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  1. Hi,

    I have a question about taking vacation at a new job. Next month, I start a new job as a management consultant. I want to make a good impression and do not plan on taking any vacation for the first three and a half months. I would like to take two days off after New Years for a ski trip. The problem is that to get a good airplane ticket, I need to reserve my seat this week (before I have even started my job).

    How can I ask about the vacation policy without seeming lazy? I am thinking of calling my HR contact to ask about the schedule around the fall and winter holidays. Any advice?

    Thank you!

  2. Hi gals – thanks for the great blog, I’ve come to rely on it as I prepare for fall law firm interviews! Thanks for all the timely posts. I have a slight emergency – would it be possible for you to do a post on appropriate interview handbags? I’m looking for a structured bag in a lower price range (i.e., ideally less than $200) but still professional and nice enough to make a good impression. Also – I stupidly bought a dark gray pinstripe suit and a dark brown suit – no chance there’s some kind of bag that would look good with both, right? If not, I’m looking for both a black and a brown bag, so suggestions for either would be GREATLY APPRECIATED! I don’t know how you find all the great sales and styles that you do, but I’m always impressed! Thanks in advance -Amy

  3. Hi ladies,

    Thanks for the great blog! I know you just posted about interview totes in the lower price range, but it would be great to get a post on work bags/briefcases in the higher price ranges, perhaps in time for christmas? My boyfriend’s mom loves to give expensive gifts, and I figure it might as well be something I can get some use out of (not that I don’t love the $500 picture frame that sits atop my bookcase that I’ve had since high school.) I did a search and found the post where you were asking for recommendations, but the comments weren’t really helpful (I already know about Tumi and its not really fashion-y enough for me.) Thanks!

  4. This site is essential. I coach many bankers, consultants and legal professionals on career development, and personal branding and style is a big part of the equation. I love having this as a specialist resource on that front.

  5. Hi Corporette-

    I’d love to get your take on Project Runway’s challenge last night 9/17. Is it just me, or were the conrtestants’ judges’ ideas of appropriate interview and work wear a bit, um, strange? I realize the clients weren’t looking for law or banking jobs, but even in a more “creative” industry, don’t you still dress more formally for an interview?

  6. Hi Corporette,

    Great site! As a loyal reader, I wanted to provide some feedback. While I drool over the overpriced handbags and suits that you feature earlier on in the week, I really love it when you provide examples of lower priced items that working girls can actually afford. For instance, I am currently wearing the shift dress from Spiegel that you reccomended several weeks ago. I love that I didn’t have to spend my entire paycheck to look amazing.

    Thanks again!

  7. Hi! I loved the gray sweater that Cuddy wore on House last night (10/28) and in my searching, came across your column on Cuddy’s fashion. I was wondering if you have any idea who the designer is and where I could find it. Thanks!

  8. Hi! I’m a corporate lawyer and I love this site! I like your sense of style and would love to see more of your ideas on how to put things together, including items that are for sale, as well as your own outfits. My lack of creativity means I usually wear plain suits or button downs/cardigans with pants or skirts, but I like looking more put together when I can.

    Also, stories about office politics and colleague/boss dynamics are always interesting and helpful.

    Thanks for keeping this site!

  9. Hello Ladies-
    Thanks for all your great advice. I am a first year in law school, consequently I am broke. In reading your advice about dressing professionally for busty ladies, I met the same problem I always do. I am aware Neiman’s and Nordstrom’s have the better underwear departments, in terms of selection and fittings; but I still can’t afford it. Are there any suggestions for a wide selection in a more affordable price range?Again thanks for all your great advice!

  10. Hi. As the winter season approaches, I’m looking for winter snow boots to match up with my suits. As a drug rep, I need to wear a suit, but I also spend my day walking in the snow to get to medical offices. Can you do an article on winter footwear? Thanks

  11. Can you help suggest what to wear with a boyfriend blazer? I just got a slim, one-button wool boyfriend blazer (from Iisli – love it) and am not sure what would look best with it. Thank you!

  12. Anonymous :

    Dying at the office without a TPS Report on a winter Monday! Come back soon!

    Column idea: Summer dresses/ skirts and the office? Any alternatives to my standby white cardigan? Dreaming of warmer days. . .

    Another one — hair accessories for work.

  13. newassociate :

    I’m a new associate in BigLaw. My very experienced assistant tells me I need to put some personal things in my office. Right now there is a single framed print and that’s it. My diplomas and bar admission are getting framed, so they’ll go up soon. Books are all firm-issued. But there’s a large (5 foot wide?) space between my desk and the door. What goes there?? A small sofa or cushy chair?? Coat rack? Something else? Nothing? It would be nice to have something to nap on for an all nighter but the guys don’t have those…

    What about photos? Plants? Other?

    There aren’t a lot of women at my firm (surprise!), so I can’t really copy what they did. Help is appreciated!

  14. Hey Corporette!

    I am a 1L and am about to start interviewing for summer internships. I realized recently that one of my two suits has gotten big on me. Do you have any recommendations for tailors in the city who do good work, but are not ridiculously expensive?

    Thanks so much!

  15. What should a woman in her mid-20s wear to a black tie optional inaugural ball where she is not a member of a family hosting or being honored (i.e., is just one of the many guests attending)? Black tie optional leaves a lot of room for variation, and I would like to fit in but not look overdressed. Comments or suggestions?

  16. Hi. I love your commentary and fashion tips. However, I recently ordered the white on white shirt, and can’t remember the vendor. The shirt has yet to arrive. Is there any way you guys can check on this?


  17. Hi, I just bought a very cute, dark charcoal, 3/4 sleeves suit jacket from Ann Taylor that was monstrously on sale. Of course, they didn’t have any pants in my size from that suit.

    My question – can you wear a suit jacket and suit pants of a different color? How? Does one always have to be lighter or darker than the other? Or is this something I should give up on and send back…


  18. Hi folks – love your blog! I’m in a bind, hoping you might have some advice. I’m currently an at-home mom but I’m also an adjunct instructor at the university, and I do some occasional consulting. I got rid of most of my suits when I left corporate 6 years ago.

    I have a funeral to attend in two weeks, and don’t have much in the form of a black or navy skirt suit. I’d like to find something reasonable, conservative but hip and somewhat fitted that I can wear for future client meetings or teaching. I’d need to go to a store to try things on. I live near several malls – any suggestions on where to go? We have a Macy’s, Nordstroms, Banana Republic, etc. but looking on their websites, I haven’t seen much in my price range (about $200). Thanks so much!!

  19. I am totally clueless about how to wear boots to the office. I have a basic pair of below the knee, high-heeled (but not stiletto) black boots that I wear on weekends, but have yet to attempt to wear to work. After all the flak Dr. Biden got from wearing boots (the horror!) to the Inauguration, I’m starting to think that they’re never appropriate. ( )

    Thoughts? Outfit suggestions?

  20. newassociate :

    back again. my office is looking better, thanks.

    new problem:
    an 8th year i.e. someone very much the boss of me (isn’t everyone?) just found me on facebook and wants to be added. i took a look at his profile and he’s friends with most of the senior associates and about half of the partners in our group. we are friendly and he’s a nice guy, but we are not actually friends.

    i don’t know what to do. i like to keep facebook for just friends, so i don’t even add people that i am acquainted with, or people i used to know (like people from high school that i haven’t seen in years). but i don’t think that rejecting the invitation is a good idea considering that i am supposed to be trying to integrate myself into the group. and wouldn’t limited profile be obvious, like what am i trying to hide?

    is this the end of my facebook? there’s nothing bad on there, but it is my personal space.


  21. HELP!!!! I just got hired as a pharmaceutical rep. I have some questions about what is appropriate business professional attire.
    -Is a DVF jersey wrap dress ok to wear?
    -What is the rule on dresses that don’t have a jacket…ok or not?
    -If wearing a dress or skirt suit do I have to wear stockings?
    -Can I wear open back mules with stockings?
    -Can I wear a pant suit with pumps or slingbacks without stockings or knee highs?
    -Are sheer black stockings ok to wear w/ a black skirt suit?
    -Is a tweed jacket w/ slacks ok to wear instead of a traditional suit?
    -When do you wear the jacket, and when can you take it off?
    -Do you always have to wear a button-up blouse w/ collar under a jacket?
    I think that’s it. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  22. I’m a new attorney and one of the best things about what I do is getting to dress up for work everyday. I recently bought a navy blue suit that I love, but once I got it home, I realized I had no idea what color shoes to wear with it. Is it okay to wear black shoes with navy? I’ve looked around the courthouse, but where I work there are definitely a lot more male attorneys, and they seem to go for different shades of brown with their navy suits. Help!

  23. I’m trying to build my collection of jewelry and am wondering – what is work appropriate? I’m assuming dangly earrings are out, but how about chunky rings or those kind of structural necklaces?

  24. associate :

    Hi, I’m a third year associate who has been working exclusively with a partner and two senior associates. While our firm is large, we were essentially the only people in our particular specialty. The partner and one associate have decided to leave to start their own firm. The other associate and I are not going with them. The firm has been very supportive and clear that they want me to stay, but I now have to pick a new practice area. Luckily, I was in litigation and have some transferable experience.

    The firm has been clear that they will find a spot for me but that I have to be patient. They don’t really want me trying to find my own spot. I understand the need for patience and to let the powers that be do their thing, but I also want some control over and say in the situation. I do want to do my own investigation and find out if there are areas I would like. Also, some partners are better to work for than others, and I want to stay clear of some personalities. Do you have any recommendations for how to handle this appropriately?


    PS. I should add that I am very pregnant at the moment and will be going on maternity leave soon.

  25. Hi Corporette!!

    I’m a 1L, and I’m trying to spruce up my business/business casual wardrobe for my summer internship. My feet get really hot in the summer so I like to wear sandals, but in the last couple summers I’ve been stuck with less businessy, less professional, outdoorsy type Merrell sandals because I’ve been having arch support issues. Specifically, I’m wondering if you could suggest some work appropriate sandal styles that also have good arch support (or at least ones that I could put some arch support into)? I’m not afraid of some heel height but I usually max out around 3 inches, if that helps.

    Thanks! Looove your site!

  26. Help!
    Is it okay to wear ivory or off-white pantyhose with a brown suit in winter?

  27. HELP!
    I’m a 2L getting ready for a summer associate position this summer and I need help. The dress code at my firm is formal—so I’m guessing suits every day.

    Can you suggest affordable suits/combinations for the summer (such as 100 suits or so)?


  28. Daily reader here – love the site – thanks!! I have what may be a very odd question that I hope you and/or your readers could help with…Specifically, is there a “right” way to walk in heels?

    The reason I ask is that when I walk around the uncarpeted areas of the office, my heels make what seems to be a very loud clacking noise – and some other women do not seem to have this problem. Should I be walking more on the balls of my feet?


  29. I too love your blog. IMO your style choices are also spot on for women who simply prefer classic clothing – working or not. In my case, my work wardrobe after 30 years is pretty set. However, I’m currently in recession mode, i.e. my job has been misplaced. I find that my non-work clothes are just not suitable for walking around in the supermarket, given that in my community (high tech in Silicon Valley) I might meet someone there who would hire me. So I want to upgrade what would be my weekend wardrobe (if I were working). Can you help? I have my dilemma posted here. I thought you all might have some great ideas. I hope this doesn’t take you beyond the scope of your blog, but once we get to the executive ranks, I have found that networking etc. can extend the requirements and definition of “professional style”. Thanks in advance. LPC.

  30. Another 2L :

    I’m another soon-to-be summer associate in a New York law firm. Would love it if you could address dress codes given the current economic climate, and the boundaries of “formal wear” for women.
    Another 2L

  31. I love your blog. seriously – love it. I frequently check out things you recommend and love the websites. I have little time to shop and buy most of my suits online these days – so much easier with your recommendations (I am fashionally challenged!). thank you!

    I actually have a question for you. I am a mid-level law associate and my husband is a teaching physician at a local hospital. His boss is getting married in DC in April. It is the bride’s first marriage and it will be a huge event. The wedding is at 5 and then dinner and dancing at 6 at a country club.

