For busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.
Oooo: love the black ribbon details on this navy suit, and we all know I love a good pleated back hem. Even though the pants aren’t shown with the jacket (on either the Nordstrom or the Trina Turk site), there are a few ways to know that they’re a matching set. First: the color and fabric content are the same. This isn’t so huge a feat (ooh, navy) but when the color has a strange name. Second: the SKU number looks quite similar: 371070 for the jacket and #371077 for the pants. Third: When in doubt, ask — the “live chat” sales associate confirmed that these two pieces match. Fabulous! The jacket (Trina Turk ‘Azalea’ Jacket) is $398, and the pants (Trina Turk ‘Charlie’ Pants) are $268.
anon chi law
I posted this as a threadjack in one of the other posts but it might be a little buried.
I was raised in the “yes, ma’am; no, sir” habit since I was very young. I was wondering if people had thoughts on this as I’m entering my professional life. It’s my instinct to reply with the ma’am/sir whenever I’m speaking to any superior. Does it make me sound like a little girl? Still considered polite? I fear this ends up in the NGDGTCO category of don’ts ….
anon chi law
Also – so that I’m contributing … I would die for this suit. Die. It’s so gorgeous, and the black ribbon is such a polished accent.
I’d say it is a don’t. Maybe yes, please and no, thank you when possible instead?
Yes. This does make you sound young. These people, while senior to you, are your peers in the business environment. You should address your supervisor following the usual convention in your office (which I am guessing is first names.)
If I heard it with a Southern accent attached (as I have in the past) I would just think it was a cultural thing. I am an executive assistant, and use that turn of phrase from time to time when speaking on the phone to a client I don’t know well, to indicate to them my respect and attention.
However, without the Southern accent and the clear intention of indicating respect and attention, I think it might just sound weird.
It would seem out of place in the workplace unless you were in the military. I would try to stop doing it. It would not be customary, so it would be beyond being polite…and I do think it would emphasize your youth.
I hate it when people call me ma’m. I also think the advice above about these being your business peers is very wise. I usually say the following at the office: “will do,” “sure thing,” “you got it” or just “yes.”
This would sound very odd to me if I heard it in my workplace, and yes, it would make you seem young to me. Also, I don’t really mind it, but a lot of women I know really dislike being called ma’am because they think it means that the person saying it thinks they are old. Definitely be polite to everyone at work, but I would drop the sirs and ma’ams.
I posted in the other thread, but I’m often asked if I’m military (or former military) when I sir/ma’am people.
I think it depends on where you are practicing. I was raised in the south, where it would be rude to not say “yes ma’am; no sir”, but I went to law school in the northeast and during OCI was quickly advised not to use it as it made me sound very young. So I guess, know your audience.
I’m from the south as well, but I can’t really imagine co-workers using sir and ma’am to refer to one another. It’s not, in my experience, really common to do so with people with whom you’re on a first-name basis.
Yes, I think you hit the nail on the head with pointing out using ma’am or sir with people that you are familiar with in a work environment is what’s odd. Talking to a stranger that I am attempting to calm down regarding some business issue – calling them ma’am there is fine regardless of age. Calling someone that you see every day ma’am is weird.
Oh, I agree. I wouldn’t use it with co-workers or people I’m on a first name basis with.
Also, I’ve been out of the south since I was about 22 and never worked in a corporate setting there. I just know the few times I’ve slipped up and said “yes, sir!” in public (usually in Court or some other formal setting) I immediately recognize it and make a mental note that I shouldn’t do it again.
Avoid it. You will either sound young or like a phony Southerner.
I’m a bona fide Southerner and my mother would disown me in a heartbeat if I stopped using my “ma’am’s” and “sirs” in social settings in my hometown. So, I totally get your question. But, I would strongly advise against using “Ms.” or “Mr.” and “ma’am” or “sir” in a corporate setting. Even though it was part of my upbringing and I teach my own kids to use the conventions, I absolutely hate it when someone calls me “Ms.” or “ma’am” at work. In my opinion, despite the best intention, it always seems to come across as condescending (or when used “Ms.” or “ma’am” is used by a man toward a woman, can seem patronizing) to the addressee and makes the speaker seem young and lacking in confidence. It’s especially important that you don’t repeat the convention after you are directed (either gently or firmly) to drop it. I just interviewed a job candidate today who insisted on calling me “Ms.” even after I invited the candidate to call me by my first name. Doubly annoying.
