blouse with a tan suit, then choose shoes in a deep shade of orange and a handbag in warm russet. Just keep the basic color tones the same. Cools with cools, warms with warms.
Also, yes dear girl, 22-year-olds can most certainly wear silk scarves! And they are so very versatile. Tie one around the handle of your handbag or work tote. Use one to cinch the waist of a jacket or blazer. Loop a colorful scarf around a low ponytail for instant chic (when you sleep in and don't have time to wash your hair!) Experiment with your style and find what feels right to you. One piece of advice: dress for the job you aspire to!