    I have NO idea what to wear. Can I wear a black cocktail dress? I am so bad at these things and I want to make a good impression for my husband and look professional for my own benefit!

    this may seem like an elementary quesitons, but did I mention I am fashionally challeged?

    Thank you!

  32. oh. one more thing. I am barely thirty, but my husband is a good ten years older. I don’t want to look like a airhead, but I don’t want to look fourty either! ha ha. any suggestions would be appreciated.

  33. So, I’m a first year associate, and I’ve recently become a huge fan of “Damages” — or at least the fashion on it. I even find myself thinking, “Ahh, if only I could be like Ellen Parsons!” (minus the whole murdered fiance thing, of course). I think you guys should do a write-up about her character’s fashion choices! They are conservative, while at the same time pretty, and usually have a bit of personality or interesting details. My biggest office attire problem is figuring out how to look professional and like myself at the same time, and I think her character is a good role model for this!

  34. I want to second/ third all the 2L’s above asking for summer associate wear. I’m headed to a firm where the dress code isn’t quite formal. It didn’t seem like most of the women wore a suit everyday, but I don’t want to step on any toes, and the men were wearing suits and ties. How many suits does one need? 5? 10? 15? (I had at least 10 different work outfits in previous jobs, but 10 suits will be cost prohibitive at least at first). Do they all need to be black and navy or is a more causal grey or camel ok? How about ivory or dark green or burgundy? Patterned in some way? Linen? Seersucker? Skirts and/or pants?

    Then if I am wearing a suit, what on earth do I wear under it every day? The same collared shirt I wore to interviews (x10) or a sleeveless shell, or a short sleeve shell or sweater? Where can I get those? I’m sure some of this depends on location, weather, and office, but a starter list would be great!

    What should a summer associate wear to get the offer at the end of the summer in these “difficult economic times”?

    As a bonus challenge- I’m a size 18 in most lines, but don’t let that scare you too much. I’d love the advice even in sizes and stores I can’t do so I know what to look for!

  35. Hi C! Love your blog — I check it every day and frequently buy something that you suggest. My question is about blazers. It seems that a blazer/jacket really makes an outfit look more put together — you can go from the typical blouse/sweater with black/grey pants to something that looks a lot more professional. Do you have any suggestions about where to look for blazers that can go with lots of different outfits? Personally, I’m 5’9″ and usually need to lengthen my sleeves or order a tall/long size, but I’m open to suggestions for blazers in general.

  36. Thank you very much for this blog. You do not understand how helpful it is to someone with NO fashion sense a.k.a. me.

    I have one question…

    My boyfriend and I are in an argument over what is best to care on your arm for the financial industry. purse vs. briefcase vs. gear bag.

    Please keep in mind that I carry both a book and calculator in my purse.

    I saw your article on what is a good summer purse and I love it, but is a purse the best choice or should I go more for a briefcase?

    Thanks you so much!

  37. Recently I made the decision to move from a high-paying position to lower-paying but more personally satisfying career, which still requires professional, tasteful clothes. I’ll still be making a decent salary, but will not necessarily have $300 to drop on a pair of shoes or $400 on a suit. Problem is, the transition is coming just when my suit wardrobe could use a serious refresher– any ideas on less expensive suit basics, preferably well under $100 a piece?

  38. By the way, one issue I have is that I wear a small size (usually a 2) so sometimes department stores are not the easiest places to shop, especially in the lesser-expensive areas of the store.

  39. Stephanie :

    I am attending the annual banquet for Law Review and will be sitting with one of the firms I am clerking for this summer. The invitation says cocktail attire and I have a good feel for what that is. However, my question is whether or not that changes since this is a somewhat work related function. Should I avoid strapless? Should I avoid dresses that are too flouncy or feminine? I have several basic black dress options, but need to know which one to choose.

    Contrasting examples:

  40. I am in my second year at a firm in NYC and I have some orthopedic issues that prevent me from wearing high heels (or even the shortest of heel). Due to the same issue, I prefer shoes that offer as much ankle “support” as possible are ideal (if it were up to me, I’d wear sneakers all the time). I have a simple, comfortable pair of inexpensive black flats that I have worn every day at work for the past year, and I really need to fix this situation! I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t like heels, so it would be great if you could offer a few examples of comfortable flats that are appropriate for work (bonus points for budget options!). Thank you!

  41. Hello! Love the blog! Might want to let your readers know about an AMAZING sale going on at Banana Republic outlets. I walked into the BR outlet near me on Saturday and the sale was buy 3 or more items get 50% off everything. Plus if you spend more than $100 and sign up for their credit card you get an additional 25% off.

    I spent $250.00 and saved almost $400!

  42. Your blog is a life saver and I enjoy reading it.
    I am in the process of losing weight–60 pounds total, lost 20 so far. I find that my old clothes, while not horrible, are baggy and unflattering. I could really use suggestions for “transition-wear,” basic items that can tide me over until I get to the goal weight (and the task of finding a new look and new clothes for a new body). I also welcome suggestions for how to adapt old clothes–other than the Beverly Hillbillies cinching of pants with piece of rope.

  43. I really enjoy your blog and am happy to have found it!

    Question: I bought a suit online at jcrew 18 months ago. Since then, I have gained 10 pounds and I need to buy a larger size. I tried to have my pants taken out, but was told there wasn’t enough fabric. Is there any place I can go, other than ebay, to find matching bottoms to suits from past seasons?

  44. Hi guys. Back again. The last time I asked you a question your answer brought me so many good ideas I just have to try again. Now my issue is hair. My problem is that my hair is starting to verge on old lady hair. But I remember when I was younger really struggling with how to have hair I liked for weekends and still worked in the office. Any chance you guys would be willing to profile some good executive woman hair? For women in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and, gasp, 50’s? And some product/technique reviews?

  45. As a final year law student about to start a graduate position, I love your blog and have found many of the posts extremely useful. I was wondering whether you could an article on office-appropriate perfume, with names of ones you would suggest?

  46. Could you do a post on make up for the office? I’m just about to graduate, and really don’t wear any make up at all unless I’m going to a reasonably fancy event. Will I stick out as weird at a firm without any? If I need some, what are the basics and the best way to wear them?

  47. I’m currently finishing my 1L year and have a question regarding interview outfits for 2L associate interviewing (my first interview day is August 7th!). I have a black pant suit, but am wondering what is appropriate for DC/NYC in August? Could I wear a shift & a cardigan? Always a suit? Is there any way to avoid wearing something beige?

  48. I love your blog! I used many of your posts last summer as a law clerk. I’ve been a for student so long that I’m clueless about work attire. Navigating female law firm attire was more difficult and stressful than my first year exams! Your blog helped me feel confident and focus on my work, instead of worrying about what I was wearing. Thanks!

    Here’s my question: I am supposed to submit a picture for the firm to put up on its website. I’m mortified. I hate having my photo taken. And it doesn’t help that there are blogs out there that devote serious time to making fun of lawyer photos. I’m thinking about having my portrait taken by a professional. Any advice? I’m thinking a black suit, light colored top, with pears.

  49. I mentioned you on the WSJ Juggle Blog today.
    Its a post directly relevant to this blog.

  50. Graduating3L :

    Could you do a post on suggested clothing to wear under a graduation gown? Obviously want something nice, professional, and also cool since the weather will be warm.

  51. I am wondering about wearing wool blend suits in the summer. I have some great suits and a fairly nice wardrobe for fall, winter and spring. As the days get warmer I don’t particularly feel like wearing the same things I wore in the winter.

    Today it is 80 outside and I am wearing a black wool gabardine blazer from Land’s End. I think these are meant to be “all season” wool jackets but I’m not sure.

    I work as the CFO of a community hospital where 90% of the staff wear scrubs. While I do wear a jacket everyday it is a bit more casual environment than when I worked in a large audit firm.

  52. Hi Corporette!

    I started reading your blog a few months ago and I love it!

    I was hoping you could give me some advice. I just finished my first year of law school and though I am working for a public interest organization this summer where the dress code is “casual”, I will be interviewing with firms in August for my 2L summer. I have VERY long, unruly (hits well below my hips) that I don’t want to cut, but I have no idea how to wear it so that it looks professional. My go-to hairstyle for when I need to keep my mane restrained and off my face is tight, french-braided pigtails. Can I get away with pigtails in a professional setting, or are they too young? Generally, how would you recommend professional women wear long hair? What styles are ok?

    • Hi, AMK:

      I used to have long hair, too, and I really hated cutting it. However, I have to say it looks much better now. I still wear it below my shoulders, but it’s cut in a soft “V” shape so it’s longer in the back. I straighten it with a round brush and hairdryer, then set it in hot rollers for a polished look. Needless to say, I don’t have time to wash it every day, but they say it’s not good to wash it every day, anyway. Good luck!

  53. Hi Corporette,

    I just recently found your blog and have been really enjoying reading all the advice-filled posts!

    I’ve spent the past three years in graduate school and my wardrobe is casual but stylish. At times I’ve had to dress more formally but those occasions have been admittedly pretty rare. I’m in the process of applying for jobs in the government sector and have just bought my first suit!

    My question is about what kind of bag I should bring along to an interview. I have a closet full of purses – some designer, some not. Mainly in bright colors and patterns and of all shapes and sizes. The closest I have to a “briefcase” is my large black longchamp le pliage that I use almost daily for transporting school supplies and books. But I’m not sure that’s the look I want for an interview. I also have a small kate spade shoulder bag in black but I’m not sure if I need to be carrying a briefcase or leather tote. I’d rather not break the bank before getting a job but I’d like to look polished (and at least a little stylish) for first impressions.

    So please – any advice you or your readers can provide wrt interview bag etiquette is much appreciated!!

  54. newassociate :

    you just got a shout out by the 7th circuit on the wsj law blog!

  55. Power dressing comes from the right choice of colors, styling and fit. (not necessarily the most expensive).Your image represents who you are and where you want to go.Your appearance speaks to the world even before you say a word. Accessories bring every outfit together and can up date any look. A conservative suit can be made a little bit more edgy and modern with the right choice of shoes, belt, bag and eyeglasses. An outdated pair of eyeglasses serves as a constant reminder that you are not up to date in style and lack focus on details. (which can be interpreted by an employer as an indication of your performance in the workplace)Your glasses should be current in styling, free of scratches, clean and straight. It is the most noticable accessory you will buy and the one to most drastically change your whole appearance!

  56. Hi, I recently discovered your blog and find it wonderfully useful. Thanks! Or, that is, I suppose it would be more useful for me if I still lived in the US. I’m currently a Europe-based academic and need to build up my professional wardrobe for job talks and conferences. Do you know of any comparable blogs or good sites for fashion deals in the UK or continental Europe? Thanks.

  57. Dear Corporette,

    I am about to start my first job working in DC. I know from previous internships that DC gets blazing hot in the summer, especially for those of us who use public transportation to commute, so I purchased a Theory brown linen suit to add to my work wardrobe. Do you have any advice about wearing linen? Is it OK that it can look rumpled? Thanks!

  58. I’ve been looking for a magazine that focuses on women’s work fashion — or even INCLUDES women’s work fashion — for some time. I think your blog fits the bill for me, and it gives me a daily fix! Thank you so much. (And thanks, Judge Lefkov!)

  59. lemonfire :

    Hi Corporette!

    I’ve really enjoyed reading some great tips here. Thank you for the useful information! Although I know that this site is more fashion-oriented (clothing, accessories, etc.), I do have a question in the general beauty department. If I (a rising senior in college) will be interning this summer at a place where jeans are allowed, is it appropriate to wear nail polish that is bright (fuchsia, hot pink etc.), or should I stick with more neutral colors (pale cappuccino, beige)? I would really love some advice. Thank you!

