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April 7, 2015

5 Looks: Conservative or Creative, Business Meeting Outfits Done Right

In Clothes & Conversaton, “How To: Dress For That Important Meeting With Effortless Style…And Tons of Confidence” this week, we talked about the importance of that first impression at work. We all have different business expertise, and that often puts us in situations where we’re meeting new people. You may be meeting with a new client for the first time, making or hearing that first pitch, meeting a new boss or a new team…there are a lot of opportunities in our careers to make a first impression. And while you may feel 100% prepared with the work you’ll be discussing, you may not feel as confident about what to wear. And that’s what we’re here for. Whether you’ll be in a conservative or a creative atmosphere, here are 5 key looks that are timeless, ageless, and made for success.
Let us know what you think in the comments below and on social media. Have any go-to looks you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about them, too. Remember, whatever the occasion, we’ve got you covered.
http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/505566/Theory/stellina-striped-silk-georgette-dress
http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/505566/Theory/stellina-striped-silk-georgette-dress
A silk shirtdress is professional and modern, in all but the most conservative of work environments. Theory’s has the perfect combination of both traits, with its classic camel/forest green/white stripe on a navy silk ground, and an updated ribbed sleeve cuff and drawstring waist. You can add a crisp white cotton, crepe, or linen blazer over it, but we find it holds up really well on it’s own. It’s absolutely one of our favorites work dresses of the season, and that’s saying something. Theory’s contemporary fit isn’t too trim here, so it gently skims the body and looks so flattering on everyone. A simple gold necklace will be understated, and work with the saddle color accessories that perfectly compliment it.
http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/michael-michael-kors-mk-flex-dorsay-pumps?ID=1984049 MICHAEL Michael Kors - MK Flex d'Orsay Pumps
MICHAEL Michael Kors - MK Flex d'Orsay Pumps
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MICHAEL Michael Kors - MK Flex d'Orsay Pumps
MK Flex d'Orsay Pumps
MICHAEL Michael Kors
Sold by: Macys

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Playing up the camel stripe in the featured Theory dress, we like to pair it with these updated pumps in Michael Kors’ luggage color leather. Not only do we love the look, we love the price point and fit. The modern pointy toe and d’orsay (which just means the instep portion is cut-away) silhouette is a style that has reemerged as very fashionable this season. The best part is the flexible sole and very wearable 3” heel. You’ll actually be able to walk in comfort. And no one wants to be distracted by painful shoes during an important meeting. Come fall, this dress will look so stylish with a pair of knee high boots in this same color.
http://www.shopbop.com/large-tote-collar-stud-madewell/vp/v=1/1573450825.htm Madewell - McCaren Tote
Madewell - McCaren Tote
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Madewell - McCaren Tote
McCaren Tote
Madewell
Sold by: Shopbop

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The slightly sporty finishes on the dress work beautifully with the soft structure of this leather Madewell tote. It’s unlined to give it a bit of a slouchy drape that is a nice balance to the polished look of the dress and shoes. And of course, the neutral color will work with this – and any other – outfit. It’s very roomy, so your computer (in its case) and any files will fit with ease. It sits on you shoulder very comfortably, and just looks better and better, the more it breaks in.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/lafayette-148-new-york-coraline-jacket/3937737 Lafayette 148 New York - Coraline Jacket
Lafayette 148 New York - Coraline Jacket
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Lafayette 148 New York - Coraline Jacket
Coraline Jacket
Lafayette 148 New York
Sold by: Nordstrom

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Lafayette 148 New York’s high quality and classically updated styles are always a safe bet for a conservative work look. And the simple deep navy and white pattern of this single button jacket gives a spring feel to an office appropriate silhouette. Lafayette always gives the utmost attention to detail, and that can be seen not only in the fabric, but in the pretty finishes like the slit in the cuffs and the way the jacket stylishly cuts away beneath the button closure – which is not only stylish, it creates a pretty hourglass shape and gives you room for comfort when you are sitting so you can easily keep your jacket buttoned. The modern line has an easy fit, so if this is your first Lafayette piece, we suggest sizing down.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/niczoe-day-to-night-top-regular-petite/3769470 Nic+Zoe - Day to Night Top
Nic+Zoe - Day to Night Top
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Nic+Zoe - Day to Night Top
Day to Night Top
Nic+Zoe
Sold by: Nordstrom

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The higher neckline of this white crepe Nic+Zoe top falls beautifully with the jacket. While it has a small gather in the back to give it some shape when work untucked, it will still tuck in and lay smoothly under the jacket. It has a similar easy fit to the Lafayette jacket. Alternatively, you can also go with a simple silk scoop neck camisole for a seamless appearance under the jacket.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/lafayette-148-new-york-irving-stretch-wool-pants-regular-petite-nordstrom-exclusive/2931615 Lafayette 148 New York - Irving Stretch Wool Pants
Lafayette 148 New York - Irving Stretch Wool Pants
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Lafayette 148 New York - Irving Stretch Wool Pants
Irving Stretch Wool Pants
Lafayette 148 New York
Sold by: Lafayette 148 New York

