Tuesday’s TPS Report: Film School Blazer

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Madewell Film School BlazerI love a light blue blazer in spring and early summer, and this linen/cotton blend from Madewell, with its super-skinny lapels and laid back vibe, seems perfect. I’d wear it with pretty much anything — black, gray, white, navy, brown… the list goes on. It’s $198 at Madewell (limited sizes only, alas). Madewell Film School Blazer

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected] with “TPS” in the subject line.



  1. Oh so lovely. But I do wish they wouldn’t shove the sleeves up like that. It 1) wrinkles them horribly and 2) doesn’t let you see the length. I’ve started unrolling the sleeves in the stores and leaving them that way in protest.

    • Alias Terry :

      Exactly! I hate the way this is styled and modeled. Not that there is anything wrong with looking like a bum, (I guess, since people do it constantly here in California), but I think it is a shame to display nice looking clothes in such a crappy manner.

      (And I am also looking at you J. Crew.)

      • I don’t think the model looks like a bum in the least!
        It’s definitely not a work outfit, but I am not really sure that this is meant to be a work blazer. It’s a cute look, even if it’s not one that most people will actually wear/pull off (and certainly not to the office). Maybe I am in the minority, but I actually enjoy it when clothes are styled in an interesting, creative way that I may not think of myself. Anyone can pair this jacket with a pair of navy pants. I get — and even share — the gripes about Ann Taylor or BR, e.g., styling a suit with wholly inappropriate shoes no one would wear with a suit, but this is trying for a different look entirely. Madewell is not exactly trying to sell “career women” clothing. I wouldn’t fault them for styling their clothes in a way meant to appeal to their target demographic.

        • Seconded. I also don’t think this a work blazer.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I get what you are saying AIMS. My issue has been with Talbots when they style something like this with scrunched up sleeves and then do not include the sleeve length in the description. I need to know one way or another whether the sleeves are full length, bracelet length, or 3/4.

          • That, I totally agree with! I also hate when models pose in such way that you can’t see the actual dress or whatever it is they are selling. Talbots also likes to put random ruffles places and then never show you what that actually looks like.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            That drives me absolutely insane! There was a skirt suit that I was eyeing forever until I was about to pull the trigger and realized it said “ruffle back” about the skirt but there was absolutely no way to see what it looked like!

        • Alias Terry :

          Sorry. That is the difference 30 additional years of world view gives you:
          I would not dress this way on the weekend, either.

    • I unroll the sleeves of shirts/blouses. It’s so hard to know if they’re 3/4 or full length.

  2. I can’t decide if I like this for work or not — I think it depends on how denim-y the fabric looks in person. Definitely love the skinny lapels though!

    Threadjack: I want to get my SO a new cologne as a gift (yes, I have run out of other ideas). He currently uses YSL Homme. Does anyone have any recs for something similar (not too sweet; masculine but light, etc.)??? I was thinking about the new Chanel (Blue?) but cannot decide if it would smell good over the long term.

    • Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male is my all time favorite. I’m not sure what the others you mentioned smell like, though, so I can’t make a comparison.

    • recently preggers :

      Blue smells good. I was considering it for christmas, but went with versace pour homme instead (its in a blue bottle) and he loves it.

      • Thanks, guys! : )
        I will look for the Gaultier & the Versace. Glad you like Blue, recently preggers — maybe I will go with my first instinct, after all!

    • Also check out Dolce & Gabbana light blue.

    • Aqua di parma

    • Try L’eau par Kenzo pour homme. My husband likes both YSL Homme and that one.

  3. Irene Adler :

    Threadjack right away this morning. I just saw a job posting that I am very, very interested in. The person I submit my materials to happens to be an adjunct professor at my law school and an alum. I feel like I should take advantage of this but don’t really know the right course of action. Email him at his school email address? Ask if I can meet with him? I’d really love to meet with him in person, my strengths are in person meetings and interviews, and I’d really like to tell him about my experience and enthusiasm for the position. I want to get on it asap because I know there will be a flood of applications. Any advice would me much appreciated! Thank you

    • Great name. :)

      IMO you should email him at his school address, note that you are very interested in the position and intend to apply, and ask whether he might have time for a brief meeting with you to answer some questions/talk about the job before you submit your application materials.

