How To Rock Fall's Trends At Work

by Tyler Atwood

As any truly fashionista knows, working fall's biggest fads is a snap on the street, but learning how to look trendy at work is quite another story. A fringed suede skirt may be simply stunning for an autumnal stroll through the park, but attempt to transplant the look to your workplace and you'll be left with accusing stares and a disapproving boss. However, it simply doesn't seem right to reserve your sartorial experimentation for after-hours exploits — especially when Fall 2015 is rife with trends that translate beautifully to the office. While '70s-inspired sueded mini skirts may not be a fit for the corporate world, a pair of wide-leg trousers and a pussybow blouse are the perfect fit for a buttoned-up office. Likewise, autumn's obsession with plaid can be worn in the form of a cheeky pleated skirt on the weekend and an elegant cashmere scarf for work on Monday morning.

But how does one actually take such challenging trends from the runway to real life? The founder of an eponymous ready-to-wear line and a fierce proponent of career-driven women with style to spare, Carrie Hammer has a handful of well-curated ideas up her well-tailored sleeve on the topic.

1. Capes

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If your sartorial suit of armor is at the dry cleaner, why not invest in a trendy cape for autumn? "Capes are a power piece of clothing and can be a statement piece," Hammer advises me over e-mail. "It is perfect for the working executives that run meetings and have a very busy schedule at work and outside of work. Capes can be styled with a patterned skirt as well as booties and a contrasting sweater. I personally love seeing a cape with a gingham printed skirt or tweed trousers and black booties," Hammer reveals.

2. High-Waisted Pants

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High-waisted pants fall under the category of the rare style that happens to lend every wearer the appearance of mile-long legs regardless of her height — and the trend stole the runways for Fall 2015. "This classic '80s pants style has made its way back into mainstream fashion over the last few years. These pants are office perfect," Hammer states. Therefore, styling the piece for a board meeting is a sartorial snap. "They look best with fitted tops that are tucked in or cropped. The right pair will make you legs look longer and even out your body. A fitted shirt can tie this look together and make the outfit look clean, paired with a pump heel to keep your proportion.To find the right size, height definitely matters," the designer recommends.

3. Androgynous Attire

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If you adore topping off an ultra-feminine ensemble with an oversized blazer, Fall 2015 may be your best season yet. "A boyfriend blazer is a perfect power piece for the work wardrobe," Hammer declares. "It gives an appearance of strength and this gives off the androgynous effect. This blazer can be worn with trousers and pumps for a sophisticated corporate office-perfect look or with a long colorful skirt and booties as well for a creative look."

4. Plaid

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Fashionistas with an innately traditional style can breathe a sigh of relief, as fall's plaid trend is perfectly work-worthy. "Plaid can be worn to the office, only if dressed up at all times!", Hammer insists. However, preparing plaid for the office is simpler than one might think thanks to the pattern's innate preppy quality. "For example, styling this office-perfect look would include a plaid shift dress with a cropped jacket or a plaid dress with a very defined waist, belt, and pumps."

5. Free-Spirited '70s

If you love suede and optical prints, you're in luck, as Hammer asserts that autumn's '70s trend is a fine fit for corporate America. "[The '70s] is one of my favorite looks! I love bold colors, fun prints, and layered pieces," Hammer exclaims. "[It] can add a feminine touch to your work wardrobe of basic black dresses, button downs, and pencil skirts. Having flashes of the '70s can brighten up your normal wardrobe of all neutral basics. A great example of this would be to pair wide legged trousers with polka dot printed blouse or a light colored tea length fluid skirt with a long sleeve bright colored v-neck." Thank you, cyclical nature of the fashion world, for giving us back a trend that we can literally wear everywhere.

Images: Ali Gilliams (2)