  60. After reading your post about button-down shirts, I realized that you referred to any tailored shirt as a “button-down”, when the term “button-down” actually refers to a particular type of casual collar where buttons literally hold the collar points down. This style was started by polo players earlier last century to keep their collars from flying up while they played.
    Button-down shirts are considered casual, and not usually appropriate for a conservative office environment. I’m a tailor and dressmaker who is designing a women’s line of custom shirts for The Custom Shop Clothiers. I’ll let you know when we launch!

  61. I just found your site and absolutely love it.

    I searched high and low (spent hours) for a cute, yet professional work/laptop bag. (I hate the boring black ones everyone carries.) I finally found great ones at Theresa Kathryn —

    You may want to share these with your readers. They are fabulous and gorgeous, and are great for carrying folders, papers, phones, ipods — and a laptop!

  62. I would like to echo the earlier request for advice on wearing brightly colored nail polish in the office and whether it is appropriate on finger nails and/or toe nails

  63. Corporette:

    I love reading your site, but I have to respectfully disagree with today’s TPS recommendation. Have you looked at the Drippy jacket on Free People’s website? It is a glorified sweatshirt, and certainly not appropriate attire at my office (which isn’t even that conservative).

    Also, I ordered your recently-recommended Albert Nipon pique dress and jacket. Have you seen this recommendation in person? It is bulky (like a quilt) and the already off-black cotton fabric is sure to look faded and washed out after one or two launderings. Sure, it looks fantastic on the NM model, but even in a size 8, I felt like a padded lump.

    I understand you have limited resources in making your recommendations, but I don’t think I will be acting on any of them for a while (but I will continue to read & enjoy your otherwise spot-on site).

  64. I just do not look good in pastels, except for white and light blue. What do I wear in the summer, so I am not wearing the same color shirt all the time? Can I go with the brighter, jewel tones that look really good on me? Shopping is out of course this time of year, all the stores only have their summer stock which is all pastel.

  65. Hi!

    I heard that white blazers are very versatile for work, so I purchased one from Banana Republic:

    But I was having trouble matching it up with other clothes (shirts, pants, skirts), because it’s such a stark white, and I can’t really wear white shirts underneath it. Any suggestions? Thank you!

  66. Hey C,
    I’m a rising 3L currently working in a government office. I’ve got a question for you that occurred to me this morning as I was getting dressed. It’s come up a few times sporadically in other threads, but I think it might be worth its own discussion. Tucked or un-tucked? I’m a little uncertain what types of shirts/outfits require a shirt being tucked in. Any help from your fabulous readers is appreciated!

  67. Hello hello!

    Help! I am constantly searching for two things: a navy suit and a chocolate brown suit (all pieces). I see black and gray suits everywhere, but no navy or chocolate. Where in the world are they? I have separates that would look sooo much better (light pink with the brown, for example) with these, plus I feel so boring walking around in the same ol’ thing.

    Oh I should also mention: I’m on the younger side so I’d prefer not to drop a lot of dough…. any ideas?

  68. I’m wondering if there is any “rule” about the length of a skirt, specifically how short is too short. I have a printed summer dress that I’d like to top with a black blazer and wear to work (not on days I go to court), but it hits above my knee by a couple inches. Is this appropriate? As one of two women attorneys (out of 9 attorneys), I want to be especially careful to be professional, but I also want to have a little fun! (I’m only 30.)

    I have also been wondering about another lawyer in town who almost always wears knee-high black heeled boots with her suits in all seasons. This has always struck me as a bit too, too…if you know what I mean. What do you think?

  69. I am an attorney working at litigation boutique and I typically wear suits about 3-4 days a week. I am pregnant which I am excited about but it definitely poses a clothing obstacle. I read your column on maternity clothes which was helpful but I have an additional challenge in that I usually wear petite clothing. I tried on some maternity suits and while they offer petite pants, I have not been able to locate petite suit jackets. This poses an obstacle because the regular jackets end around mid-thigh with the chest area typically around my ribcage and the sleeves ending around my fingertips. I’m still wearing my pre-maternity suit jackets for now, just un-buttoned. Do you have any advice on wear to find professional clothes for petite pregnant ladies?

  70. I’ve only recently found this site, and I like it a LOT. Today I bought the BCBG Maxaziria merino cardigan you featured on April 28. (It’s now on sale at Nordstrom.) Anyway, I love it. Please continue to include items like this — professional looking clothes that aren’t a suit. I feel so stuffy in a suit. And, thanks for running this site — it’s a tremendous help!

  71. I have a query that I imagine a growing number of professional women wonder about (or should!). I am starting as an associate at a relatively conservative law firm with a gym in the building that the attorneys use. Optimistically, I’d like to think I will work out there because of the convenience. What is appropriate exercise attire for a gym where I will be sweating alongside my colleagues and bosses? My hunch is that my old baggy t-shirt and stretch pants won’t cut it, but I also don’t want to wear full-body spandex (no matter how trendy) around my colleagues. Is there such a thing as “professional”– i.e., put together and work-appropriate– exercise attire? Thanks!

  72. White… the perfect summer color, goes with everything but it takes me forever to find the right item that you can’t see through.

    Specifically, I am looking for a good white cardigan/twinset that you can’t see through? JCrew’s is so thin, that you need to wear a seamless tank underneath the shell. At that point, it’s three layers. Too hot for what should be a summer staple piece. Ann Taylor’s selection has gone down in my opinion and Talbots, usually a go-to for modest fabrics, paired its cardigans with tank tops with lace trip on top. Not professional enough for my work place. Thanks for any ideas. I’m in DC if anyone has a local recommendation. THANKS!!

  73. housecounsel :

    I am so happy that Glamour directed me to this blog! I wish I had the benefit of this resource when I started my career. Please never stop!

    I am interested in readers’ comments about hair length in general. Does long hair, even if well-cut and well-groomed, detract from a woman’s professional appearance? How does age figure in? And does wearing long hair up make length a non-issue?

    And please do address the nail polish issue. I only wear neutral polish, but I am so bored with it. Is classic red ever ok, assuming nails are short?

    Thank you

  74. newassociate :

    another reader question: what kind of nail polish is work-appropriate? pale colors only? do i have to get a manicure? pedicure? never had either so i’m totally clueless!

  75. Jenn Hubbley :

    Recently you posted “The Hunt” about having certain basics including nude pumps; as a new corporette-r is there any reccomendations you have for starting a new wardrobe – where should one begin for the basics??

  76. I have a question for you guys: what’s the opinion on eating lunch at one’s desk? There are some projects I need (and want) to stay in the office for but I have to eat! It’s incredibly hard to look professional mid-bite of a taco and even salads can get interesting. Not to mention, with an open office plan, not everyone is in lunch mode, so while they’re having a meeting, I’m scarfing down a sandwich. Dinner isn’t so much an issue, as its afterhours but lunch is still a conundrum for me. Is this an issue for anyone else? Do you avoid certain foods? Curious…

  77. associate :

    I am a associate at a small firm in a small town. I have a upcoming “informational interview” lunch with a BigLaw partner in a big city. Any ideas on what to wear? I want to look professional but am unsure as to whether a suit is appropriate. Any suggestions?

  78. could someone please forward this website to Sarah Palin’s ”
    people.” Thanks.

  79. You are terrific, I love your site and the great posts. I am a Chicago metro attorney with my own law firm. Besides needing to dress professionally in business suits for the variety of courts that I appear in, my problem is a short, fat, post-menopausal body. In your July 2 post you had a ‘Suit of the Day” and while that was not in my size (very little is) I did a search on that website ( and actually found business suits in my size.

    Today a beautiful grey pinstrip Harve Benard skirt suit arrived from the website. It fits!!!!!! Let me say that again IT ACTUALLY FITS!!!! For a short fat woman finding a business suit that fits is worthly of major celebrations.

    Thank you for your great information and for presenting websites where everyone can find something to wear to work. How about a story on plus size professional clothes?

  80. This summer the daughter of one of the partners I often work with is getting married and I have been invited to the wedding. The wedding is at 6 pm and says “black tie optional.” If this were a friend’s wedding I would surely wear a fun cocktail dress, but what is appropriate for a “work wedding?” I’m sure I will be seated with other people from the office and will be one of the younger people from the office there. I don’t want to look too stuffy but not too fun either.

  81. Associate :

    I’d love to see a thread about how women handle commuting/shoes. I take the train to work, and since I’m often standing during the 30 minute ride my feet wind up in pain by the time I get into the office. Sneakers are not an option: I run into colleagues from my firm or other firms pretty frequently, and so I want to look polished during the commute. My best idea so far is to get some reasonably cute, plain, black ballet flats that will work with a range of outfits for the train ride, and either carry my pumps or leave a few pairs at the office. Any thoughts on a specific shoe? Any better ideas? Thanks!

  82. I just replaced my worn out everyday black work heels, and everything is great, except that the new pair of shoes displays a lot of “toe cleavage”. I’ve heard other law students say that absolutely no toe cleavage should show, ever, but I’m inclined to think they’re being a little paranoid. Do you have an opinion about this?

  83. Hi Corporette!

    I have an outfit that has a blue blazer and a white skirt and was wondering what color my shoes/purse should be. White, navy, brown, multi, bone? Ideally I’d like some sort of navy/white patterned shoe, but I haven’t been able to find one that is work appropriate. Thank you!!

  84. Anon Lawyer with a great suit :

    I have a custom made suit in a charcoal grey herringbone. Since it was made for me, the fit is perfect and I feel great in it (I have both pants and skirt).

    However, I’m concerned that it’s not “basic” enough for an interview. I am an attorney and will be interviewing again soon. I know I look good in the suit, but any advice or opinions as to whether I should forgo it in favor of a suit in a more basic black or charcoal grey?

  85. I am a rising 2L, very broke, and preparing for fall recruitment time. I have worn down a lot of my nice work clothes during my barely-paid internship this summer. In particular, the skirt portion of my black interview suit needs replacing. I can’t afford to buy a whole new suit before fall interviews start and none of my other black pants/skirts quite match the still very nice black jacket. Is it a total faux pas to wear a grey pencil skirt with a black jacket, dark hose and black heels to law firm interview? I’m confident that I look sharp in this outfit in all other respects. Will the grey/black color combination shock and offend the sensitive sensibilities of my interviewer? Will I be banished from the profession before my young career even begins? Looking for confidence. Please advise.

  86. FAIR warning to all my Banana Republic-loving dress fans:

    (I caught myself in a slight little snafu today at work!)

    If there’s a dress with a pencil skirt that LOOKS like it goes to juuustust above your knees, pay special attention to the slit in the back….I felt a draft today, and was like, “huh?” Then turned around to find that I was literally rocking an almost obscene skirt from behind! I have NO IDEA why they’d choose to cut an otherwise amazing dress like that–there is no reason for a 6 inch slit in a knit/houndstooth dress! :/ My dear secretary put a few stitches in it for me to keep it decent. I’m taking it back tomorrow.

    Check your butts, ladies! ;)

  87. Hi! Any advice on a chic feminine but workhorse laptop bag? I am sick of the big clunky suitcase ones. And should I stick with black, or be more adventurous? Thanks for your continued great site!

  88. Boots yesterday! So, hopefully Fall coats soon? I want something that looks smart and is warm enough for brisk October mornings. But, please no trench coats; I find them bulky, and consequently messy looking.

  89. Hi Corporette,
    First of all, I adore this blog. It’s been really helpful to me through law school and transitioning to the professional world.
    I’d like to second (third? fourth?) the request for a post on nail polish. I saw the ones last year on whether dark was aggressive and that blue was out, but could you maybe do something more detailed on what colors you recommend for a conservative office environment? I’m starting a clerkship with a fairly old-fashioned judge in a few weeks and could use some tips. Obviously french is always fine, but I can’t really do it myself and it gets really boring.
    Thanks! And thanks for writing such a great blog!

  90. Hi guys! Love the website! My question is, do you know how to avoid the dirt that can accumulate in the soles of high heels with repeated wear? The dirt is nearly impossible to get off, it’s like it’s imprinted in there! I towel off my feet after showering, including the bottom of my feet, but the problem still happens. Any thoughts? Thanks!

