J. Crew's pricey but oh-so-pretty metallic bouclé houndstooth Clea jacket, $295
In addition to your basic black, gray and navy blazer, one amazing statement jacket in a rich, textured fabric or beautiful color - perhaps something with gorgeous buttons or trim - is the ideal way to stretch your work-wardrobe budget. It's a piece that will help you project a professional, polished and competent image while still maintaining a sense of your own personal style. Spend a little more on a jacket with a great fit and quality fabric, and you can wear it more than once a week and still look smart.
I recall a previous manager of mine who had a fabulous brocade blazer with a faux-fur trim in a rich tan color (it was way more subdued than it sounds, trust me), and even though she wore it all the time, she always looked perfectly chic. And, she could command everyone's attention whenever she walked into a room. (That jacket held the key to her power, I'm convinced of it.) Here, some options to help you dress for success...
Celery Tweed Jacket at Anthropologie.com, $158
MICHAEL Michael Kors Kimono-Sleeve Belted Jacket at Macys.com, $159.50
REQ Tweed Jacket at Sears.com, Was $64 Now $37.99
Diane Von Furstenberg wool 'Basia' zip jacket at Bluefly.com, $279.00
Garland Boucle Jacket at Express.com, $118.00