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7 Fashion Essentials You Should Always Buy On the Cheap

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As fashion lovers, we'll admit to busting the bank for some purchases, but we're not crazy—there are some items that don't need to be designer. Beyond that, it's actually better if they're not, especially when you're talking basics that will see a lot of wear and tear. Some pieces are worth the higher price tag (like shoes that are undeniably more comfortable and bags that were meticulously put together by hand), but others just don't warrant the credit card charge. Herewith, the closet staples on which you should always spend as little as possible.

7 Fashion Essentials You Should Always Buy On the Cheap

1. T-Shirts
A tried-and-true wardrobe staple, the plain white tee was number one on our list of Target style essentials. Stock up, and don't feel guilty if you have to toss it eventually (due to spills, stains, or other discoloration). A good rule of thumb? If something spends a lot of its life as a layering piece, hidden under other items, don't make it your investment item.

2. Trendy sunglasses
Not only are sunnies likely to get lost, but the trendier they are, the more likely you are to get sick of them (or they'll quickly feel dated). Spend more on the classic black pair you'll wear forever, but go low when doing funky shapes or vivid colors.

3. Ballet flats
As delicate as the name suggests, skimmers take a major beating. Without a thick sole or a material that's naturally impervious to wear, it's unavoidable, and, sad but true, the pricey pairs can get destroyed just as quickly as the cheapies. Bonus? When you're not worried about ruining them, you'll be better able to achieve the carefree attitude we so associate with French-girl style.

4. Thongs
Yes to spending more for a brilliantly fitting bra. No to shelling out extra for thongs. While it's important for your undies to feel good, there are too many wallet-friendly options out there to warrant spending lots on something so little.

5. Sweatpants
It's tempting to reason that if you wear sweats a lot, it makes sense to splash out on a designer pair (plus, beyond-buzzy label Vetements assures we're about to see a lot more pricey pairs hit the market). Banish the thought though, as there's little difference between a $20 pair and a $200 one since the cut and fabrication will essentially be identical.

6. Totes
When it comes to bags, save up and spend more on a classic shoulder bag, not a roomy tote. This is your workhorse piece, and it'll likely take a beating. Plenty of good, well-made leather versions abound that won't eat into your budget too much, and the minimalistic nature of the style makes it tricky for people to instantly know how much you spent.

7. Trousers
When it comes to your work wardrobe, you'll get more ROI on unique blouses and blazers than your slacks. Saving here is easy, since options for sophisticated, work-ready pants abound at national chains that cater to shoppers needing a professional wardrobe. The monetary benefit is compounded too, since the wallet-friendly pairs aren't as likely to have the dreaded dry-clean only labels, saving you that care cost.

More money-saving style tips? Read secrets from shoppers who never (ever) pay full-price.











7 Fashion Essentials You Should Always Buy On the Cheap

The 8 French Girl Style Must-Haves for Spring

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When in Paris, do as the Parisians do: Drink espresso, eat croissants, and definitely channel that effortlessly cool style all French women seem to be born with. You know the one we're talking about: It's that I-got-dressed-in-five-minutes-and-look-absolutely-awesome look that we all aim to have.

With Paris Fashion Week just behind us, we've stolen some of the best French-girl style essentials for spring. And, to be clear, we fully plan to spend the entire season dressed head-to-toe in these classics. After all, some of the chicest girls around (French or not) have proven them to be total wardrobe must-haves.

The Slouchy Sweater:
The 8 French Girl Style Must-Haves for Spring
Every girl should have that oversized cashmere sweater—in black, navy, or camel—that, slouchy as it may be, is still slim enough to wear to the office without looking frumpy. It's the perfect transitional season pairing for all of your statement pieces, like structured pants or a bright midi skirt.

The Tweed Jacket:
The 8 French Girl Style Must-Haves for Spring
Channel Coco Chanel herself and grab a tweed jacket this spring. While your grandmother may have been in the habit of wearing a skirt suit in the textured weave, youthful French girls have borrowed from their elders and are mixing the elegant piece with slouchy denim and casual cotton T-shirts.