      • Irene Adler :

        Thank you! I just find out classic hardcovers sell for like 8 bucks at Barnes and Noble so have been reading Sherlock. I think I will try emailing him, and if he doesn’t answer it will be no harm no foul hopefully

      • I think if he’s an adjunct, then he’s interested in hearing from law students. I approached several adjuncts in school about career advice, and they were all super-helpful. I second the advice to email him at school and ask about the job. Completely appropriate in this instance, and likely to get you a leg up.

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      Awesome name.

    • Are you still close to any of your LS profs? You could get them to introduce you (or write an introductory email) to the adjunct.

      • Irene Adler :

        I’m still in law school. The thing with adjunct is they work their real job all day and teach one class so I don’t know which profs would know him

  4. Veronica, Victim of the Recession :

    Apologies for the threadjack, anon for this one, just want to vent.

    My attorney job, if you can call it that, has been frustrating of late- it ebbs and flows, but right now there’s little work (I get what’s there, and only get paid when the clients pay- it’s not been much lately). I’m trying my damndest to bring in work myself, but it’s not panned out much. I’ve considered jumping back in the job market, but the only way I can think of to start (short of hearing about any opportunities that might come up, and believe me, I’m listening) is to simply cold resume-mail the same employers that I’ve already cold resume-mailed over and over again already, which I’m not ready to go through again.

    Anyhow, after sobbing last night over the fact that today would be another day of trying to force myself to find something to do and once again cursing my decision to (leave a cushy job and) go to law school, I get an email this morning about a city agency job that would be perfect. I’ve had my eye on that agency for a while, and always thought that I would love working there.

    The problem: The main work going on in my job right now is a suit against that very agency. (It’s a small legal community- the agency is only about three attorneys and my firm is only two; they would recognize my name immediately if I dared apply, even if it were not ethically dubious.)


    • Could they effectively “Chinese-wall” you if you joined the City Agency?

      • Veronica, Victim of the Recession :

        I’m not sure. But even if they could, I’m concerned that even submitting an app would be frustrating to the case- If you’re an attorney, and, while you have a case going on, one of the attorneys on the other side submitted an application to come work for you, wouldn’t that weaken the other side in your view? (Remember that we’re talking about very small organziations here, where everyone’s usually working on everything, and they’ve already met with me in connection with the suit.)

        • AnonInDenver :

          I think at a minimum you have to wait until the litigation is over. But then maybe it will be a benefit that they know you – and that you have perspective regarding “the other side”, so to speak. If the position is still open you should let the agency folks know that you are interested. In the meantime, continue to be professional and show them what a pleasure it is to work with you, even if you are adverse.

          • Veronica, Victim of the Recession :

            I know. The litigation will be ongoing for at least a year, so it’s pretty unlikely that the position will remain open that long. Like I said, I’m just venting; I love the advice here generally, but I’m not expecting that there are any reasonable solutions here.

      • We just went over this in Professional Responsibility. It depends on the jurisdiction if screening is allowed. If they decide to hire you, they may need informed consent from the clients and a screening procedure. Basically they need to have the files regarding the case out of your reach and no one is allowed to discuss it with you. They would be required to send out an e-mail or something so everyone knows of the conflict and this would need to be done like 2 weeks before you begin employment. Make sure that you check your jurisdiction’s rules.

    • Aren’t there ethic prohibitions you have to look into? I don’t think you’re allowed to work somewhere if you’ve worked against them recently–and I do think applying could raise a conflict you may have to report.

      • Veronica, Victim of the Recession :

        Oh, I’m sure that there are. I’m not even planning to apply (even if not for the ethical issues, it would make my firm look bad, IMO- like I said, small community). Just expressing frustration about the fact that I can’t.

    • I think your problem is less so screening, and much more so the fact that you would need to disclose the application to your current employer, for ethical reasons. And you would likely need to not work on that particular case while the application is pending.

      I don’t think it would necessarily weaken the case, btw. You are not personally vested in your client. The merits of your client’s case stand on their own, and are not dependent on which lawyer represents them.

      • Veronica, Victim of the Recession :

        It’s not that it would weaken the case itself, so much as make the attorneys on the case (which are only me and one other) look weak. Looking weak doesn’t seem like a good move, IMO.

        Plus, if I couldn’t work on that case, I’d be down to nothing at this point.

        • I totally understand your frustrations. Some months I feel like all my disposable income goes to my student loans and then I get frustrated and unmotivated in a job I am not super in love with already and the job market is terribly slow still. So I am stuck. And feeling stuck is the worst, IMO.

