Inspired by Elle Woods – Career Wear Looks, Featuring Forever 21 Staples, Hermès & Coach look-alikes

Legally Blonde has always been one of my all-time-favorite movies! Elle is such an inspiration! I wanted to focus on a career wear look, inspired by Elle. I think it’s important for women to have a sophisticated style in the work-place.

I am putting together an office/business look, so if you don’t work in an office or have to dress up more formally, this might not help you out and I am planning to make an Elle Woods look based on her more casual (more pink) outfits throughout the movie(s)! 

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For this look, I chose to shop inexpensively! I personally don’t spend a ton of money on work attire, since it’s for work and it will be used a lot anyways. I like to keep up with trends when dressing up for work too, so I don’t like to invest too much on pieces that might only be worn for one season. To keep this look a challenge and also on a budget, I’ve decided to shop at only one store – Forever 21! Forever 21 might be the best place for younger looks and clubbing apparel, but trust me, they have a great selection for career wear on a dime! Forever 21 also has a great plus-size section, so I like to find options from stores that suit all body types!

This look has a few various ways to wear things, and a few alternative options! I wanted to channel Elle’s different lawyer looks as I shopped! I also think that these outfit variations are amazing options to wear for an interview for any office job! 

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Since I am choosing these more subdued Elle Wood’s looks (no pink – waaah!), I wanted to keep it business formal. This outfit is really versatile and easy to switch up. I’ve included two tops and two types of layers – a blazer and a cardigan sweater. I think it’s best to stick with the color black when you are first building a career wear repertoire.

For a top, I’ve included two very affordable options ($18 & $20), with different looks! These tops can easily be mix-and-matched with the blazer and cardigan sweater!

With the polka dot top, we are bringing that printed under-layer that Elle has. With the modern tied blouse, I wanted to reach into Elle’s closet and bring in some 2017 trends. I think a simple tied blouse can really elevate a look!

For top-layers, I’ve included an open blazer (no buttons – $35) and a v-neck cardigan sweater ($10). Both of these options are black, and I consider them to be staples of any career woman’s work wardrobe. The blazer would be my go-to for interviews, for sure! 

With these blouses and top-layers, I would honestly style them mix-and-matched, cardigan open or buttoned, etc. You will get so much use out of these 4 pieces of clothing!

For a bottom, I’ve chosen a comfortable ribbed knit black pencil skirt, which is a serious staple my closet ($10). For a polished look with your blazer, I would tuck in your blouse. For a more business casual look, leave your blouse untucked! You could wear slacks too, but a pencil skirt really brings that feminine touch to menswear-inspired career clothes! 

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If it’s warm out, I would go without tights, but I think that Elle’s look is best accomplished with a set of patterned tights. I’ve found some with little black bows, and they are so cute ($7)!

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For shoes, I wanted to pick something that would be yet another staple in my closet for work days. For $25, I found some really versatile ankle strap pumps with a slightly pointy toe, and they would literally go with every work outfit ever!

Let’s talk jewels! I think with work dress codes and fashion, it’s important to stay fairly understated but still adorned. Kendra Scott is the queen of career wear jewelry, to be honest! I would have included some Kendra if I wasn’t challenging myself to only shop at Forever 21! I still found some great pieces that would certainly enhance your work attire!

Necklace – the understated statement necklace ($6)

Earrings – studs, or simple danglies ($4)

 

Bracelet – simple, usable on a daily basis ($5)

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For a bag, I wanted to really channel Elle here! I’ve found a really cute Hermes look-alike scarf ($5) and a great faux leather satchel that really reads Coach look-alike to me ($30). In today’s world, we usually have a laptop bag, so I didn’t want to go too large on the satchel. To style this like Elle, you will want to tie your scarf around one of the straps on your bag, for a fun pop of color! Love it! 

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Just for grins, let’s compare the look-alike scarf to a real vintage Hermes scarf!

On the left, a vintage Plume Et Grelots, 100% jacquard silk Hermes scarf, retailing well over $800+! On the right, our look-alike, for $5. I know it’s definitely not the same quality, but it will give off the same kind of look when tied on a satchel!

Lastly, if you are feeling like you need a boost – a bright red lip! Forever 21 has a range available, though I cannot speak for the coverage or quality of it, since I’ve never used it.

I would give this velvet lipstick crayon a try, especially at just $4. It never hurts to leave some makeup in your desk, for a quick touch up! I think this bright lip color, plus mascara would be very office appropriate!

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LINKS:

Polka dot button-down blouse 

Black tie blouse

Blazer

 V-neck Cardi

Statement Necklace

Ribbed Knit Pencil Skirt

Black Faux Leather Satchel

Shoes

Scarf

Bow Print Black Tights

Bracelet

Lip crayon

 

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