Archive for February, 2011

What to wear to a weekend mock trial competition, i.e. Trying not to look like an intimidating attorney Part 2

Posted in Weekend Wear with tags , , , , on February 27, 2011 by Jessica

So a few weeks ago my dear friend – j – over at Look! I Look Cute Today! totally exploited my love of trial advocacy and mock trial competitions when she convinced me to judge a weekend high school mock trial competition. I had a fantastic time! The competitors did an all around great job for only having a high schooler’s level of understanding of trial procedure and evidentiary rules (hearsay and legal relevancy were particularly difficult issues). The only down-side to the competition – I had to be at the courthouse at 8am on a Saturday. So much for sleeping in (though I did get to take a lovely long late-afternoon nap on the sofa afterwords).

So when I was figuring out what to wear for the competition, I found myself in a rather similar position as I did when I went to my first mediation (discussed in Trying NOT to look like an intimidating attorney). Add in the fact that I had no idea what the other attorneys would be wearing (ranged from full suits to jeans), I didn’t want to be overly business-y.

The first outfit I thought of wearing was very different. It was a pair of black slacks, gray shawl collar sweater, and a burgundy camisole underneath. But it was a rather dark outfit and I wasn’t really in dark-clothes-mood. And it would appear that spring has arrived to the Florida gulf coast. As the day was absolutely gorgeous outside, I felt the need to bring a little bit of the spring in-doors. Hence the gorgeous teal color and floral applique on the right shoulder.

Though I am wondering a little bit in whether I succeeded at looking appropriately attorney-ish enough. Why you might ask? Well, because when I walked up to a group of attorneys which included a few of the attorneys running the competition and asked where we should go, I was asked which team I was with. As in which HIGH SCHOOL team was I a part of. Sigh.

Exhaustion quickly setting in…

Posted in Business Casual, Wear to Work with tags , , on February 23, 2011 by Jessica

So, I’m tired. So. Very. Tired. Therefore, my sincere apologies for being something of a recalcitrant blogger. Even more sincere apologies for neglecting to photograph and blog some darn cute outfits this week!

So you’ll just have to settle for today’s outfit –

The sweater is one of my absolute favorites. I’ve had it for a few years now and it’s held up pretty well over the years and multiple washings. I also love the color. It’s creamy and soft and not as harsh as a stark white. It’s from Express – not one of my typically favorite stores to shop in for professional clothes. In my opinion their clothes are a bit too trendy for a conservative work environment – but I guess this goes to show you never know where you might find great appropriate pieces.
I added a lace trim camisole to raise the neckline of the sweater. Some people feel lace is entirely inappropriate for the office, but I personally find small amounts to be perfectly fine. And it’s the only cream-colored camisole I own.

This is a bracelet I love. I love the color and the painted on flowers. And you know what else? I made it. Ok, I didn’t make or paint the beads, but I did buy them from the local JoAnn’s and strung them myself. DIY apparel can be totally appropriate when simple, not kitchy, and not covered in holiday glitz and kitties.

And now it’s late. Well, maybe not late. But I am dead tired. Nighty night blog-world!

President’s Day Sale

Posted in Sales, Wear to Work with tags , on February 21, 2011 by Jessica

Good morning and Happy President’s Day!

Unfortunately I have to be off to work, but I wanted to make a quick PSA about a great sale going on at one of my favorite stores for affordable professional wear. The Limited is taking 40% off everything for today only. They’re also offering free shipping on purchases over 75%.

I just put in my order and we’ll just say that I got over $300 worth of merchandise for about $150 (I had another coupon from them I received in the mail). Very excited!

Have a great Monday everyone – whether you’re working or not!

Denim Fridays (posted on Saturday)

Posted in Casual, Wear to Work with tags , , , on February 19, 2011 by Jessica

I survived my first week of work! And I’m exhausted.
In the realm of exciting work news – (1) I finally have my own work space (thanks to rapid expansion in both the field of law and my particular firm, my work space is a cubicle currently lacking in a phone) and (2) I’ve officially been assigned my caseload. The first is exciting – makes the new job seem real – and the second is frightening – makes the new job seem VERY real.

