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ways to wear: color at work

Color was big in 2011.  And the fashion editors are saying color will continue to be big into the spring.  Since they’ll be around for a while, let’s figure out a way to put those brights to work at the office.

I own a lot of orange-red because I find the color very easy to match with other colors, and you get a lot of bang for the buck in terms of drama.  I focused on that color in this post, but any of these looks would work well with other brights that might be sitting in your closet.  If you’re shopping for some color, try cobalt, mustard, or fuschia–all versatile brights that pair well with neutrals.

Nice ‘n Easy

I’m a lawyer, but I’m a plaintiffs’ lawyer, and plaintiffs’ lawyers generally don’t like to look like we spend too much money on our clothing, or that we think about clothing at all.  So I can get away with more casual looks at the office.  The outfit below comes in handy when I’m bloated and/or can’t bear the thought of heels.

J. Crew sells a merino version of the boyfriend sweater above but it retails for almost $90.  I bought the sweater at Forever 21 in three colors for less than $50 total.  “But they’re polyester, Yoona.”  For $50, I don’t care if they’re made of plastic ketchup bottles.  And let me just say this: if anyone at work is standing close enough to you that they can tell that your sweater is made of polyester, that’s not right.  Just my legal opinion.

Colored Pencil

My husband generally doesn’t notice my clothing, unless it looks new or expensive.  But he notices every time I wear a pencil skirt, so I try to throw him a bone and wear one from time to time.  This one is my favorite.  J. Crew is making pencil skirts in all sorts of colors, in wool and “double serge” cotton, which is apparently fashion-speak for “hideously overpriced.”  If you want proof that J. Crew never changes their clothes, please note that the skirt below was purchased four years ago.  There’s something comforting in that, I guess.

Casual Friday

I imagine if you’re one of those lucky SOBs who have a creative job, or even better, if you’re your own boss, you could dress like this even when it’s not Friday.  For the rest of us, the colored jeans probably have to wait for casual days.  But boy, given my investment in colored jeans, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to dress them up and disguise them for work.

A note on the jeans.  First of all, they were on sale at Nordstrom for $99.90 but all I paid was $20 after cashing in a Nordstrom note and a gift card.  I imagine that’s not that interesting to you, but I feel like I should get a shopping medal.  Secondly, I’m a J Brand girl, but these AGs are something else.  They are made of a thicker denim that holds like a dream.  I’ve worn them for four consecutive days and the knees haven’t bagged out.  That’s like, unheard of.  And I love the color, which is a deep green-blue.  The perfect foil for orange-red!

How are you wearing brights at work?

27 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sarah #

    I love your fashion sense! It’s so laidback but elegant at the same time. So chic! 😀 I can’t explain it properly but I LOVE IT! 🙂

    September 14, 2012
    • Hey Emilee–no, I got mine a few years ago, and they are wool (looks like these are cotton)? But the color is close!

      January 19, 2012
  2. K How #

    Wow. I could never pull off a skirt like that. Ever. Bravo, Yoona. Unfortunately, I also could never wear those types of things to work, because I work at a gas station and they force me to wear an ugly navy blue polo and jeans. I’ve barely gotten away with wearing boots and jewelry to work. Even simple comfy Ugg knock-offs earned me a stern look from my manager. I don’t blame him. He has no teeth.

    January 13, 2012
  3. Those all look awesome! great finds!

    January 10, 2012
  4. Unsure why previous post deleted my LOL snip, but it was regarding the $50 and not caring if tops made from plastic bags. Love that.


    January 9, 2012
  5. <<<>>

    You’ve naturally very funny. Enjoying the posts, glad I discovered you.
    love the detail of the posts (i.e. where and how much).
    I’m a subscriber, so look forward t seeing you in my mailbox on Mondays.


    January 9, 2012
    • hey deb, thanks for subscribing, and for the feedback!

      January 9, 2012
  6. Jesselyn Girl #

    I was dying for the Jcrew Fall 2011 version of that red pants (further proof that Jcrew doesn’t change their clothes), and of course, like a good and proper Asian, I waited till they went on sale and POOF. They were gone! I was so upset! I am just going to have to settle for their matchstick cord jeans in that same color.

    January 9, 2012
    • you know, i’ve gotten burned recently waiting to pull the trigger on something at j.crew. they must be limiting their production runs? i coveted a skirt with a sash tie at waist, waited it for go on sale, and then it sold out! ugh. don’t wait on those cords, now… 🙂

      January 9, 2012
  7. Jill #

    This is seriously great.

    I can’t stop looking at those Chanel flats. LOVE. I survive on ramen and air for months for a pair.

    Do you take requests for future posts? I would love to see your advice on a) winter coats (especially how to wear a coat with a maxi-skirt; are cropped jackets the only option?), and b) how to wear stockings with skirts. Bare legs aren’t an option in my (hospital) workplace or winter climate; black tights work for some but not all outfits; nude stockings tend to look outdated unless one has recently married into a severely royal family; nude fishnets seem to elicit unwanted attention even when worn with very demure outfits.

    January 8, 2012
    • ah, jill, i love the requests. i’m unfortunately limited in what fashion topics i can write about, since i have to work with what i own, and i don’t have much outerwear, because i hate it! i DO have lots of tights, so i may explore that topic soon. thank you for the ideas!

      January 8, 2012
  8. Nice and casual. Simple but elegant. Fine outside there. I keep hearing forever 21 has an excellent men’s section for affordable, yet simply stylish. Maybe you could do a post of sprucing up your husband’s style with F21 clothing 🙂

    January 8, 2012
    • poor grammar but hopefully you understand, sorry :/

      January 8, 2012
      • a friend just suggested this very topic today. i have never bought anything from F21 for my husband, but am working on a post about affordable weekend wear for guys. stay tuned! and thanks for reading…

        January 8, 2012
  9. Sonya #

    “And let me just say this: if anyone at work is standing close enough to you that they can tell that your sweater is made of polyester, that’s not right. Just my legal opinion.”

    You’ll always be my hero! 😉


    January 8, 2012
  10. My work uniform is ANYTHING but bright!
    You look great though…

    January 8, 2012
  11. Fia #

    Nice outfits! You look great in all of them! 🙂

    January 8, 2012
    • thanks Fia…and thanks for coming back! i dig your haircut whenever i see your gravatar.

      January 8, 2012
  12. Gorgeousness!

    January 8, 2012
  13. Wow, you are stunning! Congrats on Freshly Pressed. I love the IKEA post, it rung very true for me. My husband and I have had 80% of our arguments while assembling IKEA furniture!

    January 8, 2012
    • 80% is higher than us, because we fight a lot about laundry too. like, how about moving the washed stuff to the dryer before it mildews? thanks for reading, pink radish!

      January 8, 2012
  14. Cool

    January 8, 2012

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