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Pair this patterned jacket and top with simple navy pants, also from Lafayette 148 New York. They have a menswear-inspired look with the tab closure and front slant pockets that is just right to create a professional look. But they are modern and feminine with the slimmer leg that finishes to a slightly cropped length that has a small slit, which coordinates with the cuff detail of the jacket. These come in 0-18, and in petite, but if you need to shorten them, a tailor can easily recreate the slit. The fit will be easy – just like the jacket.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/jimmy-choo-allure-pump/3584394 Jimmy Choo - Allure Pump
Jimmy Choo - Allure Pump
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Jimmy Choo - Allure Pump
Allure Pump
Jimmy Choo
Sold by: Nordstrom

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These shoes are just amazing, the perfect work shoe. They are an investment – and you’ll feel the return on your money each time you wear them. We can practically guarantee confidence in these sophisticated 2” heels. The taupe color is a great neutral that will go with everything throughout the season and into fall. The notched vamp gives them a bit of a tailored loafer appearance, but the pointy toe and slim heel are all lady. And this is what makes them an ideal match to this jacket, blouse, and pants combination – it is feminine with a touch of menswear inspiration for a powerful look that has a level of approachability. (A simple pointy toe pump with a low heel or pointy toe flat are also professional alternatives that will look great.)
http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446790933 Rebecca Taylor - Fringe-Trim Tweed Jacket
Rebecca Taylor - Fringe-Trim Tweed Jacket
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Rebecca Taylor - Fringe-Trim Tweed Jacket
Fringe-Trim Tweed Jacket
Rebecca Taylor
Sold by: Saks Fifth Avenue

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Stylish with a classic twist, this Rebecca Taylor tweed jacket is a mix of a structured blazer and a soft cardigan. The cream color has a slight hint of metallic in it that doesn’t overwhelm – it’s just a touch of sheen that works with the conservative look to give it a fresh twist that will work in any creative space. It has a single hook closure and some nice stretch to it, so it’s easier contemporary fit will flatter lots of body types and lay smoothly even if you have a larger bust. This is a great spring piece, as you’ll be able to wear it over simple dresses and with jeans and a tank top all season long.
https://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/suiting/Novelty/PRDOVR~B8170/B8170.jsp J.Crew - Back-zip Shell
J.Crew - Back-zip Shell
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J.Crew - Back-zip Shell
Back-zip Shell
J.Crew
Sold by: J.Crew

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For a meeting, leave the jacket open and layer it over this J.Crew back-zip navy shell. The soft feminine fabric of the jacket is the perfect juxtaposition to the lightweight suiting fabric of this top, bringing a bit more of a serious tone to the jacket that is equally stylish. The higher neckline of the top works well with the fringe neckline of the jacket. And the shirttail hem of the looser body can be worn untucked with the length of the jacket, too. You’ll also be able to wear this top with a simple white button down under it, so like the jacket, there’s plenty of versatility to wear this top again.
https://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/pants/Slim/PRD~B8172/B8172.jsp J.Crew - Marston Pant
J.Crew - Marston Pant
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J.Crew - Marston Pant
Marston Pant
J.Crew
Sold by: J.Crew

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Pair both pieces with J.Crew’s coordinating pants in navy. The cut is slim and feminine (in J.Crew’s typically modern fit) but the high quality seasonless suit wool has such a lightweight, they have beautiful drape and fluidity that is played up by the single pleat finish. And they’re soft, just like the top, so you’ll be comfortable to concentrate on the meeting at hand.
https://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/shoes/pumpsandheels/PRDOVR~B0288/B0288.jsp J.Crew - Roxie Printed Pumps
J.Crew - Roxie Printed Pumps
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J.Crew - Roxie Printed Pumps
Roxie Printed Pumps
J.Crew
Sold by: J.Crew

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The playful print of J.Crew’s fabric pumps bring it all together – a classic silhouette with an anything but classic flare. The linen texture ties in the nubby tweed texture of the jacket and mixes some lighter tones in to the shades of the blue in the shoes. You’ll love them with a pair of rolled up jeans, too.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/boss-junali-one-button-stretch-wool-jacket/3913160 BOSS Hugo Boss - Junali One-Button Stretch Wool Jacket
BOSS Hugo Boss - Junali One-Button Stretch Wool Jacket
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BOSS Hugo Boss - Junali One-Button Stretch Wool Jacket
Junali One-Button Stretch Wool Jacket
BOSS Hugo Boss
Sold by: Nordstrom

