Poll Results: Jeans Are Often Appropriate… But Perhaps Not To Brunch

what to wear to brunch with your bossWe stirred up quite a bit of controversy last week when one of our readers asked us what to wear to Sunday brunch at her partner’s house.  We suggested trouser jeans and a blazer, raising eyebrows and bringing forth vehement disagreement from some of our readers, who insisted that trouser jeans were not appropriate for brunch with the partner.*

We then decided to poll everyone to see when, exactly, jeans were appropriateAs always, the poll is still open, but from the initial results, readers think jeans are appropriate if…:

  • You’re invited to a barbecue at the boss’s house – 79%
  • You’re in the office on the weekend, working directly with the boss – 72%  (We actually gave specific suggestions for this situation a while ago — that post is here)
  • You’re invited to an outing where activities might take place (boating, golfing) – 66%
  • You’re traveling for an extended period of time with the boss, and meeting at a non-office space (hotel, restaurant) – 52%

Only 5% said that jeans were never appropriate if you’d be near the boss, and only 1% said that jeans were never appropriate, period.  (Funnily enough, we’ve been to barbecues at the boss’s place where tents were set up and there was a lobster bake on — if it’s that kind of barbecue we’d actually recommend wearing trousers or a dress (assuming it’s all work people).

* We have been procrastinating writing this post all day because we do not like admitting this, but:  Fine.  You were right, and we were wrong.  Hmmn, that’s not quite as gracious-sounding as we’d planned.  In all seriousness, this is one of the reasons we started the blog — to flesh out the confines of what is and is not appropriate for young, intelligent women in traditionalist professions — and we’re so glad to see Corporette turn into a forum for that.

Pictured: 7 For All Mankind® High Rise Flare Trouser Jeans, $189 at Nordstrom

Reader Mail: What to Wear to Sunday Brunch?

One of our readers wrote in with this intriguing question:

My boyfriend and I were recently invited to Sunday Brunch at a senior partner’s house, and I’m really unsure what to wear. I’m worried about being over/underdressed. We’re in the Northeast, so it will be chilly, and the crowd is not strictly work people. If you have any suggestions, I’d really appreciate it.

First, congratulations on being invited to brunch at the senior partner’s house — that’s usually a great sign when someone more senior to you takes a personal interest in you and your career. Now, regarding brunch: Do you have an idea of who else is invited? (Clients or friends?) What sort of activities the day will entail? (Anything sporty? Or is it high tea?) Is your partner or his wife very religious — would they possibly be offended if you were to wear jeans? Finally, are there any other associates (who’ve worked with the partner before) you can ask for advice? [Read more…]

Poll Results: Day to Night Transitions

desk to dinner styleAbout a week ago we asked you how you handled the much-talked-about day-to-night transition — do you change outfits entirely?  change elements of your outfit to make it less business and more fun? Pictured.

The poll is still open, but here’s how it’s looking thus far:

  • 33% of you maintain elements of the same outfit, but change to denim or a more dressy skirt if you’re going out on the town
  • 30% of you wear totally different clothes than what you wore to work
  • 21% of you scoff at the idea of being able to get out of the office to enjoy a night out on the town. (Our unsolicited advice: C’mon, guys, you can do it! Youth is fleeting — and you can sleep when you’re dead.)
  • 14% of you wear the exact outfit that you purchased thinking it would be a good day-to-night transition.

Since the majority of you wear elements of the same outfit, we couldn’t resist recommending this top and these shoes — wear the Velvet Leaf Dylan Blouse Cut Out Sleeves in Royal Blue (available at Revolve Clothing for $105) with a regular black suit with a pencil skirt and pumps, and before you leave the outfit, ditch the jacket and change into more trendy shoes such as these Nine West – Dasolina (Dark Purple Suede) (available from Zappos for $99).

going out top

Poll: How do you handle the day to night transition?

A few weeks ago on Project Runway the contestants had to design a look to take Brooke Shields’ character on Lipstick Jungle from “day to evening” in a single look. We wanted to scream at the television — we’ve never bought into the idea that women want to wear their office garb out for the evening.  Every time we see an outfit that’s supposed to take you from day to night, it doesn’t…  In our experience, if we’re going out on a work night we either need to change into a cocktail dress (to attend a charity event at a museum or something) or to casual-but-sexy wear for a date or a night out with a girlfriend and a hip restaurant.  (“Casual but sexy wear” has meant, for us in the past, either a casual dress or designer denim and a cute top).  And if it’s just a local neighborhood restaurant or someone’s house, who cares enough to change?  In any case, an outfit for work that’s too sexy for day makes us feel uncomfortable, and wearing our work clothes — no matter how “sexy” they are — while out and about just makes us feel drab and boring.  So we’ve always gone the two outfit route.

After Project Runway, though, we started wondering — are we alone in this?  Is everyone else actively looking for seamless day-to-night looks? Please take the poll and then comment away… particularly if you’ve found something that works great for day to night, do tell.

desk-to-dinner-style

Pictured above: 13th street, originally uploaded by g. rox.

What To Wear To: Summer Cocktail Parties

what to wear to summer cocktail parties2018 Update: If you’re looking for advice for what to wear to summer cocktail parties, you may want to check out our more recent discussion on what to wear to a business cocktail party — as well as all of our advice for summer work events and summer associate events. (You, uh, may want to avoid some of the advice/dresses below.) 

This is another new feature: “What to Wear To…” — we plan to tackle attire for office events that are outside the office.

It’s the summer. Your office is flush with interns, either from law school or MBA school. In order to impress, the company holds numerous summer events, including <dun dun dunnnh> the cocktail party. Maybe at a restaurant, maybe at a partner or executive’s house/mansion. The question looms: What do you wear?

Honestly, the answer here is usually “a suit.” You simply don’t want to run the risk of looking like someone’s date. Still, there are times when a cocktail dress is appropriate — and when that happens you should strive to be as conservative and as ladylike as possible. In general, this means your dress should not be:

  • shiny
  • satin (it wrinkles anyway)
  • strapless
  • low-cut
  • mini-skirted
  • relying on a safety-pin in any regard
  • appropriate for any of the following activities: being a contestant in a pageant, sleeping, or being a dominatrix [Read more…]