Thursday, May 3, 2012

Velvet, Lace, & Bling in the Office

This outfit combines a lot of not typically work-friendly elements: rich velvet, dark lace, & a very sparkly necklace. Now, as I've stated frequently, I work in an extremely casual office where people wear T-shirts & jeans far, far more often than suits, so I can get away with wearing most anything I like. But, as I've also stated frequently, I prefer to project a somewhat serious professional image (mixed with a gothic aesthetic, 'natch) to back up my work credentials.

Still, how can you get away with such wacky materials & blingy accessories in a corporate-appropriate ensemble? Imo, the key is the silhouette, & that starts with the jacket. While this one is made of black lace (backed with solid black fabric), the jacket is shaped in a very traditional style. Three buttons up the front, long sleeves, portrait collar, fitted waist -- nothing too extreme, no wild details, just a classic feminine jacket. With a black pencil skirt, this would look like a fairly typical suit.

The skirt is more unusual because of the full, tiered shape. But the jacket style tones it down. Also, the plain black tights & simple black pumps further neutralize the outfit. The rhinestone necklace is pretty ostentatious, but when surrounded by all these dark colors, it gets softened a bit & becomes a smidge less loud. Notice how I went with dainty little earrings & soft brown-red lipstick so that everything else around the necklace was simple.

While I don't recommend wearing so many atypical elements together all the time (& probably not at all in a more conservative work environment), I do think it's possible to incorporate velvet, lace, & bling into office wear in a way that's appropriate yet still fun & even gothy.

What I'm wearing:
Black lace jacket, Macy's | Black T-shirt, NY & Company | Deep purple velvet skirt, NY & Company | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black pumps with buckle, Kenneth Cole | Pale pink rhinestone necklace, random accessory store | Burgundy pearl earrings, Designs by Victoria | "Raisin Rage" lipstick by Revlon

How casual or formal is your office? Can you wear things like velvet, lace, or bling without raising eyebrows?


  1. WOw, I'd be hesitant to wear a necklace like that to work, but you've shown that it can totally work. I think I"ll be a little more adventurous with the bling now. Thanks!

  2. I'm in love with your closet!! You have so many lovely blazers and skirts, and I would like to have them all! :) Have a nice weekend.

  3. I love love love that jacket.

    I can usually get away with velvet or lace (separately). This morning I put on a pair of black pants with black sequin tuxedo stripes and realized that I couldn't get away with it. Sad.

  4. I think some bling in an otherwise traditional outfit is doable. Go for it!

  5. Darn, sometimes a piece just won't work for the office. But keep trying!