There is one man in my office who always adds “sir” when speaking to his superiors. The problem is, he is the oldest one in the office at mid-to-late 40’s (yes, young field), and the men and women he is addressing are early 30’s. Everyone else is on a first name basis with the sirs and ma’ams in question. It is so awkward it makes me cringe. With a Southern accent, it could be forgivable, but even then, I agree that it seems wrong for business near-peers unless you are actually located in the South.
I work in a federal agency and use “sir” or “ma’am” at work only when speaking to Very Important People with whom I rarely interact. As a bonus, these people also generally have distinguished heads of gray hair, so they fit my criteria for garnering sir/ma’am in non-work situations as well.
Alanna of Trebond
This is not a response, but did anyone else think of the sixth Harry Potter book after hearing this question — “There’s no need to call me sir.” (from Harry to Snape!)
Well, the British schoolchildren use it, apparently.
“There’s no need to call me sir, Professor.”
“50 POINTS FROM GRYFFINDOR!!!”
Love that exchange!
You’re right–Don’t, except when talking to a judge! I was raised in the South where ma’am and sir were required but if you are young, using them will make others view you as even younger.
I, on occasion, call a male judge “sir,” as in “I will get that trial brief to you by close of day, sir.” However, I have never called a female judge ma’am for fear I’d be glared at. (For point of reference, tho, most judges are in their 40’s or 50’s in my federal court are in my age cohort, and I’ve known most of them for decades, even before they became federal judges.) If I had contact with a really elderly lady, in her 80s or 90s, I would likely call her ma’am, or here in Hawaii, Tutu. Otherwise, I never use ma’am or sir, and haven’t since I was 10 years old.
To me, the word sir or ma’am connotes children speaking to their non-family elders or to military.
Our judges here do not like to be called sir. Just “your honor” or Judge Lastname, or in our state Supreme Court, Justice Lastname.
The suit is nice and all but —
I. WANT. THAT. SKIRT.
Me too! I have been lusting after the whole outfit for a few days actually. Love the skirt, love the shirt, love the jacket! If only I had the budget. Sigh. I will wait for a sale.
Can someone remind me again what the website is to stalk things for sales? I know this has been asked a million times – sorry.
ShoppingNotes… here is the article if you want comments/other suggestions.
LOVE the skirt; love it all.
R in Boston
Word. I am going to look through my closet tonight and see if I can make a work-appropriate approximation of the whole outfit in the jacket/skirt picture with what I have.
Another instance of really wanting a graphic print skirt (that’s two this week!).
Me tooooo. Why only up to size 12, why?
Maybe because it has horizontal stripes? Hardly flattering to ladies of a certain size.
Wow, you must have had a rough life.
Oh, yeah, I hear you. I see my size 14 friend wearing a striped skirt, and I cringe. I rock mine, of course- 22 is the perfect horizontal-striped-skirt wearing size.
You are my hero.
horizontal stripes are tricky on plus sizes.. but that type of stripe should work very well.. (speaking as a 16-18) sadly the outfit doesnt come in my size :( (or my budget but i digress).
luckily i sew.
anyway, designers rarely go up into plus sizes.. in order to do a cutting layout for a plus size you need to create a whole new marker (industrial cutting blueprint) and it requires a separate cutting contract.. plus more fabric. so most designers take the easy route and just cut “missy” sizes.
in order to make plus size economical they would either have to raise prices across the entire line, or have the plus size cost double the missy size to account for a separate marker, hiring the cutter for a new run, more fabric, etc. (fabric design major, sorry, this is my geek topic)
Oh, no worries, kirsten- geeking out is awesome. I love when people give some background on things that aren’t common knowledge. It’s always fun to learn new things :)
I just don’t understand why plus-sizes are so- what’s the phrase I’m looking for?- ugly and overpriced.
