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emtee
I'm sure we've all had occasions where we were absolutely flabergasted as to what to wear- I know I have!

I'm starting a new job in a creative field in a few weeks. When I went in for my interview, everyone was in jeans or funky outfits, and I was in my very formal business suit. This is my first job out of university and I'm not sure what's appropriate- and I'll be working with the media and outside clients. Any ideas?
amilita
Nice thread.

I think it sounds like you could get away with just about anything there...but seeing as how you're new, you probably wanna lean towards the less permissive just to help with being taken seriously and all.

Is there any written dress policy at all? If so, I'd stick with that even if other employees don't, at least at first. Then you can get more of a feel for what's acceptable for your particular job, not just the workspace.

And what's that thing they always say...dress for the job you want, not the job you have!

It's my guilty pleasure to buy Lucky magazine...they lean more towards everyday outfits and wearing things different ways as opposed to coture. I get inspired by it sometimes.
mornington
definitely ask if there is a dress code; at least that way you can't get into trouble. Even just ask your boss.

I'd say you need to be smart, even if you're not in a suit, by the sounds of it. If there's anyone else in your department, see what they wear. I'm a fan of the shirt and smart jeans combo at least until you know what you can get away with.

I'll lurk in here. Not actually having broken out the suits since I left school. I'll probably come in screaming if I end up going to a family wedding in August, although whether or not I go depends more on me finding something to wear first.
auralpoison
Pleased to see that this got off the ground after so much debate!
emtee
Thanks for the Lucky magazine tip, amilita- I'll definitely go pick up a copy.

We don't have a written dress code, it's a theatre company, so I'm sure that pretty much anything goes- for my first day, should I stick to something like black pants and a blouse?

Mornington- where's the wedding?
amilita
Yeah, that sounds good...I guess it would be nice to add in an element that is kinda fun/interesting/colorful, too...kinda advertise your creativity and all that, ya know? Even if it is simply a neato piece of jewelry or an unusual color combination (besides the pants) or something.

I swear, when I was running our art gallery, they profiled this woman (in Lucky) who did the same in New York and her outfit was so cool. Very hip, but also professional...pretty casual but put-together. That's what I aspire to. I can't remember specifics about it, but it was the kind of thing I bet would go over well at your theatre company.

I swear, I can't even choose from many kinds of shoes because I have flat feet and get foot pain really easily...I need to be able to walk around and be comfy. But I at least try to buy my comfy shoes in colors, so that they are interesting that way. I have red clogs and white old-school Dr. Scholl's.

I find that shoes in a color adds so much more to an outfit and go just as well as black or brown most of the time.
mornington
the wedding's in Ireland - it's my cousin's - and some sort of churchy country house affair. My father doesn't have the nous to tell me whether or not it's a formal-formal wedding or something a little more relaxed. And whether or not I can get away with wearing something in my own style, or go for the conservative look. My family's catholic, and my aunt's a control freak.

Definitely something like black trouser/jeans and a blouse. (ninja-edited after I read amilita's post). Ooh, shoes. Coloured shoes lift a plain outfit so much - especially if you're going for the black trouser look - and make jeans look much smarter. I find the best smart-casual outfits are made by the accessories rather than the actual clothes. Or maybe that's just me.
emtee
Ah, well- stay away from black, I guess. In my limited wedding experience, black is chic in urban areas, but when I went to my cousin's wedding in rural saskatchewan, my family was shocked and appauled.

Maybe a simple shift dress, or skirt-and-top combo? That should cover you for formal and more relaxed events.

Coloured shoes, you say? That sounds fun!
seraphine
Awesome thread idea, and kudos to my guy, actually, for the thread's name. =) I am sure he'll be flattered to know it was chosen!

Have fun!
mornington
This is where the problem comes in - most of my "smart" clothes come in two categories: black, or linen.

