Dressing Like a #bossbabe

2:52 PM






                          




Happy Thursday!

Whew, what a week it's been with all of this snow!! Getting back outside to take photos has been a real challenge when the world is all snow and ice.

Thank goodness for old photos, amirite?!

I took these photos last summer as head shots for my professional networks. My publications Mix Master Marie took these photos to use for my profile on the Women's Bar Association Facebook page and for my LinkedIn page. I wanted to feel like a super #bossbabe and looking back on these photos, I definitely looked like one!

There are different types of offices, and there are different types of energy in each of those different kinds of offices. There are boss babes who work from home in yoga pants; there are boss babes at the top of the corporate ladder wearing closed toed shoes and black suits (and babes everywhere in between)! The question becomes this: how do you dress professionally for your work space without sacrificing your personality or your ability to feel like a total boss?

For example--my first year out of law school I'll be doing litigation on a daily basis, which means I'll constantly be in a suit. Getting creative while literally being a suit?? How do you do it?

So I'm going to offer you five tips on how to dress like a total #bossbabe while staying in your dress code:

1. First, understand what your dress code does and doesn't allow.

This sounds basic, but it makes sense: just like the masters of modern art like Picasso studied classical painters like Monet and da Vinci, you have to know the confines of your art in order to make the confines of the art your own (and break them when you can).

For me as a future litigator working out of a courthouse, I know my daily uniform requires a suit or a blazer and dress. But right now my wardrobe is a little bit different--I work in a business casual environment, which means I can be a little more creative with my outfits and leave the blazer on the back of the door for the days when I have client meetings or wear open-toed shoes to the office, like I did with this look.

Don't know? Read a manual. Feeling like you're still lost? Never be afraid to ask. It's better to feel a little silly talking your boss than show up in the metaphorical Playboy Bunny costume to the conservative house party ala Elle Woods.

2. Make sure it fits.

Fit is everything. It's been said a million times, but it's 100% true. I know there have been times I tried to wear something that was too tight or too long and I felt crazy constricted all day long--definitely not a boss moment (especially that one time my skirt ripped at the end of the day getting in the car). If something doesn't fit you--whether it's too tight, too loose, too short or long--you're going to feel uncomfortable, no matter your dress code.

Dress clothes, suiting in particular, tend to vary. I always try on one size down, the size I'm currently at, and one size up to make sure I'm wearing the right size. This is particularly true if you're trying on sizes across different fits, cuts, or specialized sizing like petites or tall.

This is also where having a tailor you know and trust comes into play. Trust me--as a girl who is 4'11", it's a rare day when a pair of pants fits perfect with the heels I already own! More than anything else, suiting and work pieces should be ones that fit you comfortably and like a glove. Having clothes that are a good fit is the easiest way to feel like a #bossbabe all day long.

(Also important to note here that if it doesn't fit, don't live in denial. Get it tailored or donate it.)

3. Don't be afraid to invest.

I am a cheapskate at heart. I've been taught all my life to spend as little as possible, and I think that's a great philosophy to live by in most things. But some things are an exception to this, and for me, that's  a great suit or work piece that I'm going to get a lot of mileage out of.

I know it sucks, especially when you're on a tight budget. But don't be afraid to look into spending a little more on good pieces because those are the ones that you'll be wearing a lot.

That being said...

4. Be creative with your shopping. 

I know for a fact that most of the box stores that offer suiting (Ann Taylor, The Limited, New York & Company, Express) offer sales on a regular basis. I picked up my first suit from The Limited on a BOGO sale--meaning I ended up spending about $40 less than the retail price. This is especially true at the outlet stores, if you have them near you. Ann Taylor Outlets frequently offer a buy two pieces, get the third free deal on their suit pieces. If you know your sizes, it's also a good idea to scope online deals for suit pieces because you'll often find deals online as well. My favorite pair of pants from the Limited recently went on sale online only for $40-a hell of a steal for dress pants.

I also am never afraid to shop thrift or consignment--on some stuff. I picked up an Ann Taylor suit from a thrift store for $10, which ended up fitting like a dream. I also do a lot of thrift shopping if I'm picking up separates (colorful blazers, fun pencil skirts) because they're fun to cycle through and it's less upsetting if I stain them or I get tired of them if I've only spent $10 on the skirt.

3. Play with pattern, color, and cut.

Yes, your dress code may require you to wear a suit every day. But does that mean it has to be all black everything? Or all black and white everything? And does it always have to be a pencil skirt? It's highly doubtful. Putting on a skirt in a fun pattern that still fits into the neutral color scheme, or tossing on a red top underneath of your black suit is an easy way to make sure you feel boss so you can act boss. I've had bosses that wore a cobalt blazer over a black dress in the courtroom.

Another great place to play with pattern and color? Accessories. Just because I have to wear a navy suit doesn't mean I can't put on some orange pumps or a bright coral necklace to play it up (or in my case, both). Even if you're in the most conservative of offices, a bright pink scarf or a floral tote with a black dress will boost your confidence and make you feel less drab-while still fitting into the office environment.

Even if you're stuck in all black everything for some reason, cut is a fantastic way to play with your pieces. Wearing a fluted black skirt and a collarless blazer is a heck of a lot more fun and is more distinctive than that two-button and pencil skirt number you might be popping on every day. A black pleated skirt and a silk blazer might make you feel a little less like you're being strangled by your more drab color scheme.

4. No matter what, rock whatever you're wearing with a bit of fun and sass.

You may not always love your job because you're human, but you should always love what you're wearing. You're in the office for most of your adult life (try not to be too depressed about that!), so you might as well enjoy what you've got on as much as you possibly can. If pieces aren't speaking to you and making you feel sad to put them on, they shouldn't be in your wardrobe. Find something that makes you happy to wear and you'll feel like a true boss babe all day long.

What do you wear to work? How do you want to mix up your routine? Tell me about in the comments below!

xoxo

Carisa

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