I don’t mind paying more for clothes, really- I require more fabric to cover me up enough, I should be paying more. That’s economics. What I do mind is having to wade through rack upon rack of hideous fabrics, tacky prints, and bulky shapes in order to find a single garment that I would even try on.
All I hear about is this blahblahblah obese person epidemic blahblahblah America getting fatter blahblahblah headless fatties going into McDonald’s on the news (PS- can someone please get some stock footage of me going into a salad bar place for a change?)- and then designers say “There’s no market for plus-size clothing, no one buys it.” Maybe if the market was presented with decent items, rather than a crinkled leopard/zebra/cheetah print button-down blouse that was cut completely straight (I’ve seen it, it’s hideous, and it’s ubiquitous), the market would buy more!
Girl, you know what I’m saying- surely you’ve been into a Dillards in the last 10 years?
It’s on my stalk list too.
I’m with you — LOVE the skirt. And love that outfit as well. I have a purple blouse and navy jacket, but that skirt! Beautiful, and I don’t have anything to approximate it. Unfortunately, this one’s not in my budget. Is it too much to hope for 50% off? I’ll be hunting for a more affordable version.
I really like the look of this suit, but my problem is that the model is so thin the pants look entirely too baggy for my tastes. I can’t decide if it’s the model or if that is just how the pants fit. Also a bit too much of a flare. But the jacket is GORGE.
Query: Have any of you tried the InStyler (that half brush/half curling iron contraption that’s As Seen On TV)? Do you like it and do you think it’s worth it? It’s something I’m considering, but it’s not cheap enough for me to just try it to see if it works.
My stylist recommended it to me. I have thick, naturally blonde hair, and she said it’s perfect for people with my hair type. I have not purchased it though, because I blanche at the idea of a $100 curling/flat iron. However, now that I want to throw my latest cheapy flat iron out the window, I’ve been leaning towards purchasing a ghd, but maybe I’ll reconsider the InStyler…
Someone loaned me one several months ago and I have loved using it. I have very thick, wavy hair and 5 minutes with the Instyler, my hair is smooth and shiny. I can never get it that way blowing it out myself–and i the morning I don’t have time to try. Lasts until I shampoo again too.
Does your local mall have a kiosk for them? You can maybe go there with your “normal” hair, and see how it works for you. (Then, when they try to sell it to you when you’re like “OMG I think I love this!” be all “No, no, let me walk around for a while and make sure I love it!”- then buy it on Amazon or at Wal-Mart for less than the kiosk.)
Threadjack: I saw this interesting article on Slate today about custom fit shirts, ordered online: http://www.slate.com/id/2303744/
The article is only about men’s shirts, but one of the retailers he tried out says that it will start offering women’s soon. (And I wonder if that would help with some of the bust-gaping problems a lot of women have with button downs.) I thought that it sounded interesting, and the prices aren’t too bad (more than I would routinely spend, but I’m cheap. They’re not out of line with non-splurge TPS suggestions.) I was thinking I’ll get my husband one for his birthday.
I use Astor and Black for my tailored button downs. I received a gift card as a holiday gift. I cannot wait until I can afford a suit too. The shirts were $135 but they come to your office and have many locations. I also think if I were actually paying, the price could have been negotiated.
Very pretty suit. I love it!
Facebook pictures: Why am I constantly hearing that having facebook pictures of me drinking alcohol (and I mean having a glass of wine at the table at dinner, not doing shots or chugging or anything) will harm my chances of getting hired? I’m a legal adult. If I drink a beer at a bbq and there’s a picture taken and posted on facebook, will that really jeopardize my job search? I’ve been hearing things like this from multiple sources but I can’t imagine it’s true. Anyone with any insight?
found a peanut
Your pictures should be private so that only friends can see them.
I personally wouldn’t think twice if I saw a picture of a future employee sitting down to a dinner table with a glass of wine. But who knows. Better safe than sorry, I guess.