I have got a gorgeous long jacket from East that I long to wear, which is white and pink, but it's finding something to go underneath it - I usually wear it with jeans and a plain tee as it pretty much needs a plain background.
speedy
emtee, are you in Europe? Sounds like. If you were in the States, I'd recommend you take a look at Mark Shale (www.markshale.com). They specialize in separates, casual chic, urban, sexy but not inappropriate. And it's all stuff you can mix and match for lots of different looks on a sensible budget.
If I can volunteer a tip: don't think so much of dressing for this job; dress for the job (or the company) you'd ultimately like to have. Good luck and congratulations!
emtee
Actually, I'm in Canada, Speedy- I'll keep that website in mind!
venetia
I usually wear light grey for weddings and funerals, and throw in a hat and flowers for the weddings.
doodlebug
For work and work-related stuff, I've always found that if I'm unsure, I wear a blazer and I'm fine. It dresses up anything, even jeans...although you should probably find out if jeans are appropriate before showing up for work in them! Suits don't have to be worn as suits - they can and should be broken up regularly, I think. (But have the parts dry-cleaned together, oh lordessa!)

I can wear jeans to work, and I often do, but I usually wear them with a nice tunic or top, and sometimes a jacket or cardigan, or else a big, flowing scarf. I work in a non-profit, where I could wear any darned thing ("clean, neat, and no holes"), but this seems to work for me. I have this horrible fear of looking like a hippie social worker, yet I don't want to intimidate the people who use our services by showing up in a suit, either, so I'm pretty careful about how I look for work!

So, I do have a question. I am thinking of getting a pair of dressy evening pants so I can fake it without having to wear a skirt. I've seen a black pair in a magazine that have two or three layers, and the outer layers are kind of a thin, swishy, crepe-y material. I was thinking of having some made if I can't find a pair. But, would that be a faux pas for "real" evening events? Or would it be kind of "old lady"?

I just hate wearing skirts so very much, and I especially hate dresses - I feel like I'm "in drag" when I wear a dress. My entire "bottoms" wardrobe consists of four pairs of jeans and three pairs of black pants, in varying degrees of casual to dressy. (Oh, plus sweats, but they don't count, 'cause I only wear them for cleaning or exercising.)
emtee
Doodle, I know you're in Canada- one of my friends bought a pair of pants exactly as you've described at Melanie Lynn.
seraphine
I work in an office setting also, doodlebug. I also know what you mean about the pants versus skirts issue. Until recently, I despised skirts, especially wearing one for eight hours. I think there is nothing wrong with black dress/business pants. They can look extremely professional, sexy, and feminine if their cut fits your body. Though, if you want to try a skirt, I suggest a knee-length one that can be machine-washed, in a material that doesn't wrinkle easily while you're seated. I have one that I adore: it's a rayon/polyester blend very similar to this (www.bluefly.com, search for product #2005305--link wasn't working for me, sorries) in style, but with a grey textured look (the material is thick, as the one on the link), that looks good with anything. I found mine on clearance at a local mall for $10! (the price of the skirt in the link is ridiculous). It’s so comfortable I even wear it around the house on warm days. Yes, this is coming from a girl who once despised skirts.
doodlebug
Hmm...seraphine, that's funny...I read what you wrote, and grumbled, "I'll still never wear a damned skirt"...and then I went and looked at it and thought, "Hey, that's kind of cute. I could do that." Heh.

I dunno, though. Then I'd have to do the stockings, 'cause my own friends point at my neon-white legs and laugh.

emtee, I don't know the store - we don't have one in my town. Is it a chain? If, say, I'm in Vancouver...?

One work thing I'm trying to work out is more "accessories" than "wardrobe." But mastering the laptop/briefcase thing....ugh! I would like a leather laptop case, or something that's at least equivalently "sexy." (You know what I mean.) But all the ones I've seen in the shops are these gigantic, pack-up-the-universe-type thingies, and you'd have to be a weightlifter to carry it. (I don't understand who is carrying all this junk back and forth. I travel for my work, and I don't carry that much junk *when I travel*.)

