Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday Finds: Summer Blouses

I spent most of last night combing through my closet, figuring out how to maximize my minuscule closet spacce with enough outfits to last me two months of working and living this summer. Tomorrow I'm driving to New York, dropping my car off at my boyfriend's parents' house in Long Island and moving into the NYU dorms. I start work on Monday, interning at an advertising agency, and for some silly reason, I'm getting nervous that I won't have the right clothes. I know how important it is to make a good first impression, and the freedom of "creative business casual" is freaking me out. What counts as too creative or too casual? And if I go too far in the formal direction, will I come off as a poor fit for their working environment ("Get thee to an investment bank!")?

In scrutinizing the contents of my closet, I came to a few conclusions. First, I have enough dresses to clothe an army of shirt and wrap dress enthusiasts. Second, I have a number of very respectable pencil and a-line skirts. I probably have enough shoes that are work-appropriate but won't give me blisters or foot pain (then again, one never knows this for sure until they've walked 12 blocks and been on their feet for 8 hours). What I'm lacking are tops for my skirts and dress pants, tops that give off the "young creative professional" vibe I'm looking for, but that will still be comfortable during my long, hot commute to and from work.

Specifically, I had blouses in mind. Short sleeved, with interesting details and a flattering (but not sexy) cut. It was actually far more difficult finding pieces that fit this criteria than I'd expected (especially within my price range), but I was able to come across the following blouses that would probably work well in a situation like mine. I'll find out soon enough whether they (and the rest of my wardrobe) make the cut at my job.

Gap Fitted Puff-Sleeve Shirt, $39.50

Forever 21 Ruffled Blouse, $24.80

Tommy Hilfiger Eyelet Shirt, $69.00

INC Printed Pintuck-Placket Top, $49.00

Victoria's Secret Camp Shirt, $28.00

Isaac Mizrahi for Target Roll-Sleeve Shirt, $17.99

Banana Republic Cotton Matador Top, $68.00


Deja Pseu said...

Cute blouses, especially the BR one. However, I wouldn't worry too much. Everyone expects interns to be broke and won't judge your wardrobe too harshly. It sounds like you have your wardrobe bases well covered. (Much better than I did when starting out!) Even in NY, and especially in the summer, there's a good deal of leeway.

I've worked in TV and advertising for almost 30 years now, and IME the quality of the work you do far outweighs your fashion choices. As long as you're dressed appropriately for an office environment, (no short-shorts or flip flops) you'll be fine. You may want to carry a tried-and-true pair of walking shoes with you for after work when your feet are killing you. :-)

Congratulations on your internship. Have a blast in NY!

B. Goldenwood said...

You have impeccable taste. And no, I'm not just saying that because it's so similar to mine. (tee hee!)

Best of luck on the new job! Quality of work may outweigh fashion choices but ultimately, looking super cute gives you the confidence you'll need... AND first impressions (as we know) can last forever.

Anonymous said...

What a timely posting!
I'm in my first year at my job, and like you, I have dresses and skirts, buy not enough tops to go with them.

Corey Doyle said...

Really cute blouses!! I noticed today that Kohl's had a few racks of the blouses you have described for really cheap ($10) and they are cute! Good luck with your job, I am sure you will be fine!

Distar said...

I think Meg is right to be concerned about making a good impression though. I was job searching a yr ago after finishing grad school, and employers do seize you up on possible fit based on factors other than performance. The place I had interned at while in grad school ended up making me the only offer for a job. While the rest of the interns were equally qualified I think what set me apart is I never behaved like an intern, and I definitely didn't dress like one.

Given performance is excellent, and they're wondering which of the interns to make an offer to, it's the other factors that then can make you more competitive. A piece of advice I once got that has been invaluable is "dress for the job you want, not the job you have". Studies time and again have shown the role appearance plays in what others think of us.

Deja Pseu said...

I actually didn't mean to suggest that one shouldn't dress professionally or be concerned with first impressions. What I was trying to get at was that if you're dressed appropriately most people in positions to hire (outisde of the fasion industry, of course) aren't going to scrutinize each item of clothing beyond the overall impression. I used to obsess before going to interviews or when starting a new job that someone would notice that my suit (which I'd bought at the second hand store) was a little out of date or that my shoes weren't expensive, etc. In the end, it never seemed to matter.

Maurey Pierce said...

Definite yes on the F21 blouse.

Good luck with your junket!

Meg said...

Very nice picks! I have the same problem - no tops for all the skirts and pants. I have had a horrible time finding blouses that fit my chest but don't puff out everywhere else. Button-ups are dangerous for me since they almost always have that awful gap. I recently found a white blouse at Macy's, though, that works. It's a hook-up instead of a button-!up. Why can't they make more of these?

Best of luck on the new job!