Working Capital - Mission Blog

<<Mission Blog Home Posted: 09-22-2017

Fall, the coziest and tastiest season, is finally here! Filled with comfort foods, like pumpkin pie and mash potatoes, and comfort fashions, like scarves and boots, for the cooler temperatures.

I find that a season like this, when the weather is changing, is the best time to take a chance and mix things up a bit since you’re already transitioning your wardrobe. And with workplaces getting slightly more flexible with regard to fashion colors and styles, why not start having some fun now! You only live once. 😉

So this fall, in an effort to get you out of your comfort zone just a little bit, I challenge you (and myself) to try new fall fashion trends to add to your work wardrobe. I want to spice things up this season just like the Pumpkin Spice Latte I know and always love!

A collage of two pictures of the same woman with short dark hair. In the picture on the left she is wearing a black and white striped dress, pink scarf, black booties, round sunglasses, and has a black clutch while standing outside. In the picture on the right she is wearing a sleeveless gray, blue, and yellow top, a bright yellow skirt, the same black booties and is standing inside.


Pattern mixing is one of the easiest and best ways to add more variety into your workplace collection of outfits. A lot of patterns can be mixed together: stripes on stripes, dots on dots, stripes on dots… the possibilities are endless! As long as you have patterns in your closet, you can start experimenting now.

I always find the best way to start pattern mixing is to lay prints next to one another and see if the colors jive well. It is a good start if the patterns are all neutral in color. Also, if the patterns are of the same color schemes, that usually looks good as well. Some of my best pattern mixing occurs when I’m wearing black and white stripes with black and white polka dots or houndstooth.

A collage of two pictures. The one on the left is a close up of a woman wearing a yellow skirt. There is a little bit of a red purse, a gray, yellow, and blue top and her arm. The picture on the right is of a woman with short brown hair standing with her back to the camera. She has a black t shirt on and a black leather pencil skirt on with a zipper in the back.

Statement Skirts

Statement skirts are another place to start having some simple fun this season. Black and navy pencil skirts are classic. But why not throw some brighter and more interestingly printed bottoms into your collection?

You can always wear a solid color blouse with a loud skirt in order to tone things down a bit in a more conservative office setting.

I also encourage you to go big or go home with the style of skirts! Instead of rocking a pencil skirt, why not try ones that are fuller with more volume and body? Again, if a bottom like this is a bit too loud for the office, simpler jewelry and jackets can make it more work appropriate.

This fall, I want to find more tea-length, high-waisted, patterned skirts at Goodwill. With a solid black long-sleeve blouse and gold necklace, a skirt of this style will shine without looking like you’re going out to a party.

A collage of two pictures. The one on the left is a close up of a pink, gray, and black scarf worn by a woman in a black and white striped top. You can just see the bottom of her chin. The picture on the right is of the same woman but now it is focused on a gray, blue, and yellow scarf she is tying.

Vintage patterned scarves

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good, long, rectangular, warm scarf. But smaller silk scarves by designers like Vera and Totes will add vintage flair to your look in place of an expensive necklace or earrings.

Sometimes patterned statement scarves can be challenging to wear because they can look dated or be difficult to tie just right. However, with the correct outfit pairing and size, they will look high-fashion while keeping your neck warmer on a breezy day.

I first suggest seeking out larger square scarves you can tie around your neck. With a larger scarf, you can also just fold it into a triangle and tie it like you would a bandana.

Finally, a vintage statement scarf will always look classic in a more low-key simple look composed of solid tones and classic cuts. For example, a classic black shift dress and cardigan will effortlessly be elevated by way of color and visual variety with a brighter, silk, vintage scarf tied around the neck or on a purse.

Typically, you can find any sized vintage scarf at Goodwill for under $5. In fact, I’ve found some high end designer label ones for under $2!

Luckily, all of the experimentation I’m suggesting today can be done with all Goodwill items at incredibly affordable prices. That’s the true glory of shopping at Goodwill – the ability to experiment with fashion without breaking the bank! And if something doesn’t work for you, you can donate it right back for others to find :).

And while the fall season is the perfect time to revive your wardrobe, it’s also a good time to give a little bit back to your community and help fellow DC area residents build their workplace closets as well. For some in our community, it may very well be their first time ever having to shop for professional attire.

It’s important to keep in mind that every dollar spent at Goodwill helps to fuel the Good Samaritan voucher program in addition to Goodwill’s job training programs.

So why just pay full retail for office wear when you can spice up your workplace wardrobe with the added bonus of helping others jump-start their own careers? That’s the benefit of shopping at Goodwill!

Working Capital, Goodwill mission blog author
This article was written by: The DC Goodwill Fashionista

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