Maybe all your friends are Mormon?
My pictures are private, but one never knows who I might have friended in college and have since forgotten about and is now HR at DreamCompany.
You can defriend, block, or hide people from all of your info.
Facebook has updated their privacy settings multiple times since the brouhaha last year. It behooves you to stay current.
My interpretation of these statements is that you should avoid having the drunk bachelorette party type pics up. Skimpy clothes, messed up make up, yelling, with a drink in hand.
I have a few pics on my FB of having a beer in the backyard kind of behavior, and I don’t think it has affected my employability at all.
First, make sure your privacy settings are set so that only people you are friends with can see your pics.
Second, I interpret these comments to mean that you shouldn’t have pics where you are obviously drunk/high/otherwise indisposed. Big difference between that and a pic of you at a dinner table with glasses of wine on it. I don’t think any reasonable person would object to the latter.
I’ve had this thought too–especially because my employer holds office parties where alcohol is provided and staff go around taking pictures, which are then included in the office newsletter! Sure enough, it’s me and all my colleagues, in the lobby, in our work clothes, smiling and holding wine or champagne glasses. Will my boss see it? My boss is in the picture with me. Cheers.
Seriously, I think you just watch your privacy settings and make sure to delete/un-tag any photos that don’t read classy. Beyond that, if you’re legal, I think you’re fine.
I think it’s more true if you’re a recent college graduate, as it suggests that you spent college partying rather than working hard, and that you might have been drinking before it was legal.
For those past college age, IMO context matters a lot – if you’re holding a glass of wine at a cocktail party and are dressed well and others in the photo are too, that’s one thing – if it’s a photo of you in sweats, with your messy coffee table covered with beer cans in the foreground, and other people in the photo are visibly drunk, that’s another.
I think it’s more if there are facebook pics of you doing keg stands and grinding at clubs, and if there are 100 pics like that and zero of you sober.
Just set your pictures so only friends can see it, and don’t post anything where you’re obviously drunk, and I think it’s fine.
Of course, this is coming from someone who has pictures of her old boss watching the office play beer pong. Those pictures, however, are not going anywhere near the internet.
Look at ALL pictures of yourself with a critical eye. Even if you *weren’t* drunk in that one where you have your arm around the guy and he appears to be holding you up, it might appear that way to someone who wasn’t there. Having your pictures “private” will help, but may not completely keep prying eyes out. Better to de-tag yourself from any that are questionable. The world is small, and there’s a good chance that the girl from your freshman English class (whom you have totally forgotten you friended) works in HR at your dream company.
As for the glass of beer/wine at dinner: I once had a client reject a stock photo for use in their internal communications because they have a strict no-alcohol policy and they thought a beverage in the background of a photo looked like it might possibly be alcoholic. (To me it looked like iced tea.) My point is that some companies are VERY picky, and if you suspect you might apply to one, I’d even stay clear of any alcohol in photos. Personally, I wouldn’t work for that company, so I don’t worry about tasteful photos that include alcohol.
‘Cause your friends don’t drink
and if they don’t drink
no friends of mine.
Stop winning at the internet, it’s too much.
I didn’t know it was a contest!
Is it worth considering why you are so often photographed with alcohol in hand that you are “constantly hearing” that you shouldn’t post pictures of yourself in that context? I’m a social drinker, enjoy my wine, but am having trouble understanding how forgoing these pictures is any kind of hardship.
I engage in the glass of wine or cocktail fairly regularly, especially at events where everyone in attendance is dressed up and pretty.
But should the pictures reflect that we are all drinking? No.
If it’s a social gathering, and a photog comes over and asks everyone to smile for a picture, just set your drink down, outside the frame. It’s not a lot of extra work, and it makes the picture more flattering to yourself.
Is your career completely derailed if you have a picture of a beer on your facebook? Probably not. But in this economy, I wouldn’t risk it. You might be competing with someone who has no alcohol on their facebook at all.
