Give a working girl unlimited access to her favorite floor in a department store, and you can be sure she'll walk out of there looking like a boss. That's not a challenge. Meeting next week's aggressive deadline, getting an impossible client to see the light, and slaying last year's numbers two quarters ahead of schedule — now those are challenges. If you had the unlimited budget and unencumbered access that a lot of style primers assume you have, you wouldn't need those articles in the first place. In real life, with real parameters, and real resources, you're going to have to demand a little better.
We hear you — and when you're shopping your own closet for a new work look, you've got to be as creative as you are in the office. To really prove that you don't need to buy anything to give your outfits a promotion, we've given three typical 9-to-5 ensembles a do-more makeover, employing minor tweaks and fixes to make each one feel totally new.
Photographed by David Cortes; Modeled by Inga at Elite Models; Styled by Laura Pritchard; Set Designed by Amy Taylor; Hair and Makeup by Anna Webber