Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fashion Challenged

I start my new job in just six days, and I think I'm ready.  I've been getting up early, planning our menu and grocery shopping on the weekends, and pinning lots of crock pot recipes.  I've coordinated car pools, caught up on laundry, and scheduled my annual physical for Friday.

The only thing I'm still really nervous about is the clothes.

See, I haven't worked full time in almost twenty years.  When I have worked, it's been from home in my pajamas, someplace very casual (our restaurant or the preschool), or on a temporary basis.  And I'm not one who has ever really cared about clothes.

Yes, that's me on the right.
 I've always been willing to think outside the box when it comes to mixing colors...

Purple espadrilles.  I know, right?
 ...or making bold statements with geometric prints...

Do you like how the crazy bow matches my sweater...and my nails?
...and I'm not afraid to accessorize.

I've been doing a little bit of shopping for interview clothes, and I have a few nice outfits.  But all of the sudden I'm thinking about the second week. I don't want to end up like Josh in my regular Tuesday suit.

The Pit Boss has told me to go shopping, but I have few questions for those of you who dress like grown ups on a regular basis:
  1. About how many outfits per season gives you a reasonable mix?
  2. Do people still wear pantyhose?  I haven't owned any in years, and most of my temp jobs have been in spring or summer.  What's the alternative?  Pale bare legs?  Pants?  Tights and boots?
  3. Do you have any good suggestions for "casual Friday" so that I still look professional?
If you have any fashion blogs you read or favorite places to shop for work clothes, bring them on!

Thank you!


  1. No one in my office wears pantyhose, but we are in CA. I love to have a couple pairs of slacks in basic colors, a handful of shirts in deep/pop colors or cute prints, and a couple cardigans in basic colors. So today's outfit is black slacks, a black/white print shirt, and gray cardigan. But I can easily switch out with a red shirt with a black cardigan, or red pants. Most of my clothes can be mixed and matched to make it look like I actually have more clothes. Bonus: it's super easy to get dressed in the morning!

    Good luck returning to the work force :)

  2. Overall, make sure you can make at least a week's worth of outfits from what you have. Start with basics like black, brown, navy, and taupe colors for your pants, skirts and blazers or sweaters. Then you can add plain or print shirts and accessories. I'm from the school that you always wear hose with skirts (nude or black). It's professional. Unless you are working in an environment that is extremely hot, then bare well kept legs is probably okay. Casual Fridays should never mean wearing jeans. I would go with a pant; maybe even a dress chino, but still wear a nice top or cardigan; skip the blazer. Don't forget shoes. Basic pumps for skirts; something more casual for your Friday's. Good luck next week.

  3. Oh dear. I so can't help. I wear jeans/t-shirts most of my life. Congratulations and good luck though!

  4. Hi Jenny, I happened to see this post while looking through your blog (I am SO behind on my blog reading, sorry!) and wanted to chime in, albeit late. Hope you're settling in to your new job btw! Since I've been working in an office for many years, I've paired down my weekly office wear to the basics: black pants, gray pants, brown/tan pants, khakis. 3-4 tops, 2-3 sweaters/cardigans, 1-2 A-line skirts in black, grey or trendy/fun color. Those items will work for weeks on end, mix-and-match, everything else you add to your wardrobe is fun and seasonal gravy, LOL. For example, I enjoy wearing a wrap dress or knit dress in the Fall/Winter at least once a week with some boots, and in Spring/Summer I wear a nicer version of a summer dress or even a dress I might wear on weekend with flip flops I pair with a cardigan and sandals on Casual Friday. Cardigan sets are your best friend - wear them with skirts, pants, khakis, dress them up with nice or funky jewelry, they can go any day of the week, incl Casual Fridays. I even mix-and-match my cardigan sets (red shell with black cardi for example). Invest in a really nice pair of black pants, make sure you love them, then go buy them in any other color they come in LOL. You will get such a good ROI from pants that fit and look good than most any other pc in your wardrobe. Hmmm, do you think I should talk about my clothes in an upcoming podcast episode? ;-)


Thanks for joining the conversation!

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