Biz Makeover

Photography by Alex Stafford By Jackie Rogers August 31, 2011

Before: Simple pants and a top were all Ivory needed to wear under a lab coat.Ivory Crofoot’s first job after college was in a Venice toxicology lab, where she wore a lab coat every day. Now, in her new post as Neal Communities’ community relations assistant, she’s dealing with people instead of chemicals and needs to be out in the community.

Task: Taking Ivory from generic lab worker to a style-conscious out-and-about professional on a sane budget.

Ivory’s goal: “My new career requires me to attend many different events, so I would like to look sophisticated and add color to my wardrobe.”

Jackie’s approach: “Ivory needs to build her wardrobe with foundation pieces that can do double duty. Look for pieces that coordinate with one another and invest in staples like a great dress. I chose a dress that can be paired with a blazer, colorful cardigan or wrap to create different looks. This dress fits her well and adds color and sophistication to her wardrobe. It’s a big step from her uniform look.”

Ivory’s reaction: “I thought this dress was pretty, and I liked the colors and the material, but it was nothing I would have picked out. It just didn’t sell me on the hanger. I loved it once I put it on. It gave me a shape, and I felt ready for any event. It’s fashionable and yet appropriate for my work.”

After: The colorful, classy dress is attention-getting but still businesslike. The earrings and bangles add sparkle and a pop of color to the wrist. The bag has a ladylike vibe and is a great foundation piece.Where to buy

T Tahari Dress, $148; Anna & Ava bracelets, $30; and Jessica Simpson earrings, $25, all at Dillard’s. Black quilted handbag with patent leather trim, $69.90 from Express. The splurge: Magaschoni cotton ruffle wrap in lilac, $248, from L. Boutique.


Lavendar wrap

The wrap picks up the lavender of the dress while adding softness and movement.

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