Need advice re: work clothing.

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  1. I just got a job YAY at a bar association (basically a lawyer's club) and the dress is VERY conservative. Most of the women wore skirts! I came to the interview in a pants suit.

    I looked in my closet after she rang me up again and noticed that I have nearly nothing I could wear there. I don't even have a lot of decent blouses. My wardrobe mainly consists of tunics and babydolls in bright colors and skinny jeans. Needless to say, I need to build up a work wardrobe. I have a limited budget at the moment because I'm putting aside money for other (very important!) things.

    I plan to be at this job for three- four years while working on my Master's degree. It is something I'm doing in the meantime, not a career.

    Should I buy a bunch of inexpensive stuff from Ann Taylor? Or should I slowly build a wardrobe of more expensive, quality pieces? What would you do?

  2. Congrats on your new job! Have you looked at the selection at Macys? This jacket (for petites) looks nice:

    Calvin Klein skirt suit - size 8, 10, 12

    T Tahari jacket on sale $51.97

    Do you plan to invest in more pants?
  3. Hi, Aslan. The same thing just happened to me as I got a job in law office in February and I didn't have any proper attire to wear in the office. So what I did, I shopped for sales to find inexpensive items from stores like Express, Ann Taylor Loft, Bloomingdales and Dillards. I basically mixed (some expensive pieces found on sale) with some moderate priced pieces to start me off which worked out great for me. And as the months went buy, I would buy a few quality pieces along the way.
  4. i would go with some key pieces from theory (dark suit, larissa blouse, max C pants) with alternating cheaper pieces from ann taylor.
  5. Get enough stuff for a week and see what people wear. I think you'll be surprised at how most attorneys dress (I am one). Also is this job business casual or business? Many of the female attorneys I know wear alot of Ann Taylor - but I would try to get the wool blend stuff rather than the over priced polyester items. A basic black suit with pants and a skirt would be a great investment for you right now. Tahari makes nice, less expensive pieces. A pair of classic black heels too. You can mix that with some colorful shells or long sleeved shirts underneath.

  6. I would do both :yes:
    get a few blouses from Ann Taylor maybe some skirts, and get quality suits from elsewhere...
  7. I would look for quality items like cashmere etc & buy them at places like J crew on sale, banana republic, & club monaco .
  8. Thanks for the suggestions, all.

    Yes, I do. But since I have about five pairs of slacks, I need to pay more attention to jackets and blouses.
  9. How about dresses? After a few weeks at work, if you observe that your colleagues do wear wrap dresses, perhaps you could consider this versatile and inexpensive wrap dress available in a few colours and in sizes extra small, small, medium or large:

    $75 plus $8 shipping


  10. Great advice!! If you need to wear a jacket or blazer, it's best to invest in that and skimp a little on the blouse since it will be covered up.

    when I first needed to build my work wardrobe up (dressy workplace and I was the receptionist), I scoured outlets like no other and got a few great jackets which I wore for years.

    Good luck!
  11. passerby, I've been combating "dress phobia." I still have a hard time wearing skirts. I might consider purchasing dresses because it is an easy way to look put together (no matching top, pants, etc).
  12. If you can find a theory outlet, I would check it out. Sometimes they have incredibly amazing prices on suiting, and it's very well-made, classy, professional.

    J Crew also puts their suiting on sale and I think it could work well for your environment.
  13. Do you like scarves? Personally I think it is the best accessory ever. In all my life I've never been complimented on my dressing except when I use a pretty scarf (cost me under USD10 equivalent generally) as an accessory.

    This would brighten up a plain business suit:




    As regards blouses, there's a designer on Etsy who makes this lovely, classic-looking blouse (50% silk polyester 50% rayon) in a few colours (sizes 2, 4, 6, 8 & 10)


    $48 plus shipping

  14. I agree...J Crew is great when you are starting out...I would work on getting two suits in basic colors, blouses and sweater sets. When you do not want to wear a jacket, wear the cardigan over a blouse or over its shell. Also looks great when tied around the neck with a blouse. I also like the dress/suit look and Ann Taylor does this well. Basic black sleeveless dress w/matching into night for sure and you can wear the jacket with separate pants or skirts.
  15. I find that style preference for work clothes (or any type of clothing) Change over time.

    I LOOOVE that you are a colorful baby doll dree/skinny jeans kind of girl~ (me too!!)

    My advice is do not go overboard and spend a lot of money thinking, "I'll invest in this one pair of suit and wear it for a looong time."

    From my experience people at work notice the things you wear and sometimes it becomes redundant to wear the same thing over and over and that makes you go out and buy more...etc.

    I'd go for sales and outlet items that "fit" the work syle first. Get several different black, brown, creme, red, grey near knee length skirts that can match with any color. Then go blose shopping with your skirts on hand!!! try them on together.
    At first I'd stick with white beige black navy grey red colors....

    You might come up with other ideas that can fit your personality and also fit into your work envionrment. After you get a better idea then start buying classic items, like trench coats, blouses etc..

    Congratulations on your new job!
    good luck!!
    How exciting for you~