Introducing: The Corporette Guide to Women’s Suits

interview attire for womenNov. 2016 Update: We just updated our Guide to Suits

Our new “Guide to Women’s Suits” is now up! What are the best tips you have for basic women’s suiting? What brands are your favorite? What is your ideal interview attire — or what would you recommend as the ideal courtroom attire for women lawyers? Skirt suit or pantsuit? Black, gray, or navy? C’mon over and weigh in.

(As with our other guides, please note that any off-topic comments will be deleted. Instead, feel free to leave off-topic comments here, on this post.)


  1. Very early threadjack. My firm is doing its headshots this week. I’m NOT photogenic at all. Specifically, my skin tends to look shiny and blotchy, and my hair limp and generally uncooperative. I also have very strong facial features which photograph – well – a bit masculine. Any one have suggestions for posing or what to wear for a headshot that will help the picture not be such a disaster?

    • why dont you go get your hair and makeup professionally done? or at least one of them? it could be expensive/a hassle, but completely worth it every time you look at the picture and feel good about it.
      i’ve heard that bobbi brown is a good place to go if you want to get your makeup done in a professional, understated way

      • Another DC bound corporette :

        I second this. I have an interview very early tomorrow AM and just had my hair professionally blown out today. I feel like a million bucks. Totally worth it, especially for a picture that will be up on your firm website for a long time.

    • Two cents :

      Shiny skin — put some pressed or loose powder on your face right before the shoot. Also use those oil blotting papers.

      Limp hair – photoshop will help with this. I have thin hair and asked the photographer to add some hair to fill in “the gaps”, which he was glad to do.

      I would second the idea of getting your makeup/hair professionally done.

      • I just had my second headshot, and decided to get my hair and makeup done. So glad I did – huge difference between the photos, although I don’t look overdone in the new one, I just looked washed out in the old one. Make the time – those photos linger forever!

    • Face powder will help shiny and blotchy skin.

    • Anon in Ny :

      Definitely get your hair professionally done, and makeup as well if you can. Blotting papers, and pressed powder can also do wonders for shiny skin.
      As for the head shot itself – spend some time posing in front of a mirror. It will help you get more comfortable with what angles do and do not flatter you. Some easy ways to make yourself look better – pull your shoulders down and back – you’ll make your neck look longer and prevent yourself from hunching over. Ask the photographer to tell you right before they take the picture then close your eyes and open then when he/she says to – it makes you look more “present” in your pictures.
      Also, for most people a 3/4 profile shot is more flattering than a full on shot – so ask if you can turn slightly to one side or another.

  2. Sorry for the threadjack. My husband and I are moving to DC in the early fall, and are looking to live in the Dupont/Logan Circle area. We’re looking for a 2 bedroom/2 bath with garage parking. A gym in the building would be ideal, but it’s not essential.

    Any recommendations on good condo or apartment buildings to consider? From what I’ve seen on Craiglist, it seems like most 2 bedrooms go anywhere from $3200 – $3800, so this is probably our price range. We like newer buildings too. Thanks for any leads.

    • Another DC bound corporette :

      That is, if I get the job I’m interviewing for tomorrow. Looking for the same area (tho just a small studio, and about half your range). I’ve been looking at apartment buildings in the area by looking at which sadly, has clunky maps, but once you find something near the dupont area it will show you others in the map. I then have googled the apartment building names and found reviews and their websites.

      Would also love to hear others’ suggestions for finding a place!

      • DC via Chicago :

        I think the Washington Post has a decent apartment search tool, which seems to be a tad more user friendly than the site you gave. I’ve had good luck with Keener Management. I live in the Logan Circle area in one of their buildings and have a reasonably priced studio. It’s not the most amazing apartment ever, but it’s good value for the location.

      • Keener, Bernstein and Borger management companies are all good in my experience – between those three they seem to manage half the buildings in DC. I live in a building managed by one of those 3 now and have friends in the other two.

        The best way to find a place in DC is to be in DC, as I said above. Walk around the neighborhood and look for for rent signs, and read online reviews on apartmentratings or other sites. That’s my best advice.

    • Ouch. DC is spendy.

    • I rented a great condo at the Radius (13th and N Street) from 2007-2008. Paid $1950/month for a 1 bedroom (parking not included). The building had a small gym. I loved the unit and the building generally–well run building, nice neighbors. However, you had to get used to listening to sirens on 13th Street in the middle of the night. The only reason I left the unit is because I moved out of town. It’s a great area. Hope you love living there.

    • That’s a really high price range actually. You can get a quite nice two bedroom for under $2500. At over $3000, you’re going to have very nice amenities. Craigslist postings tend to be overpriced; I live in Dupont and the best way to find a place here is to walk or drive around the neighborhood looking for For Rent signs.

      At the over $3000 price range, I can recommend three rental buildings in the Logan Circle area: the Post Mass Ave, the Chastleton and the Latrobe. I’m sure there are plenty of other nice ones, but those three are ones where I know residents or friends of residents.

      At your price point, though, you should really look at buying. You can own something very nice in DC in that range. Most of my friends who own decided to forego the agent and use Redfin so I can’t really recommend an agent.

      • Thanks all for the suggestions! Glad to know that my price range need not be that high. I definitely don’t want to spend $3000 plus if I can help it. Also, not ready to buy in DC right now (we already own a home in the burbs).

    • Wish your DC was my DC! :

      That’s a great area to be in, but I definitely can’t recommend any place. I pretty much live in the DC ghetto (well, one of the various ones… there are a lot of not so nice areas of town here) and can only dream of a place like you describe in DuPont. Hope you find what you are looking for/good luck on the job interview!!