  91. Hi Ladies,

    I’m pear shaped and on a budget. There’s a gap of at least two sizes between my 8-year-old-boy shaped top and womanly shaped bottom. Suits that are sold as a unit, not by piece, are often the better deal. Which of the two sizes should I buy? Should I avoid them all together? Can a tailor work the magic I’m hoping for? Does that negate the budget bonus? Thanks!

  92. What do you recommend wearing with a high-waisted pencil skirt? I know the safe option is a button down shirt but that seems a little boring. Can I tuck a sweater into one? Other ideas?

  93. Ann Taylor

    “It also admitted it didn’t have enough versatile pieces in its spring collection that would entice shoppers. To spur demand, the company has introduced trench and leopard dresses and gray suits among new items to spur demand. “

  94. Hi Corporette,

    I love your site and I am fanatical about reading it every day. A female partner at my office turned me on to it!

    I was hoping that you could help me…I wear suits quite often because of client meetings. Most of my clients are middle aged men and while I am a senior associate at my firm (and a few years past 30) I still look like I am in my early 20s (not a bad thing necessarily). I have several pantsuits that I have bought that fit me perfectly and that I love, however I have the hardest time with skirt suits. I am a size 8, but curvy through the lower half and pencil skirts do not look good on me. Do you have any suggestions for skirt suits for those of us who are bigger on the bottom? I have been searching and searching without luck.

    When I don’t have meetings, our dress code is conservative business casual. I typically stick to pants or conservative dresses, however I would love to wear skirts, especially in the summer. If you have any suggestions for office appropriate skirts for the business casual days, I would appreciate it!


  95. I recently began working in-house for company in the entertainment industry after working at a large, conservative firm for several years on the west coast where the dress code was business casual. I will be traveling to Cannes for a television expo to sell our show next month. I have never been to Europe and have not traveled much, plus being new to the industry I don’t yet have a good sense as to what is appropriate. Any ideas on what clothes I should pack that would be comfortable to travel in and fashionable enough for the TV crowd?

  96. I recommend a story on what to do with professional business clothes when you’re through with them. If they’re really expensive, a consignment store might be the answer; if they’re decent but not Armani, I donate them to Dressed for Success; if they’re kinda crummy, I give them to Goodwill. I’m wondering what other people do — not just with suits, but with shoes, briefcases, etc.

  97. Since when does Ann Taylor sell unlined suit pants? I’ve been a 3L for a year so I’ve been too busy passing the bar to do much shopping but I was at AT today and was SO disappointed – and I let them know it. They told me that they were “using new fabrics” that hung well without being lined. This is obviously nonsense – and they have to know it because the suit skirts were lined. When pants are lined they make everything look so much better… when pants are unlined you can see everything, even if you’re a size 0 with not an ounce of unshapely bulk, pockets and seams can make an otherwise well-done pant look really messy. I was so upset I stormed out of the dressing room in tears and half-nekked – okay not really, but I was close… Is this “new fabric” nonsense the wave of the future? Am I being unreasonable? Where to go for reliably good quality suiting?

  98. I’ve just bought this dress in two prints (black/blue pinwheel and the donut print), and am wearing the donut-print one at work today. (I work in-house at a Fortune 500 company and this fits within the business casual dress code.)

    I find that the neckline is a little too revealing given my build, so am wearing a camisole under it. I think it may look a little more businesslike with a cardigan over it, or maybe a jacket, but am hesitant about a jacket because I think the effect could be very 90’s.

    Any suggestions for an appropriate cardigan? Given the neckline, I think the cardigan would need to be v-neck. And is my only option black, for the black-and-white print dress? Or can I wear a colored cardigan with that?

  99. Do you have any insight into the current professional opinion on long hair. I am about to start in a law firm at 26, and I have longish blond hair. Is there still a stigma that this is unprofessional?

  100. Wondering :

    When is it appropriate to wear a dress as opposed to a suit? I have always considered dresses as “fun” items to be worn on the weekend. However, I’ve noticed that you’ve featured several professional-looking dresses on this site, and I have also noticed several lawyers on Drop Dead Diva wearing dresses around the office. Can you give us any guidelines? Is wearing a dress ever appropriate in court?

  101. dmjhgfs- Thank you, kzzmyzx. Great site.

  102. Can I *not* dye my hair and still look professional? I’m in my mid-twenties but fast going grey… runs in the family. However, I’ve never dyed or highlighted my hair and I really don’t want to. Call it laziness, cheapness, principle, whatever. Am I able to start my job in BigLaw with my greying hair, or is it too unprofessional? I really resent that I might be “forced” to dye it just for the sake of convention…

    • I hate to be like this, but a lot of my male classmates are balding and you don’t see any of them asking whether they should start doing something about that. *sigh* I have no idea what you should do, but it seems the grey hair concern is repeated a few times here.

  103. This limited suit is so cute and probably deserves to be on your list of picks: The problem is, two girls at the office already have it. I love the jacket’s ruffle wrap style. Any ideas on something similar?

  104. the sites that advertise on your website, are they legitimate? I just clicked on a Christian Louboutin outlet site and they advertise shoes for 70-80 percent off list price! Are these shoes real? are they knockoffs? I would love to order 20 pair, but I don’t want to order fake shoes.

    • Hi – I was coming here to post the exact same question! Has anyone ordered from that site? their return policy seems really, really vague.

  105. Story Request – Do you have any recommendations / style tips for purchasing regular prescription eyeglasses? Obviously it has a lot to do with one’s face shape, but what should one look for? Are plastic-rimmed acceptable in a courtroom setting, or are wire-rimmed more professional? I’m young and have always had a problem with glasses making me look like a librarian, but I worry that glasses that are too “trendy” might make me look silly in the professional world. Any thoughts?

  106. Ooh La La :

    Would anyone be willing to share their email for a fellow reader coveting a Rue La La membership?

  107. Any tips on luggage for business travel? And what about dress when yuo are traveling for work? If you are going to a meeting, obviously a suit is in order but if you are traveling on an “off day” (before or after a meeting, etc) is it acceptable to dress more casually?

  108. I’d love to see a “What are you wearing today?” forum, one day,just for fun. I’d insist on absolute truth , so we can all gauge just how many of us are quite as buttoned up as we seem from our comments on the featured clothes and each other’s mail.
    For the record today I’m wearing cream cuffed wide legged pants, navy shell over white singlet top, navy blazer, long cream resin necklace, couple of gold bangles and rings, gold ball stud earrings and caramel slingbacks with caramel birkin bag. Meetings in office, but not outside or in court plus it’s spring here in Oz.

    • I’ll play. I am wearing khaki dress pants with a corduroy blazer, turtleneck and loafers. I am traveling all day today. No meetings – just a travel day so I am a bit more casual than normal.

    • hey there!
      I’m wearing khakis with a baby blue button down shirt (long sleeves) and flats… it’s friday and i don’t wanna bother wearing something fancy or with heels

      • I’m late to the party, but here’s my answer:
        I’m wearing a grey tweedy dress with a thin fabric belt made of the same fabric. Black opaque stockings, black peep-toe patent leather shoes. Both the dress and shoes I actually got at Target online, but they look expensive and I’ve gotten compliments on both. In addition I have on a black stretchy blazer that I’m wearing because my office is currently a bit chilly (not for formality reasons). A small silver hoop earring (quite a tiny hoop, I’m not a fan of long earrings to the office) and a silver necklace with an amethyst stone pendant complete the outfit.

  109. I am loving the suits on “The Good Wife”. Any idea where they are getting the clothes on the show? I will be watching to get ideas.

    • My new favorite show! Also love her clothes. Would be interested in the answer to this post.

  110. I will be attending a colleague’s wedding and the dress code specifies floor length dresses for women. My colleagues and boss will be there. I was planning to wear a red silk floor length skirt OR an ivory silk skirt with a black sleeveless beaded top. Is that ok? They are very dressy though separates. (I don’t look that great in floor length dresses – knee length is where it stops for me – and as I’m a US size 8, I don’t fancy competing with a roomful of size 0/2 which is the average in Singapore).

  111. I think I have found the best pumps I’ve ever worn…Stuart Weitzman, Pokiless…comfortable and soft like a ballet slipper, but really cute–round toe, 1 inch heel, that is round, not pointy, in black suede or in a beautiful brown/gold/black patent leather…only problem I just noticed is that they no longer are on sale on the Nordstrom’s website. They were around $175, but now are $295.

  112. I’ve heard the only appropriate/classic/timeless color for a trench coat is khaki. Thoughts?

  113. Hi C,

    Love your site, have been a reader for awhile. I’m a mid-level associate at a law firm and check the site every morning.

    I have a couple of ideas:

    There were many “comprehensive” type posts that you did before your readership exploded – such as what food to keep in your office; staying healthy; and the “10 things” posts. I enjoy reading the many comments on your recent posts, but since these were posted awhile ago, they didn’t get many comments. Can you repost or link them so newer readers can be directed to them and maybe start discussions on these topics?

    I think your outfit pairing suggestions are interesting and often not things I would think of myself. If you have any extra time to devote to this blog, polyvore-type images would be great to get more outfit ideas!

    Thanks for keeping up a great site!

  114. Can you please suggest winter boots that will get me through the Chicago winter but also won’t embarrass me when I walk into the office? Clearly I change shoes but there is still awkward walk through my building. I have been looking for years for boots that are waterproof, warm, and professional. I will pay any price!

    • Chicago K :

      I work in Chicago too and I recently bought these…

      I don’t tuck my pants into them like I see some women do…and they perhaps aren’t the absolutely most comfortable things to walk in (not like a running shoe or hiking boot), but they are fairly comfy and easy to walk in, and warm.

      But best of all, they are sleek under my dress pants, the low heel makes it look a bit more like a “normal shoe” and the are waterproof! Because we both know, the snow doesn’t collect so much as it does melt into giant puddles.

      Since buying them, I’ve noticed a ton of women wearing rain boots all winter long…

    • Anonymous :

      I have bought both Aquatalia and La Canadienne in New York winters. They are not 100% waterproof, but pretty close to it (i.e. you can walk into as much snow as you want, and a couple of puddles of slush a day before you get wet). And they are warm (linned for snow) and have professional styles. Although Aquatalia has gone a bit more trendy and less office-appropriate. They are expensive (approx $400), but I wear them every day and they’ve lasted 2 winters. Well worth the price.

  115. I love your site :)

    I relocated to the East Coast from Arizona for my job and I am clueless when it comes to fall/winter clothes because I’m so used to t-shirt/jeans and the occasional hoodie. The thought of wearing turtlenecks hasn’t crossed my mind since I was in high school, but then I saw the ultrafine turtlenecks being sold at GAP. I was wondering how one would go about creating an outfit or dressing it up for work. Please advise. Thank you!

  116. I’m a lawyer in the Northeast, and work in-house where the dress code is business casual. I normally wear nice trousers with dress shirts or nice sweaters, but I’d like to start wearing more business appropriate dresses. The problem is I don’t always know what to wear on my legs, particularly in the fall/winter when going without tights/hose is not an option. I’m ok with black/dark gray or brown skirts and dresses, when I normally wear black or brown opaque tights and shoes or boots. But what about other colors? Is sheer hose completely passe now? What other color tights or tights/shoe combinations are appropriate for the office? What about gray tights/gray shoes? Several dresses from Boden have caught my eye as possibly appropriate for the office, and two of the colors I love are dark green and a sort of grayish slate blue: and What do you think?

  117. Anonymous :

    Sweater vests! Can you do a story on where to buy and some good options?

  118. Do you have suggestions for places to get an off-season suit? Have to prep for an interview in SoCal in January…


  119. I’m a bit of a late bloomer. I’m in my mid-40’s and a 1L. Two years ago I stopped coloring my hair. I now have a beautiful head full of silvery hair, which I love. My face and figure are young, I have no wrinkles, I’m slender and keep in shape. I’m concerned about interviewing for summer intern positions, and re-entering the workforce competing against much younger associates. Is my silver hair going to work against me?