          :( Hopefully something even better will turn up soon that you can take advantage of!

        • Let me just preface by saying I’m not an attorney. But if I knew someone affiliated with those representing me actually applied to work for the other side, I’d be spitting mad. Whether disclosed or not to meet the letter on being ethical, it’s shady regardless. There is a whole world out there of places to work. Put in the effort to find a spot elsewhere.

          In the meantime, I also would see if there were things I could do to make the current situation better. Instead of being a “victim,” be proactive and see if you can create some of your own opportunities to take on more responsibility. Nothing open at work isn’t an excuse, either. Are you publishing? Are you speaking for your professional assoications? It will make the time go by faster and you’ll be building your skill set to make yourself more appealing to future employers. You’re a smart, capable Corporette. Go out there and be the best (and most straight-shooting) you can be!

          • anon, V is looking for sympathy! ” Get off your *ss” won’t help her. Trust me, law market is like this. I’ve been there. There comes a point where you have to accept that you’re stuck for a while and make the best of it. But that doesn’t make it fun. :-(

          • Veronica, Victim of the Recession :

            Thanks, Midori!

            Yeah, I’ve been trying to scrape up chances to speak and publish and things like that, but they just haven’t come together (I’ll admit that I’ve been letting myself put off attempts to write for lack of ideas and just general feeling down about the whole thing, which is completely my fault.)

            And I agree, it would be offensive to the client to apply to work for the other side, as well as the ethical implications and that it would make my present employer look weak. I’ll just have to hope and keep trying to make this work out; I’m just frustrated with it and seeing the job posting was a huge addition to the frustration, is all.

          • V — I just wanted to say that I think you’re awesome. You could easily have gotten upset about the tone of some of the responses (since you were just looking to vent), but all of your counter-responses have been constructive and introspective.

            Good luck on the search!

          • Veronica, Victim of the Recession :

            Aw, thanks Anon! I try to keep in mind that sometimes things sound worse than they are intended when written and give people the benefit of the doubt.

            BTW, I actually originally had a line in my OP that said something like “If you’ve got really awesome advice, go for it, but I’m not specifically looking for it, just venting,” but took it out because I was afraid that it sounded too negative on the idea of getting advice (which generally, for myself and to see what others are asking and getting, is the main reason that I come here!)

    • I think you should contact your bar’s ethics hotline to find out what the rules are and go from there. It’s true that at a minimum you will not be able to work for the agency on the same matters that you worked on as a private attorney. Given the revolving door between government and the private sector and the fact that your current employer is unable to pay you a steady salary, your application to the agency should not be regarded as shady or unusual.

      • Anon for this one :

        I agree with this. We just interviewed someone to come work at our firm who is opposing counsel (but junior) on an active case. We did not discuss the case other than to say that he couldn’t work on it if he came to work for us. If every attorney involved maintains his/her ethical duties to keep client confidences, it’s not a problem. There are measures that can be taken to wall off conflicted attorneys and they work. There are also notices that need to be sent to the prior firm, but they are sent. Give it some more thought.

    • And like us all, sometimes you want to just vent, knowing there’s no *current* solution to your situation. Perhaps this time period is, bluntly speaking, a black or gloomy career cloud that will hopefully start moving out of your area soon. Boy, have I been through those! Hope you feel better.

  5. I love Madewell. I wish I had more free time to wear their clothes.

    • My problem exactly! I seem to always be buying clothes that aren’t really work clothes….and then I never have the time to wear them! So frustrating.

      • I have the same exact problem. All these cute items and no time to wear them.

  6. Summer in the City :

    anyone have any jcrew coupon codes? There’s a dress there that I REALLY want but don’t want to pay full price…

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Check J Crew Aficionada’s blog – if there’s a coupon, she knows about it.

  7. Another early threadjack – Has anyone tried theExhale Core Fusion DVDs? I have been using Winsor Pilates and like those, but need to kick it up a notch – these seem like they will hit the spot, but thought I’d see if I could get any feedback before I pull the trigger.

    • You should check out the website www(dot)fitbottomedgirls(dot)com It’s a neat fitness blog, and they do a lot of exercise dvd reviews. I know they speak positively of the exhale core fusion selections.

    • recently preggers :

      I have not tried those, but i can recommend the Bar Method DVDs (I think there may even be some new ones now I have not tried). 45 minute workout and its awesome for toning.

