Dress for the Job You Want, Not the One You Have

February 10, 2008

Why do so many people assume that fashion in DC is non-existent? Whenever I speak of DC style, my friend Monica in Los Angeles chuckles at the thought that DC women have a sense of style. It is true that from 6:30am to 9:30am and 4:00pm-7:00pm, the streets of DC are adorned with a tennis shoe clad fleet feet clammoring on the coblestones. Ladies exchange their Manolos for Nike tennis shoes during their morning and evening commute. Yes it’s not very sexy to see a woman in a nice suit and tennis shoes but sometimes comfort has to trump style. It is easier in the summer to switch to Rainbow flip flops or ballet flats, however, Winter is a different story. How do you look polished and feel warm in something other than sneakers? One option is to opt for Uggs instead. Problem solved.

Professionals in our nation’s capital are hungry for power and women are on the up-and-up trying to get a piece of the action. You aren’t going to be taken seriously in the board room or on Capitol Hill wearing a skimpy outfit. You need to be one of the boys. How can you get your ideas across and still look feminine? Some women think the only way they will get respect is to dress in shapeless dresses, masculine suits, mu-mu-like tops and little or no make-up. Ladies, it is possible to look polished and fashionable without appearing garish or too sexy. Here are a couple of pieces to incorporate into your work closet that will take you from the board room to the Caucus Room.

You can get this complete look for less than $350. Best of all, this outfit can go from day to night with a few accessories and the right make-up. The versitility of the jersey dress will take you from season to season with the right accessories. The Ralph Lauren jersey dress is forgiving on any figure. Pair this with a Longchamp Pliage bag,slingbacks, boots, or black pumps. Don’t forget a pashmina to keep your neck warm.

If there is one piece of advice I could give to every person, it would be to spend money on good quality pieces instead of buying of cheap crap that will not last one wash. When it comes to your career, you need to look as professional as possible.

Dress for the job you want, not the one you have. Instead of buying a $20 dress shirt that might last a year, why not splurge on a nicely tailored shirt, like the ones pictured above. I love Thomas Pink and Vineyard Vines. Both labels’ shirts have great fits, retains their shape after cleaning and come in lots of fun colors. Ilove Thomas Pink because you can pair their cool knotted cufflinks with any of their shirts. At only $10-15 a pair, you can have fun with your shirts. Don’t limit yourself to just these two designs. I love the Victoria’s Secret Body Suit which comes in cotton and silk charmeuse. The best benefit of a body suit is you will not have to keep tucking in your shirt everytime. The shirt stays put. Invest in an three peice suit (pants, skirt, jacket). You can mix and match to make various combination of outfits for work. You an even opt for a vest instead of the jacket for a cooler look.

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