I am very pared down when I go about doing things. Day-to-day, or evenings, I prefer to go with nothing but my wallet, my keys, my lipstick, and my mint tin (which has a mirror under the slidey-door) in my pockets, no purse. When I go to work, I slide my dayplanner into my laptop case, and also this thin, plain black leather clutch that fits beside it perfectly, and holds everything I need - I can put the wallet, keys, lipstick, pens, notebook, cards, receipts, whatever, inside. It's very minimalist. I keep it that way when I travel, and add maybe gum, oatmeal bars, and a bottle of water. It's great, 'cause I can pull the purse out and leave the rest behind when I need to. And I usually want to...because it's a frigging black fabric padded laptop case with some geeky-techy silvery weird alien fabric logo motif on the front.

I can't find a nice-looking case for my laptop that will let me be the minimalist I am burning to be!

I am thinking of making a bag so that I can at least have something unique and not 50 kilos or space-alieny. And I really don't want to have to sew.
laurenann
the apple store has cute laptop bags. i was there this weekend and they have really small ones in nice fabrics. the sony store has the same ones.

i have the timbuk2 laptop purse. i LOVE it - it has a space for my ibook and room for papers and books, and then a front pocket where i put my other stuff. but this is a clothes thread, not the purse thread...sorry...
maimy
Venetia, I love light grey. It can also be multi-season-appropriate, depending on textile and exact shade.

Today my funky accessory was simply to wear my hair down. I don't do it often, but unlike many people, when it's rainy and humid, this does my hair a little favor, because what is frizz on a lot of folks is body on me, so I can actually stand it down and it doesn't get in my face. It is amazing how many people are amazed at hair simply being loose. I guess I don't think about how different it looks, because it is behind me - but I do have a lot of it, and I rarely let it loose on the working public. Heh.

I have cultivated scarves a little bit over time, especially as hair adornments. Have a WONDERFUL kerchief I got from BustyGirl a few years ago. It is summery, bright, and way cute.

A fairly recent accesory I've actually had for years, a tiny black matte-silk black purse which belonged to my great-grandmother. It's fab, and it's got family provenance too. *Grin*
emtee
Doodle- Melanie Lynn is a chain- there are a few in Calgary, so I'm assuming nation-wide, or at least Western Provinces.

I got a cool, minimalist, sleek laptop bag at London Drugs, of all places.
doodlebug
London Drugs, eh? Hmm. Gonna scope that one out. I think I'll check out the Apple store when I get to Vancouver next month, too.

Living in a smaller community is hell for trying to find decent clothes and accessories. And Canada is about 10 years behind the U.S. in terms of online shopping. GRRRR! Shoes are the worst for me - I'll bet most transvestites have an easier time fitting shoes than I do.

I've started cultivating scarves, too, except I wear these huge shawl-sized ones that are made for wear with Indian clothing (I buy them second hand). I am a bit tall and big, so I can get away with wearing them as big, dramatic scarves.

mornington, I meant to post this last time, but...why don't you look for a white or pink camisole and skirt/trousers that goes with the jacket, and wear that? Shouldn't be too hard to find something simple. I think that combination would look fabulous and unique at a wedding - city or country!
zillahgirl
I wear skirts pretty much exclusively. I've found, for me, that I'm the most comfortable in them and that for a lot of occasions, throwing on a skirt and a nice shirt makes me feel just dressed up enough. I just think I look weird in pants--I think it's from wearing them constantly throughout high school and college, I finally realized why I was never happy with how I looked.
amazonprincess
Hippie social worker? I resemble that remark :-)
Ok, not really, but as a new social worker starting a new job (today) with possible hippie tendencies...
I like this thread-will probably lurk frequently.

Actually I try to be put together and professional without alienating our patients too. There seems to be quite a continuum of "business casual" where I work from stretch pants and a pair of hideous she might as well not have been wearing pants gauchos (how that flies, I don't know, perhaps that belongs in the CoF thread) to the occasional tie but mostly slacks and button up blouses/shirts. I like skirts well enough but I get a little freaked to wear a short (knee length) one when seeing clients.
doodlebug
Hee hee! amazon, I live in British Columbia, which is pretty much the hippie capitol of Canada. Hippie social workers are actually kind of the norm....but I still don't want to look like one! All those long flowy skirts with birkenstocks....to the beach, maybe, but not to work!! Heh.

