Archive for Mix and match

My first over-night business trip and stories from the middle of nowhere

Posted in Travel, Wear to Work with tags , , , , , , , on March 24, 2011 by Jessica

I’m on the road again…
So I find myself back on the road this week and back in the middle of nowhere. Actually, last time really wasn’t the middle of nowhere – where I went this afternoon truly was the middle of nowhere. Ever hear of Lake Butler? Neither had I, before I went there. It’s about an hour north of Gainesville and so out of the way that none of the several major interstates that run across the state passes within an hours driving distance of the town. I will say it was one of the loveliest and most pleasant drives I’ve taken in a very long time. But there were moments when I thought I had stepped onto the set of Deliverance: The Sequel. Which leads me to the most comical moment of the whole trip…
I really had to go to the bathroom. I was about half way between Gainesville and Lake Butler. There’s not a whole lot along that part of the drive except for a few towns so small that if you blink you would miss them. When I finally come upon what appears to be civilization a gas station, I pulled in to use the ladies’ room. And it was like a scene straight of a cheesy country music video or an old western. A few older guys in cowboy hats and Levis hanging around outside chewing tobacco and shooting the breeze. Then when I roll in everything stops. The old guys’ conversation stops to first stare at/ogle the fancy-looking car (a rented Dodge Avenger) and then to stare at/ogle the young lady in the suit stepping out of said fancy car. For the record, I did not request that car (but it was awesome). But… wow. I had not been looked at like that in quite a while. I was still getting looks when after I finished my business and got back in the car. And it didn’t get much better once I finally got to the courthouse in “downtown” Lake Butler. As I walked out of the courthouse, the entire lawn maintenance crew stopped to stare. I’m starting to think lady-lawyers don’t exist in this part of the state. As much of a die-hard Gator fan that I am, I was actually quite happy once I made it my hotel in Tallahassee. Sigh.

Anyway, as this post is about travel, it seems appropriate to give you all a couple of my packing tips:
(1) Travel size products are your friends. Call me weird, but I prefer to actually find my of choice in a travel size rather than buy the travel-sized bottles and transfer my product into them. But it works either way. Really the key is pairing down the size of all your necessary products. You’d be surprised how much room you can save in your suitcase by carrying travel-sized shampoo and conditioner rather than packing the full-sized product.
(2) Where possible, make your clothes do double-duty. I went to my Tuesday afternoon mediation in a red three-quarter length tee and suit. When I got to the hotel that evening, I took off the suit, left the tee, and put on a pair of jeans. Voila, I was ready to go get dinner.
(3) Stick to a common color scheme. By that I mean brown vs. black and silver vs. gold. This cuts down the number of accessories you have to pack and helps make sure most everything you pack matches with everything else.
(4) Style is important, but this is not a time to sacrifice comfort. I tend to prefer skirts over pants – pencil skirts tend to fit me better than dress slacks and I just like the way I look in them better. But I find for traveling (running around and sitting for long periods of time in a car) pants are much more comfortable.

If you’re wondering what I actually packed, I kept it pretty simple as (1) this was a fairly short trip and (2) I didn’t really want to have to think too much about what to wear. I wore a black pinstriped skirt suit with the above mentioned red three-quarter sleeved shirt underneath it. I packed the pants that match the skirt and a red short-sleeve button-front shirt for the next day. I wore the same black pumps both days. I threw in a pair of jeans and sandals to wear after I made it Tallahassee and to change into for my drive back to Tampa. And I wore the same jewelry both days. Simple and not terribly exciting, but perfect when wanting to travel light for a short trip.

Aaaaand now it’s late. And all this traveling is got me right tuckered out. Nighty night ya’ll!

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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.