      • I live in Dupont for $1300/mo. Yes, it’s spendy for what it is, but my studio is nice and big enough. With roommates you could live even cheaper. Not all of us are in the $3000 and up range :).

        • Wish your DC was my DC :

          Yeah, I pay way less than that for my rent and definitely couldn’t afford something in DuPont, even with roomates. I have to stay quite a bit less than $1000 a month (and I do live with a roomate, I think studios though are out of my price range). I have lived in okay parts of MD for a really cheap price, but that would be too far from my job… so right now, I have an okay balance between rent price and commute time, but man, my area sucks hard. Wish I could move, but the pickings are slim in my price range.

          • Anonymous :

            I used to live in a 2 bdrm in Glover Park for $1500, which came out to $750 each. There’s no metro, just bus service, so the neighborhood’s much cheaper than the rest of NW DC. Highly recommend it – I loved living there!

    • I would recommend Dupont over Logan Circle– actual LC is a little far from the metro for my tastes. Spoiled? Maybe. But 4-5 blocks isn’t fun in nasty weather. Just a thought.

      • Logan Circle is a bit far from the metro. Are you set on that area? I like Dupont but it gets packed, especially on weekends. Have you thought about U Street? You should definitely be able to find a place to your liking for under $3,000.

        • I’m going to be working on K street and would like to walk to work, so U street is pretty far. I also think that U gets really sketchy at night, so I’m not a huge fan of the area (to visit yes, not to live).

      • Oh and another thought– I have friends living in the Jefferson at Thomas Circle (couple blocks south of Logan Cir) who love it. You should check it out if you’re set on the area.

        • I’m actually very interested in the Jefferson! Glad to know that your friends like it. Thanks.

    • Agree with walking around being the best way to find a place. I currently live in a Borger managed building in Logan and it’s great. Though, as mentioned by others, Logan is a bit further from any specific metro stop, from where I live, I can be on any line in just over 10 minutes, which I like better than having access to only one line. Plus, Logan has Whole Foods, and easy access to both Dupont and U Street. If you are working on K, it’s a great place to be. Walking to work every day is great (unless it’s super hot or raining, but that’s another story).

    • I recently moved to DC, and before moving, managed to find a nice one bedroom apartment in the area between Adams Morgan and Mt. Pleasant. Nice apartment, close to the action of Adams Morgan, but far enough away when you don’t need/want it. Paying $1850 for a pretty spacious one bedroom. If I were to move, I would probably look at the Kalorama neighborhood. It’s quite lovely, close to Dupont and Adams Morgan, but not as pricey as DP. Bus is going to be your better option over a metro in that area, but if you work downtown, it’s quite walkable, as well. I am also learning quickly that metro is not reliable (at all!) in DC.

      Good luck!

  3. SF Bay Associate :

    I think the whole point of these “Corporette Guides” is that they can’t be threadjacked. For those of you threadjacking this particular post, I would encourage you to re-post it in the kitten heel post so the hive mind can discuss your topic. According to Kat’s description of the “Corporette Guides,” threadjacks will be deleted.

    • lawyerette :

      Actually the Corporette guide is not this post, it’s the first link on the post itself. This one is ok to threadjack according to Kat …

    • Thanks, SF Bay Associate! Actually I’m just trying to keep the guide itself to comments-on-point — as for this brief little post introducing the guide, threadjack away. (They’re in different places on the backend of the site, so I have to post them this way.)

  4. Boston bound :

    OK, I’m new to Corporette and was confused by the threadjack, so thanks for pointing the way to the “real” thread.

    Now it’s my turn to threadjack– I’m headed to Boston, does anyone have any suggestions for apartment hunting there?

    • When I lived in Boston 5+ years ago, the best way to find an apartment was Craigslist. Boston has a lot of IT people, so they adopted to CL pretty early and very vigorously.

      Where will you be working or trying to get to? There are tons of great neighborhoods, but I wouldn’t recommend ones on the opposite side of the river from where you will be commuting to. Jamaica Plain was a great place for me to live, but I wouldn’t live there if you’ll be working in Cambridge. I’d pick Davis Square or something instead.

      • Boston bound :

        Thanks for the reply!

        I’m in medicine & will be working at the Longwood medical campus. So I’m looking either in that area or nearby. I have a child, too, who is 1 year away from school-age, so I’m also looking out of the city, like Brookline or Newton.

        • My school was close to where you’ll be working, and I absolutely loved living in Jamaica Plain. I took the #39 bus to school every day, but could also have taken the Orange Line train or the E line trolley, or walked down Huntington Ave on nice days. JP, like a lot of neighborhoods in Boston, has undergone a transformation in the last 20 years from low-income to trendy “revitalization,” or to use another less-positive word, gentrification. I really liked it in any case. I was a childless grad student, but there were enough strollers on the sidewalks that I would think it was a good neighborhood in which to raise a family. There’s also a big pond to walk around, and a zoo. And a nice little downtown area to walk around in, with a big ice cream store. :)

          You could also live in Mission Hill, which would probably be walkable to your work. I had some friends who lived there, but it’s not as nice as JP.

          If you get closer to downtown on Huntington Ave, it will get more into a student area, and then just really super-pricey.

          Like I said above, there are a lot of really pleasant places to live on the other side of Cambridge, but I wouldn’t recommend living there if you’re trying to make it across the river every day. It’s just a pain in the neck.

          If you want to be driving, West Roxbury isn’t bad.

          Newton is way out of town, but Brookline is right in the city. It’s just a pretty self-contained neighborhood. And pricey. (Maybe JP is now, too.)

  5. I have had good luck with the Dillard’s brand, Antonio Melani.

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