Friday, February 8, 2008

Friday Q&A - Work Attire

Q: I am a 23 year old who likes to wear trendy clothing but I also have job as a law firm secretary and find that sometimes my choices aren’t appropriate. Most of the time I stare blankly into my closet and don’t have a thing to wear. I don’t have a ton of money to spend on a new wardrobe and I was wondering if you could give me some advice.

A: You need to build a base wardrobe with a few classic, timeless pieces. Then, you can mix color, accessories and trendier silhouettes with these basics to maintain your style. February is a great time to shop for pants, blazers and skirts because many stores mark down Winter apparel in preparation for Spring arrivals. You will find good quality pieces at up to 70% off.

Here is a list of my suggestions to get you started:

1. Basic trousers - Two pair, with a flat waist and straight or slight bootcut leg. Black should be your first choice, then brown and gray. Gabardine Dress Pant by Atelier and Daria Straight Leg trouser by BCBG.

2. Wool A-line skirt - A feminine and thigh concealing favorite that looks great with fitted jackets and tops. Try the Wool Pintuck Skirt by J Crew.

3. Slim or pencil skirt - A sleek skirt to pair with trendier tops and blouses especially if they are voluminous. Try this Pencil Skirt from Banana Republic.

4. Dresses - Wrap, sheath or shirtdress are classic styles to invest in and you have an instant outfit. Try a Sheath Dress from Banana Republic. Or satisfy your trendier side with this Boatneck Dress from Tulle.

5. Jackets - A nice, fitted blazer to dress up a pair of pants or skirt. Find one in black and another that compliments your solid basics like the BCBG Marilyn Jacket.

6. Blouses - White button down and another color that you like.

7. Turtlenecks - Cashmere, silk blend or merino wool in neutral colors like the Cullen Ruched Silk Cashmere Turtleneck.

Never underestimate dressing well in your professional environment - it speaks volumes about your credibility and personality. My list may seem boring or too “old” and conservative, but I guarantee you will always find something that matches your trendier selections while maintaining a polished, look. Shop sale racks at Nordstroms, Nieman Marcus, Banana Republic or J Crew to find these classic pieces with good quality. Also, one of my favorite clothing lines, BCBG Max Azria, has trendier classic pieces and a 70% off sale online.


Arlina said...

You couldn't be more on target. Every girl needs the classic basics to build on. I'd like to add the trench coat. I find a nice trench can easily be dressed up or down. Good for work, good for play.

Lady Language said...

arlina - Thank you and you're right about the trench coat - I almost added it, but decided to save it for a post I am planning about coats.

Emily said...

Sometimes I wish that I had an actual office to go to so I can wear my clothes to work. Instead when it's REALLY cold outside (and FREEZING in my basement) I opt for sweat pants, a flannel and a sweat shirt.

What's a girl to do?

Lady Language said...

emily - Flannel and sweats? Wow, it is cold in your basement :) I hear ya on the warmth and comfort.

Sandy C. said...

Wow! I had no idea they marked down winter apparel in Feb. I need to do some shopping. Those selections didn't seem boring at all. I agree that dressing well and appropriately in a professional environment, and even among peers can really make a difference.

LceeL said...

As a man, I find that well dressed women are usually the most attractive, but usually the farthest out of reach, as well. There's something to be said for the trashy lookin' woman - well, okay, not in an office.

Jean said...

Just wanted to say that, in all of the blog researching I have done, yours is in the top for design, elegance and sticking to its mission. I applaud that and gained some valuable insights from your example. Keep up the good work and good luck. - Jean Voute Pratt
the style observer

Lady Language said...

Sandy - sometimes Feb is even too late for the best deals depending on your size. Start stalking Jan!

Lou - you never cease to make me laugh, especially when I need to!

Lady Language said...

Jean - Wow! I am humbled by your comments and appreciate your kind words. I work hard to bring value to my customers and readers. THANKS!

KreativeMix said...

I love this!!!!