Saturday, July 19, 2008

Welcome to Wear at Work!

I have heard no fewer than 10 fabulous, intelligent women tell me that they have no idea what to wear to work in the last several weeks. This is tragic. Those of us who work in an office for 40+ hours per week often struggle daily to put together work outfits that are not only office appropriate, but not hideously ugly. If I see one more woman wearing a frumpy, boxy, bland outfit (hello, black pants suit with shoulder pads and a beige knit shell with blocky shoes!), I will scream.

I work in the legal industry, and most of our clients are attorneys. Since you have eyes, it's evident to you that the legal industry, tends to be on the conservative side of fashion (read: nose rings are out, close toed pumps are in). Since I refuse to wear a suit because I feel like I'm playing dress up in mommy's old work clothes, I have had to find ways to make dressing for work easy but also interesting.

There are several ways women choose to dress in such an environment:

1. Clean and preppy: this style is big on collared dress shirts in sherbet colors, pencil skirts, and pointy-toed heels. This style works well for many women (one woman in my office totally rocks it), though it can sometimes lack creativity.

2. The "I just don't give a damn" uniform: You know who you are. Listen, I have many goals in life- to have a flat stomach, to meet Catherine Zeta-Jones, to feed the children of the world- but it is my fervent hope that I can help rid the world of this nauseating excuse for an outfit.

3. Quirky and fun: almost every office has at least one woman who wears cute, funky clothes that appear, at first glance, to completely turn the dress code on its head, and pulls it off. You would not catch me dead in 4 colors at once because I would look insane, but two women in my office can do this and look both pulled together and modern.

4. Creative and edgy: I want to live here. We'll see how well I'm doing.

5. Bombshell: Wouldn't mind living here, either, but there is a very fine line between subtly sexy at the office and just trashy. I have to vote no on fishnets at the office.

This week, I will post some of my own outfits and some of my favorite stores for work clothes.

What do you like to wear professionally and what are you coveting for your fall work wardrobe?

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