Forbes Style File

FORBES STYLE FILE / Style Strategy: Can I Wear Floral Shoes To The Office?

The new year has just begun, and we are still nowhere close to seeing spring, but spring fashions are already slowing streaming into stores. One trend that I immediately noticed was the appearance of floral-patterned shoes. It’s fresh, it’s pretty, and it’s colorful, but can it be worn to the office? A floral shoe can be worn to the workplace while still looking professional and fashionably on point. My own wardrobe is made of mostly neutrals, such as black, grey, navy, and white so I find it much easier to pair a floral item that encompasses one of those colors in its print. By matching a color in the shoe with an item in the rest of my outfit, the entire outfit comes together and looks cohesive. But of course, choose a floral print that suits your fancy. Continuing with the feminine feel of the print, wear the shoe with a skirt or sheath dress. If in doubt, limit the floral print to just the shoe, or with other smaller accessories, to avoid having your colleagues suddenly overcome with an overwhelming feel of a floral explosion:

Floral Pumps/3

I love an all-white outfit especially to bring focus to the shoe, but if this if you prefer a little more color, a pink blouse perfectly complements the shoe as well. If your office place allows for more creative outfits, or for trendy Casual Friday ensemble, try a floral show with some culottes:

Floral pump/1


If you need something more conservative, the culottes can easily be swapped out for a full length trouser such as these:

Floral pump/2

Although at first seemingly limited in its possibilities, the floral shoe can be a great spring update to the professional woman’s wardrobe.

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FORBES STYLE FILE / Style Strategy: Can I Wear A Sarong Skirt To The Office?

Often when we think of a sarong, we think of the beach, not the office. However, a sarong-style skirt can in fact be worn to the office without looking as if we were heading to an after-work pool party.

A key attribute that would make a sarong skirt appropriate for the office is to keep the length close the knee. A longer skirt would appear much too casual, or even in some instances, look as if you were going to a cocktail party. Also, unless the dress code is extremely flexible, opt for a dark neutral color in a medium to heavy fabric, as opposed to something brightly colored and lightweight.

Because the skirt has a lot of drape, choosing complementary pieces that are more structured or that sit very close to the body, rather than pairing the skirt with items that hang loosely on the body or are made of flowy fabrics, keep the outfit looking professional and helps maintain clean lines. Here are a few styling ideas using a sarong skirt from Zara:

Nonoo sleeveless collared blouse, $290 / Zara black skirt, $60 / Topshop zip top bag, $70 / Michael Kors jewelry, $260 / House of Harlow 1960 post earrings, $35/ Nine West Beautie Pumps, $90

And with a structured blazer for those office environments that require a more formal cover-up for the shoulders:

 H&M white top, $35 / Alice & You blue blazer, $79 / Zara black draped skirt, $60 / Ann Taylor suede shoes, $128 / Kate Spade woven purse, $478 / J. Crew Factory Flower necklace, $54 / Vince Camuto horn bangle, $58 / House of Harlow 1960 antique jewellery, $30
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FORBES STYLE FILE / Style Strategy: Can I Wear Neon To The Office?

As summer winds down, I try to take advantage of my favorite warm weather trends of the season before they are packed away in favor of the new fall fads. Neon has been a very popular trend as of late, but wearing neon to the office must be done cautiously or you may be in danger of looking like a walking highlighter. Neon is likely not for the most conservative workplaces, but for those with more flexibility, it is a great way to liven up an outfit. Pair it with neutrals for something striking but not overpowering.

For something a subtle, try neon accessories such as a belt, or necklace. Or if you are feeling bold, wear a pair of neon shoes.

neon/2H&M sleeveless shirt, $19 / Zara skirt, $98 / Kate Spade , $100 / Zara handbag, $80 / BaubleBar gold bracelet, $26 / LAUREN by Ralph Lauren gold earrings, $35

If your dress code is more liberal, a blouse under a jacket or cardigan is a great way to add a punch of neon without going overboard:

Vero Moda jacket, $65 / Rachel Zoe , $235 / TIBI flat shoes, $385 / Faith handbag, $60 / Michael Korswatch, $250/ Gorjana , $80 / Nadri , $40 / Tinley Road Sleeveless Silk Button Down, $25
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