How to Make Winter Layers Work in the Office

Posted 2 days ago by

Layering is the perfect way to stay warm and feel comfortable all day long, but layering is not always the easiest thing to do in the office. It is a common struggle that women deal with every winter, whether they want to dress warm and look sluggish, or dress work appropriate and be cold.

Despite these difficulties, there are a lot of ways that women can make winter layers work while at the office. Below are a few simple tricks that will get you looking stylish and warm, while still maintaining professionalism at your job.

How to Make Winter Layers Work in the Office

Start with a Good Base Layer

The first layer is the most important when layering clothes for work. An ill-fitting base layer can cause the entire outfit to look off. Instead of creating a messy start, women should focus on getting great fitting undergarments that will help them feel confident. You can start this by first getting bra sizing help and investing in great shape-wear.

Avoid Anything Too Oversized

Oversized layers have been very popular this season. Though this look is very on trend, it is not usually appropriate for the office. Instead, women should stick with layers that are fitted and clean cut. However, a woman could possibly pull off a chunky sweater in the office if paired with a belt and a fitted skirt.

Put Belts over Coats and Jackets

Belts are a girl’s best friend in the winter. Everyone can look a little more put together with the correct belt in their outfit. Belts are also a great way to cinch a woman’s waist under heavy winter layering pieces. This allows women to wear the heavy fabrics that keep them warm without getting lost.

Use Jewelry to Add Dimension to Layers

Layering does not always need to be done with clothing. Women can add interest and style to any outfit by layering jewelry and other accessories. For example, a woman can add a sparkly necklace to a plain, neutral sweater and dress up a boring tunic with a colorful scarf.

Tailor Everything

Tailoring may sound like an old-fashioned way to make an outfit better, but it is still one of the most effective tricks in the book. Tailoring is the best way to make even the most stubborn layers fit well enough to be appropriate at work. This can range from a cozy cashmere sweater to a heavy tweed pair of pants. Any items that can be adjusted can help make every single outfit look better no matter what season it is.

 *This post was contributed. 


Melissa Murphy Talks Career Moves, Office Style, and How to Be an Amazing Intern

Posted 6 days ago by

Meet Melissa Murphy, the Marketing Director at RAPP, a customer experience agency based in New York City that specializes in creating experiences for clients like Toyota, Mattel, and Brita. Straight out of college, Melissa landed a job working for Donald Trump in Miami, Florida as the Director of Communications for Trump Grande Resort (can you say hustler?). She then went on to be the Director of Communications for pop artist, Romero Britto at his Miami Beach gallery.

Melissa Murphy, the Marketing Director at RAPP (an advertising agency in NYC)

She’s also one of the few people out there who knew what she wanted to do at a young age:

In high school, I excelled and enjoyed my art and business classes, so I figured advertising and marketing would be a great career choice. I was accepted to Fashion Institute of Technology’s Marketing Communications program and dove right in. It ended up being a great career path for me. I started in special events, then PR (both at agencies and in-house), then social media, and now corporate marketing. I’ve learned a lot along the way, and I think it has made me a very well-rounded marketer.

To top it all off, she’s an amazing mom. When she’s not working, you can find her brunching with her daughter, sweating it out at hot yoga, drinking green juice, sporting the coolest nail art, and wearing killer heels.

Keep reading to learn more about Melissa’s career, her style, how you can break into her industry, and how to be a kick-ass intern.

Great office style!

  • Name: Melissa Murphy
    Age: 35
    Current title: Marketing Director at RAPP
    Education: Bachelors degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology

What does an average day look like for you?

Nothing about my day is average and that’s why I love my job. One day, I could be negotiating a sponsorship deal or planning a trade show, another day I’m arranging press interviews or approving case studies. Every day is different, plus I get to collaborate across all of our U.S. offices, so I get the opportunity to work with all kinds of people with different backgrounds and specialties. It’s hectic and sometimes stressful, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What’s the dress code for your industry?

Unfortunately, the dress code in the advertising industry today is not half as fabulous as the Mad Men days. The people in our creative department can wear whatever they want. Jeans and tees are fine. Our client services team definitely steps it up a notch with their professional office attire. We do have some very fashion-forward newbies with blue hair and chic vintage wardrobes.

I work in corporate so I’m usually rocking a dress and heels, but you can sometimes find me in a blazer, jeans, and stilettos.

Nail art!

H&M skirt!

Do you think college prepared you for the duties of your job?

