Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dressing Professionally...and an update

First I'll start with the update...I'm going 13 days strong without eating meat.  I must say, I can definitely feel a difference...I haven't experienced that "stuffed" feeling since I've given up meat and overally I just feel healthier.  Maybe it is all in my head and I'm just 'trying' to feel differently but either way it is working.  I must say, though, I do have a downside to not eating meat.  I subconsciously have convinced myself that since I don't eat meat I can substitute that absence with the presence of chocolate...umm, yeah no not a great idea.  I'm still working on this people.  I didn't make it to the gym this morning because the booger was up all night with the shits, yeah that was awesome.  I will, however, make it to the gym tomorrow night for the kickboxing class.  I missed pilates yesterday because I went to visit my new second cousin in law, Abigail and boy is she precious. My bestie is home now too which is also mucho exciting for moi. (like how I just used french and spanish in the same sentence).

Now that I've updated you on my life, because we all know that's what you were anxiously awaiting.  Today my focus is dressing for the office and what rules apply.  Let me preface by saying, I work in a business casual atmosphere and I am going to focus on that sort of environment. Congratulations to miss Jessica for getting her first 9-5er at Aflac :)

Business casual can be simply defined as clean, comfortable and easy.

1. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever wear a bare leg.  I don't care if it's 300 degrees outside and you're sweating bullets.  In my opinion, a bare leg is not acceptable for work.  Always wear some sort of leg cover whether they're nude, black, whatever.  I prefer thigh highs because I do not fancy the over spill that pantyhose causes me in the midsection, but that's a preference.  Obviously, in the winter you would switch to tights. 

2. On that note, skirts.  I LOVE me a good pencil skirt and own about 8 of them in various designs. These are perfect for work wear. And whether you prefer a straight skirt or A line, the skirt length is important.  Around the knee length, not much longer and not much shorter either.  Take into account what length the skirt will be at when you are seated, legs crossed.  It my be appropriate while standing but if you sit and it scoots up to the coochie, that's a no go. 

3. Avoid sky high stilettos.  Honestly, I can hardly believe I'm saying this as I adore a 5" Louboutin pump (adore, not own it's a recession folks). Not only are they not practical but they're a bit overzealous for work.  You're not out on the town with your girls you're more than likely in a cubicle or office with mostly men who will certainly judge you like a street walker for wearing 'em.  I believe sticking to a 3" or lower heel is more than appropriate.  If you must take it to 3.5" that's ok.  And the higher the heel, the longer your bottoms should be (i.e stick to pants with real high heels or opt for a longer pencil skirt)

4. Tops. This, you would think, is obvious.  No, it is not okay to show your bubbies at work.  You are a career woman not a cocktail waitress and you should be taken seriously.  (I know, I sound like a fem bot) But it's true.  You can absolutely look gorge without showing the ta-ta's so just don't do it.  I, every single day, wear a tight fitting tank under every sweater, blouse, top, etc. just so that even if it is low cut the cleave is avoided and if you bend over and its a bit baggy, there's no peep show.

   Don't do it

5. Pants/Shorts. Here is where opinions may vary on what is acceptable.  Obviously, a clean cut dark pant is the easiest way to go (i.e. Express' Editor Pant) because it looks very professional and will match basically anything.  Khaki is great too but shouldn't be worn in the winter (imo) as it is a 3 season color if you ask me.  In the warmer months, shorten the pant to ankle or even calf and in the summer opt for a bermuda length short (shorts that reach the knee) don't ever wear your Jersey shore shorts to work, ever! Leggings - I think leggings are acceptable for work SO LONG AS THEY ARE BLACK and WORN WITH A TUNIC (oversized cardigan, etc)...don't show up at 9am with your leggings and waist length top.  That's not ok.

6. Dresses. I wear a lot of dresses, especially in the summer.  Get your hands on as many very cute, short sleeved boleros and cropped cardigans as you can.  These will take all of your summer dresses to work appropriate attire. You need to 'feel out' your own workplace and see what works because for me, I can wear a bare shoulder without a problem but in a more corporate setting that won't be acceptable.  Again, do not forget to cover the leg and don't forget to add a tank of some sort if the dress is v-neck.  The length rule above prevails.  You will know what's approprite.  If you can feel a breeze on your buttcrack its toooo short.  Its good to get a second opinion on length if you can because I know I've convinced myself that certain lengths were ok, when they weren't. 

7. Miscellaneous.  I do not agree with standardized opinions that you have keep your makeup boring and basic.  I've worn a smokey eye to work and I personally think that's fine.  Although I don't wear a lot of makeup to begin with, well I do, but it doesn't look like I do.  Obviously you need to avoid glitter at all costs and should stray from a bright red lip or statement falsies.  When it comes to accessories...I say it depends on the outfit.  If you're wearing a black dress, black pumps I think its more than fine to wear a statement necklace, but keep the earrings simple at that point.  It's all about balance.  Don't walk in with 20 bangles, hoops and an eleaborate necklace with a cocktail ring.
Headbands are more than fine so long as it is not overdone...this is acceptable

                                                        this is NOT acceptable

Balance, Balance, Balance my ladies.  It is important to be stylish, but comfortable.  It is important to look like a professional but keep your femininity.  The days of high end structured suits are gone.  You can look just as amazing at work as you would for a night out on the town...just don't choose the same outfit for both occassions.

If I missed something, let me know.  Share your opinions and ask me questions! Would love to hear the feedback.


  1. I respectfully have to agree to disagree about the "hose" rule... (with the exception of opaque tights in the winter)

    ::shuttering just saying that word!::

    I think as long as your legs are even toned and no nasty vains or plethora of wrinkles, there is no problem with a bare leg. In most cases it looks much better than a shear hose with sheen. Especially if you are following other rules like you mentioned regarding none stripper heels or short skirts...

  2. LOL @ skirts scooting up the coochie- def unacceptable (anywhere!)
    I would also add that in general, pay attention to the way that clothing fits (or doesn't)- if the buttons on your blouse, pants, skirts, are holding on for dear life, it doesn't fit- stop wearing it immediately! If you can't walk in an outfit because it's too tight, get over it and buy a bigger size.

  3. I agree with you about cleavage. I don't see a place for it anywhere in the office.

    The one place I MUST disagree with you is covering your legs. I live in Texas. EVERYONE I've worked with here from entry level to top execs and CEO'S do not cover their legs when wearing a skirt or dress in summer months.

    If you wear nude nylons that you can see your skin through anyways, they are really kind of purposeless. It's totally culturally acceptable here not to wear tights in the summer.