The Black Pants:
The 8 French Girl Style Must-Haves for Spring
The black pants of French girl style are tailored, yet perfectly slouchy. For this wardrobe classic, keep the legs slim, but don't go too skinny. We especially love an ankle crop to be able to style with either booties or ballet flat styles.

The Bomber Jacket:
The 8 French Girl Style Must-Haves for Spring
This off-duty jacket sits somewhere between an edgy moto jacket and super casual denim trucker. Look for a shrunken silhouette that will pair best with an after-hours LBD and your favorite pair of jeans alike.

The Thick-Frame Sunglasses:
The 8 French Girl Style Must-Haves for Spring
Make sure that you have a pair of tortoise or black sunglasses on hand in a classic shape. In a slight cat-eye style, they'll keep your look timeless and never feel too casual or outdated.

The Leather Jacket:
The 8 French Girl Style Must-Haves for Spring
An eternal cool girl go-to, this forever wardrobe staple knows no bounds. Throw it on when heading out to brunch with friends, add the light layer to a midi skirt for office mornings, or give your after-hours style a bit of an edge by pairing a cocktail dress with a cropped moto style.

The Bright Bag:
The 8 French Girl Style Must-Haves for Spring
French girls tend to stick to the classics, styling black pants and jeans with tailored blazers and elegant blouses. The secret to adding a bit of punch to every understated look? A bright bag with a bit of personality that will take you from day to night.

The Straight-Leg Jean:
The 8 French Girl Style Must-Haves for Spring
Americans may love their jeans, but French girls have perfected the denim game. While trends come and go, they always have a pair of those perfect straight-leg jeans that give off that I've-had-these-forever-and-they're-perfect vibe.


For more on French girl style:
The 10 Style Rules That Every French Woman Knows
French-Girl Style: The Newest Style Stars From the Streets of Paris Fashion Week
10 Key Style Differences Between American and French-Girl Style


How to pull off spring’s trickiest fashion trends with model Iskra Lawrence.










The 8 French Girl Style Must-Haves for Spring

The Bag That Everyone is Carrying at Paris Fashion Week

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If you're going to invest in one new bag this spring, this could be the one. When we saw Chloé's colorful fringe bags on the spring runways a few months ago, we knew we needed to have one. Or at least a style that reminded us of the Parisian perfection before our eyes. Equal parts structured and whimsical, they are exactly what our spring wardrobes are craving.

The Bag That Everyone is Carrying at Paris Fashion Week

Watching the dynamic swinging movement of the bohemian detail walk down the runway was like magic: We had already started planning outfits around the bag itself. The perfect statement bag for weekends in denim? Absolutely. As spring is upon us, and fashion month is in full force, we've started to spot our favorite bag trend of the season all over the place. Now, it's official: It's time to make the style ours. Whether you opt for a rainbow of hues, or keep your swinging fringe to classic black or brown, now is the time to choose this statement bag style for spring.

The Bag That Everyone is Carrying at Paris Fashion Week
Leandra Medine opts for a smaller rectangular style with colorful hanging detail.

The Bag That Everyone is Carrying at Paris Fashion Week
Aimee Song chooses a saddlebag shape with a long-hanging rainbow.

The Bag That Everyone is Carrying at Paris Fashion Week
Charlotte Groeneveld rocks her colorful fringe mini with a cross-body strap.

The Bag That Everyone is Carrying at Paris Fashion Week
Veronica Heilbrunner wears her saddlebag cross-body to keep her hands free.

And to shop for yourself!

The Bag That Everyone is Carrying at Paris Fashion Week
Rebecca Minkoff Sofia clutch, $245, zappos.com

The Bag That Everyone is Carrying at Paris Fashion Week
Coach Circa-1973 mocha leather fringed large Dinky bag, $895, barneys.com

The Bag That Everyone is Carrying at Paris Fashion Week
Chloé Hudson tasseled leather shoulder bag, $2,295, net-a-porter.com

For more accessories we love:
7 Bags Every Woman Should Own by Age 30
The Most Stylish Carryall Bags for the Girl on the Go
This Chic DIY Bag Trend Is Just What Your Winter Wardrobe Is Craving

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The Bag That Everyone is Carrying at Paris Fashion Week

7 Bags Every Woman Should Own by Age 30

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7 Bags Every Woman Should Own by Age 30

There's nothing like the power of an amazing bag to amp up any look. It could be a whimsical statement clutch that adds pop to off-duty denim and a simple T-shirt; a beautiful leather satchel that pulls a skirt and blouse together for the office; or a perfectly classic, yet evening-appropriate chain-strap bag that becomes your date night go-to.

