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Comments

  1. 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. http://www.landsend.com/pp/2buttonWoolBlendGabardineBlazer~176389_59.html?bcc=y&action=order_more&sku_0=::BLA&CM_MERCH=IDX_00002__0000000562&origin=index 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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!!

  4. newassociate :

    thanks to the semi-annual sale, i’ve had a pair of http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/3013402/0~2376778~2372808~2372940~2372941?mediumthumbnail=Y&origin=category&searchtype=&pbo=2372941&P=2 put on hold to try on. they are still ridiculously expensive, but they always have caught my eye when in the store so i figured it would try them. anyway, the real question is can/may i wear these to the (west coast, big firm) office? how?? or am i dreaming? thoughts?

  5. newassociate :
  6. newassociate :

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

    http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2009/05/21/illinois-judges-to-attorneys-lets-spiff-it-up-a-bit-shall-we/

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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!)

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

  13. 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 — http://www.theresakathryn.com

    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!

  14. 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

  15. 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).

  16. 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.

  17. Hi!

    I heard that white blazers are very versatile for work, so I purchased one from Banana Republic:
    http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=40924&vid=1&pid=646188

    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!

  18. 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!

  19. 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?

  20. 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?

  21. 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?

  22. 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!

  23. 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!

  24. 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!!

  25. 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