Yes, FIT has a great program that allows you to learn real-world skills while in school. We worked on actual campaigns and the professors are all top professionals in their practice. My first internship at FIT turned into my first full-time position and really set me up for the successful career I currently have.

What advice would you give the person who wants to get into advertising and marketing?

Work on building a personal brand. Social media has offered us an amazing tool to share our passions and expertise with the world and build your own brand — take advantage of that. My second recommendation is to network, via social and in person, and become a LinkedIn pro. It’s the easiest way to keep in touch with business contacts as they grow and move through their own careers. Third, build yourself a tribe of people who work in similar industries that you can count on.

It’s great to have a built-in focus group to bounce ideas off of, can help you in a pinch, and who don’t mind talking shop over happy hour cocktails.

How about PR?

Same as the above with an extra emphasis on networking. PR is all about relationships that you build with the media and your clients. No matter how good your pitch is, relationships matter.

What do you expect out of your interns?

I expect my interns to be ready to dive right in, take initiative and bring new ideas to the table. We have a great summer internship program here at RAPP and it’s always an exciting time at the agency. I had great internships and mentors throughout my career, so I like having the opportunity to give back.

What’s the hardest or most interesting lesson you learned that helped you get ahead?

Failure is okay! Not every project, campaign and relationship is going to work perfectly every time. In our fast-paced world, you have to learn from your mistakes and quickly forge ahead.

What have been some career highlights? 

I have had an amazing career so far. I’ve been able to travel the world (on an expense account), work with amazing clients and brands, scored some really great press hits like The Apprentice for clients, threw a gallery opening for the Prince of Monaco, attended Fashion Week in Milan and collect some great swag along the way.

Why do you think you’re so successful? 

I’ve always been open to new opportunities and try my best to keep all the doors open when it comes to clients and employers. I’ve also always been open to learning new skills, by taking classes and attending seminars about the industry.

Where would you like to be in another 10 years?

I decided in college that my career goal would be Chief Marketing Officer. I can see that goal clearer now than ever before, especially since I report to the CMO in my current position. I’m not sure if I’ll be at a brand or still at the agency in 10 years, but I’m excited to find out.

Melissa on Internships: "I had great internships and mentors throughout my career, so I like having the opportunity to give back."

Want to learn more about Melissa? Follow her on Twitter — @MelMurphyTweets.


Work Appropriate Fall Styles that Work in Any Budget

Posted 4 months ago by

Assembling a great work wardrobe is something that professional women struggle with every year. Many of your co-workers often toe the line between work appropriate and typical club wear because they want to work the latest trends into their everyday looks. Staying trendy at the office takes a little more thought than that, but it can be done.

The secondary issue that we run into is money. Buying a whole new work wardrobe every season is something that 90 percent of women cannot afford to do. But fear not, there are still ways that you can look trendy and appropriate at the office without maxing out your credit cards. Here are some ideas for work appropriate fall styles that work in any budget.


Start with the perfect support

Start from the bottom with every outfit you put on. In this case, you need to start with a super supportive bra. 1⁄2 cup bras are a great way to find the perfect fit to keep your girls comfortable and where they should be for your entire work day.

However, finding a supportive bra does not mean that you have to find a boring neutral bra that is void of all sex appeal. Sport some trends underneath with lace bras in jewel tones or mesh. Both are hot for fall!

Transition your summer wear into fall

A great way to save money is to use the same pieces in your wardrobe all year long. You may think that you need to stash all your newly purchased maxi skirts and sheer tank tops for the winter, but you can still wear these items throughout the fall season.

Pair maxi skirts with boots and tights to stay warm and look trendy. Layer the sheer tanks over a solid camisole and under a fitted blazer for a classic look with a little edge. Using these ideas will prevent you from buying too many new clothes each season while still maintaining your style.

Don’t settle for dark neutrals

The best part about the new trends for fall is that they are breaking us away from the all dark neutrals idea that is typically associated with fall. This year, you can mix boring neutrals with deep jewel tones that give your fall look life and color. You can try this look with a new blouse in deep plum, a bright red tote, or even electric blue shoes.

You can even take this a step further by pairing two jewel tones together in one outfit, as long as they are in the same color palette, like your deep plum shirt with a royal blue cardigan.

Layer with accessories

Accessories are a broke girl’s best friend! Accessories are the best way to work with trends without buying a lot of new, expensive clothing pieces. For example, you can use the same neutral pieces that you have, but pair them with a bold jewel tone necklace for a little bit of flair, or you can add a bright belt to a black cardigan to add some life to a dull work look.