But more importantly, what did I wear for my first casual Friday?? My office does casual/denim Fridays. I find that wearing denim to the office presents its own particular challenges. Even though you’re dressing “casually” does not mean you should put aside the appearance of professionalism and authority. In this particular outfit, I don’t think I necessarily pulled off “authoritative” (I’ve only been there a week and I don’t feel particularly authoritative yet), but I do think I still looked professional.

I LOVE these jeans. I fought the skinny jean trend hardcore for a long time. That is, until I found a pair of skinny jeans that fit me perfectly. I really believe that skinny jeans can work on most figures, it’s just a matter of finding the pair that fit correctly. In my personal opinion, skinny jeans should not be skin-tight. Which is part of why I like this particular pair – they’re fitted without being tight. The t-shirt is a staple in my wardrobe (and I have the same one in four different colors) and the twisted silk neckline gives it a little more interest. And the boyfriend-ish cardigan adds a little more coverage and is just comfy. Because professional wear can be comfortable, right? Right?

As you all have probably figured out about me, no outfit is complete without some fun color(s). So check out the earrings.

Apologies for the slightly blurry picture. The earrings are shaped like leaves. They certainly don’t match the rest of the outfit, but the earrings go when treated as a pop of color in an otherwise relatively neutral colored outfit.

And now I’m off to enjoy my Saturday! Happy weekend all!

Trying NOT to look like an intimidating attorney

Posted in Business Casual, Lawyer with tags , , , on February 17, 2011 by Jessica

I’m exhausted and feel like I’ve been all over creation today. Spent the morning in the office trying to force the new law I’m learning to soak into my brain. Left for an early lunch to pick Daddy up from the doctor’s office after an out-patient procedure (nothing serious, he’s fine). Grabbed a quick (read: McDonald’s) lunch. Broke land-speed records getting to a nearby town in order to shadow one of the firm’s attorneys during mediations. Got bad/wrong directions from Google Maps that ended up getting me so lost that I missed the first mediation. And even though we got done at about 3:45pm, I went home. I was tired. My body hasn’t quite gotten used to these lawyer-hours yet.

So, today’s wardrobing challenge – mediation. Without going into detail, I work in an area of law that involves a lot of mediations. Usually of the court-ordered nature and often involving pro se parties. Today’s mediations both involved opposing parties who didn’t have attorneys. When I asked the attorney I would be shadowing yesterday is I should wear a suit, she explained that she typically wears a suit only when there will be an opposing counsel. Otherwise, she goes business casual so as not to overly intimidate the pro se parties.

So going for unintimidating, friendly attorney this is what I came up with.

The pants are a very dark shade of brown which is a matching piece for a suit. I think they look very nice with the khaki blazer, which is made of a cotton blend that has a subtle sheen to it. I think the non-matching blazer still has the air of authority, but is not as intimidating as a full suit. Personally, I love the whole color combination going on in this outfit – brown, khaki, and lavender.

I love the color of this shirt and the twist neckline. I admit, I have a few of these shirts in multiple colors. The neckline is a bit low, hence the addition of the lace camisole. And it adds an additional layer of visual interest. And finally, because I have to show off my accessories –

Also from Forever21, are these lovely (fake) gold filigree earrings with a vintage-inspired floral design. I think the colors in the earrings mesh well with the colors of the overall outfit and make the whole outfit feel just a little bit more special.

Day 2: What to wear after Day 1

Posted in Business Casual, Wear to Work with tags , , , on February 16, 2011 by Jessica

So sorry I missed you all after my first day. The truth is I was (and still am) dead tired. My body hasn’t quite adjusted to keeping lawyer-hours. An annoying side-effect it would seem from months of unemployment.

