This week I'm starting my first "real job" (meaning I plan to be there more than a year) as an attorney at a big-name Washington, D.C. law firm. The legal world is pretty conservative when it comes to fashion. Take that sartorial caution and add a layer of D.C. dowdiness, and you might anticipate my question... Basically, I need to dress absolutely professionally, but I don't want to look old before my time. More specifically, I plan to wear suits on an almost-daily basis but would like to be able to take off my jacket and still look presentable to a senior partner. Can you round up some ideas for professional-but-attractive tops/blouses to be worn under suits by a late-20s lawyer?
And just to add another complication, I would like to keep the prices relatively low (around $50, perhaps) because $100k-plus of student loans and a husband in business school are going to take a huge bite out of my salary.
First off, congratulations on completing law school and scoring a great job! You seem to have a good grasp on what's appropriate for your conservative work environment, so I won't bog you down with guidelines for what not to wear. Your point about wanting to look presentable without your jacket is a good one, as I think it's important that you feel appropriately dressed at all times.
I've included a couple of sleeveless tops in my list below, and I'm not 100% sure whether they would be considered acceptable in your office during the warmer months, but you could always throw a cardigan over them if you don't want to wear your jacket all day long. Take your cues from senior women in the firm, and if you ever question whether something would be appropriate, play it safe.
Banana Republic Silk Pleated Cap-Sleeve Top, $68.00
Ann Taylor Loft Sweetheart Neck Knot Front Top, $39.00
Tesori Faux Wrap Top, from Nordstrom, $64.90
Ann Taylor Loft Flocked Dot Tie Neck Shirt, $44.00
Ann Taylor Silk Sleeveless Blouse with Tie, $68.00
Ann Taylor Loft Tie Neck Sweater, $49.00
Ann Taylor Knot Front Shirt, $78.00
Tuesday, September 18, 2007