Dress a file clerk for summer!
April 17, 2012 5:46 PM   Subscribe

Another fashion question. I need summer clothes to wear to work. Difficulty level: I'm poor and I work around boxes. Lots of boxes.

I've been wearing jeans and t-shirts and Toms shoes and while that's practical for my job (mostly at a desk but with some lifting and sorting through of old documents), I'm getting bored of it. In the summer, I usually wear tank tops and skirts with flip flops but I can't wear that at this job.


I'm a size 16 in ladies, so nothing that only looks cute on skinny girls.
I can't wear open toed shoes to work.
No shorts. Capris are fine if I can find some that don't make me look like a soccer mom.
I live in Austin. It gets hot here.
Can't wear tank tops to work or short girly style t-shirts because of tattoos.
Cheaper = better.

I can't think of anything besides what I've been wearing. Help!
posted by youcancallmeal to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Polo dresses? This one is kind of expensive, but I have seen them at Old Navy for about $25.
posted by fifilaru at 5:58 PM on April 17, 2012

Response by poster: I guess I should mention that I have Serious Hips. So, no dresses without a pretty well defined shape. Empire waist = good but I've had a hard time finding cute ones that aren't super cleavage showing.
posted by youcancallmeal at 6:01 PM on April 17, 2012

Best answer: I've seen praise for these Athleta skorts here on the green. That would look nice with the Toms and a t-shirt, I think.
posted by jabes at 6:02 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you find cute dresses but there is too much cleavage showing, can you wear a tank top underneath the dress to take care of the cleavage "problem" ?
posted by never.was.and.never.will.be. at 6:06 PM on April 17, 2012

Best answer: Re: capris. The way to wear them without looking like a soccer mom, especially if you're bigger than a size 4, is to get really wide legged ones. Ones that fit through the hips and then gently flow out/down. They skim the body and are flattering for those of us w hips the same
way a-line skirts are. if you can't find any (and they are hard to find) you can buy pants in this shape and cut/hem them. (or get a tailor to do it.)

For tops, short sleeved blouses would work with those kind of pants. Or could you wear a light cardigan or open shirt over your usual tank tops?
posted by DestinationUnknown at 6:16 PM on April 17, 2012

Skorts are great! Especially the ones that look like skirts, they have a panel in the back. You can get some nice golf ones that donʻt look too dorky. And if you pair it with a nice cotton camp shirt or a nice tee shirt, you will look preppy and well groomed. I find a lot of nice skorts at my local Savers. They are inexpensive since they are from Savers, but since they are golf skorts, they are high-end brands.
posted by fifilaru at 6:34 PM on April 17, 2012

Best answer: re: capris

I actually would suggest going tighter than you think--think the capri version of a skinny jean--and wearing them with flats. That with a plain t-shirt, not too tight, maybe with a dolman or wedge sleeve, is very classic and cute. Make sure the pants are a heavier fabric so they don't look like leggings. I like Gap's skinny crops, and I wear a size 12 and have Serious Hips of which I am selfconscious of, too, but these seem to work.
posted by elizeh at 6:35 PM on April 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I like skort+tank+cardigan combo. Kinda like this. You can substitute any skirt that looks good, it doesn't have to be a pencil skirt.
I agree, too, with the people who suggested getting tight capris. They look best. I don't know if you're a legging person, but I rock some like this and they're cute.
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:04 PM on April 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I am also a size 16, and I work in a casual office. In summer, I wear light blouses (preferably cotton - Indian style blouses/short kurtas are terrific when it's hot), and light trousers or skirts (calf or ankle length, because I prefer not to show my legs). A light skirt is the coolest thing you can wear in the heat - I find them cooler than shorts. And long, relatively full skirts are quite practical -- I wouldn't want to work construction in one, but it won't restrict your movements or flash anything when bending or crouching.

But I get all of my clothes extremely cheaply by being a thrift store geek. I love Goodwill, Value Village and Talise, in my local area. So many great clothes on so cheap!
posted by jb at 10:27 PM on April 17, 2012

Best answer: I'm also a bottom-heavy 16, and I got a couple of these dresses from Target. I wear with a tank underneath and/or a cardigan sweater on top (being in New Orleans, my office is air conditioned to the point of freezing). And my Toms.
posted by pyjammy at 2:00 PM on April 18, 2012

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