Today, I saw a woman crossing North Avenue in a monochrome cream nightmare. Allow me to elaborate: cream button-up, cream suit jacket, cream cropped pants (mid-calf, the most awkward possible length), cream matte pantyhose, cream slingbacks.
Oh, and she was wearing a banana clip in her hair.
Normally I'd just gawk at that milk-colored spectacle, but since I've snacked on some prosciutto and am feeling rather generous toward humanity, here's what I'd suggest gently to her.
If you have to wear a suit, or something close to it: replace the button-up with a silk shell, maybe in a nice muted green or blue. Sleeveless, for christ's sake, it's August. Replace the suit jacket with a dark grey, brown, or black lightweight cashmere cardigan or a cropped swingy jacket, because your office is probably air-conditioned to death and you'll need it.
If you don't need to be full-on suited, get rid of the button-up for a cap-sleeved knit top in pretty much any muted color other than cream. Blue, violet, grey... go nuts, lady.
If you MUST have the cropped, ill-fitting pants, at least ditch the hose. Matte off-white hose makes no one's legs looks appealing. Again, it's AUGUST- if your office is that formal, just wear regular-length pants and no one will know you're not sweating through another layer of needless rayon.
Cream sling-backs should become a closed-toe pump in a darker color than the pants. Deep brown, grey snakeskin, or black (with some lighter detailing so they don't look too wintry).
As for the banana clip, just throw it away. I bet that anyone who witnesses you doing so will applaud.
I'm currently reading "Atonement" by Ian McEwan, which took me quite a while to get into but finally grabbed me by the balls last night. (Or by the "ovs", as Natalya used to say.) It's sort of Virginia Woolf-y, and though I'm only about halfway through, I think it's a safe recommendation. "Saturday" by McEwan is another amazing read, and that one will absorb you from the first. Get thee to a bookstore.