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The clean styling and menswear inspiration of Hugo Boss’s women’s line creates an aesthetic that is conservative, yet modern. And that’s an ideal combination for an important meeting. The one-button closure of this jacket works on women of all chest sizes, since the closure is low enough that it doesn’t interfere. The overall length of the jacket is really fresh, in that it’s not cropped to the waist but not a traditional lower hip length, either. This allows it to pair well with a skirt – while still working with pants, as shown. The length is very flattering, creating an hourglass shape that is still very modest but not at all dowdy. Hugo Boss’s fit is modern, and not too trim, which gives it a timeless feel so you’ll be reaching for this jacket for years to come. The seasonless wool has a touch of stretch for comfort, too. The muted crosshatch pattern steals the show, bringing together a lot of blue shades, which compliments almost all skin tones.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/vince-stripe-sleeveless-tunic/3951933 Vince - Stripe Sleeveless Tunic
Vince - Stripe Sleeveless Tunic
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Vince - Stripe Sleeveless Tunic
Stripe Sleeveless Tunic
Vince
Sold by: Nordstrom

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While there is a pattern to this blazer, it’s subtle, so give it a little interest with a skinny blue striped white sleeveless top. The collarless style and horizontal stripe of the button placket are just the stylish touches that will be shown off under the jacket. This tunic has a shirttail hem which will look great untucked over simple pants on a more casual day. But for today, tuck it in. And since it’s in Vince’s typical easy fit, size down if you’ve never worn the brand before. For a truly classic look, a simple white crepe shell will never disappoint.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/boss-vilina-stretch-wool-pencil-skirt/3913140 BOSS Hugo Boss - Vilina Stretch Wool Pencil Skirt
BOSS Hugo Boss - Vilina Stretch Wool Pencil Skirt
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BOSS Hugo Boss - Vilina Stretch Wool Pencil Skirt
Vilina Stretch Wool Pencil Skirt
BOSS Hugo Boss
Sold by: Nordstrom

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While there are pants that go with this blazer if that is more comfortable for you, the subtle pattern looks beautiful in Hugo Boss’ simple pencil skirt. It’s a clean finish to the length of the jacket, and for spring, creates a lighter look. Because of the crosshatch pattern, it stands on its own with just a crisp button down or simple blue sweater in almost any shade, on a less important day. The best news is that the seasonless wool has stretch to it, just like the jacket, which will make it so comfortable.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/charles-david-lulu-dorsay-pump-women/3853465 Charles David - Lulu' d'Orsay Pump
Charles David - Lulu' d'Orsay Pump
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Charles David - Lulu' d'Orsay Pump
Lulu' d'Orsay Pump
Charles David
Sold by: Nrdstrom

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Finish the look with closed toe pumps. These Charles David’s have a clean and professional air, but are also updated looking with their pointed toes and subtle d’Orsay shape. The navy is an easy match, but you can certainly wear the nude that is also available through the ‘shop it’ button.
http://www.theory.com/Aren-Seasons-Jacket/F0206101,default,pd.html Theory - Aren Jacket
Theory - Aren Jacket
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Theory - Aren Jacket
Aren Jacket
Theory
Sold by: Theory

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Theory takes a stylishly modern twist on a blazer, with this laid-back style that is still perfectly polished for a meeting in any hip or creative environment. It’s all in how you wear it. The cuffed sleeves and single button on the lightweight suit material create an easy look and nice drape that, even in Theory’s contemporary fit, makes it loose and effortless.
http://www.shopbop.com/sleeveless-pleat-blouse-bella-dahl/vp/v=1/1512483973.htm Bella Dahl - Sleeveless Pleat Blouse
Bella Dahl - Sleeveless Pleat Blouse
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Bella Dahl - Sleeveless Pleat Blouse
Sleeveless Pleat Blouse
Bella Dahl
Sold by: Shopbop

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Add Bella Dahl’s grey patterned shirt underneath. The sleeveless style allows you to show off the jackets short sleeves, and lightens up the simple black color in its pretty, yet subtle design. The contemporary fit works well with Theory’s own.
http://www.theory.com/Thaniva-Seasons-Pant/F0206202,default,pd.html Theory - Thaniva Pant
Theory - Thaniva Pant
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Theory - Thaniva Pant
Thaniva Pant
Theory
Sold by: Theory

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Fit Guide
While dark jeans (skinny or flare) would look great, for an important meeting, it’s always better to err on the side of professionalism. But these Theory pants aren’t traditional suit pants. They are a slip-on style with a slightly cropped leg in the same material as the jacket. They don’t add any bulk under the closed jacket, since there aren’t any buttons or zippers or belt loops to deal with. They do have side slant pockets to give them just the right touch of structure, as well as a hidden zip detail at the hem of the slimmer leg. This creates the look of a suit in a completely updated and fresh way.
http://www.shopbop.com/odilia-laceless-oxford-joie/vp/v=1/1554475396.htm Joie - Odilia Laceless Oxfords
Joie - Odilia Laceless Oxfords
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Joie - Odilia Laceless Oxfords
Odilia Laceless Oxfords
Joie
Sold by: Shopbop

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These are such amazing oxfords, and the ideal sartorial finish to this outfit. Sure, a pair of heels will look great, but these slip-on Joie’s look so updated with their white soles and suede uppers - everything about them are just right for the season. And play up all the elements of this outfit with ease.
 

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