      • anyone else doing P90X? I love the workouts but am finding it difficult to stick to the 6 workouts a week routine. I had no problem working out that often when I was going to a gym, but for some reason, when working out at home, I tend to easily put if off. As a result, I have never achieved a solid week and have therefore seen little results.

      • I do a Barre class (Barre3) and LOVE it! Its the best workout I’ve ever done, and for whatever reason, I’m sticking to it when I haven’t stuck to other stuff. Great core/upper body workout, especially if you don’t love that stuff at baseline. Plus, stretching in between hard work sessions, which is lovely.

    • Thanks all – I will check out all the suggestions!

  8. I like this blazer a lot. I’m a huge fan of Zara, though — they have tons of blazer options, they fit well, and they’re usually only around $80. I’d be very surprised if they didn’t have a similar one. I just bought a great navy blazer the other day — perfect for work and with jeans.

    Too bad you can’t buy Zara online!

  9. Ladies, I was discussing a job application question with my non-lawyer spouse last night when I realized it would be much more efficient just to ask y’all. So here goes: I am currently clerking. I don’t want to go back to the firm where I was before I started clerking. I summered at two law firms, neither of which I joined after law school graduation, but one of which I am very interested in going to now. (It’s a long story, but they make section-specific offers, and I didn’t know at the time that I wanted to go into that section, so I didn’t get the offer. I’m hoping they look at my resume afresh now.) Anyway, here’s the deal. I know the head of that section from summering at the firm. I see her at events because it is a small-ish niche practice, and she definitely recognizes me and I think knows my name. She asks about my husband, etc. The thing is that I would like to keep my application a secret from my old firm, so I was thinking of asking her to lunch and then tell her in person that I would like to apply with her section and that it is confidential. Is that weird? If doing this would help me avoid writing a cover letter, all the better. I don’t know how I would write in a cover letter that it is confidential. I would in fact like to do this at all of the firms on my application list because I know people at all of them. Even if I don’t go to lunch with them, I could give them a call and then later send my resume with a short email mentioning our earlier conversation. Thoughts?

    • I agree you could reach out directly to your connections but I’m confused about the secrecy issue — why do you need to try so hard to keep it a secret from your old firm? Are you planning to use them as a fallback? Unless you are in a small town I doubt that news about prospective 2nd-years travels THAT fast.

      • Just to clarify, I was actually there for a couple of years before I started this clerkship, so I would be entering the new firm a little more senior. I feel like that’s a little more personal, since it wasn’t just a summer clerkship. I don’t think the word would spread naturally, but I do fear that the potential new employer to call up the head of that old section about my abilities.

        Also, my concern about asking the head of the new section to lunch is that I would be kind of putting her on the spot. Also, I’ve never asked her to lunch before (although we did go to lunch when I was a summer, but that was a while ago now), so it seems a little out of the blue. Like when a friend who hasn’t seen fit to call you in years suddenly calls because she’s started a direct selling business. Should I just call her?

        • Just call her. It works this way – sometimes you’re busy and don’t stay in touch, and then something comes up and you want to reconnect. That’s how the professional world works. If she’s stayed in touch with you, it’s a good sign.

  10. Tired Squared :

    Work is definitely dragging today. I blame Daylight Savings Time!!

  11. Threadjack! I finally broke down and bought a suit with unlined pants (I was griping about Talbot’s for this last fall, but frankly needed a new suit, and they look nice). Question: What do you wear under the pants, given that suiting material isn’t really comfortable on skin? I considered something in the realm of Spanx capris, but just can’t bear the idea of something that binding with summer coming…any suggestions?

    • All but one of my suiting pants are unlined, which seems to be all that I see in the stores (perhaps because I live in the south?). I generally find that wearing nothing underneath (well, except undies) is perfectly comfortable. In the winter, I usually wear hose underneath, but that’s just for added warmth. (I don’t find hose to be uncomfortable under pants unless they are too tight to begin with.)

      I know that this is an unpopular opinion around here, but I just don’t find lining to be all that important in pants.

      • I live in the south, too, which is why I want to avoid anything too tight — my problem is that the fabric is sort of rough, and I can see it getting uncomfortable by the end of the day, so something to make it a little more comfy would be nice…

      • Ditto.

    • what about those cotton under-shorts things? They have a name, and someone around here has mentioned them a few times, but i’m blanking on the name. Someone will know.

