Wednesday, May 26, 2010

how to dress for work: or i dress for work

inspired by this recent series that sadie from jezebel has been doing, i've decided to devote an entry to office wear. whole problem with office wear is that i work in the art and sometimes fashion industry. what is defined by "business attire" could be a number of things and being southern, i always want to look appropriate.
so here are some outfits i've been wearing to my internship.
NOTE: IGNORE THE DOPEY FACES I AM MAKING. cos modeling is haaaard work.

anna sui dress with repetto flats.
while it's silk with super long sleeves, this outfit is really easy to move in. and, inspite of being white, it is also good internship out fit in case they ask you to do errands or move things, or lift things, or inventory sitting on the ground, ect.

mayle dress, rachel comey belt, repetto flats
again, same idea here. it's a neutral but with a hounds-tooth print chiffon over a silk lining, and a grosgrain ribbon detail. honestly, the wonderful thing about mayle is that almost all of the dresses are incredibly easy to move in. the hard thing about mayle? jane did such a good job designing them to be causal but dressy, beautiful and simple that sometimes i wonder if they are appropriate for a work place. then, you know, i thought about it and looked around, and was like um. hell yes they are. this is so easy to move in, it's lightweight, i walk five hundred miles in it, yadda yadda.

silk top from buffalo exchange, marni skirt, rachel comey shoes
okay so this is the outfit i wanted to wear today. but i checked (my new best friend for all time) and it said it was reaching the 90s today. and figuring that i am the intern, i shouldn't wear an outfit that consists of a silk, semi long sleeved top in hot weather when i may have to tote around things. but i love this outfit. so maybe next week? if it cools down


vintage cropped jacket, sunshine and shadow tank top, prada skirt, rachel comey shoes
so it was hot, i figured tank top it is in case of sweating and or other hot weather related issues. i actually got a ton of compliments on this outfit at work today (by a ton,i mean by the gallery manager and one of the owner's that always wants to see what i'm wearing-fyi there are three gallery owners). this outfit is really simple but that is sort of the appeal of it. within it's simplicity, it has a vintage, new look feel to it. i THINK that i kind of (if you squint) look like elizabeth taylor (the haircut helps). but i was right in thinking i had to run errands today, i had to walk five avenue blocks to go to whole foods (but the gallery paid for my lunch today! score!) and this was a perfect out to walk in and walk back, carrying cookies, coffee and three different types of milk that were all individual quarts.

my biggest problem is trying to dress in a way that is appropriate for my work place, which has a dress code. i intern at an art gallery that is rather reputable and thus, has an image and a brand to maintain. so i view getting dressed as more costume design, what will fit the brand that i am at but will also still maintain my sense of self and style. b/c i am interning, i feel more of a need to look appropriate all the time, sometimes people wear jeans (black for girls, the guys tend to get away with wearing normal jeans, however they also end up moving large framed prints occasionally during the day). i've never work jeans but then again, i'm not hired to work there, i am volunteering and anyone can intern, not everyone can work there. thus, i should look professional all the time, at least that is how i see it.
now it's super hot out which does make business attire harder. a blazer thrown over a cotton dress with a pair of heels does look quite business-y but what is harder is making that cotton sun dress work. add heels, but depending upon the cut and fabric, it could look quite garden party and less "hi, i am selling thousands of dollars of art, take me seriously." how to combat this? wear neutral heels and a simple print. or make sure it's silk instead of cotton.
i've tried searching blogs for examples of what to wear that is INTERESTING and AWESOME. but the sartioralist has become hit or miss so frequently lately. a pretty, thin, white rich women in gladiator sandals and a white shift isn't exactly inspiring or something that i can base my work clothes off of.
any suggestions?


Moya said...

I always find it tough to dress for 90+ heat and having to be professional obviously makes it tougher. I generally avoid silk because it tends to stick to you and it can stain easily, especially on sweaty days. I think cotton dresses, cardigans and flats can work well--your Marnie, Rachel Comey and some Mayle--especially if you accessorize in interesting ways (as you do). I also love the black and white outfit you wore today.

Eunice said...

I love you Anna Sui Dress! Wish it's not raining and cold here in the NW so I can start dressing up for work too.