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A glamorous, sexy, brainy, bad-ass female who knows what she wants, works hard, and goes for it, all while looking fabulous. We may be intellectual, but that doesn't mean we don't know how to have fun and look good doing it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

HOW TO: Still Being Yourself, While Still Being Polished and Professional


Although my preppy style is inherently pretty polished and professional, nothing is more disheartening than having to go out and buy something specifically for a professional purpose because professional in my mind has become synonymous with boring in many ways. Corporate America seems to be dominated by matching black leather,  shoes, belts, and handbags. An exciting day in this fashion world is when you get to switch out your black for your brown. Coming into this professional world from college, which is a place full of self expression, is kind of a spirit killer. Depending on the industry you're going into, certain things will and won't be acceptable, but that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your personality or unique style to look professional, in fact, it may help you!
The first time I had to do this will forever stick out in my mind because it was the first time I had to spend my hard earned cash on something that I wasn't necessarily in love with. The first purse I spent some cash on as I was growing up my style was a Dooney and Bourke that I had bought from Nordstrom in my junior year. I liked the bag enough to spend the money on it, but I would be fooling myself if I didn't admit to wanting something a little more...fun. Mostly I was trying to be responsible; I knew I would be needing something that would look more grown up when I went to events with future employers. What I found over time was that, although the bag had to be professional looking, the inside of it could be 100% me.
Every little cosmetic case, umbrella, coin purse, phone or laptop accessories and planner could say a whole lot about myself and my style. I absolutely love to fill my bag with pretty little things that scream Maddie. Even my keys speak to who I am to the point that when they get lost, no one even has to know what I drive to know that they're mine.
Deux Lux Daiquiri Cosmetic Pouch

One of my favorite places to get cosmetic cases is at Nordstrom. Their Trend Accessories department carries a brand that holds my glitter obsession as near and dear to their heart as I hold it to mine called Deux Lux. Their stuff is reasonable for pouches that hold up for as long as they do and nothing beats pulling out a $28 coin purse out and having it mistaken for a $78 Kate Spade one, which happens often. They are made so that they are easy to clean, and they make a purse that accommodates a wide variety of styles.
Vera Bradley Umbrella in Lemon Parfait

Umbrellas also happen to be a huge way in which I felt like I can express myself in a professional setting. While you may not be able to use them in the office, nothing brightens up a dark and rainy day like seeing someone with an amazing umbrella walking down the street. My personal favorite place to get umbrellas is from Vera Bradley. Because their patterns are always changing, you can always get something to reflect your style (or match your raincoat in my case). I love that they are bright without being overwhelming and they open at the push of a button, which is really handy when you're carrying a Starbucks. 

Planners by Greenroom Co. 

Last, but certainly not the end of your options for showing your style while still being professional, is a good old fashioned planner. I know we live in a tech world, but I just can't seem to move away from a traditional planner. While many companies make planners that are super cute, nothing beats a company called Greenroom Co, which is sold at Target. I literally can not get over how cute their planners are every time I'm there. I don't know how I get through an entire year without buying a new one half way through; Oh wait, I don't. Although they have a wide assortment of planners available, it shouldn't be a surprise by now that I loved the metallic gold series they did at the beginning of this year.

These are just a few of your options for expressing yourself in a professional environment that is so drab. The opportunities are truly endless from your wallet, to your sunglasses case, to your water bottle, these accessories speak volumes about your style and I can't tell you how many times I have taken something out of my bag and it started a conversation with a coworker. So go forth, and know that even if you have to buy a bag that's totally blah, the inside can still be as fabulous as your style is.

~Maddie

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