    • I’ve been using Spanx under my unlined pants — it’s a great solution for winter. But you’re right, don’t want to continue doing that this summer. I’m thinking of investing in a bunch of “pettipants” in various lengths for summer-time (short, knee-length, and long).

    • In the winter: silk long johns. In the summer: Capri-length leggings might work.

    • I don’t wear anything under pants, but you could try pants liners, like these ones: http://www.jcpenney.com/jcp/X6.aspx?DeptID=71962&CatID=71962&Grptyp=SIZ&ItemId=13e4f89&cm_mmc=ShoppingFeed-_-Google-_-Women-_-Women%20s%20Underscore%20Adjustable%20Clip%20to%20Fit%20Pant%20Liner%20%20Black%20White

    • Jade Moon :

      I live and work in Hawaii. I wear light-weight barely- there panty hose under my unlined pant suits. Get the unreinforced toes/heels, and some are actually footless for those who wish to display their new pedicures.

      As an added benefit, you can dry clean less if you wear panty hose.

  12. The name (Film School Blazer) is cute beyond belief. Makes me wanna buy it just based on that alone ;-) Oh yeah, helps that the blazer itself is very stylin’! At my work, this would be very professional and appropriate in the summer.

    • What do you all think about this one:

      It’s the film school blazer (also love the name!) in a dusty pink silk. Part of me thinks this would be tres chic in the summer time, worn to work with some Audrey Hepburn style cropped black skinny pants…. But maybe it’s too much trendiness for work? I think I kind of love it.

      • Oh, that is just gorgeous. I think you may have found the blush pink clothing item I have been looking for in vain for the past two years!!!

        • Shoot, my reply went into the vapors. @AIMS, this is cute beyond belief! I think it’s dressier and classier than the blue one. Rock it at work with pride!

          • Lawgirl, that is terrible encouragement! ;)
            I think I am now going to have to make my way to a Madewell store this weekend!

      • Oh, LOVE IT.

        • FYI – this is now on sale for $129.99 with an extra 25% off and free shipping for over $100 with code WHYNOT. I just ordered it. (Discount price comes to $97, which removes the free shipping. Add a pair of socks or tee shirt for free shipping.)

  13. Threadjack for my fellow bored-at-work friends: I’m on the hunt for a new bag that I can carry to work (not necessarily all that formal, though) that will fit my lunch, book, etc. Lots of room, but maybe not too bulky.

    Anyone have a cute or fun bag that they’re eyeing? Just for fun and just wondering…I wish we had a bag-related post today. :)

    • So, I have been craving a summer bag in a particular shade of orange (not too bright, sort of hazy and a bit muted), and the closest that I have come to shade is this bag. I seriously LOVE the color. I am not 100% sure I love the bag because I don’t really like it that much in any other color it comes in, and I don’t love the details (e.g., lack of zipper or the zebra lining), but I l-o-v-e the orange!

      Unfortunately, it’s not cheap. I probably won’t get it. But I do sort of really want it. And, I kind of like that it’s a bit casual. I think I am really sick of being so “conservative” for work.


      • Ooh that’s cute! The orange is nice, but I love the brown.

      • Endless has numerous versions of this brand/color – maybe one of these styles will suit you better?


        • Thank you! I don’t think I have ever looked at this brand closely before, but I think the other bags are probably even less my style . . . so maybe it means I should pull the trigger on the slouchy bag from them despite it’s lack of zipper?? Too tempting! I think $400+ is way too much to spend on my orange fixation. But, of course, now I am sidelined by all the other fabulous bags on endless. . . :)

          • Aims, try furla. They have loads of collies at least at the stores here in Asia:) good quality. No clue about cost though

      • AIMS, this popped up in an add when I clicked on your link, and I think you’ll love it:


  14. Job Hunting in LA :

    Threadjack — I had an interview a week ago (corporate paralegal). I thought it went well. It lasted over an hour, I met with a partner (as well as several associates), and he gave me a copy of their deal book (a glossy, 50-page book to show clients when soliciting business). I didn’t ask about follow-up, but the partner said that his assistant would call me in the next week or two. This is a fabulous position. And I really want it. Would it be too pushy to email the partner (who gave me his card and said I could email with any questions) or his assistant expressing my interest in the position and saying that I’d love a second interview.

    Also, if I get a second interview, would it be weird to bring an example of the work I could do for them? The position involves lots of transactional work and research. The partner talked a lot about building a library of recent and pending legislation and regulations that might affect their clients’ projects. I thought about looking at the Library of Congress website and building a database of legislation. Does that show initiative or is that over the top?

