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Jump-start your work wardrobe for fall

Tired of the boring suits? Stacy London of TLC's “What Not to Wear” has the lowdown on five key pieces for the office this season.
/ Source: TODAY

If you were bored getting dressed for work this morning, we've got some news you can use. Stacy London, “Today” fashion expert and co-host of TLC's “What Not To Wear,” presents five pieces that will look modern, stylish and office appropriate all without skipping a beat and costing a fortune.

Workwear — it always looks “appropriate,” perhaps even authoritative, but stylish? Bored of your everyday suits? Ever feel like what you wear to work never reveals your inner style diva? Here are five trend pieces that are the most work environment friendly. Add some panache to that workweek wardrobe and show your colleagues how very stylish you really are.

Plaid was all over the runways for fall, but it can be a bit overwhelming in a bright red and black gingham (think table cloth) or electric tartan (think bagpipe player). Instead, opt for one of the more subtle plaids in a neutral color palette like grey, black and taupe. It won't overwhelm an outfit (or you) and can go with so many separates. Pair a belted one with a great silk blouse in a jewel tone and a brown trouser. It will look equally great with a skirt and does double duty with a turtleneck, jeans and boots on the weekend. Jacket: Zara, $89; blouse: Ann Taylor, $78; pants: Zara, $59; shoes: Via Spiga; jewelry: a.v. max and Michelle Pressler

The tie-neck blouseWe've seen this style for a couple of seasons now but it has never been more popular. It's so innately feminine and is a great option instead of a plain button-front shirt. You'll see them this season in cotton broadcloths, silks and even cotton jersey! It's a terrifically versatile piece that works well under a full suit with a cloth or knit vest or simply by itself. Don't be intimidated by this blouson sleeve. If you feel like that look is too exaggerated for the office, look for a style with straighter sleeves. There are a million different sleeve lengths to choose from as well. You'll find short cap sleeves, 3/4 and full-length. I particularly like the 3/4 because of it's appropriate coverage for the office and it works so well on women with long arms! Blouse: Zara, $59; vest: T Tahari, $118; skirt: Esprit, $79; tights: DKNY, $18; shoes: Kenneth Cole

Touch of red
Whatever you wear this season, you must add a touch of red to it. It was the biggest accent color in a very dark color palette for fall and it pops with just about any neutral. I am obsessed with red shoes. In my opinion, you can't have enough of them. Try pairing a blue black silk blouse with a wide leg, multi-color tweed trouser that has a menswear feel (also a big trend). Then, add a shot of color with red patent pumps! Look for great shoes, bags and belts in every shade of red this season. And look for clothes with some red in the pattern or fabric of the material to really pull the look together. P.S.: I always prefer to throw a second neutral in when wearing black and red. Black and red alone seems antiquated and very 80s. Try adding cream, camel or brown into the mix for a more modern feeling. Coat: Anne Klein, $129; blouse: Jones New York, $79; pants: Poleci @ Anthropologie, $158; shoes: Nine West, $89; jewelry: Deborah Grivas Designs and Agatha; handbag: Maxx New York

Pencil skirtMy colleagues make fun of me because I'm so obsessed with pencil skirts! Just like the tie-blouse, they are so feminine and if they fit correctly in the length and size, they are supremely office appropriate. A pencil that is too short is just a mini-skirt, and minis aren't office appropriate. You never want any pulling or bunching around the hip in a pencil skirt. This can occur for two reasons: 1) the skirt is too tight or 2) wearing a skirt made with some stretch in it that is too big, it will create the same visual effect which looks sloppy. A pencil needs to fit smoothly over your curves and should hit the middle of the knee-cap or right below it. With a great heel, it is an indispensable work wardrobe item. Jacket: Alfani, $199; shirt: Liz Claiborne, $59; skirt: Arden B., $98; shoes: Cynthia Rowley; jewelry: Agatha

Knit dress
There is a ton a knit wear on the market this season, but my favorite new style is the knit dress — not the sweater dress from the 80s! (Let's leave those to Pat Benatar videos.) The new knit dresses actually flatter the body and flaunt your shape. A gossamer thin cashmere dress is great for accenting a waistline. It doesn't look like a blanket but is super comfortable. It feels like pajamas without looking like them. And these simple dresses look great with heels or flats like a flat boot. I love changing up these dresses with modern new accessories like a bold watch in plastic that looks so chic against the simplicity of the dress. A dress like this can also take you right into cocktails after work as well! With so many different uses and ways to wear it, it's a great investment piece. Dress: Three Dots, $348; tights: Hanes, $10; boots: Kenneth Cole, $495; jewelry: Baccarat and Toy Watch