In real life, I don't actually care how other people dress - only how I look. I suppose that's a form of narcissism.

I think social work and non-profit work is kind of one of those "it could go any way" things, when it comes to wardrobe. You could be meeting with elected officials one day, and scrubbing the toilets the next. I pretty much worship at the altar of separates and layers, because at least they give you flexibility.

Speaking of wardrobe (as we are), has anybody worked out the perfect "travel" wardrobe yet? Both for work and for pleasure?

ETA: I was going to post this last night, but I couldn't find the link. She is selling some wardrobe software, but there are articles, and I thought the working wardrobe tips were interesting.
sybarite
The key to travel wardrobes IMO is shoes. Try to bring only one pair that goes with everything and you're cutting down on bulk right there. I have a pair of brown boots which go with everything, so they usually go with me. I'm also a fan of bringing a single pair of jeans (depending on the length of trip) and a series of tops ranging from t-shirts for going out to plain knitwear for semi-smart daywear. The jeans I usually bring are dark blue so can work both casually and in a work-y context as long as the top, shoes and bag are smartish. If it's a conference where I'm presenting I'll bring a pair of smart trousers and wear with a plain jacket/blazer thing, maybe with a silk t-shirt underneath that you can only just see. Oh, and packing a single coat/jacket(for outdoors) also helps to cut down bulkiness. Never bring towels.

After all that I usually still have to sit on my bag to close it...
sixelacat
Jeeze, when I went to my BFF's wedding I brought 8 pairs of shoes for 7 days in Las Vegas. I don't know if I could cut down to 1!

I do have the perfect flying outfit (for me, anyway): long flowy print skirt in fabric that doesn't wrinkle or stain, knit top and light knit sweater/hoodie thing. The skirt fabric is heavy-ish, but with the skirt and jacket I'm never too hot or cold where ever I land, and I can go straight out somewhere from the plane if I need to without changing clothes. I almost never wear skirts otherwise. I slept in this outfit overnight at the Denver airport, and still looked fresh when we finally got back home!
emtee
Well, I think I have a good start on my work wardrobe; I hit the sale racks at Jacob pretty hard. I have a black skirt, black cardigan, black pants, some smart dark jeans, a white button down blouse, a black trendy-ish blouse with a lacey yoke thing- they're in all the stores- and I'm debating over a black and white print wrap dress. I also bought some colourful scarves to break up the black- Maimy, thanks for the inspiration.
maimy
Doodle and Emtee, my favorite scarf is a 3' square Indian silk one in red, with long fringe! One of the girls at my office (Indian, of course) recognized the textile and dyeing technique immediately, and actually took me over to show her friend Fatima my beautiful scarf. I felt like a total fashion smash. And the dress I wear it with is one of those slinky-knit dresses they used to sell as travel-gear, but which have become simply ubiquitous. I do like that knit.

I bought a GREAT black and cream print faux wrap dress - of all things, a BCBG Max Azria (I am so not a label gal usually) - which I am LOVING TO DEATH recently. Terribly cute, terribly comfy, not so trendy it'll be out of style next year, and hand washable. What a score.
mornington
Doodle, I used to live in India, and the collection of dupathas amassed in my cupboard is amazing... that and the number of scarves I possess in general. I wear a scarf to break up the dark colours too, emtee.

Re travelling... try not to take anything that needs ironing, unless you're going somewhere that requires linen. And a peculiar trick I picked up somewhere is to roll things, not fold them, but I swear that's just me. As far as shoes, wear the heaviest shoes you want to take on the plane.

I haven't worked out the perfect travel wardrobe, but I have managed to pack 30kgs into a suitcase the man in the shop swore would only hold 20. But I have issues. Shoe issues.

