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Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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?

  3. 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!!

  4. 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?

  5. 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.
    Sincerely,
    C

  6. 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! ;)

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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?

  13. Ann Taylor
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ann-taylor-swings-to-loss-on-slumping-sales-2009-08-21-83400

    “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. “

  14. 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!

    Thanks!

  15. 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?

  16. 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.

  17. 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?

  18. 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.)

    http://www.travelsmith.com/jump.jsp?itemID=10425&itemType=PRODUCT&path=1%2C2%2C250%2C282&iProductID=10425&sortBy=0

    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?

  19. 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?

  20. 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?

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

  22. 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.

  23. This limited suit is so cute and probably deserves to be on your list of picks: http://www.thelimited.com/detail/ruffle-wrap-lapel-jacket/2218753 The problem is, two girls at the office already have it. I love the jacket’s ruffle wrap style. Any ideas on something similar?

  24. 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.

  25. 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?

  26. Ooh La La :

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

  27. 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?

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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).

  31. 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.

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

  33. 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!

  34. 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… http://www.zappos.com/n/p/p/7540660/c/1732.html

      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.

  35. 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!

  36. 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: http://www.bodenusa.com/en-US/Womens-Dresses/Knee-Length-Dresses/WH177-DAM/Womens-Damson-Melange-Fixed-Wrap-Knitted-Dress.html and http://www.bodenusa.com/en-US/Womens-Dresses/Knee-Length-Dresses/WH162-DBL/Womens-Nightshade-Immaculate-Wool-Dress.html. What do you think?

  37. Anonymous :

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

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

    Thanks.

  39. 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.

  40. 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!

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