The Perfect Outfit: A Law Associate’s 9-5 Strategy

Bevin Butler, an associate at a law firm, is a professional whose firm's dress code is comparatively lax (business casual during regular office hours), but Bevin still tries to present an appropriate professional image for clients and colleague, all the while balancing it with comfort and practicality. "We are expected to have a suit available in case of a last-minute client meeting, so my tailored Prada skirt-suit is always in my office," Bevin reveals. But her style strategy goes beyond a mere designer uniform. "I come from a background in fashion and marketing, so I can't help trying to differentiate myself with modern silhouettes and quality fabrics." Take Exhibit A: Bevin's patterned top tucked into a pleated camel midi is oh so spring '11, but is conservatively chic enough to command respect and admiration both in and out of the courtroom. Clearly, Bevin has taken her grandmother's "You put on an outfit, you put on attitude" advice to heart.

Essential #1: The Femme Blouse—Patterns are a fun way to inject acceptable sass into business attire. Another tip: Go for boardroom-friendly earth tones.

MICHAEL Michael Kors Snake-Print Blouse, $72, available at Michael Kors.

Essential #2: The Midi Skirt—The accordion folds on this camel skirt give it a 1950s feel in a camel shade that's very versatile and now. Pleats, please!

Zara Accordion Pleat Skirt, $79.90, available in Zara stores.

Essential #3: The Towering Pump—The midi's longer length can make some look shorter. Be a proactive dresser and pair it with sleek high-heeled pumps. Height is might!

Cole Haan Pump, $298, available at Piperlime.

Want more? Check out Jennifer Pastore's 9-5 outfit!

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