As I’m sure you all expected, my first day I wore a suit. And I have to say I am sorely annoyed with myself for not getting a picture of it – because I looked darn good! A silky royal blue button-front shirt with short sleeves. Black with gray pinstripe skirt suit. Burgundy pumps. Med-sized drop-shaped earrings with a mother of pearl finish. As I said, darn good.

But I find that dressing for day 2 is a bit trickier than dressing for day 1. In lawyer world, you wear a suit the first day. End of story. Maybe you wear a shirt underneath your jacket that can stand on its own if you can take off the jacket as your day goes on. But then comes day 2. The suit may not be necessary, but you haven’t been at the firm long enough to get a firm grip of dress code and culture of your new firm.

So in putting together today’s outfit, I tried to walk the line between I-just-started-here-formal and I’m-already-getting-comfortable.

There’s a few things I like about this outfit. For starters, I love the sweater. I typically avoid one-button jackets like the plague as they tend to make those of us with large busts and spare tires look like stuffed sausages. But this one, I’m guessing because of the soft knit fabric, falls much more softly but the shape of it still kind of resembles a blazer. The shirt is also a bit more formal than a t-shirt under a sweater. The fabric is cotton, but a bit thicker with more structure and nice ruffled neckline. The slacks are a classic, charcoal gray (matching piece to a suit).

When going for a more simple, classic look like the above I like to mix in funky accessories. It truly is one of my greatest loves in life. From the picture above you can spot a few of these extra touches. The dark nail polish (one of my newest loves which I hopefully will be doing a post on later). The bracelet – beads with blue, pink, and gold details. But my favorite in this outfit is the necklace.

This necklace is one of my favorite acquisitions of late. It was approximate $5 from Forever21 (my secret hunting ground for fun and inexpensive accessories). It’s just fun and a little unexpected, though still quite lovely and feminine.

Well that’s all for tonight. I’ll be back in the office tomorrow continuing to learn the ropes at my new firm – and hopefully looking fabulous while doing it!

Thoughts on starting a new job

Posted in Job with tags , , , on February 13, 2011 by Jessica

So tomorrow is my first day at the new job. I have to say, I’m rather excited. I do admit that my excitement was immediate and I’ve gone through a whole range of emotions to get here.

First: Excited
There’s the initial excitement at getting a job. Jumping up and down. Doing the happy dance all over the house. Calling/texting/emailing everyone you know to announce the big news. It’s a big f—in’ deal and you’re incredibly happy.
There’s the excitement of starting a career and having that first grown-up job. It goes without saying that I’ve worked really hard to get my law license and to see all that hard work finally lead to the end goal. And to finally get to feel like the grown-up my age suggests.
Aside from the obvious reasons, I’d been unemployed for quite sometime. For those of you who have never had the experience, long-term unemployment can be quite demoralizing. When I graduated in May, I set what I thought to be a very reasonable goal of finding a job by the new year. Well the new year came and went. Add that to the fact that I was the last from my circle of law school friends to find a job. As I was pretty down on myself about the whole thing, it made the high of finally landing a job that much more higher.

Second: Nervous
So wait, I have to be an attorney now. I’ll have my own caseload, clients, supervisors, and hours to bill. Responsibilities. As excited as I am to be starting my career, I’m suddenly nervous about all that responsibility. The responsibilities of being a grown-up seem like minor cares next to the ethical and moral responsibilities of a lawyer. Someone’s case will rely on me. Suddenly the nervousness at having all these responsibilities is making me scared that I can’t handle it. Which leads to…

Third: Scared
Will I be able to handle my responsibilities? Am I cut out for this? Will I be a good attorney? Heck, will I even like the place? OMG OMG OMG!!!

Finally: Excited again.
And then back to the beginning. Eventually either the fear fades or you realize that the fear is part of the excitement. Excitement with just a dash apprehension is what makes up an adventure. And who doesn’t want an adventure (excitement)? Part of the fun of the adventure is not knowing how it will turn out (fear). And the only way to find out is to show up. So I will be showing up at my new adventure – bright and early tomorrow morning at 9:30am.