While it's important to spend your 20s experimenting with trends and figuring out your unique personal style, make sure you have an appropriate bag for every occasion by the time you turn 30. After all, there's nothing worse than styling a kick-ass outfit and realizing you have nothing but your beat-up nylon tote to sling over your shoulder!

Follow our definitive bag guide below and then make sure you're set with all the best shoes you need as well!

A Work-Appropriate Satchel:
7 Bags Every Woman Should Own by Age 30
Michael Michael Kors Selma medium top-zip satchel bag, $298, neimanmarcus.com
Keep it to the neutrals when seeking out a perfect bag for the office. Brown, black, grey, or navy will go with anything you choose to wear. We particularly love styles with a top handle and cross-body strap for versatility of wear. Two absolute non-negotiables? Opt for a style that's structured for a polished and ladylike look, and make sure it's large enough to hold a notebook, pens, wallet, and maybe even an extra pair of commuter flats!

A Grown-Up Backpack:
7 Bags Every Woman Should Own by Age 30
Mini pilot backpack, $595, rag-bone.com
It's time to rediscover the schooltime favorite. An alternative to the tote, this campus-life favorite is back in a more polished way than you remember from your youth. It's an awesome hold-everything off-duty style when you need more than a cross-body but don't quite want an oversized tote!

A Polished Tote:
7 Bags Every Woman Should Own by Age 30
Block-T tote, $450, toryburch.com
Whether you're headed on an overnight road-trip or simply need to carry a few extra things around from time to time, make sure that you have a tote in your arsenal that's polished and classic. With little embellishment, and made of a more structured leather or suede, this oversized silhouette will never go out of style.

A Statement Clutch:
7 Bags Every Woman Should Own by Age 30
Small lunch bag, $790, proenzaschouler.com
Channel your inner street style star and make sure that you have an awesome statement clutch in rotation. Whether you're headed out for a night on the town and need something bold to carry with your LBD or simply want a head-turning detail for your beloved T-shirt and boyfriend jeans look, this is the grab-and-go bag that will always be a favorite.

A Date Night Style:
7 Bags Every Woman Should Own by Age 30
Rose applique dinky crossbody, $495, coach.com
No matter what a date night means to you—whether you're dancing on tables with your girlfriends or out at a romantic dinner with your leading man—have a style on hand that's small enough to only carry the essentials, but one that boasts a shoulder or cross-body chain for ease of movement. For fun, seek a style with added texture or detail to add a little sometime extra to your after-hours looks.

A Weekend Cross-Body:
7 Bags Every Woman Should Own by Age 30
A.P.C. June leather cross-body bag, $433, matchesfashion.com
Keep your hands free and swinging when strolling around town on the weekends. If you're headed to brunch or shopping on a springtime afternoon, make sure that you've got a casual handbag style that you can throw on while running out the door without a second thought.

An Evening Bag:
7 Bags Every Woman Should Own by Age 30
Victoria Beckham bow-embellished suede clutch, $1,560, net-a-porter.com
Whether it's a clutch or mini chain-strap bag, every girl should have a gorgeous after-hours bag that will take her to the fanciest of parties. While black is always a safe (and beautiful) option, seek a style with an understated extra detail, like satin knot or velvet quilting.