    • YES, LG–in my experience, your silver hair will date you among your younger peers, and your supervisors. I had tried to go naturally gray, and loved it, at least until an older woman told me I looked like I had “let myself go.” If your face and figure look young, rinse that gray away at least until you’ve established your position in the firm.

    • I disagree. I know a beautiful attorney who is just as you described, with actually quite nice silvery hair (which really is slightly different than grey). I think you have to own it and wear it proudly. Your age, clothes, and general life experience will ‘date’ you much more than silvery hair. If, for example, you see some one with silvery hair who has clearly not taken the time to brush, blow dry, straighten, whatever, then that person’s hair will constantly be working against them. But if you see someone with silvery hair who has clearly taken the time to “do” her hair, then I do not think it will work against. And those who judge you by it are not worth your time (nor money nor energy) to change the color.

  120. What kinds of watches are considered professional for a conservative office? I still wear my inexpensive stainless steel Fossil watch from high school, and I’m wondering if I should upgrade, and if so, to what? What styles of watches are people wearing? I would love to see a story on this.

    • JF:
      I would suggest you get a basic tonneau (tank) watch with a leather strap, a classic look that never goes out of style. If you’re feeling bold, get a larger size. Watches can be a fashion statement, but I would not go crazy trying to fake the look of bling when a simple classic watch will suffice. You might also want to look at men’s chronographs for a bold but straightforward look that’s great with tailored suits. Avoid cheap watches with fake-looking stones or super-trendy colors. A good quartz movement watch shouldn’t cost more than $100. When you’re able to afford a Swiss watch, buy one!

  121. What is “Hollywood Tape”? See excerpt below from your “button down shirt” article. Some of my casual shirt collars gap open revealing my tee shirt as if I were a dupty sheriff or something. Some shirt brands (Nautica) have the first button below the collar close enough to the collar to prevent gapping. Others do too but are too close to the collar and feel tight. Have considered ironing stiff iron-on fabric vertically under the shirt next to the buttons to act as stays. Have once sewed on velcro which is okay but need a better way.

    9. Gaping: If your shirt is gaping, this could mean a few things. A) You need a larger size, and should take it to a tailor to get it to fit you the way you want it to. B) You need to wear a camisole beneath it, so when you turn to the side people don’t get a view of your bra. C) You can experiment with Hollywood Tape and so forth to keep it from gaping — we’ve found the camisole is just easier.

  122. Maybe a crazy idea/question, but do you know about “random number generators?” For days when I just have no inspiration for what to wear, I wish there were a “random outfit generator.” If I were more energetic, I could list my clothing items and randomly pick one (if only a top or bottom) and work around that. Does anyone else just have blah mornings when you have no inspiration and wish some adviser would appear and say “wear the black suit” or “wear the cords and the grey sweater?” Since I am in a business casual environment (unless there is a big meeting or court) there is a lot of latitude, but if I have no bright idea, the latitude does not help, just makes it tougher to focus.

  123. Hello Corporette! Thanks for continuing to endorse Professional Dress. We have added you to our blogroll — come over and check us out. We’d love to hear your feedback.
    Faculty and staff of the Businesswomens’ Finishing School and Social club

  124. Anonymous :

    Here’s my question — how do you get through the next day when you’ve pulled an all-nighter? Easy answer would be to change into the back-up outfit you’ve got hanging on the back of your door and power up with a quad latte. But suppose you don’t have a back-up outfit at the ready? And you’ve got dark circles under your eyes?

  125. Anonymous :

    It is possible to have a suit-jacket tailored to remove or reduce the chest darts? I’m very flat chested and having a hard time finding a jacket that works. I found a great Hugo Boss one on sale, but am worried that the baggy chest area can’t be altered away.

  126. I am a 2L studying international human rights law and have applied to several organizations outside of the U.S. The interviews take place via phone or skype. Is it appropriate to send a “thank you email” rather than letter?


  127. I’m a young lawyer, and while our office does not require us to wear suits every day, I want to get into the habit of doing so. How many suits would I need to rotate through a year?

  128. Question. Can you give an recommendations for plus-size readers like myself? I LOVE your blog and all of the clothes, suggestions, etc., but most of the clothing recommendations don’t come in plus-sizes. Thanks.

  129. Please bring back the 360 Reviews of TV Wardrobes. Those were great! Perhaps someone from The West Wing?

  130. I also e-mailed this question to the editor, but thought your readers may have advice: I am attending a charity ball in mid-April, and “formal attire” is suggested. This is a big event and dress-to-impress is required. I rarely attend formal events and don’t really want to invest in a ball gown I’ll wear once this century. Are there chic evening separates to consider that might be appropriate and chic? I am in my mid-50’s, 5’5″ and a size 16W-18W. (Mid-April here in the midwest is probably still very early spring.) Thanks!

  131. With all of the discussions regarding wearing tights to the office, I would appreciate some pictures on how best to wear tights with skirts in a professional setting. It could just be my body type (tall but with disproportionately short and stumpy legs), but when I wear tights I always wind up thinking I look like a child or the look is just incredibly unflattering on me. Any insight and/or pictures of the “right” way to wear tights to a lawfirm environment would be incredibly helpful! Thanks!

  132. so, I see so many round toe pumps now. are pointy toes not “in” anymore? I love a good pointy toe shoe with pants, but don’t want to be a fashion don’t!!!
    any opinions on this?

  133. Stacy Smith :

    What’s your opinion on skinny dress pants? Theory has some really nice ones in good fabrics, but I wonder if they might still look too casual in the law firm setting.

  134. Law Student seeking advice:How should I dress for an informational interview? I sent my resume to someone who replied that they aren’t hiring right now, but would be happy to talk to me about the industry. Do I wear a suit? Button-down and pants, but no jacket?

  135. I need help with shoes, DESPERATELY!! My heels are uncomfortable and wear out quickly and I can’t find work-appropriate flats. I need both!!! I know there has to be a great place to buy good shoes that I’m missing out on and I NEED TO KNOW where to go!! Please help.

  136. Alex Fleming :

    This is a business a friend of mine founded to sell fashionable low heels and flats that are comfortable.

    It might be of interest to your readers. You should check it out.

  137. I am a second year law student and was recently elected to an executive position on my journal. It’s a specialized journal and already has facilitated significant networking in a relatively small legal community. I have the business cards required by my school. They have the school logo and my information. But I considered getting custom business cards with my picture on them since some people remember a face better than just a name. Would this be considered over the top?

  138. Marina S. :

    I am 5’0 tall size 2-4. I feel like I drown in most suits / dresses / skirts / slacks because of my height and have a very hard time leaving the juniors department in finding clothes with a good fit. I would love some suggestions for brands that are good for tailoring to shorter people or styles that are flattering. For example, I would love to wear a pencil skirt but it falls at my ankles instead of just below the knee.

  139. With all the discussion that we have on navy suits on here, I thought I would point out that in the very beginning of the movie “The Ugly Truth” Katherine Heigel wears a navy suit and it looks great and not at all like a flight attendant IMO.

  140. I have found the perfect purse in size, shape, pockets, handles, everything… except material. It’s a Decode Zero Two in sporty black nylon with a flaming orange lining — impossible for work. I prefer classy fabric since leather is too heavy for me — any thoughts on something similar that would look grown-up? Is there any place that could actually make me a microfiber bag in a similar design?

  141. I am a consultant that works in the legal industry so dressing professionally daily is a must. Suits are the standard for all of my client meetings. I take great pride in dressing well, but my dress size is an 18 and I find it difficult to find suits that are cut to fit my proportions. Short of having suits custom-made, are there any stores out there that sell suits made for women of my stature?

  142. When I went to draft this question, I noticed that my question is the same as commenter #2, also a Rachel, had above. Like commenter #2, I am also 26 and have long blonde hair. I am currently clerking, so the dress code is not nearly as formal as in a firm. I have been told by some attorneys that I should dye my hair darker and shorten it before interviewing at firms. Should put any stock in these suggestions?

  143. I love the trend of wearing sleeveless dresses in the warmer months, but a sweater feels a little informal and the dress fabric is usually too lightweight for my wool blazers. Any thoughts on alternative blazers? I’m thinking silk and linen, maybe cotton?

  144. Hello! I have a reader question for you — I work in a professional environment (not a law firm, however) and am dying to know what everyone uses to bring their lunches to work. I need something that can hold “real” food — i.e. a large salad or leftovers in tupperware, not just a sandwich and an apple — and that looks professional. I can’t seem to find anything large enough (but not TOO large) that seems to work for this purpose. Help!

  145. I’d be interested in your thoughts on this scenario:
    You are invited to a dinner after work with some clients that you have not previously met. Clearly, a suit is in order. Typically, you wear heels with a suit. However, the dinner is a few blocks away (and you have to walk there with a few colleagues). Do you:
    1) Suck it up, wear the heels to walk to the dinner, and bear the foot pain and occasional embarrassment of having to dodge potholes and sidewalk grates while trying to keep pace with your male colleagues.
    2) Wear your more comfortable shoes (that you typically wear to and from work) to the dinner instead, carry the heels in your bag, and quickly put them on when you arrive (and no one is looking).

    I went with option 1), but option 2) would have been so much more pleasant…

  146. EmilyRyan :

    Hi Corporette! I am interning at a Federal Agency in D.C. this summer. Is it okay for me to wear a knee length pleated skirt with a matching blazer, or is that too school-girl (and maybe, suggestive to some pervy older man)? Here is the skirt…it is MUCH longer in real life…they must put a really small size on those models. Thanks!

  147. What are some good brands and colors (nude) for pantyhose for the office?

  148. So, maybe this is a topic…. My mom is in town to visit me and she will be here on a Monday during the day. We plan to go out to lunch (during my lunch hour), and I was thinking she could stop by my office to see it in person before we went.

    My office is pretty busy, fairly conservative, and about 20 people. Is it appropriate to bring personal guests to the office for a quick visit, or is this a business no-no? FWIW, I’m an in-house lawyer. There won’t be any confidential client files or confidential clients milling around the office, but I still feel a little weird about it.

    What do you think?

  149. anonymous :

    Can we have a post that discusses what to do for Administrative Professionals Week? thanks.

  150. Ok, I know there have been plenty of posts regarding what is appropriate for summer internships, but:
    1) I am in Philadelphia. Summer is sweltering. But I still don’t feel that light colored suits are the way to go for legal interns? I have a camel colored one that I think would be ok, but I also have a stone-palest gray suit. Maybe I’m just used to seeing Northeast region attorneys in black/navy/charcoal.
    2) I will be interning at a federal govt. agency – how do the normal rules differ, if at all?
    3) I know that this question only concerns a certain demographic: I have tattoos on my upper arms (currently being lasered off – yes, my mother already said “I told you so”). Most short-sleeved shirts stop just short of covering them. Any wardrobe suggestions other than keeping my suit jacket on all day?

    • NGO doesn't mean No Good Outfits :

      I have a tattoo on my shoulder among other places, so not quite in the same situation but I’ve been there.
      Thankfully the offices that I’ve worked and interned in have been very casual so it isn’t a big deal, but when I go to meetings or onto the Hill I have to cover up. Obviously not quite as difficult as upper arm (thus the reason I chose the spot), but I can’t wear sleeveless shells, certain cap/flutter sleeves, or a top that is too sheer.
      My advice is look for tops that are elbow-length or mid-bicep, it shouldn’t add too much more bulk/heat than a t-shirt. Someone posted a Wintersilks top with longer sleeves a while back so you could look there.

  151. Legally Lizzy :

    I’m curious about fashion tips for a non-profit or public interest law office. I’ve noticed in general that the daily uniform tends to be a little less formal than in big firms, but I don’t know what the line is. Any insight would be fabulous!

  152. Not sure if we have had a post on this before, but could you ask people for tips on wearing hair down? I have hair just past my shoulders, a little wavy, thickish but very fine, and I have trouble wearing my hair down, in fall/winter/spring because of frizz, and in summer because it sticks to my neck in the heat (ugh). Are there particular products that people use? Also, is there any way to get your hair to stay out of your face other than tucking it behind your ears or playing with it all the time? I hate to have hair on my face (I tried bangs last year and they didn’t work for exactly this reason) and I can’t get it to stay back unless I tuck it behind the ears.

