Work Wednesday: Ask Belle Edition, No. Two
May 21, 2014
I’m just graduating from my Master’s degree and interviewing for nonprofit jobs and jobs in the arts (sometimes both). I recently purchased this Banana Republic suit (skirt and blazer) but am trying to figure out how to style it for interviews and/or for regular work days- full suit? Skirt and button-up with cardigan, blazer optional?
Any tips would be really appreciated! Love the blog. Rebekah
For interviews, you should wear the full suit with a blouse. Plain white/ivory is best for a very conservative office, try this sleeveless blouse from Pleione or this Vince Camuto blouse with a giraffe texture. It’s summer, so color might be in order. I would recommend pale blue, like this J.Crew silk blouse (also in tall), for a safe choice. If you want to be a bit riskier, try teal, blush or lilac.
For work, you can wear the full suit. You can also pair the blazer with a sheath dress, like this under-$75 cap-sleeve dress in mint You can pair the skirt with blouses, sleeved or sleeveless, or with sweaters like this inexpensive short-sleeved one from Land’s End. You can also wear a button-up, as you suggested, it’s not my favorite look (probably because it doesn’t look good on me), but with a well-fitted shirt, it’s a very crisp ensemble.
Can you recommend a few sleeveless sheaths to wear under blazers and sweaters? I don’t like the extra bulk of sleeves (or the warmth). I’m looking for some basics, maybe grey or white? Definitely costing less than $150.
Thank you, Amya
Sleeveless dresses are a great option for wearing under separates or solo, if your office permits. The key to making an inexpensive sheath look expensive is tailoring. I know a lot of you think it’s an unnecessary hassle, but our body is not a generic size off a rack, it has individual curves and clothes need to be altered to complement those. So spend the extra $30 or so dollars and get a custom look at a bargain price.
If it’s grey you’re after, don’t miss this amazingly chic and simple JNYWorks dress for $119. I also found this charcoal Vince dress on sale for $97. Plus-size? Try this Merona sheath with a ruffle front. Petite? This Banana Republic sheath with a cool, asymmetric neckline is sublime (also in misses).
This white one by T Tahari has a structured shape, I also like this Adrianna Papell Eyelet sheath (gorgeous). Petite? Ann Taylor has a white v-neck sheath (also in misses). Plus-size? This crepe dress from Le Suit is nice.
My office dress code requires nylons. I feel like I’ve tried every brand and I can’t find a pair that doesn’t make me look like a figure skater. Do you wear nylons? Is there a brand you think looks good?
Please help! Cynthia
Luckily, I’ve never had a boss who forced me to wear nylons. I do wear them on job interviews, but that’s just for safety’s sake. The only kind I wear are Donna Karan The Nudes because they’re unbelievably sheer. If I can’t find those, my fall back is Calvin Klein Infinite Sheer.