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Mix and Match: 5 Patterned Pieces to Build Into Your Work Wardrobe
Plus: We show you exactly how to style them in five ingenious outfits.
By Caitlin Moran
Comments () | Published April 23, 2012

The key pieces: (1) Lightweight button-front tank, $22.94 at Old Navy (2) Grunge Ditsy floral skirt, $64 at Topshop (3) J. Crew Tippi apple sweater, $88 at Net-a-Porter (4) Striped lantern skirt, $76 at Topshop (5) Conscious Collection button-down blouse, $29.95 at H&M.

Impress the head honcho with a fitted pencil skirt and a similarly hued conservative blouse in an understated pattern. Add polished black accessories to pull the outfit together.

Grunge Ditsy floral skirt, $64 at Topshop; Conscious Collection button-down blouse, $29.95 at H&M; messenger bag, $89.90 at Zara; Hartzfeld sandals, $80 at Aldo; white poppy studs, $94 at Bauble Bar.

Need an on-point look for a big presentation? Make a major first impression in the sleek combo of a pencil skirt, a fitted sweater, two-tone heels, and a statement necklace.

J. Crew Tippi apple sweater, $88 at Net-a-Porter; Grunge Ditsy floral skirt, $64 at Topshop; Ravenna high-heel sandals, $245 at J.Crew; Oasis leather shopper, $90.90 at ASOS; rosette collar necklace, $7.80 at Forever 21.

For a less "look-at-me!" take on the pattern-mixing trend, throw a solid blazer over stripes in a similar color family. Once 6 o'clock rolls around, lose the jacket and you'll be ready to cheers with your colleagues.

Lightweight button-front tank, $22.94 at Old Navy; striped lantern skirt, $76 at Topshop; collarless jacket, $69 at Dorothy Perkins; Vince Camuto sandals, $98 at Piperlime; peach and crystal earrings, $16 at LydellNYC; die-cast pleated shopper, $159 at Zara.

Let's face it--we all want a little comfort on our last day of the week. Slip on sweet flats and a roomy skirt for a low-maintenance look, then top things off with a multistrand necklace (bonus points if the beads match your manicure).

Conscious Collection button-down blouse, $29.95 at H&M; striped lantern skirt, $76 at Topshop; Kate Spade Elina ballet flat, $255 at Footnotes Online; Essie nail polish in Clambake, $7.79 at Target; Campari necklace, $128 at Stella & Dot.

Dashing from the office to a hot date? Ditch the cardigan or blazer, slip into a sparkly heel, and switch your studs for a pair of tassel earrings. Swap out your work tote for a slick envelope clutch, add a swipe of glossy red lipstick and a few coats of mascara, and voilĂ ! Your date will totally think you left work early to change.

Lightweight button-front tank, $22.94 at Old Navy; Grunge Ditsy floral skirt, $64 at Topshop; Miu Miu glitter-finish sandals, $730 at Net-a-Porter; Bare Minerals Flawless Definition volumizing mascara, $18 at Ulta; Urban Expressions Drama clutch, $51.20 at eBags; Nissa pyrite earrings, $68.40 at Endless.

Caitlin Moran shares her affordable style and shopping tips on her blog Style Within Reach

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Fashion
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Posted at 10:25 AM/ET, 04/23/2012 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs