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Every now and then, you need to bring your A game. Last week, the university I work for held an inauguration for its fifth president. So I surveyed my closet and picked out the best of the best.

I sat on the planning committee for this event and finally, after months of planning, the day came. This outfit was perfect for the event. It’s professional, feminine and polished. Most importantly, it helped me feel confident as I left the house, off to talk with key constituents of the university.

As hard as it may be to believe, I finally added a blazer to my closet this summer thanks to J.Crew’s big summer sale. This one is perfect and I can’t wait to incorporate it with other outfits. Now that I have one, even I can’t believe I lived and worked this long without one. A blazer is a must-have.

When dressing for a “very professional” event, keep your accessories simple and minimal. I went with stud earrings, pearl bracelets, a gold bangle and my gold watch. I pulled my hair back and wore nude pumps. Keep it simple. Not too busy or distracting.

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(Photos by Kelly Montgomery)

Blazer: J.Crew
Blouse: Elizabeth McKay (old, but similar one here)
Skirt: J.Crew
Pumps: Cole Haan
Earrings: Kate Spade
Bracelets: gifts from family (similar here)