    • I also would really like to see a post about what to do with big/curly/difficult hair. I am starting a new job at a Manhattan law firm next week, and could use some advice on how to wear my hair looking professional but still feminine. My hair hits just below the shoulder, and behaves relatively well worn down and curly but only if I wash, style, and let it air-dry in the morning, but tends to get out of control towards the afternoon. Also, I probably won’t have time to completely air dry or blow dry it in the morning, and showing up to work with semi-wet hair in the morning seems like a pretty big faux pas. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Thanks!

  153. I second the recommendation on a post about hair. I have thick hair so it seems my only options are to wear it down in the heat or pull it back in a low ponytail. I’d also love a post on how to style your hair up other than the high/low ponytail which I know you’ve already done posts on. Thanks! Love the blog.

  154. do you know the weight loss ad “local Mom loses 25 pounds in 4 weeks” is a fraud? the picture is of a blogger, totally false!!

  155. I just found your blog…initially I almost overlooked it due to the fact that the Google link reference “for lawyers”, which I am not…however, I was looking for suit suggestions and was glad to see suits featured on your website that were appropriate for thirty-somethings! I work in an industry where we tend to be very conservative in dress, and I do a lot of travel as well. Everything I’ve seen on your website so far, I’d wear. Fab!

  156. I’m going to law school in the fall, and although I’ve been working for a year and have a suit and other workable pieces, I feel like I’m not sure what is appropriate for interviews and other events. I’d love to see something about building the basics, or essentials to have in your wardrobe for someone newly entering the ‘corporette’ world.

    Thanks! Love the blog

  157. I’m starting law school this fall. I’ve recently de-cluttered my wardrobe in anticipation of getting some “back to school” clothes. I realise that during law school, you’re not expected to wear a suit every day in class though perhaps it’s a good idea to start dressing a bit more smart than one did in undergrad/grad school.

    What are a few key pieces that won’t look too stuffy for class that will be useful for more formal events (interviews, moots, etc). I don’t want to invest in a ‘student wardrobe’ that will be utterly useless for post-law school or law school summers when i’m working.

    Great Blog!



    • Hi, I’m a rising 3L and frankly, people wear the same clothes to class that they wore in undergrad. However, when I take a class with adjunct professors (typically local judges and professionals) I make it a point to wear business casual (lots of cardigans, sweaters, button downs, no jeans or flip flops) and I think it helped me get my internship this summer.

      As for formal events/interviews, very basic black suit. I got the Anne Klein from Macy’s ($99 jacket, $49 skirt.) Very simple, well-fitted. No short-sleeve suits! People wear their interview suits to class when they have an event, don’t worry about that. And it’s better to be over-dressed for class than to be under-dressed when meeting attorneys and judges.

  158. It’s my least favorite season of the year–Wedding Season!! I swear I will never have a big wedding– destination wedding all the way because I think weddings are too stressful for the guest, can’t imagine how bad it must be for the bride!! My BF is the best man, which means I need both a rehearsal dinner dress AND a dress for the wedding. The wedding is next month at a park. The problem I have is the same that I have with all clothes…I’m stuck in the middle. I’m in my early 30’s which means too young to be totally conservative and covered up, too old to be showing everything. Unfortunately, everything I’m seeing seems to fall into one of those two categories OR it’s totally cheap looking i.e.: frayed edges,etc.(which seems to be an annoying trend this year). Plus, I have this ridiculous pear almost apple shape, with a super short torso = huge hips, small waste, bigger chest = no dress fits properly. I don’t mind spending some money but because I’ll have to travel as well I’d prefer to not fork over an entire paycheck. Thoughts??

  159. An article on how many and what kind of pieces should be in your wardrobe – how many suits, pants, blouses, skirts, heels, flats, etc.

  160. So for work everyday, I carry a pseudo-briefcase (black cloth Coach bag–nothing ostentatious) with a shoulder strap. Given the combined weight of all it contains (lunch, shoes, a zillion files, etc.), I always wear the shoulder strap across my chest instead of over one shoulder.

    The problem is that the strap then sits right between my breasts, creating a really strange and awkward look. This isn’t a problem in winter with bulky coats preventing it, but in summer? Yeah. It’s not a good look. Any advice on how to deal with this? I really can’t carry it on just one shoulder–too heavy, and it causes shoulder/back pain. Help?

  161. How about a link to any places or clothing lines for women with large busts. I’ve learnd to hate shopping because nothing fits. and buying a bigger size means that it has to be taken in all over, which is expensive and time-consuming. I would think that with more women having breast implants this would be a burgeoning industry.
    Pun intended, but this is a serious question.

  162. PS — i saw the 2008 post — but I’m hoping there is more out there…

  163. I recently accepted a job at a medium-sized law firm…after working in government for the last four years. Currently, my work attire consists entirely of old, ill-fitting black suits, plain shirts, and flats, as my government job is very conservative, and I’m in court nearly every day. The firm is “business casual.” What does this mean, and what are some key pieces I can buy to mix-and-match?

  164. You’ve previously discussed how to dress [appropriately] for the office pool party. For us newbies or summer associates, could you address dressing properly for other summer activities with people from the office? I’m going to an upcoming sports event with my co-workers after work, but they’ve made it clear its also a networking event/opportunity to improve client relations, so I’m assuming that dress can’t be too casual. This isn’t a “team-building” event, so there’s no cheesy office “team” t-shirt to wear as a default.

  165. Anyone ever order anything from this site?

    The clothes are semi-custom and come in a full range of sizes. Small charges to adjust sleeves, neckline, and hem length. They have a whole section devoted to the LBD some of which are work appropriate. The prices seem reasonable. For the hard to fit, which seems like most of us, this seems like a great option so I would love to find out if anyone has any experience with them and what the quality of the clothes are like.

    Just sign me,
    Dying to get something doesn’t need altering for once

  166. I work for a very conservative, private club. Everyone in our office is required to follow a strict dress code (Management, like myself, included)… As in: plain gray slacks or skirt and a white, collared, button-front blouse with black shoes. The idea is for any one of us to be able to throw on our club-provided navy blue blazer at any time and look “uniform”. I attempted to wear striped gray slacks once, and was told that was a “no no”. After a year here, I was finally able to get our GM’s approval to wear colored shirts (light pinks, blues and yellows are the only colors he has approved at this time – plain, no patterns). I’ve attempted to “jazz up” the uniform with bold jewelry, nice shoes, etc. but am getting antzy again and am feeling too boring.

    Any suggestions for pumping up and otherwise boring uniform?

  167. I saw some really nice shoes that would have had been comfotable if I didnt hvae wide feet but for the rest of us that are still looking for nice, comfy heels. Check out Terra plana. Sooooooooo nice and not too expensive
    look at the rita black on page 3 :-D

  168. HELP! I don’ t know if this is the right spot to submit pleas for fashion help, but I am going to try. I am attending a formal event in NYC in central park (the boathouse) in about a week, for the annual party of my boyfriend’s law firm (I’m also in the legal field). I want to a unique dress that will impress, but I also need to look professional, and not over or under-dressed. I need guidance. Is it ok to wear color? Short or long? Strapless/backless/halter??? What is appropriate and what will cause uncomfortable stares? I appreciate any help anyone can suggest!

    • Michelle Glass :

      There’s a new website out there where you can free wardrobe advice. It’s called You just post a picture of your outfit and people let you know their thoughts.

  169. Any advice on nice-looking and comparatively inexpensive laptop bags/briefcases? I’m a summer associate at a large consulting firm and will be spending the summer on the road- I don’t think my Longchamp will cut it for keeping me organized etc.

  170. I have extremely curly hair that looks terrible when blow dried (yes, I’ve tried a diffuser and virtually every hair product on the market). I have to wet it in the mornings in order to keep the frizz at bay, and the only way it looks even remotely presentable is to let it air dry. So basically, it’s wet every day until about 11 am. Is that terribly unprofessional? Am I hurting my career here? Is there something else I should try? Thanks!

  171. I am a french petite lady currently working in a bank (one of the world top 7) as an exec assistant at hig level. Yes I know I am no lawyer neither consultant or manager.
    But I do need to have work appropriate attire as I do have a lot of meetings and contacts with high managers of all sorts.
    Of course in France we are not so “formal” as I understand some of your companies are in the fiel of clothing for work but we do have to behave and be work appropriate.
    That means not too deep cleavage, not too much skin, no sheer clothes. But we can wear vivid colour if we can, sometimes bare legs and open toes and others. Of course depending of your company: you can’t wear the same clothes in the editing or law companies.
    Myself I try to wear always a classic jacket and a skirt or trouser classy.
    I do not have any suit:being just 5 feet does not help one to find proper clothes in France when one has not the possibilty to have all clothes custom made. And no petite clothes range available for us in France alas.
    So I decided to try my luck with online trade to buy US. So far my luck was good.
    But as I am browsing many sites,I saw some brand which I would like to know more about.
    So could give me your advice (or some of your readers) regarding the best brands for work attire (or not so far) in terms of quality, price, fancyness (can I write that ?), good shape and cut…., not too cheap but not the most expensive. I noticed Theory, Ann Klein, Talbot, Tahari, Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren (of course), J Crew, Banana Republic ….
    I am just looking for some good quality/price brands but I would like to have advices from the people actaully wearing those clothes.
    Many thanks for your comparison and advices.

    • Calvin Klein makes quality suits and dresses in smaller sizes. I’m slightly taller than you, but thinner than average for an American woman, and I find that this brand tends to fit well. If you look at sites for major department stores (like Macys or Lord and Taylor) or even some discount sites (I like, you may find some good prices too.

  172. This may seem like a silly question, but…when/where is the appropriate time/place to change from your commuter shoes to heels?

    I am a legal intern this summer and live about a dozen blocks from my office so I’ve been walking to and from. I usually wear flip flops or flats for the walk, and bring my heels in my bag. What I’m having trouble figuring out is when and where I should be changing into my work shoes. I don’t have an office or cubicle in the building to privately swap shoes, and anyway I worry that it’s unprofessional for me to still be in flip flops the first time everyone in the office sees me each day. Where should I be changing my shoes- the lobby? Outside of the building’s front door? Around the corner? I’m extremely concerned about projecting nothing but a professional image because I’m really hoping to turn this summer job into a permanent job offer. Help!

    • I’m an intern in DC and because I walk around 6 blocks to my bus stop I wear commuter flip flops, too.
      If I remember to change them on the bus that works for me, but I often forget. Does your building have a stairwell? Even if you normally take the elevator, that is a good place to change them. Maybe get off one floor below your office and take the stairs the rest of the way, good for you and also a good secluded place to slip into your heels!
      Another option is if you find you’re always stopped at a particular pedestrian crossing in the morning or you go to a coffee shop near work (obviously don’t change your shoes in the building!)

  173. Liz (continental Europe) :

    Hey Corporette, I’ve an idea for a poll – maybe. It’s obvious most women reading the blog are working in an office environment. I’m wondering – what did Corporette readers want to be when growing up?

    I for one wanted to be a pilot for a while, then television series about law spiked my interest in my early teens. I’m wondering, did other Corporette readers already aim for the serious careers when still children, or did many of them want to be haircutters, nurses, and models growing up like a lot of girls seem to want?

    The breakdown of the poll would be something like:

    – wanted to persue the career field one is currently persuing now
    – wanted to persue a career of similar educational and social standing level to the one currently persued, but in a different field.
    – wanted to persue a typical boy’s dream career (fireman, policeman, soldier, farmer, etc)
    – wanted to persue a typical girl’s dream career (fashion & looks, nursing, teaching, homemaker, veterinary, etc)
    – something else
    – had no clue/don’t remember

  174. Could we discuss whether it’s better to shower in the morning or at night? And for those of you who shower at night, how do you keep your hair looking good for the next day? Thanks!

