Fall Office Style: Crew-Neck Sweater + Button-down Plaid Skirt

Today's post features another way I'm incorporating plaid, this time for an über-chic and work-appropriate look. The highlight? This beautiful, plaid, button-down skirt. 

I'm always thrilled to find a gem of a skirt like this one for a fraction of similar designer ones. This one is only $35 from H&M, fits like a dream, and is one of those pieces that you know will look great no matter how you adapt it season-to-season. 
It's amazing the impact a small detail can make, am I right? The buttons down the side of this skirt pack such a pretty punch into an otherwise basic, plaid skirt. I just love this modern spin on such a classic piece! The subtle plaid pattern in mixed grey, cream, and burgundy tones had already caught my eye, but the buttons sold me on it as well as the modest length and figure-flattering silhouette! 
While the length hits me a couple of inches below the knees and approaches midi-length on me (I'm 5'2"), when worn with heels, it looks really elegant and actually gives the illusion of height, which I'll take any day of the week! I'm wearing a size 2, which is comparable to a 00/0 in most other brands, and it fits nicely but is a little snug across my hips (3 babies will do that to a gal.) So, if you are a curvy petite with wider hips, I suggest sizing up 1 - 2 sizes since the fabric has little to no stretch. If you're similar in size to me, size 2 is low in stock after being sold out recently, so you'll want to act fast before it sells out again. It's easily one of my favorite finds this season!
For this time of year, of course I styled it with a sweater. Since I was going for a streamlined and professional look, I decided on this marled, crew-neck sweater from Express, which I love and own in 3 colors. I'm wearing the "Neutral" color here, but also have the "Green Marled" and the "Gray Marled" colors. This is a nice, basic sweater to own in multiple colors for a variety of outfit pairings. The fine weave is smooth and surprisingly warm, and the slim fit is shapely and tucks nicely into pencil skirts, which is ultimately why I chose it for this look. As far as sizing and fit, it runs fairly small and is quite body-conscious, so I suggest sizing up 1- 2 sizes if you want a looser fit or plan on layering it over a blouse. I'm wearing size XXS, and almost wish I had gone with an XS. The good news is this sweater is currently 40% off and only $36 (no code needed) but isn't available in stores; it's an online-exclusive.
To bring out the burgundy in the plaid skirt, I chose accessories in the same rich shade. I love the luxe look suede (or faux, for that matter) lends any look, especially this time of year. These burgundy suede pumps are older from Charles David, but I also have and love these Ann Taylor Violetta Suede Pumps in the "Vino" (burgundy) color and the "Iron Grey" (charcoal) color, which are currently 50% off and only $69 with code "MYSTERY50." Or, another similar and super-affordable option is these Forever 21 faux suede pumps for only $20 that start in size 5.5.

 My burgundy satchel is older from Ann Taylor and sadly now out of production (wish they'd bring it back in more colors!) but I found a couple of similar bags here and here at varied price points if you've been on the hunt for something similar.
I fell in love with this beautiful, double-breasted, black coat from LOFT! I was missing a dressy, black coat from my wardrobe, and saw this one online about a month ago, and bought it during one of LOFT's 50%-off promos with free shipping. Unfortunately, it's already completely sold out online, but you might try searching Ebay or Poshmark for the exact one. I love the dressy gold buttons and the flattering fit of the size XXSP. I found a similar coat but with a wrap belt here that looks really sharp, too!

This professional, plaid look is another favorite this season, and I'm sure to repeat often! I plan on styling it with black tights and boots for Winter, too!
Express Marled Fitted Crew-Neck Sweater in "Neutral" (XXS) - on sale for $36! //
H&M Plaid Button-Down Skirt (2) - only $35! (also cute here) // 
Charles David Suede Pumps (5.5) - old (similar here - have & love; similar here - only $20!) //
Ann Taylor Signature Satchel - old (similar here; similar here - only $70!) //
LOFT Double-Breasted Coat (XXSP) - sold out (similar here - love!) //
Ann Taylor Pearl Stud Earrings - old (similar here)  //
MAC Lipstick & Liner Duo in "Diva/Burgundy" - on sale for $23!

As a personal and sentimental sidenote, looking at these pictures, I can't help but see more and more of my mom in me; how her eyes would squint when she smiled. I miss her terribly. This time of year is especially hard. Hold your loved ones close every day and never take them for granted, even during the hard times. You never know when it'll be the last time.

Thank you for reading -- I appreciate you. XO

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