For more wardrobe essentials:
7 Denim Pieces You Need in Your Closet This Spring
Turn Up Your Winter Outfit Game With a Go-Everywhere Blazer
Do Your Wardrobe Basics Need a Boost? 5 You Should Try










7 Bags Every Woman Should Own by Age 30

The First Designer You Seriously Lusted After in the ’90s Is Back

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Quick—what was the first designer item you lusted after and actually felt like you needed? There's a high probability you're saying Kate Spade because the brand got mass appeal right at the time when millennials were first starting to bug parents for rides to the mall (count 1996 as a high point, when the brand opened its first New York City store). The woman who was responsible for creating the bright and poppy universe left the brand in 2007 and has just gotten back into the fashion game, releasing a new line of shoes and bags called Frances Valentine.

The First Designer You Seriously Lusted After in the '90s Is Back

"Everything came together serendipitously," she told us about deciding that now was the right time for her and husband Andy to launch a new label. "My daughter is older now and in school and at activities all day, and my former shoe designer was ready to leave Prada and work with us again." That shoe designer is Paola Venturi, the former Kate Spade design director who left the company in 2007 and then spent time at Prada. The fourth name behind the new label is Elyce Arons, one of the original founders of Kate Spade.

While it's a proven, established team, it's a new marketplace, with fresh challenges for nascent brands that couldn't have even been imagined 20 years ago (just think about trying to explain Snapchat to a '90s high schooler). The company knows what it's signing up for though, and, hey, they know how to build a brand.

Spade told us that compared to her K.S. days, Frances Valentine is a collaborative effort between herself and the aforementioned trio. "There are hundreds more designers making accessories who weren't in 1993," she mused. "There's so much product out there, so we have to make every shoe and bag special. People have to fall in love with our shoes, or why bother?"

Price-wise, shoes average around $400 (some flats are $275, while snakeskin heels go to $625); bags range from $225 to $725. You can find them at Shopbop, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdale's, plus boutiques around the country and on Frances Valentine's website.

See some of our favorites here:

The First Designer You Seriously Lusted After in the '90s Is Back

Frances Valentine Pauline mules, $345, shopbop.com

The First Designer You Seriously Lusted After in the '90s Is Back

Frances Valentine Katherine espadrilles, $245, nordstrom.com

The First Designer You Seriously Lusted After in the '90s Is Back

Frances Valentine Bella sandals, $475, nordstrom.com

The First Designer You Seriously Lusted After in the '90s Is Back

Frances Valentine Elizabeth sandals, $425, shopbop.com

The First Designer You Seriously Lusted After in the '90s Is Back

Frances Valentine wedges

P.S. Curious about the name? Frances is a popular name in her family (it's her daughter's!), and Valentine was her paternal grandfather's middle name due to a Feb. 14 birthday. Sweet, right?

Watch our fourth-grade correspondent at New York Fashion Week.










The First Designer You Seriously Lusted After in the '90s Is Back

This Is The Bag Seen All Over The Streets Of NYFW

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While we can always count on a steady stream of quilted Chanel handbags and pom-pom-clad Fendi satchels on the streets of fashion week, each season brings with it a new it bag. It is the one seen on tons of street style stars, in every color of the rainbow. It's the bag we see and—no matter how many bags we already own—we need.

Though we're only a quarter of the way through the marathon that is fashion month, we already have an emerging contender: the Loewe Puzzle bag. We knew we liked the not-too-large hold-everything size and slightly-slouchy shape in colorful leather, suede, and metallics when it hit the spring runways in October. But now? It's feeling like a total must.

This Is The Bag Seen All Over The Streets Of NYFW
Loewe spring 2016 runway


Check out our favorite styles, spotted on the streets of NYFW:

This Is The Bag Seen All Over The Streets Of NYFW
Camille Charrière carries a go-with-everything brown leather style.

This Is The Bag Seen All Over The Streets Of NYFW
Pernille Teisbaek chooses to rock one of the biggest bag trends from the spring runways with a metallic silver option.

This Is The Bag Seen All Over The Streets Of NYFW
Courtney Trop opts for a bright blue suede bag, adding a pop of color to her all-black look.

In nearly every color of the rainbow, you can shop the bag for yourself, right here.