  175. I need help picking belts! It seems like a no-brainer, but everytime I go shopping for them, they seem too tacky or unflattering. What are good belts for court? A firm? With suits? Wide? Skinny? Internet links very much appreciated.

  176. Kat, love the blog! I stumbled across it about 3 months ago, and lurked for a while b/c I felt kind of *old* (been a lawyer for 25 years). Your Mother’s Day piece hooked me and I posted, and several Corporettes replied with incredibly thoughtful, kind and supportive remarks. I feel like I have a whole new set of friends, not to mention tons of insight to the ever elusive goal of effortless sartorial splendor! Thank you.

    Here’s my question: is your target audience primarily/exclusively younger (ie, under ~40) women? I know there at least a few of my ‘peers’ in the regular commenter group, but not sure if we are just sort of outsiders.

    I inquire really out of sheer curiosity – the younger Corporettes are always a source of inspiration and information and the Corporettes more in my age group are fantastic ‘wise women.’ So, thanks again, and see you around. Keep up the good work.

  177. I’ll be interviewing with law firms in August. I found a well-fitting suit that has 3/4 length sleeves. Is that appropriate? I know that short sleeves are definitely out, but I wasn’t sure what the verdict is on these 3/4 length suit jackets. Thanks!

  178. Hi, I will be traveling for London for work for 10 days. I am from NYC. What are some good key pieces to travel and perhaps do some weekend trips?

    • I definitely recommend a trip to Hampton Court. Easy to reach by public transportation and a very interesting guided tour. Especially exciting for history buffs. Also, don’t miss the Tower of London.

  179. It may seem counterintuitive to ask this question on Corporette, but I really need your help!

    I’m a professional in my late 20s working for a top-tier consulting firm. I would say I’m on a certain track to a high-level position in my firm. I have recently made the decision that I’d like to take some time off to stay home with my infant daughter. A difficult decision, to be sure: before she was born, I thought that I would be the ultimate working mom and professional.

    I’ve definitely made my decision, but my career is still very important to me and I’d like to return to the workforce in a few years and work full time from then on.

    My question is: how do I quit my job gracefully and leave an opening to possibly return in the future? I don’t want them to stereotype me as one of those women “who are just working until they have kids”; because this definitely wasn’t my intention – if it was, I would have quit before my (fully paid) maternity leave. I didn’t expect to want to stay home. Note: I’ve been back at work 2 months.

    I don’t want to burn any bridges. Help!
    “just working until they have kids”

  180. When it comes to luggage, I’m a fan of hardsided, or at least structured, bags that open with a hinge. I find it much easier to keep them organized, protect what is inside, etc. I’d love to find a briefcase that is similar, like a traditional men’s attache, but more feminine-looking, if that makes sense. Does it exist? Or am I on an endless quest?

  181. Liz (continental Europe) :

    I’ve got a summer suit that supposedly can be washed and ironed instead of dry cleaning. Any tips on how to iron a suit jacket?

  182. Bar Studier :

    I’m a recent law school grad (taking a break from bar studying right now, incidentally) wondering about interview suits. Is the basic black interview suit still required for those us interviewing post-law school, or are other colors sufficient? I much prefer my chocolate brown Ann Taylor suit and my light grey Loft suit to the masculine look of my cheap black suit. Thoughts? Rules?

  183. I’d love a post on how to wear blazers when you aren’t wearing jeans. I find it easy to pair my blazers with jeans (though I rarely do) but can never figure out how to combine textures/colors when I’m wearing other pants (or skirts?)
    Photos would be helpful!

  184. I would love a post about how other professional women – especially those who are obviously interested in looking good at work! – deal with body image problems. I’m sure I can’t be the only one who struggles with this. There have been several posts on eating healthy and working out, and lots and lots of posts and comments about choosing clothing that works on your body. While that’s all very helpful advice, I’d also love to hear about other women who are struggling not to beat themselves up about how they look – whatever size or activity level they’re currently at.

  185. Where are all the A line skirts hiding? I am having a LOT of trouble lately with all the pencil-esque cuts in stores these days. It is truly challenging to find a pencil type skirt that flatters my pearish shape. Some are ok, but I always feel 100 times more comfortable and attractive in an A line cut. Also, if I fluctuate 5 lbs in either direction, the pencil cuts no longer fit correctly. A lines also work well for this reason (on a pearish shape, the weight gain doesn’t affect the waist much!). But seriously, where are they hiding? I’ve been to Banana, Ann Taylor/Loft, Nordstrom, etc with no luck!! A few years ago, they were everywhere and my shopping life was so much easier. Please help!

  186. Just wondering if a designer bag ($200 plus) is essential for the working professional’s wardrobe? I’m an attny returning to work after a few years at home w/my children. Working in the public sector (they care less about style than law firms) but don’t want anyone looking askance at my bag — even if I really don’t notice the difference between a TJ Maxx leather and a high-end Coach/D&B..!

  187. I just finished watching Better Off Ted on Netflix and Portia de Rossi’s wardrobe on that show is divine. I have never in my life seen a better collection of top-notch women’s suits. There are some plain ones in the mix but some — like the white one towards the end of the second season — perfection! Any chance of doing some posts on where to find these suits? Yes, yes, the show is a couple of years old but maybe suits LIKE those?

  188. Todd Hunter :

    Hi. I’d like to Kat Griffin a few books on behalf of my boss Malaika Adero, editor to Lloyd Boston.

    Could you please provide me with a physical mailing address?

    Thanks and take care.

  189. Hi there!
    I’m trying desperately to find some wrinkle-resistant (a.k.a. no need to iron if you pull them out of the dryer relatively promptly, or no need to iron at all!) khaki and black pants – appropriate for business casual, so simple, not super dressy type pants. I’ve looked at a few different brands (Dickies, Dockers) and have either had bad luck with them, like Dockers, or no experience, like Dickies.
    Any input on this? It’s ridiculously difficult to find pants… I wear size 14 and I typically look for at least a 34 inch inseam, preferably 35-37 (I’d rather buy longer and hem than have too short).

    Any suggestions would be awesome! I’m at wit’s end. I have to wear business casual every day, and I’d like some pants that could last a few wearings without developing permanent wrinkles! Stain resistant is also a plus!

    • Loft Lover :

      Try Ann Taylor Loft. I really like their pants and they are having some good sales right now. They also have specific cuts, so once you know which one works for you, you can always go back for more.

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  192. I would love to see a guide to how clothes are supposed to fit, and which things can be adjusted easily by a tailor. I’ve looked all over the internet and not been able to find a thing. Thanks!

  193. Please please, PLEASE devote some attention to those of us who are plus-sized. We need to dress attractively and appropriately too!

  194. To tuck or not to tuck. What factors go into determining whether you should tuck in a blouse/button down shirt? Is it body type or garment related? Is it play by ear, or are there brightlines?

  195. govvie girl :

    It is very sad but apparently some of the readership here has taken on the bullying/hostile tone back and forth. I had thought most of us who use this were better than that. Unfortunately, in general, I see it with women more so than men. What can this blog/website do to prevent or combat that, and what do the readers do to (try to) combat it elsewhere (on the net or in person)? I think it’s troublesome that it’s everywhere and yet we see tragedies all time, especially with kids.

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    Mary Smith
    [email protected]
    SEO – Link Building – Copyright – Web Designing – PHP

  197. This seems sort of obvious, but I need help finding comfortable black/brown flats to wear to, from and sometimes around work. I have a pair of Tory Burch Reva flats that I am wearing to death, but nothing else is as comfortable and with a 30 minute commute to and from work there’s just no way I can wear heels. A round-up of options would be fabulous.

  198. I have a question I would love to have addressed: elder care.

    I assume that many Corporettes have addressed the question I am currently struggling with: how best to open a dialogue with my parents about their retirement needs and how to help them to the extent I can. In my situation, my parents are solidly lower middle-class: we always had enough to get by growing up, and I know they have put money away for retirement and work with an investment adviser at their local bank … but I have no idea how much they have set aside or what the recent market crisis has done to their retirement savings. Similarly, I have no idea what types of long-term care insurance they have arranged, or how good their health insurance is. Out of my siblings, I am by far the one that will be best able to assist my parents financially should they need it (and probably the only one), but I do not know how to begin this conversation with my parents without prying unduly or giving the impression that I doubt them in any way. (Because, obviously, I have nothing but respect for their financial management thus far.) My parents are about 10 years away from retirement, but I prefer to think ahead to the extent I can. I would love to hear from other Corporettes about how they have approached this conversation with their parents, how their families have made arrangements to financially support their older family members, and what types of elder care arrangements have worked best for them. I would also be particularly interested in how this issue is addressed in a marriage or partnership — either where one partner’s family will need substantially more support than the other, or where both partner’s families may require help and choices must be made about how to allocate support.

    Any chance you would be interested in starting a thread on this issue? I was thinking of dropping it in an open thread, but it’s important enough to me that I would love to get even more responses. I think a lot of people would like to talk about this.

  199. Business Casual for a Meeting?!
    I have a firm wide meeting in Miami in two weeks. The dress is business casual, but there are a couple of complications.
    We have elite clients in for cross marketing in other states one day, so I will be meeting business prospects the first day. The speakers for the event include three sitting Governors.
    I just made partner (yay me!) but am the only woman partner from my office and am 10 years younger than the other 4 partners from my office.
    I am also blonde, baby faced, and have big boobs, so try to be fairly conservative in the office in my dress.
    Do I wear a suit anyway? I have a navy suit from Banana that is a fairly casual fabric. It with a T shirt, maybe tall boots and a turqoise chunky neckalce? Wrap dress with a cami and pumps? Pants suit with a t shirt? I can’t do pants and a jacket because my non-suit jackets are too heavy for Miami weather.

  200. I am a law student and was recently invited to an “informal cocktail reception” hosted by a law firm I am interested in working for. The reception is a couple days after Christmas and will be held at the firm’s main office. What does one wear to an “informal cocktail reception?” I was thinking a sweater dress that falls below the knee with a cardigan, tights, and heels. Is this too casual? I appreciate any suggestions : )

  201. govvie girl :

    Not an attorney myself, but…. For DC Corporettes, this month’s (Dec) Washingtonian has an interesting article on 3 new attorney hires at the U.S. Attorney’s office here…tracks them for a year through their experiences.

  202. I am a first-year law student who will soon be going on her first summer job interview with a public sector/government office. I am also have a minor meltdown with regards to the color of a perfect “power suit.”

    I currently own an affordable black suit that has seemed to serve its purpose. However, as I look into investing in something for the long term, should I go with black again? Or, perhaps, change it up with a charcoal grey instead? What is the most common/preferable color female attorneys wear to the office and to court?

    Thank you!

  203. I have a specific wardrobe issue for which I have yet to find a decent solution – maybe Corporette can help?

    This summer, I’ll be working in a business-casual law office. As a student, I don’t have much professional wear, and I don’t know what pieces I should pick up to augment my existing wardrobe. My shape is the biggest issue: I’m 5’4″, with an exaggerated hourglass figure (35-24-37), and I can’t figure out how to look both attractive and professional at the same time.

    If I don’t wear something that has a defined waist, I look several sizes larger than I actually am (dowdy). If I do wear something with a defined waist, my curves stand out, which I’m afraid would read as too ‘sexy’ in an office.

    It is very difficult to find pants or button-downs that fit me well off the rack, so I tend to buy skirts, dresses, and tops that stretch a bit (sweaters, thicker t-shirts), and I throw cardigans overtop as necessary.

    Any suggestions or tips? As a student, I don’t have a lot of extra cash to spend on alterations or really high-end clothes – I’m mostly just hoping to learn what “types” of pieces might flatter without coming off as inappropriate.

  204. I generally love the clothes you feature. But they seem to be geared towards the slimmer variety of professional women. Also, perhaps, the younger gals (perhaps I am just too frumpy). Could you feature some ideas for professional women who are not a size 6 and who are not 30 years old. I am 45 years old and a solid size 14. I am 5’7″. I have luck at Brooks Brothers and Talbots but both brands can be a bit staid. They are fine for court, but how about some sitting at my desk all day kind of items. Also, I want to look as hip as I can. I really do not like wearing suits and do so begrudgingly. My lawfirm is middle sized and so I can get away with a bit more casual office wear.