Thanks doodle, that was what I was thinking re the wedding.
bklynhermit
oh, god, now i have a wedding to go to... and i have nothing to wear. my problem is that since i work in a creative field, i don't really need to have dressy clothes. which means i have a hard time keeping stylish and seasonal clothes for fancy occasions (since seriously i go to dressy events like twice a year at this point).

i'm pretty sure this wedding is not all that formal. it's a wedding of two very down to earth grad student friends of mine at a unitarian church. most of the guests will be students and artists. but still. i don't think my day to day dirty jeans and ironic t shirt thing is gonna fly.

a quick closet drive by produces the following options:

the cliche black dress i wear to everything

a similarly black oriented poplin skirt with a white cross hatch pattern and various dressy black tops to choose from

oh god why do i not have anything even vaguely summerish to wear to this thing? generally i love pretty summer dresses and things. but right now i'm really broke, and again, i very rarely need to wear this sort of thing. gah! oh well, black it is i guess.
doodlebug
Oh! I have a pair of black slinky trousers. I need to get another pair - mine are getting a bit worn. That's what I'm using as evening pants now. I love that shit. Just roll it up and shove it in the corner of a suitcase! I used to have a tunic, too, but it was much too big on me, so I finally gave it away a couple of weeks ago.

I roll my clothes when I travel. I'm a big fan o' knits, for that reason...though I'm branching out a bit, as I'm finding a few more reasonably respectable-looking yet lower-maintenance fabrics these days. I still like most of my clothes to have a bit of stretch in them, regardless.

I also do a lot of black - travelling or otherwise. Love the black. I slipped away from black and did browny-tanny-taupey colours for awhile (and also mixed them with black), but now I want nothing to do with browns, for some reason. Emotional problems, possibly. Now I do mainly black, with a bit of charcoal grey and white (and denim jeans, of course - my mainstay), and then I'll usually do a coloured top or coloured scarf, or even just some funky jewelry against the black/grey/white. I like bright colours! Red, turquoise, coral, lime green...today I bought an orange t-shirt! (And a blue one, and a black cami, a white cami, and two good, solid bras.) Actually, for three years, I did nothing but black, grey, and red, while I built up my wardrobe away from the drab, unflattering one I had.

mornington and maimy, I want to visit your cupboards! My favourite is a turquoise/Chinese blue sheer one with funky metallic and multi-coloured zig-zaggy embroidery. I found it at this second hand place where all the Sikh women in town donate their clothing. I threw it around my neck as I was leaving, and I was not 15 seconds out the door when a woman passing me said, "That's a great scarf!" I love all the things you can do with those big, wonderful pieces of fabric.
doodlebug
cross-posted with bklyn!

bklyn, do you have any dressy white or coloured tops you could wear with the black and white skirt? Or one you could make LOOK dressy in an arty sort of way...maybe a white dress shirt with the collar popped and a funky choker or something? Or could you borrow something from a friend? I believe in sharing evening clothes! I need to find more friends who are my size, LOL!
venetia
I'm pretty sure rolling things is what you're supposed to do to pack. You fit more in and they crease less.

My essential travel wardrobe at the moment involves a large black pashmina (best most versatile things ever for travel), a coloured silk scarf, a pair of flat black shoes that go with everything, some sneakers, a roll-able jacket, comfy stretchy pinstripe trousers, and a plain black knee-length stretchy a-line skirt. I won't bring more than I can comfortably carry long distance. But I bring a tiny quick-dry microfibre towel, which I swear is the best thing ever.

The other possibility for a sudden wedding is op-shop accessories...
bklynhermit
i'm not sure that i have any 'nice' colored tops that go with the skirt. i do have a red top which could work, but it might have a wine stain on it. i also know i have a pretty white v-neck sweaterish thing, but this wedding will be happening in july - i would be sooo uncomfortable.

i wish i had more friends who wore my size...

ultimately, i do realize that it being new york and all of us being poor artists and such, just about everyone there will be wearing black, black, black and oh, hey, look, it's black! i think as long as i'm seasonally appropriate i'll do OK. i think the poplin skirt and a short sleeved black shirt will be fine. now on to shoes...
maimy
Doodle, I have the pants too! I need more knit pants as well.

