Guest post: Anthro for work by Elz

Sunday, June 13, 2010

First, I’d like to thank Roxy for allowing me to have a guest post. She’s a lucky girl to be in Mexico right now. If you’ve been to my blog, you know I love vacationing in Mexico. Roxy-hope you are enjoying a margarita on a sandy beach right now.

I asked Roxy if it would be helpful to blog about what I know about Anthropologie -- that Anthro items can work very easily for professionals (I am an attorney). While being an attorney can be creative, the dress code is fairly conservative. I think Anthro items are especially important in any professional wardrobe to spice up otherwise boring navy and black worlds. *I should point out that while I need to look professional and business-like, I do not go to court. Dressing for the courtroom requires more conservative wear.*

I started buying Anthro pieces about 2 years ago, prior to that I couldn’t justify the expense. It’s too trendy I thought. I’ll never be able to wear any of this to work. Wrong. You need to find your style (my style is classic retro with a kick) and, in the words of Tim Gunn, "Make it Work.”

As far as working Anthro into the workplace, I look for one WOW piece and keep the rest of my outfit fairly simple. The rule of 3s is what you should look for- divide your body into three portions-top, middle, and legs. Make sure that all three work together and try not to have any one portion of your body compete with the other two. The 1/3 rule does not mean you can’t wear all vibrant or colorful items- see this outfit I wore to work the other day with the green Beda Dress ($118) as the base- you just need to keep things in the same family. The Tabitha Night Blooming Dress is a great example of 1/3 dressing. I would wear a jacket or belted sweater for the office and then take it off after work.

There is no reason you can’t wear the Blue Book Blouse (I suggest the blue), with a navy suit. I like to wear it with the Scalloped Sailor Skirt and a light jacket or with a brown skirt and navy sweater.

The Ancient Pathways Tank ($78) or Marietta Blouse ($88) also would work well under a traditional suit or with a boyfriend blazer and simple pencil skirt. I think it would look fabulous with a pair of white suit pants or skirt and perhaps a black or navy blazer. Anthro has a number of really great layering pieces including its shirts that translate well into the workplace. Another closet staple for me is skirts. In addition to the Scalloped Sailor skirt, I recently purchased the Stars & Stripes skirt, which is perfect to wear with a black blazer, black shirt and heels.

I also am in love with the Fennel Flower Skirt ($98) and hope to pair it with a white button down as soon as it goes on sale. Word of caution- be aware that Anthro skirts are typically cut high. It is never professional to have your skirt ride up past your thigh when you sit. It is likewise not ok to show any part of your bottom or upper thigh when you lean over.

The great thing about wearing well selected Anthro pieces is the vibe you will give off. You will still look professional, but you won’t look like you just walked out of Ann Taylor. You’ll show some individuality and creativity. Sometimes the unconscious signals we send in the workplace are the most important- a vivid color palette demonstrates confidence (Let’s give that big project to elz, she’s a risk taker). Or, styling an outfit (not just wearing it) demonstrates a dedication to details-just little things like picking out the right colors in accessories will subconsciously display your organization and analytical skills. It may sound silly, but I promise this is true. Also remember that a big impact comes in small packages-the accessories. I love my Hello, Gorgeous bracelets (I’ve bought 3 sets so far) and wear them almost every day-fun, fabulous, a small touch of whimsy.

Dress with your dress code in mind. I do not wear hose since I live & work in Houston and there’s just not enough money to ever make me wear them in the Spring or Summer. However hot it gets, I will never wear sandals or any kind of flip flops to the office. I also do not show bra straps, or wear sequins, or any shirt with writing on it, etc. Remember to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Some creativity with clothes is appropriate for work and some risks are just not worth it. Don’t be known for your clothing; be known for your great sense of style and great work.