When I first won Miss USA 2019, I remember the stylist for the Miss Universe Organization asking me what I liked to wear. “Suits,” I told her. I’d practiced as a civil litigation attorney for nearly two years at the time and it was what I felt most comfortable, professional, and powerful wearing.
There’s nothing wrong with suits, but I needed a little more flexibility in the kinds of clothes I wore and the stylist certainly needed a little more to work with.
She asked for style references or celebrities I looked to for inspiration. Olivia Pope and Blair Eadie were the only two I could think of off the top of my head and there isn’t a whole lot of cohesion there. Pope, on one hand, wore lots of muted and neutral colors—greys, blacks, whites, pale pinks and blues—and Eadie, on the other, lived in bright colors, layers, and loud, fabulous patterns.
Eventually, Emma mentioned in passing someone who I should keep in mind when styling some of my outfits—Jennifer Lopez. She mentioned Lopez in passing while we were putting together an outfit for an appearance and the reference stuck with me. She’s now one of the celebrities whose names I type into the search bar on Pinterest when I need some outfit inspiration and I love scrolling on her Instagram for beautiful photos.
This particular photo is from her time in DC during the 2021 Inauguration. She wore a different outfit for her musical performance on the day of the swearing ins but it looks like this was another look she brought for the day before.
Three reasons why I love this look:
- Houndstooth is one of my favorite prints. It always makes an outfit look work-ready, it can be large or small and still look good, and it’s pretty timeless.
- I love longer coats or dusters. I have no explanation for this affinity. I just like them.
- The more you look at the photo, the more you can see the incredible details in this outfit and its styling. The layered belt. The buttons on the blouse, the pleats on the top, the earrings are all cohesive and pull together this look without it looking heavy or cluttered.
How you can style it for work:
Wear this as is! Sometimes I recommend a more relaxed fit or a different blouse to make an outfit work-appropriate, but this look is perfect for the office just the way it is. Thanks, Jlo for the bold outfit inspo.