Also, I’m friends with teenage cousins now on facebook, and I think it’s important to show them how to have a profile that portrays yourself as fun but still classy and smart. (I’m picky about my profile – I delete anything mean or crude that friends post, too.)
Why am I getting photographed a lot? Because I’m currently going through a period of a lot of friend’s weddings/engagment parties/bridal showers, and often, there is drinking at these functions. I was having a debate about this and wanted to poke the corporette hive mind to hear what it had to say. One person I know in particular is incredibly passionate about this issue–I think she’s ridiculous and was hoping to get confirmation of the fact. I did.
No, the point was why you are getting photographed a lot with a drink in your hand. If you have a number of these party pictures on your profile, you may want to rethink your image.
Ladies, please do not think that just because you watch your facebook settings that your photos and wall posts are “private.” I work in the cyber security industry, and believe me — if it’s on the internet, it’s not truly private. It may take people longer to find, but a determined person (possibly someone considering hiring your for a position in which you will be representing the company or entrusted with sensitive information) will dig up the dirt if it’s out there.
That said, I agree with the general consensus about the OP’s question. As long as the photos don’t show you being a sloppy, irresponsible drunk, I don’t think most people would hold it against you.
anon for this
yup. someone in my family had their identity stolen a few years ago, so we all stopped buying things online for a while. at least until the court case was cleared up.
internet security is no joke. that being said, if you’re over age, i’d like to think most HR people are sane human beings. is that asking too much?
Definitely set your privacy settings so only your friends can see your pictures. Go through your friends list and unfriend those you don’t know well. They won’t know, there is no notification or anything to tell them. If they try to check your page, they might find out, but do you really care if you don’t know them? I do some of the interviewing at my firm, and sometimes help with internet searches. I honestly question the judgment of anyone whose facebook page is wide open to the public. But, I wouldn’t think twice about a picture such as you describe.
Also, even if your settings are private, if you are tagged in a friend’s picture, and the friend does not have their pictures set to private, others will be able to find and see them. Just something to keep in mind. In a recent case, we were able to find a party’s facebook postings by checking some of her friends, and finding some whose pages were public. The party had changed her settings to private, but anything she posted to the friend was public.
No solo cups.
Better not to have photos eating or drinking, anyway. Ever notice in adverts for food, we aren’t shown actually eating? If you don’t let people take them, they can’t post them, you never have to worry.
Agree though that it needn’t be a major worry if it isn’t a major theme of the available body of pics of you.
I LOVE this suit. that’s all.
Anon for this
If a job for a 2L or 3L at a law firm is characterized as a “clerkship position,” is that euphemism for unpaid?
Also, if there is no clear answer, when would be an appropriate time to broach the subject? When receiving an offer? (I would not accept an offer if unpaid for various reasons.)
Not necessarily. When I was still in law school, I had received some warnings that the term “summer associate” could be interpreted as unauthorized practice of law, and to avoid putting it on my resume. I was advised to write “law clerk” instead. Perhaps that is why the firm lists it as a clerkship.
If it’s at a law firm it’s paid. I’ve never heard of a law firm using unpaid clerks (that would actually be illegal as far as I understand it).
Anon for this
Thanks, I & E!
Unfortunately, despite the illegality of many jobs where law clerks are unpaid, they are quite widespread. Several of my friends have such positions.
Yup, unfortunately it is common practice. In their postings they say you can get credit for the experience, but my school won’t let you get credit unless its government or nonprofit.
My husband had a (very well-paid for a not-yet-lawyer) clerkship at a firm during his 2L and 3L years. He loved it. It was year-round (not just in the summer), and it didn’t have a lot of the fun stuff that summers get to do (or at least got to do 10 years ago), but he says it was where he really learned to practice law.
Come to think of it, my best friend’s summer job was called a clerkship too, for a nonprofit, and it paid decently (again, for a not-yet-lawyer). They even went to a ballgame or two. :)
Maybe it depends on the market? In DC only big firms use the term summer associate; everyone else (small firms, nonprofits, government) uses law clerk. Using unpaid law clerks isn’t illegal as long as the student gets school credit; could that be what “Anon for this” means?
