Adding a Touch of Femininity

I took these pictures a month and a half ago for that post on cold weather business casual, but I’m only now posting them because I hadn’t actually worn the outfit until this week.  I’d been waiting for an opportunity to wear it, and the last round of interviewing people for our organization seemed perfect.
I’ve heard a few people say they worry about looking “too masculine” when wearing a button up with a sweater.  Especially when a blazer is involved and the color palette isn’t particularly feminine, like in this outfit, I can understand why.  
One of my go-to ways to balance out the look is to add a pretty necklace.  The necklace I’m wearing here is not even that big, but I think it helps add some femininity without going too much in the other direction–too “girly.”  
Another tip would be to choose more traditionally feminine colors.  If you’re a neutral lover that might be hard, but lighter greys and tans might help.  Also, having a brighter colored top underneath will definitely help.  Even if you love neutrals and are scared of color, don’t be scared to wear a bright button up because the sweater will cover most of it anyway!  

Lastly, my other trick is to curl my hair if I want the look to be even softer.  I think curls help balance out all of the structure in the outfit.  I didn’t do it with this outfit because I don’t mind appearing a little sharper.  Especially when interviewing someone.  Gotta put my tough face on!  😛

Got any other tricks for balancing out a button up + sweater?

And finally…some notes on some similar items:

I tried this plaid top from ON, which is like the lighter palette version of the one I’m wearing.  It’s lightweight, so it’d be great for spring and summer.  Also currently on sale!  I’m usually S or M at Old Navy, and the small fit me perfectly.

I found a pullover sweater that’s only $8.90 and comes in 14 colors.  FOURTEEN!  Some are neutrals, a couple are bold like bright red and cobalt, and others are softer pastels like mint, pink, and yellow.  The other two sweater options listed below are also on sale.

Shop for the Look:
Shirt: gift (similar, similar)
Sweater: Forever 21 (similar, similar–$8.90, similar)
Blazer: Target (similarsimilar)
Pants: Old Navy (similarsimilar, similar)
Shoes: H&M (exact)
Bag: Nordstrom (exact)

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