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You can still work it in the workplace

| Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Figuring out what to wear to the workplace on a daily basis can be just as baffling as office politics. Thankfully, once a closet staple, pantsuits made a return to fall runways for top designers, including Donna Karan and Dries Van Noten. Take note, lawyers and lobbyists, these new versions are not the buttoned-up, big-shouldered, dress-for-success looks of the 1980s. A belted-and-relaxed style telegraphs confidence and chic. Consider your clothing as if it were a business card. Be sure it's transmitting the message/image you intend to project. Here are tips for fashionable and functional dressing in 2013.

• Forgo any temptation to substitute the tote you picked up as a free gift at the cosmetics counter as your multitasking business handbag. A structured, oblong shape from Massimo Dutti will accommodate your essential tech devices and personal musts in a minimalist way. Choose a standout color, such as runway fave oxblood. Also in gray. $228 at Massimo Dutti stores and www.massimodutti.com.

• Banana Republic's collection of link bracelets, leather bangles and metal cuffs make design elements similar to those found in antique jewelry within reach of small budgets. The elegance of the past weds with a current sensibility. Instead of a safety catch, an elastic band secures the bracelet to your wrist. Add this gem to your jewel box for a simple statement accessory. Also in yellow, ivory and orange. Wave bracelet, $39.50 at www.bananarepublic.com.

• Your work space tells tales about you, too. These meticulously detailed and hand-painted iron butterfly pushpins will speak to your creativity. Use them to tack up important memos, inspirational photos and to keep track of invitations. Set of nine for $35 at www.ballarddesigns.com.

Janet Bennett Kelly is a writer for The Washington Post.

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