DressMeFilter. I'm transitioning from California grad student to East Coast professional. What do I need to wear and how can I do it affordably?
Me now: female, early 30s, mommy with low energy/time, currently a grad student in California. I wear jeans/skirts and nice t-shirts with a cardigan on top with flip flops daily. I am more anthropologie than J. Crew.
Me next year: in a professional government office where people are dressed up. Walking in snow. Need to be warm. Will still have toddler to contend with.
What I have:
I own a number of professional pieces (2 suits, ~7 pairs of dress pants, ~4 dress skirts, ~5 dress tops, a million colored dressy cardigans), and these have been for conferences and/or hand-me-downs from friends. Some are the current stylish cuts and others are cuts from the early '00s.
In terms of shoes, I have 2 pairs of not-super-professional boots, 1 pair of tall black leather boots that are not very comfortable, a few pairs of black flats, a few pairs of colored flats, 1 pair of red pumps that are comfortable, ~3 pairs of black heels that are comfortable but summery, and no black heels that are wintery. I am willing to spend money to get comfortable things that will work for a long time.
Coats: I have a wonderful long wool black coat, a red peacoat, and many long and short dark colored down parkas. (I should be set here.)
My plan: Do a personal shopper visit at Nordstrom to get some key pieces, but I need to also assess my current possessions (trying things on as well) to determine where the gaps are. (My local Banana Republic and J. Crew aren't "urban" enough to have this service.)
I'm also going to pay attention when I go for a visit next month to see what my coworkers and boss are working. (Maybe the personal shopper visit should be AFTER that trip, huh?)
So, people of Metafilter, what do I need to be dressed up Monday-Friday?
I'd like to hear something like:
# black pants
# navy pants
# khaki/grey pants
# black skirts
# other colored skirts
# tops (and suggestions for types of tops (long or short sleeved, buttons or not) and I'd like to keep the tops as washable and comfortable as I can. I hate ironing.)
# and type of shoes
I'd also like the following advice:
- where can I cut corners? For example, buy nice pants but get tops at H&M?
- is there a way to subscribe to RSS feeds for new sales/coupons at Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, Banana Republic, J. Crew, etc.?
- where can I find a blog like academichic
for this sort of professional wardrobe inspiration?
- accessories? I have some random beaded necklaces and stuff, but what sort of scarves, necklaces, etc. should I get? What can I get cheap that doesn't look cheap?
- should I do the personal shopper stuff in
my new city rather than here in casual California? I have tons of more flexible time in California, but I wonder if the new city personal shoppers would be more skilled in what I need.