[This post is part of the series The 5 Levels of Working Mom Outfits, where you learn ways to assemble outfits for any situation, whether you’re on the job or on the go.]
As we’ve worked our way through the first 3 of the 5 Levels of Working Mom Outfits, we’ve been primarily in the realm of the casual: two weekend looks and one casual dressy look for the office. In other words, outfits that might contain denim.
Today’s level is not casual at all. Level 4 is all business. Level 4 is serious work clothes. Level 4 is Client Meeting.
If you work in any kind of professional office, even if you have room to be less formal the rest of the week, you will step up your game when you’re meeting with a client. In some types of offices, particularly very corporate ones, this is your dress code all week. This is the time to wear your suits and dresses.
These are serious clothes. These are clothes that require dry cleaning. These are the clothes you hope you can wear out of the house without your toddler lovingly decorating them with his morning oatmeal. (Did I mention the dry cleaning?)
How to create a Level 4 Working Mom Outfit: Client Meeting
- Shirt: Dressy, dressy, dressy. Think silk blouses with pussy bows, button-up oxford shirts, rayon shells. You will be wearing this shirt with dress pants or a skirt. Patterns and colors will probably be muted; look at what others in the office are wearing as your guide.
- Pants/Skirt: Choices here include dress pants of wool, linen, or a cotton blend, most often in shades of black, grey, navy blue or tans. Other possibilities: a fine windowpane check, pinstripe or tweed. Skirts are lined, made of similar fabrics, and in conservative silhouettes: A-line, pencil.
- Jacket: A blazer, period. If you’re combining separates, your jacket may have a pattern or color different from your bottom piece–or vice versa. Otherwise, it should be part of a suit and match your pants or skirt exactly.
- A Dress: Or replace the three separates above (top, jacket, bottom) with a dress. A classic sheath with a tasteful little belt can stand all on its own as well as partnered with a blazer.
- Shoes: Pumps or flats, but never a stiletto unless you work at Vogue. Your pumps can be classic, or you can add a variation, like a Maryjane or a d’Orsay. In the summer, try a peep toe.
- Accessories: Of the same taste level as the rest of your clothes. The more conservative your outfit, the more traditional the accessories: simple scarf, string of pearls, Tiffany silver.
Now these suggested items will work in any professional or corporate office, from the Fortune 500 to a two-person law firm. You can never go wrong in simple, classic career clothes.
But what if you are one of the few who work in a more creative environment, maybe an art gallery or an architecture firm?
The outfit guidelines still apply; you simply have the freedom to vary them in bold ways. Your jacket may be cut more dramatically, or made of leather rather than wool. Your pants may be fashion forward rather than mainstream. Your shoe may be a killa platform in bright hues. And a daring necklace can change the demeanor of even the simplest outfit.
The pieces are the same; the twists you choose make them work for your work environment, and for you.
What to buy
$95 - talbots.com
$89 - bluefly.com
$70 - jcrew.com
$90 – modcloth.com
$100 - lordandtaylor.com
$98 - anntaylor.com
$70 - topshop.com
$50 - dsw.com
$60 - dsw.com
$50 - dsw.com
$78 - lordandtaylor.com
Next week: Level 5: Date Night
Do you know how to rock a Level 4 Client Meeting look? Share it with us! Join the 5 Levels of Working Mom Outfits group on Flickr. Then upload your photos to Flickr and share them with the group.
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