Style Counsel: Melanie Ervin

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Her Occupation: Project Manager, Strategic Assistance for Strive Together
Her Style: Professional Chic

You travel often, meeting community and education leaders across the country. Do you always bring your fashion A-game? I stick to simple and sleek when I’m in front of leaders. You can do so much with a Calvin Klein or Banana Republic dress—and they’re easy to pack. I pair mine with a suit jacket or statement piece, simple necklace, and studded earrings. And Jessica Simpson high heels are a go-to. 

After almost one year at your job, how do you continue to keep your business-professional look fresh? I stick to a neutral color palette for the basics so I can add color to vary my look—I often go for blue, pink, or yellow. And I wear a lot of gold to accessorize.

Is personal style part of the work culture at Strive? Most of us are in our 20s and 30s, and we have a diverse range of backgrounds: some graduated from DAAP, some history or political science. It’s a really comfortable and open place to work, so we can express ourselves through what we wear. Two guys on the team have regular “walk offs” on Fridays, then the rest of us vote on the best walk and outfit. And I’m part of a monthly shopping trip with some of the women, so we like talking outfits, sales, and “showing up” for each other.

Originally published in the June 2014 issue.

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