Every few months, I'll inevitably have a concise back and forth with an acquaintance that goes thusly:

"Your closet doesn't have any blouses or slacks."

"Yes it does! They're right this way!"

"Those aren't work/job fair/interview appropriate. You're gonna need workwear at some point in your life."

"Sure, but probably not."

*Cue mutual eye-roll*
Truth is, I've never ever found it appealing to work a job in which creativity in attire wouldn't be encouraged. Essentially being raised in a Nigerian workplace, it seemed that most of the office was dressed to the nines on any given day, often proudly wearing the more comfortable but nonetheless vibrant, colorfully patterned pieces of traditional West African garb.

It made sense, then, that I found it hard to reconcile an already dull-sounding 9-5 cubicle workday with an even duller and constricting wardrobe, and "workwear" blogs, posts, and tutorials all seemed a bit flat. So, in order to prove that I could use my wardrobe to create work-appropriate pieces, I decided to try effective winter layering and heavy accessorizing with a monchrome palette, all while keeping a strong personal aesthetic. 
Look 1: CO. by CottonOn Oversized Blazer / / Romwe Cape Top & Harness / / Goodwill Trousers / / H&M Bowler Hat & Booties

Look 2: NastyGal Checkered Jacket / / Marshall's Ribbed Turtleneck / / Forever21 Checkered Skirt

Look 3: Romwe Hat & Marbled Blouse / / Goodwill White Blouse / / Nordstrom Leather Sweatpants

photos by Heather Hensen
styling by Khadijat Yussuff