Edgy Workwear

“I sometimes wonder what my colleagues think of me.”  I said this to my mother on the phone yesterday as we were talking about fashion.  I was explaining that I always dress modestly, but not always conservatively.  Everything’s covered up–I feel very awkward teaching teenagers with cleavage in view–but I also like to be stylish.  In a profession that un-ironically keeps the novelty sweater business alive, I find that fashion-forward outfits are not the norm.

This year, for autumn/winter, I’m really into leather–real and fake.  I already posted about the triumph that is my oxblood pleather skirt, but I’ve even gotten more, like a zipper cardigan with leather pockets, and a dress with leather accents.  I started to put together some outfits that are conservative enough for the workplace, but still have the edge of leather.

Silver Lining

This laser-cut black leather midi is quite edgy, and could appear hard. Every other detail is soft. Cashmere wrap sweater, dove grey shoes in a vintage librarian style, and a soft acrylic infinity scarf. Juxtaposing the hard and the soft makes it work-appropriate.

Leather Weather

I’m a little obsessed with the Hayden-Harnett leather necklace for a couple of weeks. It’s a perfect statement necklace–the material makes it more casual, while the design is a little over-the-top–just like I like it. The leather here is used as an accent. Skinny ankle pants (not too tight if you’re over 24) and plain flats look casual yet refined–a bit of a grown-up Audrey Hepburn. I’ve provided two versions of this look–straight sizes on the left, plus sizes on the right–because this is flattering to more than one body type.

KooKoo Chanel

I am super crazy for this look. The quilting in the skirt reminded me of a vintage Chanel handbag, so I went with it, using a mass of pearl and chain accessories with big links. It’s cute and cheeky.

Screw what my colleagues think. I look awesome.

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