    • AnonInfinity :

      I’m not sure about follow up at this point, but I do have a thought on your second question. I think that building the database of legislation would be over the top. You could use the deal book to think about what kinds of regulations, etc. might be helpful and bring that up in the interview, but I wouldn’t actually build anything.

      Good luck! I hope they call back!

    • I think it would be appropriate to get in touch at this point. I’d probably go with the partner’s assistant at this point, as opposed to the partner himself (assuming you’ve already emailed to thank him). As far as specifically mentioning a “second interview,” it’s possible there wouldn’t be another round if you’ve already met with a partner and several associates so I wouldn’t make that presumption. (If they said there’d be another round though, then yes, it’s okay to refer to that.)

      On your second question, no, I would not create sample work unless specifically requested. It’s over the top, and there are too many ways it could backfire (e.g., all their databases are in a certain format or use guidelines you’d have no way of knowing, in which case your attempt to reinvent the wheel might look sloppy, even if you do a great job).

  15. I love this bag, but its *way*, *way*, *way* out of my price range.


    • One of my friends has one of these in a different color and it is SPECTACULAR in terms of looks and quality and, well, everything.

    • I want this bag so badly, and I don’t typically lust over clothes and accessories (since there are so many alternatives out there). But I have yet to find a comparable bag in the same great colors and the same dimensions. Grrr.

  16. Ru – Are you still checking out this thread? I have a question for you from your post yesterday on the sheaths. How do you style wearing a sheath dress? (Looking for some fashion inspiration.)

    • While I’m not Ru, I do have some suggestions :) I posted some links to pictures on the sheath dress thread, but at the risk of being viewed as a spammer for multiple link posts, I’ll just describe them here.
      I’m a big fan of suit jackets or blazers over sheath dresses. I also like to pair them with skinny or wide belts, and I’ve usually found longer necklaces to look nice with them. I have a medium gray sheath that I’ve paired with a khaki blazer, wide brown belt, brown tights/heels, and gun-metal colored jewelry. I’ve paired this same color dress with a darker royal blue skinny belt, slate/dark royal necklace, black blazer and black heels. I have a plain black sheath that I’ve done with a purple cardigan, simple long-ish necklace in different shades of purple, black/gray argyle tights and black heels. I’ll be pairing it with a 3/4 sleeve red cardigan and a pink argyle cardigan now that it’s spring. I’ve also worn both sheaths with just a skinny belt with some color, and a necklace.
      They’re so versatile, but I think belts really help dress up a plain monochromatic sheath, so definitely start there. Search for “Ashley” in the sheath thread for picture links.

      • I love your color suggestions! I particularly am intrigued by the grey + brown combo you describe, which I would never have come up with on my own!

        I too love the look of the blazer over sheath. Here’s my concern: do you find that wearing a non-monochromatic color on your legs (different colored tights (or pants, as I cannot wear tights for religious reasons) together with a blazer ends up chopping you up? Or can that be done well? I worry about that a waist length jacket, knee length sheath, yet another color on legs will make me even shorter!

    • Hey MM, I responded to your post! Maybe it got eaten up?

      Anyways, I wear sheath dresses with long sleeved t-shirts or blouses. A lot of people brought up the jumper effect of wearing a shirt underneath a sleeveless sheath but I find it doesn’t look that way when you wear silky/drapey fabrics underneath, especially since a sheath is so structured. I may wear a dress shirt for a super formal event and I rarely wear white, so the uniform vibe really isn’t there.

      I usually don’t wear a belt but when I do, it’s to tie my whole outfit together because I have to coordinate the dress, shirt/blouse, hijab and pants. One of my favorite outfits is my navy blue sheath (from H&M), with a billowy full-sleeved teal blouse and royal blue hijab with teal/turquoise flowers. Depending on the season, I may wear black wide-legged or bootcut pants or even slim white pants. Sometimes, I’ll add the skinny turquoise belt to really tie it all together. With the same navy blue sheath, I wear gray pants with a gray blouse and I may wear a navy or gray hijab.

      I wear wide-legged pants because I feel like slimmer cut pants look too casual on me. The wider pants balance out the hijab factor up top. Also, I really like sheath dresses to wear underneath pantsuits. I have to make sure that I’m wearing shorter jackets that don’t completely obscure my waist and also gather the folds of my hijab in a comfortable and not-so-congested kinda way.