For more styles from the streets of fashion week:
Spotted: The Innovative Style Solution to Deal With Unpredictable Weather
A Bright Coat Is Just the Thing to Transition Your Winter Wardrobe Into Spring
Street-Style Trend Spotting: Cropped Jeans and Ankle Boots Make for a Fresh Look

Watch our fourth-grade New York Fashion Week correspondent.










This Is The Bag Seen All Over The Streets Of NYFW

The Most Stylish Caryall Bags for the Girl-on-the-Go

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The Most Stylish Caryall Bags for the Girl-on-the-Go

Bags are kind of like hemlines. We have the mini, the midi, and the maxi: All perfect in their own way, but each one suited for a unique situation. Date night with little more than a lipstick and credit card? Obviously mini. Weekend brunch and a stroll through the city with some girlfriends? It's what the midi is best at. But those days that you need a bag polished enough to bring to the office but large enough to hold everything from gym clothes to an extra phone charger? That is a job for the maxi.

On the spring runways, oversized bags were aplenty. Christian Dior showed brightly colored structured duffels, Victoria Beckham’s half moon shoulder bags were more than 12 inches in diameter, and the cognac leather bucket bags at Céline were the perfect size for the girl who carries her life around with her.

In recognition of our go-go-go lifestyles, designers have truly embraced the maxi shape when it comes to handbags, so it's time to stop settling when it comes to a bag of the oversized variety. From suede to leather; totes and bucket bags, shop the chicest Mary Poppins style bags below.

The Most Stylish Caryall Bags for the Girl-on-the-Go
Mini duffel bag, $50, zara.com

The Most Stylish Caryall Bags for the Girl-on-the-Go
Mother of Pearl small bucket bag, $495, shopbop.com

The Most Stylish Caryall Bags for the Girl-on-the-Go
Vintage web leather Boston bag, $1,650, gucci.com

The Most Stylish Caryall Bags for the Girl-on-the-Go
Sandrine tote, $525, clarev.com

The Most Stylish Caryall Bags for the Girl-on-the-Go
Block-T large tote, $450, toryburch.com

For more accessories:
This Chic DIY Bag Trend Is Just What Your Winter Wardrobe Is Craving
What Your Phone Case Says About You
5 Shoes Every Woman Should Own by Age 30

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The Most Stylish Caryall Bags for the Girl-on-the-Go

Found: The Most Polished and Practical Bag for Spring

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We've all been there: You're rushing for the train, late for a meeting, carrying countless papers, a venti cappuccino, and—perhaps—even have a child or two by the hand. No matter what you're juggling, the one thing that's for sure is that you don't have a single finger to spare, much less an extra limb to dedicate to toting around your handbag.

Lucky for us, the most polished bag for spring is also the most practical. Meet the structured cross-body—perfect for the girl-on-the-go but still so chic. It's office-appropriate, but its long strap allows you to effortlessly sling it over your chest or shoulder for hands-free ease. The best part is that you can grasp it by the top handles or rest it in the crook of your arm when you happen to have a hand or two to spare.

Eager to get your hands on the effortlessly chic style? Shop our picks here.

Found: The Most Polished and Practical Bag for Spring
Michael Michael Kors Selma medium top-zip satchel bag, $298, neimanmarcus.com

Found: The Most Polished and Practical Bag for Spring
Holden Street Lanie, $358, katespade.com

Found: The Most Polished and Practical Bag for Spring
Chloé brown and rust leather color-block Baylee convertible tote, $1,405, bluefly.com

Found: The Most Polished and Practical Bag for Spring
Zip tote bag, $50, mango.com

Found: The Most Polished and Practical Bag for Spring
Jessica satchel, $475, toryburch.com

Shop another one of our favorite spring bag trends!


Watch for another "all day" bag style.










Found: The Most Polished and Practical Bag for Spring

The Colorful Spring Handbag Trend You Can Start Wearing Right Now

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While every fashion girl loves her some navy, black, bordeaux, gray, and a slew of dark cold-weather hues, we could all stand to have punch of color during the doldrums of winter. Enter, the spring 2016 fashion trend that—mark our words—will be everywhere: Bold, bright handbags.