  205. Hey Kat! You’ve talked before about controlling involuntary behavior like crying, but I have another one: yawning! Whenever I’m in an office-type environment, I sometimes can’t keep myself from yawning, even if I’m not tired. As a law student, it’s not that bad, but I don’t want to offend people once I’m interning and in meetings at my summer firm! Obviously I know proper ‘yawning etiquette,’ but if anyone has advice on how to head off a yawn I’d appreciate it!

  206. I am finishing my bachelor and considering buying myself a nice designer bag as a graduation gift. When reading your website I found LV monograms speedy, which I am in love with, is considered inappropriate for work. Is the Burberry bag more appropriate (I mean smoked check bowling bag)? Is it a sort of bag the intern or young employee could wear to work? If not, what bag should I buy? I need a beautiful, speedy-shaped designer bag, which I could work to work, priced below 600-700$.
    I can’t attach the picture, but the bag I mean: smoked check bowling back in tanned colour


    Article disscussing successful women and dating… could be a very interesting topic to get feedback from. The article implies that successful women are staying single… i think they could argue maybe they are successful because they are single? I have heard several top women leaders at major companies say the most important career decision is who you do or dont marry!

  208. Ladies great site!
    You have it all from fashion to health tips.
    Keep up the amazing work!
    Thanks for being there for us.

  209. I’m dying to get my hands on a women’s vest suit. But I can’t find them anywhere. Any suggestions? Why so scarce?

  210. YetAnotherLawyer :

    It’s going to be 48 degrees in Chicago tomorrow (mid February) and I’m considering wearing a navy skirt suit to an interview. Can I wear my tan trench coat (lined), or is it too early to rock the trench? My alternative is a red wool peacoat, which hits mid-thigh. Thanks!

  211. Sarah Carter :

    Hi there.
    Love the site. Could you do a story about the best makeup cases? Sounds silly, but I have been looking FOREVER and keep buying cases that just don’t work.

  212. Jacketless Jane :

    Have you done a post on how to handle the awkward coat season that is early Spring? I have a hard time figuring out what to wear in between my nice wool winter coat and the jacketless season that emerges in late April/May. I usually fall back on a cotton trench coat, but it seems like there must be many other professional options for early spring jackets.

  213. My daughter is only 19 but she needs corporette-style fashion advice for her upcoming summer Congressional intern post in July. She’s willing to wear blazers and skirts, but absolutely no pants or pants suits. I’d like to call on your excellent advice so we can put together a fashionable, young but professional-looking wardrobe from head to toe. Thanks.

  214. 618423

  215. There was a post (well, in the comment section action) sometime in 2011 where a reader asked everyone to post their salary, billable hour requirement, and billable hour bonus structure. I can’t seem to find this post anywhere on the site, probably because it was only in the comments and not the actual post. Could you direct me towards it? I told a friend of mine about it and she couldn’t find it on the site.

  216. Does anyone know a good brand/brands for very small sizes? I usually have to wear a zero which is always hard to find and usually have to get them tailored.

  217. “Have you considered monetizing your website with in-text display advertising?

    Based on your rich content and strong traffic, your site appears to be a great fit for this medium. I would like to explore creating a partnership with you; to help further monetize your site. Please contact me if this is something that interests you.

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  218. Do you think Tom’s are OK commuting shoes?

  219. Hi!

    I have been reading this blog for years and am asking for advice for the first time. I was a happy prosecutor, then I moved to a new city for my husband’s job. I haven’t found a permanent job yet, so I have been doing contract work through legal staffing agencies – aka: document review.

    I am currently on a project with 40-ish attorneys. We all sit at long tables in the same room. Generally, on projects like this, there is a lot of talking. On this project, there are a few isolated areas of people talking throughout the room. I usually listen to audiobooks on headphones while I work on easy projects (like this one).

    Occasionally, the woman who sits next to me taps me on the shoulder to tell me about something, we chat quietly for a few minutes, then I go back to my headphones. That happened today, except after a few minutes, a guy in a blue shirt a row over looks over his shoulder at me – I think he is looking past me and turn around to see what’s going on. Nothing. I look back and he says something that I don’t understand, then I hear him say “I’m trying to concentrate.” The girl across from me looks shocked and rolls her eyes at him to me. I say “I’m sorry” in a way that sounds more confused than sincere, I’m sure, and he turns back to his computer.

    Now, in the aftermath of this event, a guy in a polo shirt a row behind me is loudly talking to another guy, laughing it up about some nonsense or other – oblivious to what happened between me and blue shirt. Blue shirt hasn’t told polo shirt or any other near-by conversationalists to be quiet. And I know that they are all talking louder than me because I can hear their conversations, and the lady next to me tends to whisper, so I usually respond in a very low voice. And she does most of the talking anyway.

    Why did this guy single me out? Am I wrong to think that it was inappropriate for him to shush me like a child in a room full of attorneys? If I am not wrong, what would have been the appropriate response from me?

  220. I’m 24 and recently left a paralegal job at a small litigation firm for a research and editing job at a large publishing company. The new job is great and a much better fit for me but I’m still struggling with the transition to the more casual attire I’m seeing in my young, tech-centered office. I see jeans and gross sneakers every day of the week, which clashes with my wardrobe of pencil skirts and blazers.Even when I try to tone it down, the basics in my closet just aren’t in the same spectrum. I’ve tried to pay attention to what the seniormost woman in my office wears, but there are a LOT of pay grades between a manager and someone in my entry-level position.

    I really want to stand out, make an impression and start advancing. At the same time, I don’t want to look like I’m trying too hard or oblivious to office culture. My question is: is it more important to dress in a way that feels professional and appropriate (and, to be selfish, much more comfortable for me) or to mimic the people around me? If it’s the latter, any tips on looking sharp and competent when dressed down?

    • Firm Fashionable :

      Hi, Lauren!

      I just saw your post as I was finishing up with a question of my own for Corporette, and I thought I could offer my own insight. Personally, I find the best way to stay casual but sharp is to simply swap out the bottoms. Chose dark skinny jeans instead of the pencil skirt and some elegant flats over the pumps. Done! Anything from the waist up stays the same. One of my favorite looks is to wear jeans, a basic tee, and blazer, which sounds perfect for your desire to match your co-workers without letting go of your polished style. Hope this helps!

      Firm Fashionable

  221. Could you do a post on where to buy more formal office accessories, such as desktop business card holders? I’ve been looking for one forever, and now am just thinking of getting one engraved, but I am having a terrible time choosing between different website.

  222. Hi there-

    Would love to know where to find cute and inexpensive laptop sleeves.

    Thanks !

  223. Hi,

    I recently found out from one of my closest friends that my law firm made an offer to one of her male friends with a significantly larger starting salary than mine. She did not give me numbers but said his starting salary is larger than what I currently make after my recent raise. That means he’s starting out making at least $7K more per year than I did when I started.

    I hate playing the gender card, but I honestly feel like the only reason he’s starting at a much higher salary is the fact that he’s a guy and I’m a girl. I graduated from a great law school with great grades and amazing credentials, and have proven myself to be a great asset to the firm (my boss’s words, not mine). I research and write extremely well. I worked with this guy fairly closely over the summer, and he is nowhere near where I was the summer of my 2L year. He went to a state school and graduated with mediocre grades and nothing of note on his resume. The only fathomable reason his starting salary will be more than my salary after working my ass off for a year is his gender.

    I work at a very small firm in one of those big rectangular states in the West still known for its cowboy culture. There are two male partners at my firm. I was the only associate until just recently, when we hired another male associate who just found out he didn’t pass the bar. I knew the legal field in this state is still very much a good ole boy club and was prepared for the challenges. However, this to me is unfair. How can I approach this subject without telling them outright that my friend told me I make less than their new hire?

  224. New to the Firm :

    Dearest, Corporette.

    I have been following your blog for over a year now, beginning when my roommate told me about this one site that she knew I’d absolutely LOVE… She was right. That was when I was a summer associate at a law firm in DC, and I am a week away from beginning my official career there. In the run up to the big day, I am beginning to feel panicked that there are so many things I haven’t thought of that will come in handy, even be lifesavers, with my new lifestyle. So I was wondering whether you could enlighten me with the top “must haves” for any professional woman (with an eye for fashion).

    Thanks so much!
    New to the Firm

  225. Hi,
    I just came across your Blog and thought you might be interested in making some quick cash or partnership by helping us promote Kate Bosworth’s new online jewelry boutique, JewelMint. We are interested in linking up with local accounts like yours to help promote JewelMint in the SanDiego area, and would be able to contribute to your fundraising efforts as part of the partnership (basically, we’d assign you a unique discount code and pay you $15 for any new users to sign up using that code).

    Please let me know if you’d like to hear more about how it might work and we can take it from there. We’d also love to put you in touch with our team on the ground in SanDiego to discuss possible event partnerships and such (if that’s something you do).

    Thanks very much for your time. We look forward to hearing from you.


    Stephanie Bukowski

    Local Acqusitions
    [email protected]

  226. HolidayPartyGirl :

    I have a question about what to wear to a conservative office’s holiday party. Are strapless dresses or one shoulder dresses ok, or is the traditional conservative dress that almost could be worn to work a better option. Also, what is your opinion on dress length? I just started at this new firm, and want to make sure I’m not overstepping some invisible line about party dress code. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks!

  227. Has anyone ever wondered about how to tell a boss about a separation or divorce? Are there any etiquette guidelines (ie face to face meeting vs email)?

  228. I would love to see a post on dealing with “career hiccups” (for lack of a better term) in the workplace. I’ll share my story, which pertains to the legal world, but I imagine it would be relevant to other fields as well (FINRA or other financial exams like the Series 7, or any other type of licensing exam).

    I graduated from law school in May and sat for the July bar exam in two neighboring states (we’ll call them State A and State B). I was successful in passing one of the two, but unfortunately State A, the “bad-news” state, released its results first. I am currently working as a judicial clerk for a trial court judge, so I have a number of co-workers who were awaiting results from the same states. The group went out for a celebratory lunch on the day that State A’s results came out. I felt so miserable that day that I told a little white lie that I was behind on work and needed to eat at my desk. Thankfully, I was not the only person who did not attend this admittedly informal lunch. A few days later, the judge approached me to ask about bar results. I managed to tell him the news without crying, and his reaction was better than I could have ever anticipated. I know that not all bosses would be so supportive and understanding, and I feel lucky for that.

    I did, however, deliberately avoid seeing my co-workers during the period between the release date of State A’s results and State B’s because I was so upset to learn that I had been unsuccessful and did not want to subject myself to hearing all sorts of talk about next steps for admission, CLE requirements, and the like. Of course, at that time we were all waiting for State B’s results to be released and I was terrified that the news would be bad there, too. Now that I know I will be licensed in one state (the one I currently work in), I am no longer “hiding out” but I felt silly to duck away as I did.

    Admittedly, in hindsight, I know there must have been a better way to approach this issue. I would love to know how other Corporette readers fared in a similar situation, especially in a job where nearly all of your peers are going through the same thing. Additionally, since I am planning to sit for State B’s exam in February, perhaps some tips might be offered regarding how to balance your job and the process of studying for a professional exam.

    So, the takeaways: how do you approach a career hiccup with regard to both a boss or supervisor and peer co-workers? What are some tips for studying for a professional or job-related exam while working full-time?

  229. Good day,

    My name is Mark Ivy and this is the second time that I am reaching out to your company. I am looking for some information on potential syndication partnership with We offer a white labeled shopping solution that can help you monetize your traffic and offer a very robust API that in many cases has a higher CPC than anyone other companies. I would be more than happy to provide a rate card that shows our CPC rates.

    Please let me know who I should speak with about this. Thank you ahead of time for your help.

  230. Can you discuss interview suiting in cold weather especially snow? What should I wear to keep warm yet look professional.