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Suggestions for a Sophisticated Work Wardrobe
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Immelu
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Immelu  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/9/12 11:07 PM

I'm looking for some ideas. I've just started a new job and I need to step up my work wardrobe. I work in a midwest company and I need to look professional. In my mind, I need to be one step down from wearing a matched suit every day. My tops need to be more sophisticated than a nice knit top, like the Jalie scarf top. I have made two of them and I wore them often in my old job, but they will be relegated to Fridays and only the Fridays when I won't be seeing clients.

I'm thinking similar to this Brooks Brothers look, (2nd row down, on right, blue top and black pants), but I don't want to do that every day. I made this top awhile ago, but I think I need to change out the belt and step up the accessories. I think a skinnier belt would look better, but those pants (Ann Taylor) have wide belt loops on them...and I bought a bunch of those pants at once and most of them are too big now -so I NEED the belt. Ughhh.

I'm looking for any and all help. I would really love suggestions on how to fix the belt problem. Maybe I should just take them all into the tailor? I will probably add a couple of those BB shirts to my wardrobe even though it kills me to spend that much on shirts (but they do look good). I've never really cared all that much about style, but for the situation I'm in, I need to look sophisticated and professional. I'm not really into messing with my hair or playing around with makeup, but if you have simple suggestions, please give them to me. I need all the help I can get!

BTW, I have braces now which are contributing to my problem, but there's nothing I can really do about them.

Thanks!


-- Edited on 11/9/12 11:09 PM --
-- Edited on 11/9/12 11:12 PM --

TamNearPDX
TamNearPDX
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Date: 11/10/12 1:25 AM

You might want to check out the blog here for some ideas professionality

Maybe some sheath dresses and use accessories to add personality?
Maybe plan a capsule wardrobe...
-- Edited on 11/10/12 1:25 AM --

Miss Fairchild
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In reply to Immelu <<


Date: 11/10/12 1:53 AM

I like the look of the BB shirts, but I can't fathom the price! That's a pair of really good leather shoes, and I'd much rather spend the money on those.

The pattern for the top you made could be used again for the shirts; the designs are similar. And that top looks great on you! As to the pants, I was going to suggest getting away from belt loops entirely, but it seems you need them for the belt, so I suggest your keeping them the way they are.

I can also suggest a jacket maybe in a light tan, like the one in the third row middle picture, would work as well. The tan is a neutral color and you can accessorize it easily. Some jewelry, an 18 inch necklace with beads not larger than 1/2" could dress up the neckline, or even a small scarf , tied loosely across one shoulder or at the back.

I can understand your reasoning for not messing with your hair, but pulled back slightly with a large barrette would also look sophisticated. Stay away from headbands or even rubber bands (as in ponytails) as they look too casual.

And as to makeup, why not try some tinted moisturizer? Lavera (NAYY) makes some great natural tinted moisturizer that has just a hint of color. It evens out your skin tone and makes your face look really smooth. I'm not into face makeup, but I use that when I go out professionally dressed.

HTH

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Vivienne
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Vivienne
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Date: 11/10/12 2:28 AM

I love your blouse and think the wide belt looks great.

Why not get a matched suit and wear the pieces as separates? You can wear your knit tops under the jacket.

That BB look is what I do for work half the time too. I need some more feminine blouses like the one you made!

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Cheap fabrics, like cheap shoes, are a false economy.

Vivienne
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Vivienne
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Date: 11/10/12 2:30 AM

Forgot to add - you can sew elastic to the inside of your waist bands so the pants stay up without a belt.

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Cheap fabrics, like cheap shoes, are a false economy.

Vivienne
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In reply to TamNearPDX <<


Date: 11/10/12 2:33 AM

I like this blog - very colourful.

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Cheap fabrics, like cheap shoes, are a false economy.

Changma
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Date: 11/10/12 3:29 AM

Try to find a thin wrap belt...an exta long thin belt with a regular buckle. It threads through the loops backwards first, wraps around in the back, then buckles in front. You can also make a faux wrap with two belts.if you wear a cardigan or blazer.

Some regular belt loops are much too wide for thin belts, but you could actually stittch down the belt loops to make a channel for the thinner belt so it stays put.

Good luck with the job.

rtrittel
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Date: 11/10/12 4:27 AM

Craftsy has a class on making pants and one on making a tailored shirt. I bet you could find oodles of ideas in those courses. I've just signed up for the tailored shirt course and can't wait to get started on a 'professional' wardrobe of my own!

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blue mooney
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Date: 11/10/12 7:23 AM

Instant professionalism is pretty easy: just wear a jacket. That third piece elevates every outfit.

It doesn't have to match - like Vivienne suggested, you can break up suits and mix up the pieces.

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Re Becca
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In reply to blue mooney <<


Date: 11/10/12 10:48 AM

Quote: blue mooney
Instant professionalism is pretty easy: just wear a jacket. That third piece elevates every outfit.

This is a great suggestion. If your office is anything like mine it will vary from freezing to sauna on any given day and you will need to layer. I would suggest both a well made jacket and a cardigan that you can wear with either a sheath dress or pants and skirt.
I have a nice black jacket that I made 7 or 8 years ago that I still wear.
I like dresses for their ease of wearing, you grab one thing in the morning, pull on a belt and some shoes and you are out the door.

I have the same situation as you with pretty professional expectations. I love BB but their sleeves are too short, same with Ann Taylor. I really like your blouse, its professional and colorful which is perfect. Your peplum top is nice and modern too. It looks like you have a great start!

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