My experiences have led me to believe that anything unpaid, other than an externship, is volunteer work.
I think you should ask during the interview, when they ask you if you have any questions for them. If you’ve already interviewed, and you’re definitely not willing to work for free, then ask about pay when the position is being offered to you. It’s better to turn down the position before you start, then to resign because you finally realize you’re working for free.
My firm uses the term “summer clerk” for what would be a summer associate at most larger firms. I think it’s either a function of the smaller firm size or just the older partners still using an old term. The position pays the same as Biglaw summer associate jobs, although since the firm is smaller there aren’t as many or as elaborate of summer events.
In my city, clerkships just refer to a law student job that does not require an intern’s license, i.e., internship. But both are paid positions. Maybe that’s a function of our state’s practice of granting intern licenses, which allow law students do certain court appearances. Do other states not have that? The hourly rate should be stated when the position is offered, if not before. Certainly, if someone offered you a position without mentioning the pay, it’s appropriate to ask.
I love this suit. I mean, I just love it. I can’t tell though: are there black ribbons on it anywhere besides at the shoulder?
I think there is also ribbon on the pockets and the top of the lapel?
Looks like there are two running down the middle of the back as well. Love it.
Ooh I love this suit. Anyone know how Trina Turk fits? I haven’t tried this brand before. Is it a similar fit to Theory?
I’ve found the fit a bit more generous than Theory. I’m usually an 8 and have to go to a 10 in Theory but an 8 is just fine in Trina Turk.
Love the extra details on the suit jacket. Still classy, and gives it some extra style.
Ugh, reposting due to moderation…
Hi ‘Rettes, are opera length or triple-strand pearls too much to wear to an all-day business conference? My go-to single strand is being repaired. I think it’ll be too hot tomorrow for a silk scarf and I don’t have many necklaces. I’m a lawyer in DC.
triple strands would be on style right now….so no, not too much. if anything its a good combo of classy and trendy. “opera length” would be a question.. it would depend on the clothes and frankly on your bust line. a lot of opera length necklaces can look very ..odd… with work clothes if you are busty
I wear triple strand pearls almost every day (including today!), so I vote “not too much.”
Where are you getting your pearls repaired? I had the string break yesterday; found the one pearl that dropped. Thank goodness for knots between every pearl. I’m in the hinter lands and no place I trust for this job.
I had my pearls restrung at Mystique in Old Town Alexandria. They did great work. My friend had a right hand ring custom made there, so definitely a plus from two people.
Ugh, I hate it when I have an important question and my comment gets stuck in moderaation. Trying a third time since I can’t figure out what word was getting me stuck there.
Are opera length or triple-strand pearls too much to wear to an all-day business conference?
My go-to single strand is being repaired. I think it’ll be too hot tomorrow for a silk scarf and I don’t have many necklaces. I’m a lawyer in DC.
So weird that when I posted it all in one comment it got stuck in moderation, but as two comments it was fine…
anon for this
Pretty sure the commenting system has been super weird lately.
My boyfriend and I are considering setting up a small (tiny) side business to run alongside our mainstream careers. It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a while and I’m completely excited at the idea (still at research stage so it may never happen but fingers crossed).
I know a few of the regular ‘rettes have sideline business – and I’m wondering what pearls of wisdom (if any) you can offer up.
So I have a cradle for my droid. When the phone is on the cradle, it displays the time, weather, location, etc. Today it randomly started listing Arrondissement de Verviers (Belgium). Even my phone thinks I shouldn’t be at work.
I think you win
OOOoh, I LOVE this suit! I’m actually a pharmacist about to go on an interview. Our profession does not need to be as formal as attornies, but I was wondering if this would be an appropriate interview outfit. I have no real need for an extremely tailored or traditional skirt suit because we usually wear labcoats over everything, but would like something still professional enough, with a bit of style for the interview. Not so sure about this skirt though. What else I be able to match the jacket with? Any suggestions? Thanks!!!