Adding a colorful scarf works well too!

About the Author: 

Tina Hamilton HeadshotTina Hamilton is a journalist, blogger and social media guru. You can usually find her online or walking along one of Southern California’s beaches with her dog, Joey. Look for her on Twitter.


Petite? Here’s How to Dress for Your First Job

Posted 7 months ago by

Did you just get your dream job? Have you chosen a career that’s known for conservative office attire? If so, you might not know what to wear — especially if you’re used to wearing whatever you want. To shed some light on the subject, we teamed up with Carolina Alvo, the founder of a petite clothing line of the same name.

Below she tells you the seven things you need to purchase or consider when it comes to dressing for your first job in a corporate setting. Not petite? Don’t worry! This list applies to women of all shapes and sizes.


Want more Carolina Alvo? Shop her latest collection here!


On Our Radar: LuV Designs

Posted 2 years ago by

I fell in love with LuV Designs early on in the summer. Their clothes are not only quality, they’re affordable too! They specialize in sexy one piece rompers, comfortable sexy jersey dresses, and a few separates like crop jackets, casual knit tops and leggings.

My favorite line they have is their 60’s collection, the oversized Mod dress is the best piece. It’s stylish, colorful and comfortable…perfect for the office and a night out on the town! Melissa Murphy of office style looks awesome in it!

Just pair this dress with pretty gold jewelry and a sexy pair of nude pumps! Would you wear this cute outfit to the office? Let us know in the comments below!


Office Style: Midtown Chic

Posted 3 years ago by

PR is all about people, and I have to say – I get to hang out with some really great people at SocialChorus . Today was no exception! While working with Toyota to promote their newest addition, the Prius c, I had the opportunity to invite some of my blogger friends to drive around town in the super cute ride for a few days.

Fresh from her fab weekend in the Hampton’s


Amy from stopped by the Social Chorus office to show off the car and her fab outfit, of course!  For those of you that don’t know, Amy Chandra is Editor-In-Chief of, a NYC fashion & lifestyle blog based in Midtown Manhattan.

In 2008, Amy started Midtown Girl as a way to share her dating stories and love of fashion with a like-minded audience. Featured on ABC World News, Midtown Girl is often referred to as “Sex & The City 2.0,″ for its authentic content about life, love & fashion in NYC.

She describes her style as ‘Midtown Chic’ a fabulush combination of uptown preppy pieces with downtown edgy accessories.

I was freshly tanned myself and looking forward to celebrating the upcoming 4th of July weekend. I paired a classic navy blue and white striped blazer with a navy dress.  Later that day, when it was time for rooftop cocktails at Salon de Ning I just took off the blazer and was ready to go.

What did you think of my office outfit this week? Let us know in the comments below!

* All photography is by Marcus Cooper


Office Style: Fresh Style

Posted 3 years ago by

Dominique is the Marketing and PR Manager for Karen Millen USA. She’s been a New York City resident for 2 years now and is originally from San Francisco, where she found her love for fashion. She spends a lot of her free time traveling, exploring NYC and occasionally dancing her butt off at downtown parties. Follow her on Twitter @missdominique.


Her style is edgy and chic mixed with the laid back, Cali style. She tends to gear towards black and dark colors, but likes to add a little pop with an animal print or rich color.

She has an amazing aura about her, and a pretty cool job to boot.  I don’t know many people that can rock this look in general- especially to the office!

  • ‘Jezebel’ Pump: $150 Jeffrey Campbell


Lucky for me, while at the Karen Millen store in Soho chatting with Dominique I found this perfect summer dress.  I’m looking forward to wearing it at an upcoming summer event.  I like the way it fits and the little lace and ruffle detail make it a perfect party dress. I also plan to pair it with a bright color blazer for the office.

  • Karen Millen Lace Dress: $350
  • Nine West Nude Pumps: $50 via Marshall’s


Besides my Karen Millen shopping spree, it was a really exciting week at the office!  I helped coordinate the SocialChorus sponsorship at BlogWorld – one of the largest conferences for content creators held at the Javits Center this year.  We hosted interviews with some of the biggest names in the industry including Jay Baer, Ted Rubin, and C.C. Chapman to Google+ pro Lynette Young and Katie Richman from ESPN.

I had the opportunity to get a sneak peek into what everyone was up to, plus share news about SocialChorus. (Yay, PR!)   Overall, it was a huge success for work!  But definitely exhausting, I haven’t stopped talking for 9 hours and these stilettos are really starting to hurt.