      My current challenge is to not wear black pants or black shirts so much – they’re just so easy to match with everything else. I’ve been trying to get more mileage out of my pinstripe pants. I’ve also done a pink/mauve blouse with a gray sheath. And maroon with gray also looks really nice.

      • I’ll also add that when wearing pants with sheath dresses, it looks better to wear shorter dresses. If the dress goes past your knees, it completely stumpifies your legs, unless you have amazonian calves or 5″ heels. I typically wear heels to elongate my legs. If your dress goes past your knees, definitely go for slimmer cut pants. For the desi amongst us ‘rettes, these are just my american versions of a salwar kameez/kurta.

      • Thanks so much for the detailed response. This is super helpful. You sound so stylish! As I may have mentioned before, I’m new to this (revert), so I really struggle trying to vary my look. I just end up in the same uniform every day: slacks, and tunic+blazer or random shirt+boyfriend cardigan. I’ve just lately begun to branch out to long-sleeve shirts under other tops based on Kat’s regular recommendations for this look.

        I always worry that because I don’t wear hijab there’s no obvious “explanation” for why I’m doing things a little differently — I think I need to take a long Saturday at the mall trying on a bunch of these suggestions to get comfortable with seeing myself in some different looks. And to begin to understand more naturally what makes a look purposeful, crisp, and professional (rather than the way I used to layer dresses over pants back when I was an oh-so-tragic teenager in the 1990s). Hopefully as long as it is purposeful, it won’t be too odd.

        I wish I could just wear salwar kameez to the office! That would be awesome!

        • another one :

          Hey! I also don’t wear hijab, but I do dress modestly and it’s great to talk to you guys about this! Ann Taylor used to make a long suit skirt with no slit, but I haven’t seen it lately. I’m always keeping an eye out, but wind up doing pants most of the time.

          • How long ago was this? When I watch reruns of Friends, I’m always struck by how Rachel was able to go to work (and other wise be fashionable outside of work) in long suit skirts and other long skirts during the 1990s. Of course, that was obviously a trend since such skirts are no longer available and look dated. But it is nonetheless one of the few trends I look forward to embracing whole-heartedly when it (hopefully) finally rolls back around.

      • I’m fascinated by this conversation. Ru, your suggestions sound incredible. Thanks for sharing. :)

  17. Threadjack. I’m meeting a more senior alum for drinks today after work, ostensibly to discuss participation in our practice-specific alumni group and to learn more about his career path, but I have the ulterior motive of wanting to get the heck out of my current firm and have already submitted an application for an open position at his firm (haven’t heard anything yet, I’m planning to follow up soon). I’ve never really done the one-on-one networking meet-up before and I’d appreciate any advice. Should I mention that I applied to his firm, or just more generally mention that I’m looking for a new position? Do I get us a table if I’m there first, or just snag a seat at the bar? Is it better to pay cash or charge (obviously I’m picking up the tab)? Any advice from the practical to the professional is much appreciated!

    • I think you might as well mention you’ve applied, as it would seem weird or a little sneaky from his perspective if he finds out after the fact that you’d already applied.

      Table vs. bar if you’re there first – I think it depends on where you’re going and if it’s difficult to get a table. But without knowing more details, since you said you invited him for a drink, I’d probably start at the bar.

      Cash or charge – I can’t see why this would matter as long as you do it swiftly. Charge is more common. I prefer charge because of credit card points. :)

    • I’ve never done this type of networking when I’m specifically applying for a job at the person’s firm, but here goes:

      (1) I would mention the application, but I’d wait until you’ve already discussed the alumni business so that its not super awkward for the rest of the convo. But, if he asks you how you like your current position, that seems like a good time to say “Well, I’m working hard on XYZ but I’m actually looking for a new opportunity somewhere else” or something like that and then mention that you had applied to his firm.

      (2) I’d wait at the bar until he gets there.

      (3) I don’t think it could possibly matter whether you pay with cash or charge. Either one works.

      Good luck!

      • Thanks! It’s more of a coincidence that he’s heading up the alumni group, which I am interested in, and also works at a firm that I applied to before I met him, although it did make me more motivated to follow up on the networking than I otherwise might have been.

        (Re: cash vs. charge, I just wasn’t sure if it would be tacky to have to get change then count out a tip. Charge might just be easier.)

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