November 20, 2013

Partly Professional

Shopping and getting dressed when you don't have just one "job" can be difficult. Besides my corporate friends, pretty much every woman I know works part time (the days of true stay-at-home-moms are almost obsolete). 

Many of my friends work from home (super casual) but have occasional office hours or meetings, while others are doing the mom thing plus working a few days a week. Guess what, working part time doesn't require a "part-time" wardrobe though.
I make it my mission to "get dressed" pretty much everyday. You will catch me in mom gear out & about sometimes, but I really enjoy putting on a real outfit. It truly makes me feel better about myself and presents the image I want to project (pulled together, stylish, comfortable). Casual//Chic.

For the most part, my "work" clothes and my "play" clothes are the same. There are a few items you'll only see when I'm working (like the pencil skirt), or playing (like jeans). Almost everything else in between goes both directions. 
The key is shopping smart and buying items you'll actually wear both casual and professional.
What you need for a partly professional wardrobe ::
blazer• knit or structured // as easy to pair back to jeans as trousers & skirts
dressy t-shirts • CAbi's are awesome, I love the easy-care poly ones // why not wear a t-shirt silhouette in a dressy fabric?  
slim trousers • can be worn year round, professional or for everyday // my faves are under $60
• heels or pointy toe flats • a necessity to change a look from everyday to professional lady // wear nice shoes! nice doesn't mean expensive, but it does mean clean, polished, & a little dressy
great bag • I use the same bags for casual or professional, but if you're one who carries a diaper bag or le sportsac everyday, you need an awesome bag // doesn't have to be designer or real leather, but it needs to be simple & chic
pencil skirt or sheath dress • this is a no-brainer. I just did a post on the little red dress...which would fit the bill here. you could also go with basic black. the point is, these are investment items that whether you spend $ or $$$ on, they're staples that you'll wear for years (even if only a few times per year) 
most importantly • It's always important to mention keeping things updated. I used to "dress" for work, had suits, blouses, the whole bit. I finally just got rid of most all of those items because even if they still fit, the cuts didn't work for a modern woman. bottom line is, if you bought it over 5 years ago, you need to really assess whether or not it looks like you could have bought it recently. having new clothes isn't important in this case, but showing up for a meeting in a 90's cut blazer or super wide leg trousers makes you look unprofessional. if you second guess if it might still be "in", err on the side of caution.
I'd love to see more women dress partly professional on the daily. I'm a huge proponent of dressing for the job you want, not the one you have. Even if you're an errand-running SAHM, if you look like someone who could run a meeting, you'll garner more respect from everyone and feel more confident with yourself.

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