  • Navy Blazer on Marcus: $59.95 h&m
  • Calvin Klein Dress: $150

Here’s Marcus (my favorite photographer) and I at the SocialChorus booth.



Steal Her Look: Leighton Meester Does Glamour Mexico

Posted 3 years ago by

The 26-year old actress, Leighton Meester graced the cover of June’s Glamour Mexico wearing striking jewel tones. Broke & Chic couldn’t help but admire the impecable and sophisticated styling for this photo shoot. In awe, we dug deeper to see if we could imitate her look for less!

On her beauty secrets:

I’m the worst at this (laughs). I always say less is more when it comes to make up and hair.But I do believe that if you are healthy you will always look better. Sure, I say this after having eaten mac & cheese, but I try to take vitamins, eat vegetables and salads, drink fresh juices and do yoga.

On what she does outside of acting:

I love music, writing and being with my family. I love traveling. I travel a lot, but almost always for work. I am thrilled to get a vacation, all I want to do is eat, sleep and swim all the time with my family in Florida.

The Broke & Chic Way

The Broke & Chic Way

The Broke & Chic Way

All three of her outfits above would be perfect for a nice summer day at the office. What’s your favorite look?


Office Style: Henna, Curls and Classics

Posted 3 years ago by

The night before I had attended one of my favorite Mommy blogger networks, Mommys Links Glam Me event.  It was a really fun time with a great group of girls. There were women empowerment speakers, fun vendors, and swag.  At the party, I got my first henna tattoo and my hair curled. So when I got home, I put my hair in a loose bun, and secured it with a few bobby pins – a tip my regular stylist at BlowNY gave me.

The next day my hair and henna looked fab. Don’t ever underestimate the power of a professional with a curling iron;those curls lasted for days. So getting ready for work the next day was pretty easy.  I think subconsciously the ornate orange design on my hand lead me to pick that bold orange pencil skirt that I paired with a simple white button down shirt.

You can never have too many crisp dry cleaned, fitted, collared shirts.  They are a classic item that will always come in handy, and never go out of style. I recommend investing in a few.

Meet Natalie Yvonne Henry

Natalie is currently a social media moderator intern at SocialChorus. She got interested in fashion in high school and it just grew from there. Natalie blogs at, sharing the latest in fashion news with others; she hopes to expand it to showcase Caribbean fashion designers. She explains her style by saying,

“I dress how I feel. I love to look different, so I never focus on fitting into a particular genre or era of fashion. I just love to collect various pieces and make them my own. However, I love color! I prefer bright colors; the more than better!”

Her outfit today consists of a Forever 21 Chambray shirt, H&M floral print leggings,and a vintage bag and suede vest, which are both from a relative. The bow is a scrap piece of material that she had sitting around.

  • Chambray Shirt: $22.90 Forever 21
  • Floral Leggings: $14.00 H&M
  • Vintage Bag: Gift from relative.
  • Vest: Gift from relative.
  • Bow: Homemade

What do you think of Melissa and Natalie’s outfit choices in this week’s office style? Let us know in the comments below!

Want More Office Style?

Office Style: Spring Edition

Office Style: Make a Statement

Office Style: Black is Back


Trend Alert: Nude Pumps

Posted 3 years ago by

Have you always dreamed of a shoe that went with everything? From your sexy red dress, to your denim cut-offs and white v-neck? No more dreaming, the nude pump is here. Secret: the patent leather variety will turn heads!

This heel goes with everything — and I mean everything. They’re sexy and will help save time in the morning. We all know finding the perfect shoe is the hardest part during our morning “dress up” routine. Take Melissa: She rocked a pair of $40 Nine West nude pumps with her Calvin Klein dress in last week’s Office Style post!

Another great thing about these shoes is that they work year-round. They aren’t season sensitive like some of those other shoe trends out there. Think about those neon flats you just bought; they’re a hot addition to your wardrobe, but probably wont fly this winter.

The past few events I’ve gone too, I couldn’t help but notice those patent leather nude pumps on everyone. It’s almost as if I never got the memo. Well, now Broke & Chic has given you the memo! Check out Necessary Clothing, Chinese Laundry, Type-Z and Jessica Simpson for a fabulous pair that won’t damage your bank account.

These are only $29.99 at Necessary Clothing

P.S.: Prom season is here. If you haven’t found the perfect heel yet, this might be the answer to your search!


