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5 Pieces, 5 Outfits: How to Style Our Grad Bento

May 03, 2019 | Filed in: Your Closet

With graduation season in full swing, we’re here to help newly-minted alumni with one of the most important “real world” tasks of all: building a work wardrobe. “When you’re beginning your career, you want versatile clothes that will give you the most bang for your buck,” says M.M. stylist Chris. In other words: Go for easy, neutral pieces that can be styled in multiple ways. “When you’re starting a new job, you don’t want to stand out too much—your work should do the talking, rather than your outfit.” In honor of grad season, we’re offering a special Bento with outfits for anyone building a work wardrobe from scratch. We asked Chris to show us how to style the pieces in the Grad Bento—read on for his tips, and click here to sign up for a box. Want to browse our other grad offerings? Click here.

The Pieces

The Annie dress: Having a go-to dress will save you time getting ready in the morning because there’s no need to worry about combining different pieces. The Annie has an easy, A-line silhouette and is made from a breathable, machine-washable fabric.

The Woolf jardigan: This piece has all the polish of a traditional blazer and all the comforts of a knit cardigan. Keep it draped over your office chair and pull it on when you’re heading into a big meeting (or a freezing conference room).

The Ronda top: Like your favorite tank—but fit for the office. The Ronda has a relaxed, breezy silhouette that looks just as nice tucked into pants or skirts as it does worn on its own.  

The Mejia pant: A well-fitting pair of trousers is the foundation of a great work wardrobe. This streamlined pair is machine-washable, wrinkle-resistant, and effortlessly cool.

The Cobble Hill skirt: Pencil skirts can feel tight and restrictive, but this one is as comfortable as it is polished, thanks to a lightweight and machine-washable wool.

Outfit 1

Keiko wears the Mejia pant, the Woolf jardigan, the Ronda top, the Vivara necklace, and the Ginger pump.

“This outfit is safe without feeling too formal—it’s perfect for your first day on the job. Pairing the Woolf jardigan with the Mejia pant gives you the look of a suit, but without any stiffness.”

Outfit 2

Keiko wears the Annie dress, the Bridle belt, the Vivara necklace, and the Ginger pump.

“On days when you accidentally snooze through your alarm (it’s inevitable), reach for the Annie dress: It’s a one-and-done piece that can be dressed up with just a few accessories. Here, I styled it with a simple necklace, elegant pair of heels, and a polished belt that adds a pop of color.”

Outfit 3

“For this look, I combined a formal piece (the Cobble Hill skirt) with a more casual one (the Ronda top). Mixing and matching items of different formality levels is a great way to get more mileage out of each individual garment. I added the Double Rectangle belt to give the outfit a more youthful vibe.”

Outfit 4

Keiko wears the Annie dress, the Woolf jardigan, the Bridle belt, the Vivara necklace, and the Ginger pump.

“This outfit is on the formal side, so it’s great for days when you need to take things up a notch, like when you’re giving a presentation or have an important meeting with your boss. The ink color of the Annie dress plays nicely with the black Woolf jardigan, and the Bridle belt breaks up the dark neutrals. Post-presentation or meeting, you can take the jardigan off for a more relaxed vibe.”

Outfit 5

Keiko wears the Ronda top, the Cobble Hill skirt, the Woolf jardigan, the Bridle belt, the Vivara necklace, and the Ginger pump.

“These pieces make for a modern take on the classic suit. The breezy Ronda top can be easily tucked into the Cobble Hill skirt, and adding the Woolf jardigan creates a matching pairing that’s sleek and flattering. I love this look because it’s proof that wearing a suit doesn’t have to feel stuffy!”

Inspired? Click here to sign up for your own Grad Bento, and click here to shop other grad gifts.

Photographs by Yan Ruan. Styling by Chris Walsh.

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Alexandra Johnson is the brand manager at MM.LaFleur, where she started out as a summer intern. Her happy place is the room housing Monet's Water Lilies at MoMA. Read more of Alexandra's posts.

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