I've rolled, whether travelling or not, ever since my freshman year of college (geez, twenty years ago almost - ugh!). My roomie was from Finland, and fit all her worldly goods into two large suitcases by dint of rolling. I still remember doing sheets with her. She could get a set of twin sheets in a baggie, I swear. *Grin* I like rolling my shirts and sweaters and pants in the drawer, because - no stacking - I can see every item without rummaging.
emtee
maimy, rolling in drawers- that's a fantastic idea.

Genius!
raisingirl
Speedy, that's a great link you posted. I'm not surprised; you strike me as someone with great fashion sense.
doodlebug
So....all that being said, what shall I wear to an important out-of-town meeting in a metropolitan city with an elected government official next week? One with whom we have a tenuous and previously hostile relationship, but one with whom we are now trying to negotiate? (Or, could it be said, one who is now trying to negotiate with us? Here's hoping...not holding my breath, though.) It is toooooooo hot for the blazer, and the meeting is in Vancouver, where it will be very humid as well as hot.

I have a black cotton dress shirt, semi-fitted, with very subtle (done via sheen change) pinstripes, a collar, and those cuffs that roll up once to about mid-forearm and the tips wing out a bit (I have no idea what they call those kind of cuffs). I am thinking of wearing it open like a jacket over a white camisole and black trousers. It has maybe 25 little metal hook and eye closures, spaced about a centimetre apart from the bottom to the upper-breast, instead of buttons...I'm just wondering if that would be weird. It could probably pass for a light jacket, without the hook and eye thingies.

The only other alternative is a nice top and black trousers and no jacket.
bklynhermit
i'd go with the first option, unless it looks really weird on.
sesame
I'm a little late to the party, but Doodlebug, have you seen Acme Made laptop bags? I just ran across them the other day while looking for vegan bags. They might be just the kind of minimalist and chic you're looking for, AND it looks like they have retailers in Vancouver! (If nothing's near you, you can order directly from the website.) They're kind of spendy, but so lovely that they make me wish I had a laptop. :-)

ETA: Hm. Well, I was just looking at/coveting those bags and discovered that they have leather handles, lest any other vegans out there get excited. Poo.
sesame
While I'm at it, I've got one for you Apparelistas. I'm a landscape architect & have just started my own business. In most cases, my first meeting with a new client (usually at their home) is also the time when I take measurements of their property, make sketches, etc. So I need to look professional and make a good impression, yet also be able to be cool and comfortable working outdoors. Most of the people I've met in this line of work do the whole company-logo-polo-with-khakis thing, which, to me, is just UGH. So not my style. What says, "I'm a creative professional who's here to get dirty in your yard"??
doodlebug
If I had land to be 'scaped, I would be less impressed with something that looked like a "company uniform" (I'd think you were any other worker, and not the one in charge), and more impressed if you showed up for the first meeting in your own "personal uniform" - maybe a pair of clean, classic-styled, non-holey dark jeans, with a (black/white/grey/taupe/blue) cotton denim blazer over a clean white or black t-shirt (hot weather) or a clean white or black turtleneck (cooler weather). You can remove the jacket if you need to get into the really dirty work - people will understand that. (I would have suggested a leather blazer, but you are vegan, so that won't work!) I don't think jeans would be unexpected in someone who works with the land, but I don't know what your clients are like. They don't have to be blue jeans, if that's an issue...though I don't think it would be. Again, if *I* were your client. Black pants would also work - they have some wonderful stretchy, durable stuff now that looks really good. Also, really good quality shoes (not runners), and only one standout accessory, like a funky piece of jewelry, or a '50s kerchief around your neck. But that's actually what I would wear. *ahem* But an outfit like that would say to me that you've come prepared to work hard in my yard, so yay for me, the client, and also that you are creative in a stylish, classic way, so double yay, 'cause that's what I'd want in a landscape architect...if I ever have land.

Thanks for the bag recommendation! I'm going to absolutely check them out when I'm in Vancouver...I really want that striped one now.

bklyn, I don't think it looks weird on...maybe I should haul BFF over here for a look...hmm...
maimy
Doodle, the pin-stripe number sounds *very* sharp. You should go with that!

