I aim to make my work wardrobe as polished as possible without coming across as stuffy or, well, boring. Although suits might look super profesh, they can also look pretty unoriginal -- especially in a place like Washington where every other person is in a black or navy suit. How do you stick out from the crowd when the crowd is essentially wearing the same thing? For starters, the key is to make sure that your suit is tailored, tailored, tailored. Nothing looks more plain/terrible than an ill-fitting suit. While this usually requires an investment in terms of time and money, sometimes you can find off-the-rack pieces that fit perfectly (or close to it). That's how I feel about the Essential Skinny Ankle Pant in Marisa Fit from LOFT. They're mid-rise and slim throughout and feature a narrow leg and slight crop, which helps show off cute footwear. They have a zip fly with hook and bar closure plus two back pockets and belt loops so you can add a fun belt to jazz up your ensemble. Ladies, I'm telling you, these pants are the pants. I can't tell you how long I've searched for the perfect work trousers only to be left high and dry because they were cut weird, too baggy, too tight, etc. These fit like an absolute dream and I can see what all the fuss is about (just check out the plethora of positive reviews).
Next, it's important to add a little personality to the standard suit. Incorporating unexpected colors, patterns, and prints is an easy way to do just that. Why wear a ubiquitous white button-up blouse when you could wear a more seasonally appropriate floral top? For this particular look, I gravitated away from anything too expected and opted for a navy and white striped top to wear underneath the navy blazer. I really love how the stripes evoke a nautical theme without going overboard (pun intended), and the gold buttons on the blazer also give off a subtle sailor vibe.