This content series is brought to you by Nordstrom.com: It’s a New 9 to5—Think Less Buttoned-Up.

I’m taking a more fashion forward approach to work wear today because I’m excited about two refreshingly “new” silhouettes. They make a nice change to short and super form fitting shapes by being longer, looser, yet just as tailored. 

First, midis that end below the knee or on the calf are the happening length in skirts and dresses. After recently seeing the Spring 2012 collections at New York Fashion Week, I’m thrilled to report that midis are sticking around. Second, capes and capelets are bigger than ever, and Fall or a mild Winter is the perfect time to wear them.

Soft midi frocks like the Presley Skye Butterfly Print Silk Crepe de Chine Dress make for a super work look because it’s sleeved and structured, as well as comfortable and sophisticated. You might need to add a camisole or sew in a snap on the neckline if it’s a little too low for work. Swap out the belt for something wide or skinny to break up the pattern and add texture to the outfit. Whistle’s Felicienne Shiny Snake Belt bookends the shoes and subtly adds a little pattern mixing to the palette. 

Match anything from pumps and peep toes, to booties and knee-high boots for footwear. I’ve paired this dress with Stuart Weitzman’s “Ballot” kitten heels in burgundy because low heels are finally trending and red adds a spark of colour. They also look very “Audrey” with midi length skirts and dresses.

Adding a cropped tailored blazer, leather jacket, or trench coat as a cover-up is a no brainer. But let’s throw in the retro drama of a cape instead. Calvin Klein’s Belted Cape is brilliant because the belt adds structure to the cut. That way you won’t feel like you’re going to fly away. The volume of the cape works with the straighter contour of this dress. The tailored waistline lengthens the line of the leg. The cape will also work over sheath dresses, trouser and pencil skirt ensembles, and jeans. 

Any neutrally toned handbag will look fab with this ensemble. I chose Cole Haan’s Golden Heritage Quilt Archer Mini Satchel because we don’t need to pack our colourful bags away for Fall and Winter. Sport them to cheer up a grey day.   

I’m feeling dainty jewelry with this combination, like this drop necklace. But earrings, bracelets or a cocktail ring are just as fab (scale to your taste level). I’d have worn my specs and big gold watch and left it at that.