Office Style: Spring Edition

Posted 3 years ago by

I love to shop, but I love finding great deals even more!  I fell for my first Calvin Klein dress sometime last year.  I scored it at Marshalls for around $50, it normally retails for over $150.   I now have more then I probably should admit, but they fit me perfectly and all have unique accents.  This bright blue one is amazing, the color is so bold and the cut is very chic.  It doesn’t require much styling at all.  I just threw on a pair of nude stocking and pumps and I was ready.

Speaking of nude stockings.  After banishing them from my wardrobe sometime in middle school, I’ve recently started wearing them again.  The spring weather came upon us so quickly and I was not ready to reveal my un-spray tanned legs to NYC.  There is not a dress out there that could ever make white pasty legs look pretty.  So taking a cue from the style icon Kate Middleton I bought a pair and surveyed a few people.  The votes are in- they didn’t even realize I was wearing hose until I pointed it out.  I’m now a believer and totally recommend adding them back into your life.

Check out the mother/ daughter duo below.  Both professionals with amazing taste and the eye for a great deal.

  • Calvin Klein Coat: $29.99, Marshalls in North Kingston Rhode Island
  • Flower Pin: 25 cents, Thrift Shop
  • Alfani Clutch: $3.00,  Nearly New Shop in Ruskin Florida
  • Franco Sarto Boots: $24.99, T.J. Maxx

  • Tommy Hilfiger Trench: $49.00 Macy’s
  • Earrings: $2.99 Christmas Tree Shops
  • Bracelet: Designed and Made by Jess Cooper (model)
  • Enzo Angiolini Shoes: $24.99 Marshalls
  • Yellow Purse: $24.99 T.J. Maxx
  •  Polka Dot Trench: $49.00 Macy’s
  • Bag: $24.99 Marshalls
  • Sunglasses: $99.00 Calvin Klein
  • Earrings: $2.99 Christmas Tree Shops
  • Bracelets:  Designed and Made by Jess Cooper (model)

Meet Teresa Cooper

By day, Teresa is a promoter of education, self determination and goal setting. She spends her leisure time in search of all things beautiful, and she will most likely end her search in a local consignment shop. Teresa wears her passion for life by discovering new and eclectic styles of clothing, shoes and accessories for both herself and loves ones.

Meet Jessica Cooper

Jessica Cooper, a Sr. Management Consultant based in Boston, spends almost as much time packing and traveling as she does in the office. Her style is fashionable and sophisticated, and she is always on the hunt for versatile pieces that travel well and need little maintenance. To add some flare to her otherwise corporate look and show off her street style, Jessica will layer on her self-made bracelets, wear bright eye shadow, and accessorize with animal prints and vibrant colors. And of course, she’s always sporting her mother’s latest thrift store find!

What do you think of Melissa, Teresa and Jessica’s sophisticated yet colorful outfits? Let us know in the comments below!


Office Style: Make a Statement

Posted 3 years ago by

Make A Statement

Style is always about making a statement.  For the office it’s best to keep it more subdued and make a statement with one standout piece.  I usually pair a simple outfit with an over the top necklace, statement earrings or bright lipstick.

On this day, I choose to make a statement with those leopard booties.  They are so fun and attention grabbing I try to keep everything else pretty simple.  Pencil skirts are always a great look for work, they are simply stylish and always classy.

Meet Michael Nguyen

Nguyen buys into the whole “new corporate nerd” worldview as espoused by the likes of Thom Browne, Brooks Brothers, and Pee Wee Herman. He’s big into the idea of uniforms and building your look around specific elements. His philosophy is that since we’re in a culture that is doing away with old institutions, it’s up to individuals to create appropriate looks from the pieces these institutions left behind.

About Michael

Nguyen works as a Strategist and writer at McCann Social Central. He also maintain his own blog ( and freelance writes/consults on the side.

About the Author:

Melissa Murphy connects brands with influencers as Senior Manager of Influencer Activation and Collaboration at SocialChorus. Her campaigns with Fortune 500 companies like Tropicana, Intel and Toyota are awesome – she’s the ultimate PR turned social media maven. Murphy attended The Fashion Institute of Technology majoring in Marketing Communications, and was previously the Director of Communications for The Trump Grande Resort and Pop Artist Romero Britto. She loves meeting influencers (IRL), rocking a killer pair of heels, and a great party!  Follow her on twitter @MelMurphytweets

What do you think of Melissa and Michael’s office style? Let us know in the comments below!