Staple Pieces are Essential

Work Wear

TheOProtocol stopped in to LOFT to check out their new fall line. What we found were classic pieces that are versatile and worth the investment.

Last week we featured Rent the Runway as a great option for selecting unique pieces that can be changed out week to week or month to month. For some, the $169 Unlimited Subscription fee can be a little more than the budget allows. This is where wardrobe staples gain their value.

While we love a good Casual Friday look, today we are going to feature the LOFT Pocket Shift Skirt in the “dark brown sugar” shade. This camel color is a great, warm fall shade that can still constitute as a “neutral” making it a great mix-and-match piece. The shift style cut is classic, sophisticated and can carry a broad range of tops; from sweaters to button downs and even a wrap. Pair with tights on cooler days or wear as-is when the weather is a bit warmer.  With the versatility this skirt offers, this skirt becomes a sensible purchase for those of us on a tighter budget, without sacrificing style.

This week (10/12/18) most of these items are part of their 50% off sale! Check them out!

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Loft Pocket Shift Skirt paired with the Plaid Tab Sleeve Blouse

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Paired with the Dot Stripe Wrap Top

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Paired with a navy flutter sleeve top.

Rent the Runway Rookie Edition: Casual Friday. The good, the bad and the wrinkled.

Work Wear

Lesson of the day: Consider fabrics that have a little more structure when placing your order. A wrinkle in your garment can be a wrinkle in your style.

Rent the Runway has been quite an experience this week. There is certainly a learning curve but by the end, I think I have developed a wealth of knowledge for my next order. Friday’s selection, a Trina Turk Alexsia Chambray Blazer , also came with it’s set of lessons. While I love the look of a blazer dressed down, one must take into consideration that acquiring clothing through an online medium means that these items are going to be packaged up, and sent on a several day journey through the mail. When theses items arrive, you may want to be ready with an iron or a steamer.  (You will see in the photos below how difficult chambray can be a tricky, maintenance-heavy fabric to work with)

If you’re like most working women, your day is busy enough managing a family (or even just your personal life), your professional life and all the things that fill the minutes in between. The purpose of RTR for professional women is to have ready-to-wear outfits that arrive at your door, with no extra work included. 99% of my RTR experience fell into that sequence. While I made sure to read reviews, check sizing and plan around my chambray blazer order, I failed to recognize that chambray wrinkles easily and is difficult to bring back to life at a moments notice. Casual Friday is a time to dress down, but having crisp, clean and ironed clothing is still an office protocol must.  Nevertheless, it can make a great addition to your Casual Friday look by giving a basic shift dress, similar to the one pictured below, some dimension and added color. Since both the dress and the blazer are solid colors, I brought Monday’s leopard print shoes back to life with a Causal Friday twist.

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While we here at TheOProtocol don’t mind sporting a casual dress and some heels on Friday’s, many enjoy the luxury of throwing on a pair of jeans before heading into the office. Below are some other ways to leave the dress on the hanger and finish out the work week with the coveted pair of jeans.

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Rent the Runway: Part II

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As I noted in my previous RTR post, I am a veteran of the Rent the Runway Unlimited program. It saves me time and money by rotating my work wear throughout the week.  By combining some of my wardrobe staples with the Rent the Runway shipments, I am sure to have a presentation worthy look multiple days a week.

Not every office can support the occasional pop of color in the wardrobe but ours certainly does. And while this TANYA TAYLOR COLORBLOCK SAMRA SKIRT does have a sense of flair to it, I paired it with a conservative top in a Banana Republic High Low Curved Hem top and the classic white “Prefect Shirt”  button down from Ann Taylor.

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Below is the Adelyn Rae Black Windowpane Dress from the Unlimited service tied together with a classic cut blazer from Ann Taylor Loft Herringbone Modern Blazer. What drew me to this particular blazer was the darkened elbow patches, which give this look a little something extra.

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Pictured last but certainly not least, is what I believe Rent the Runway does best – the work dress.  These two dresses don’t require any complimentary wardrobe pieces. First is the DONNA MORGAN NAVY SQUARE DRESS which has figure forgiving features and is office ready.

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Second is the LK Bennett Blue Dress which is perfect for those who aren’t afraid to wear a little pattern. When done correctly, adding texture through pattern can add a level of sophistication to a look while also camouflaging areas we may no be so crazy about.

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To purchase the pieces from this post would cost a retail price tag of over $1600. Rent the Runway in this case is a bargain not to be missed.

Our Story

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They say clothes don’t make the (wo)man, but appearances can certainly have an impact.

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I’m Theo and I started my career in executive search shortly after college. Over the last two decades in the talent management business, I have become increasingly aware of the importance of personal presence. While some presence factors are innate, other factors can be taught.

To aide with my client base, in 2014, I hired a behavioral expert to join Meridian Group Partners, Kristen Ballou. Kristen’s experience in psychology and human behavior solidified my suspicion of how personal styling and impression management can influence careers.

Consistently complimented on my own style choices and curious about perfecting my presence within my business, I enlisted in the New York School of Business Protocol in 2017. This program is focused on providing the rules of business engagement, which also focused on the appropriate business styling protocol.

After seeing a void in appropriate fashion influences in the professional arena, TheOprotocol was conceived. Kristen and I hope it is beneficial and aides in the advancement of every woman’s career.

“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.”   Edith Head

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** Theo is wearing the Sarah Dress in Pomegranate and Kristen is wearing the Farnoosh Dress in Ink **