Top 10 Posts of 2009

We’re still on an abbreviated posting schedule (don’t forget the holiday open thread!), but here are some of our top posts from 2009… after the jump!

Top Posts of 2009

1. Building Your Wardrobe For Your Summer Internship
2. Open Thread: Ponytails at the Office: Yay or Nay?
3. The Hunt: Appropriate Bags for Summer Associates
4. Poll: When Wearing A Collared Shirt and Blazer, Does the Collar Go Out or In?
5. Corporette 101:  The Old Mirror Trick
6. What to Wear When You’re Laid Off and Looking
7. How to Wear Silk Scarves?
8. Reader Mail: Can I Take Leftovers From My Business Lunch?
9. A Bun in the Oven and a Mother in Court
10. Emergency Mailbag:  Should she “Friend” her boss on Facebook?

Top posts of all time:
1. 10 Things to Know About Wearing Button-Down Shirts
2. Building Your Wardrobe For Your Summer Internship
3. What to Wear on Interviews Generally
4. What to Wear to Work on the Weekend
5. 10 Things You Should Know About a Business Lunch

Are any of your favorite posts not on the list?  Let us know — we’d love to hear what your favorite content is.


  1. Do you have a post on what to wear on your first day of work? I start a new job on Monday and I’m struggling with what to wear! Right now, I’m planning to wear a black wrap dress. Dressier than separates, but less so than a suit.

    • What type of job is it and where do you live? What were the folks that interviewed you wearing? I’d try to approximate that, erring on the side of more formal.

      • Communications job in NYC. The people I interviewed with wore everything from a suit to a black dress to a pencil skirt/cardigan combo. Decisions, decisions!

        • You can never go wrong with a nice suit. You may look a little overdressed (and overeager) but it’s better to appear enthused rather than apathetic on your first day. As the week progresses, you can evaluate how the office as a whole dresses, and adjust accordingly.

        • If some of the people you interviewed with wore suits, I think you’re safe wearing one on your first day. At least wear something with a jacket.

          I disagree, though, with everyone who said the default first day outfit should always be a suit. In many workplaces, including mine, you’d just look nervous and overdone; besides, at least at my job, before your first day you’d have received a copy of our business standards, which include the dress policy (business casual).

    • divaliscious11 :

      Depends on the job….I wore dresses first day of last 2 jobs, a suit first day of clerkship/law firm…. What is the dress code? I’d go simple until you get a feel for the place.

  2. I think the wrap dress is fine, but bring a blazer to throw over it, just in case.

  3. Anonymous :

    Why wouldn’t you wear a suit? It’s your first day. Always wear a suit on the first day.

  4. Pencil skirt suit. If that works for your body and you feel good in it.

    I’m supposing you chose the dress because you feel great & powerful in it. On its own it sounds too day dress-ish.

  5. Pantsuit with a nice sweater or shirt – you can lose the jacket later if it feels too formal. I asked this same question of Corporette several months back when I started my new job, and the advise was right on.

  6. In my opinion, first days are essential in setting future ‘standards’ for yourself. I would wear a skirt suit or add a blazer to the dress. You could even pair a colored jacket with the dress… I find that a dark red adds a sort “pow” to the outfit.

    Good luck!

  7. Definitely a suit. You have plenty of days after that to have fun and fit in with the day-to-day vibe of the place, but on the first day–a suit.

  8. Another vote for the suit, but choose comfortable shoes. Typical first day activities include being given a big tour of the facility and meeting tons of people. The suit makes you look sharp, and becomes your first impression for many of your coworkers. You could potentially be introduced to upper management folks you didn’t interview with, so wear the suit. The comfy heels will save your bacon during all the walking around.

    If nothing else, do NOT wear brand new shoes until you figure out exactly how much walking you’ll do each day.

    One of my first jobs was in an enormous building, with rooms I visited every day at both ends of a seemingly-endless hallway. I never saw one of the rooms during my interviews, and so had no idea that I’d be walking, walking, walking every day.

    • I definitely have to support the comfortable shoes recommendation with a suit (or other outfit with a polished jacket topper), because you can always take off to be more casual, but limping painfully by the end of the day is not fun. And congratulations!!

  9. Maybe I’m old school, but I’m completely at ease in jackets/blazer and silk blouses . I have tons of jackets/blazers — tweed, suede, wool, linen, belted, jewel neck, velvet, buttoned with a bow, portrait collar, you name it. I actually feel weird if I *don’t* have on a jacket. It’s my uniform or “signature look” I guess, as fashion stylists like to call it. I don’t usually do matchy-matchy pants/skirt though, unless it’s a very formal meeting/client pitch. I’m not a sweater person, though, for some reason. And I feel silly in cardigans. I always feel like a librarian in them, no matter how sexy Michelle Obama looks in hers with a skinny belt.

    • Woman of Color :

      I agree wholeheartedly – I always wear a jacket. It just adds a level of professionalism. I do the jacket with skirts, dresses, and pants. I even have jackets for my casual (weekend) days. With dresses, however, I will mix it up with a cardigan every now and then with a belt and boots.

  10. I agree with the suit. The key is wearing a shirt that you feel comfortable with in case you take off your jacket. This gives you the most options.

    Good luck with your new job!!

  11. housecounsel :

    Maybe my answer is too law-firm-based, but I am afraid a wrap dress would be to0 sexy for the first day. I’d go with a pantsuit. And I feel the same as Lawgirl about cardigans!

  12. Hey @housecounsel, had to share — I got news that I start working as in-house counsel (seconded, or whatever they call it) on MOnday! Yay me! I think I’ll wear my Tahari Kimmy’s in rich wine color ( and a burgundy colored wool blazer & gray wool pants… Maybe matchy-matchy, but me likes anyway! I love burgundy/wine in winter. So many choices! LOL. Will assess the vibe carefully before exploring wrap dresses, leather skirts, knee boots, and the like ;-)

    • divaliscious11 :

      Congrats! I love being in-house and hope to never have to work in a law firm ever gain!

  13. Woman of Color :

    FYI – Jones New York is having an awesome extra 30% off sale. I just bought these 2 complete skirt suits for a total of $174 – and that included free shipping.,default,pd.html,default,pd.html

    • @Woman of Color – Nice pieces you picked at JonesNY. I really like that boucle skirt… ! Great sale. I got a few tops but cheaped out; these after-Christmas sales are sOOooo enticing.

  14. I would also suggest wearing a suit your first day. On your first day, you’ll be introduced to lots of people, probably including higher-ups.

    And totally off topic: Aerosoles is having a 25% off sale in their stores and online. 25% off everything, including stuff that is already marked down. I just got these, in brown, for $30:

    • I don’t usually shop at Kohl’s, but had to exchange a gift this weekend and discovered that they carry a modest range of Aerosoles styles. Picked up a nice pair of brown pumps for about $42. I’ll definitely watch the website too — thanks!

    • Those in navy may be a good option for the ever-elusive navy-shoe-to-wear-with-suits-and-other-outfits!

      • I have my eyes on these for when I get paid on Friday:

  15. If you really are set on a dress on Day 1, how about a black/navy sheath + jacket/blazer? Otherwise, I’d still go for a pant suit, if you’re unsure.