Sesame, my brother is doing the same! In fact, he met with my own corporate boss just a month or two ago to work on his estate, and I can guarantee he went with his usual clean t-shirt, khaki shorts, and boots. He may even have sported his archaeologist hat (he's been an archaeologist AND landscape architect most of his life). I think the presentation here demands clean and well-spoken over any manner of uniform. I agree with Doodle, basically. More important than your clothes is your preparation - so bring plans from another job you have done, bring good ballpark specifics for job specs, and bring questions and answers practical to getting to know a new job of this nature.

Good luck!!
mornington
Pinstripe all the way, doodle.

ooh, good point maimy. I was going to say clean jeans, boots (workboots, like cat or dm) and maybe a shirt. Doodle's idea is great too. I think the most important thing is to be comfortable with what you're wearing.
sesame
Ah, Doodle - great suggestions! Going to have to go shopping now, darnit. :-) (P.S. Another vote here for the pinstripe ensemble.)

Maimy, if I were anything as cool as an archaeologist, I would wear my archaeologist hat absolutely everywhere I went! Your points are well taken - my clients are probably going to care a lot more about the quality of work I can do for them than what I'm wearing (within reason, of course!) Thanks for the well-wishes, and good luck to your bro as well!

Mornington, my Mr. works in a small satellite office of his company. It's all guys, his boss is several states away, and they never deal with the public at all. Their dress code is so lax as to be practically nonexistent. We joke sometimes about whether it would even be necessary for him to wear pants to work. Because of this, I had to chuckle when I read, "...maybe a shirt" in your post, even though that's totally not what you meant. Hee.
doodlebug
Ah, ok! Pinstripes it shall be! Thanks everyone!

sesame, you could also do a safari-style jacket, I was thinking, if you got tired of the blazer look. If you had a blazer and a nice safari jacket, you could swap them back and forth. I think a safari jacket (and no other safari-type gear, except maybe good boots or something) in your job would look clever without being "too" cute.

We don't really have a dress "code" where I work, either, because it's a feminist organization. "Neat, clean, and no holes" is pretty much the unofficial policy - which is only common sense, IMHO, although apparently not to everyone. I try and gear it up a bit anyway, most days. People have this impression of what a feminist looks like (no makeup, fashion-avoidant, "dykey"-looking), and I like to mess with their heads that way.
sesame
Funny you should mention a safari jacket, Doodle. I found this one on the Nordstrom's website, and it's 50% off! I think I might buy it. I also saw this eyelet jacket which is smart and feminine, but might be out of my price range, or this cargo blazer, but I'm not sure about those pockets. Just shopping out loud here - thanks for indulging me!
doodlebug
Yes, they are all great! I think you could wear any of them in your job. I like the 1st one best, and the last one 2nd best.
dykelove
the eyelet jacket looks like it could seem wrinkly. I like the first one best, ses.

emtee, I also work for a theatre company (and I'm brand new there--been there a few months now) and I went for the smart slacks (express has cute ones that are servicable for work)/cute tank (ditto New York & Company for these)/jacket combo until I got the lay of the land. Oh, and I love shoes, so I always wore cute ones with said combos.

These days, it's still pretty much the template, but I mix in dark jeans sometimes and a cute pair of pointy-toes sneaks when I feel like being ultra-comfortable. Since I'm in fundraising, it's sort of necessary for me to look somewhat stylish (especially on days when donors or Board Members are dropping by) but pretty much clean, somewhat funky, and a good fit are my keys. (Although I must say that I used to work for a much less fancy theatre company where I would wear giant platform boots and a sparkly lavender knitwear tank dress from the 70's & tees that read stuff like "Girl Scout Dropout"...But I'm 35 now, so I veer away from being THAT funky/trashy at work.)
doodlebug
When I'm in Vancouver, I'm going to find out where all the trannies buy their shoes. 'Cause I'm tired of this ugly footwear I keep winding up with for my man-sized feet.
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