Hello darlings! I hope you had a lovely break -- I sure did. Spent time with family, cleaned the house and had a couple of naps and now I'm back with my batteries recharged.
To celebrate, let's start with a special Ask Mudra. Someone very close to me is starting a new job today, so let's send this very special someone some ((((((((((good vibes))))))))))). She's going to be in a leadership position within this new job. However, she asked advice on what to wear because:
a) She's a longtime consultant and used to dressing for occasional, casual meetings. It's her first time in a daily office setting.
b) She's quite young, and although smart and experienced, is worried that others might view her age undermines her leadership role.
c) Her place of work is a very casual, jeans-and-T-shirt sort of place.
Given these, she needs a look that would communicate her position of authority, despite her youth (remember: "dress for the job you want, not the job you have"!) but would still blend in with the populace -- no one wants to be That Girl in the super dressed up outfit, as if emphasizing her "specialness" in the office. And of course, being the new girl, you want to project an aura of friendliness and approachability.
Here's what I recommend: lots of blue (blue is the coolest color, calming and peaceful and apt to appeal to those new co-workers sizing you up); some structure to remind people that although the look is casual, it's part of the hierarchy; and some sharp-toed shoes to communicate who's the boss: these are not the toes they want to be stepping on.
Look 1 features a casual, cool striped dress in a nautical blue stripe to inspire feelings of calm and friendliness, but that bold stripe also gives this dress structure and authority. An oversized, mannish gray cardigan keeps the wearer warm in the office's arctic blast, but also suggests that although the girl's in a dress, she still "wears the pants," so to speak. An interesting necklace draws attention to the face so people remember who you are. And while I'm not a 100% fan of the white shoe, this version with the sharp toe is just the right complement to prevent this from looking too vacation-y.
Look 2 is spare and minimalist and says, "I'm casual, but I mean business." A slouchy drop-hem top is contrasted with cropped cotton trousers and pretty sharp-toed flats. Paired with a large, geometric bib necklace and a delicate bangle and this instantly looks chic and capable instead of ambling mall-wear.
Look 3, my vote for the "first day of work" thing, evokes a ship captain with the navy blue-and-cream color palette and therefore creates the association with leadership and authority. Keep things from looking too costume-y by wearing a casual tank top in a print that's regular in size and shape -- to girly and swirly and it undermines the authority-figure vibe we're going for. A pop of red in the feet provides a touch of "don't tread on me" while maintaining feminine flair.
That's it! So which one's you're favorite?