From cobalt, to cherry red, a vibrant bag the simplest way to perk up even your most basic outfits. The best part? The trend is offered in every silhouette you can imagine, from mini box bags, to slouchy satchels, and oversized totes; so you can certainly find one that'll make your heart skip a beat and be practical at the same time. It's a win-win, we say.

Let's look to the runway for inspiration and shop the affordable styles below:

The Colorful Spring Handbag Trend You Can Start Wearing Right Now
Leather gym bags at Dior.

The Colorful Spring Handbag Trend You Can Start Wearing Right Now
Bright and embellished shoulder bags at Marc Jacobs.

The Colorful Spring Handbag Trend You Can Start Wearing Right Now
Oversized hobos at Marni.

The Colorful Spring Handbag Trend You Can Start Wearing Right Now
Top handle totes at Fendi.

The Colorful Spring Handbag Trend You Can Start Wearing Right Now
Two-tone satchels at Fendi.


Shop the the trend here:

The Colorful Spring Handbag Trend You Can Start Wearing Right NowJavaScript is currently disabled in this browser. Reactivate it to view this content.


For more accessory ideas:
Editor-Tested: The Best Winter Tech Gloves That Are Warm, Chic, and iPhone-Friendly
17 Party-Ready Clutches That Won't Break the Bank
Beyond the Basic Knit Cap: 4 Cute Winter Hat Styles You Should Try This Season

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The Colorful Spring Handbag Trend You Can Start Wearing Right Now

17 Party-Ready Clutches That Won’t Break the Bank

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A festive party dress deserves an equally party-ready bag, but you don't need to break to bank when it comes to finding one. We found 17 chic envelope clutches that nail every major accessories trend of the season—Leopard! Glitter! Festival fringes!—that'll amp up a basic LBD; finish off a cutout jumpsuit look come New Year's Eve; and even work well with jeans and a blazer for a weekend jaunt. The best part though? They're all under $75. See our favorites below.

17 Party-Ready Clutches That Won't Break the Bank

17 Party-Ready Clutches That Won't Break the BankJavaScript is currently disabled in this browser. Reactivate it to view this content.

For more winter accessories:
Beyond the Basic Knit Cap: 4 Cute Winter Hat Styles You Should Try This Season
15 Ways to Wear Thigh-High Boots This Winter
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17 Party-Ready Clutches That Won't Break the Bank

Ivanka Trump’s Pretty and Professional Outfit Idea for an Office Party

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While there's no surprise that Ivanka Trump is a business powerhouse—hello, look at that last name—the mark on her resume that we're particularly obsessed with is her fashion brand. Her six-year-old eponymous collection encompasses chic clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, and fine jewelry—and it continues to pick up steam. Such success in fashion proves that Trump doesn't just possesses some serious style herself, she also understands just what women want to wear to look pretty and professional. We met with Trump on Wednesday at a cocktail party to kick off the holiday season (and held at Trump Soho in NYC, natch), and scored some face time with the statuesque blond real estate tycoon, mom and mom-to-be (she's expecting baby number three!), and got her fabulous tips on transitioning from the office to an office holiday party.

Let's be real: Unless you work very close to where you live, actually getting to run home to change can be impossible (plus, can feel a bit too high-maintenance). The advice we hear most often is to swap in a party-perfect pair of shoes and go, but the wise Trump had some fresh advice.

"For me a classic dress is always the way to go for transitioning from day to night seamlessly. Throw on a pair of tights and a cardigan or blazer over a fit-and-flare silhouette to dress it down for the office environment," she said, suggesting you ditch the tights and topper when you're leaving the office for the holiday get-together. Instead of toting a second pair of shoes for the party, start your day off with a classic pump. "They'll look chic and sexy when you remove the dark stockings, but are still appropriate for work."


Ivanka Trump's Pretty and Professional Outfit Idea for an Office Party

Add tights and a sharp blazer to this powder pink dress and it'd work perfectly for the office; without, it's ready to party.


MORE: 5 Bright Holiday Party Dress Trends to Shop Now


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Ivanka Trump's Pretty and Professional Outfit Idea for an Office Party