I work in a male-dominated industry however I have never subscribed to the theory that I have to dress like a man in order to be taken seriously. I prefer dresses to pants, sweaters to jackets, and I am not afraid to wear color. In fact, if you look at my closet the pinks and the greens and the blues and the prints definitely outnumber the blacks and the grays. 

Fortunately for me, we live in an age of business casual which means I can wear a brightly colored shift dress, a cardigan and open toe heels (no pantyhose) and still be dressed appropriately. And for the last several years that's exactly what I have done without any reprecussion or consequence.

However the nature of my job is changing and it's been suggested that despite the fact that I always look stylish, perhaps I want to re-evaluate my work wardrobe. I want to clarify that this suggestion was made in the absolute nicest way possible and that I did not take offense so you shouldn't either.  It's not about being well-put together. We're all agreed that I have that down. But I am well-put together in a fun-loving, semi-casual kind of way (or sometimes a Mad Men kind of way), and I need to add a drop of elegance and a dash of tailoring to my wardrobe. 

So Saturday morning I spent several hours shopping on-line looking for work clothes that were more conservative and elegant than I am used to without being stuffy because let's face it: I am never going to be a boxy, black pants suit kind of girl (and for the record, no one is asking me to). Here's what I came up with:

     

Super 120s Caryn dress

The nice thing about J. Crew is that their color palette is fairly neutral so I wasn't distracted by the chance to get this dress in, say, Kelly green.  I opted for classic black figuring that I could always jazz it up with some playful accessories.

 

Super 120s classic pinstripe banquette dress

Since I finally found the perfect navy Kate Spade Mary Janes a few years ago, I am all about the navy in my wardrobe and what could be more classic than navy pinstripes?

 

Pebble jacquard pencil skirt

I love this camel shimmer skirt although I don't know how shimmery it actually is which means it may get returned because sparkly is not exactly conservative. However I am hoping that it's a subtle sheen because the cut is beautiful and I think it would look darling with a black turtleneck sweater, black tights and a skinny belt.

 

Vanishing Vixen Dress

This is one of those dresses I wasn't sure about.  It certainly looks conservative in terms of the dark colors and the cut, but the bow is on the playful side.  Then again, I am on the playful side and my personality is always going to shine through so this dress might in fact be the perfect combination.

Style Me Now Dress in Navy

This dress also came in red. I wanted to order it in red. But instinct told me that this dress in red was sexy while this dress in navy might be passable for work.  (See also: I have the world's most perfect navy Kate Spade Mary Janes)

I called it a day after these 5 purchases (although there were 2 dresses at Ann Taylor I liked as well as a dress/jacket combo ON SALE at Trina Turk) because it wasn't exactly shopping for $39.99 dresses at Target.  But I look at it as an investment: an investment in my career which frankly, is going beyond well. In fact, I have never been more confident in my potential for true professional success. And now I will be appropriately dressed for success as well.   

8 Comments

Love, love, love ALL of those, but especially the first one. I'm glad things are going so well in your career! That's awesome! Plus? Excuse to buy new clothes!

GORGEOUS! I agree, esp the first one. I can't wait to see you in all of them.

Hey, hey pretty lady! You're going to rock all those dresses. And yes, that skirt is pretty shimmery in real life as I just saw it on a woman on the train this morning. But that makes it all that more appealing in my book...who can't use a little shimmer in their life?

I shop mainly at Lilly Pulitzer and Ann Taylor...which makes me think I have some sort of bipolar personality disorder.
Anyways, I have that dress on the bottom and LOVE it.
I also have a black tweed skirt with sparkles and I wear it all the time. But then again...I get paid to go to parties and write about them so sparkles are totally business in my world.

All of them are super cute, and understated, which is perfect for your line of work. You're not giving up your feminity, all while adding a bit of professionalism.

I love ALL of those pieces! I especially love that second dress.
All very professional and can easily make the transition from day to night.

Some time ago, I did need to buy a good car for my corporation but I did not have enough money and could not buy something. Thank God my friend suggested to get the loans at creditors. Thence, I acted that and was happy with my collateral loan.

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