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Celebrity Look for Less: Viola Davis

Use color to push the boundaries of business causal.

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Viola Davis, aarp, sisters, fashion
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“Business casual.” The scariest two words in the history of dress codes. Most places in the corporate world have taken a step back from the straight-laced, pantyhose-enforcing, business-formal dress code and a step down to business casual. But trying to figure out what to actually wear within that boundary can give you a headache. One thing you can never go wrong with is a crisp suit.

If you’re looking for a way to play it safe at work but still add some personality to your looks, we can take a note from Viola Davis’ closet. No stranger to a colored pantsuit, Viola is often spotted in a matching blazer and pant combo; each ensemble in an interesting color or fabric.  Granted, Viola has a wide array of resources at her disposal to choose from, so she can wear the best of the best in business wear. If what she’s envisioning doesn’t exist, she can have someone make it for her.

Thanks to the boom in e-commerce, however, those of us without her resources can still find creative options to add to our collection of outfits to wear to work. Some of our favorite retailers still have some reasonably priced, yet stunning suit options. Let’s take a look at a few.

This light blue-colored pant suit is a soft, more palatable alternative to the stark black and grey we see in most workwear.  The Tahari ASL Pebble Crepe Button Jacket Pant Suit  ($129) is a great way to ease into color without blinding anyone.

For a darker color palette that still gives off a serious overtone, a midnight-blue suit like the Nine West Shawl-Collar Jacket and Pant Set (originally $198) or a deep-cranberry ensemble like this Roll-Cuffed Bi-Stretch Pant Suit (originally $290) from Tahari are great ways to do so.

If more of your wardrobe leans warm, this deep- red Anne Klein One-Button Blazer and Slim Pants (originally priced at $218) suit would complement any items in that color family. Even with a wardrobe that’s full of neutrals like black or white, red is a classic color that would fit right in.

For a bit of an unexpected turn of color, try a green suit like this one in a forest shade from New York & Company. Sold as separates, the blazer goes for $30 and the pants, $20. Very affordable!

A timeless but bold print is the black and white stripe. Whether your style is effortless and relaxed or rock ’n’ roll, the ASOS Design Mono-Striped Suit ($56) is perfect for both looks. I’d love to wear this suit, especially when I need an outfit to go from day to night.