Dress me for summer! (Office tattooed-person edition)
June 14, 2014 5:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm in the process of expanding my work wardrobe, and especially need things for summer! Help a girl out during this time of 90 degree weather! Slight complications inside.

It's hot in my office. For some unknow reason I'm running hotter than I used to. So it gets roasting in the office (80 on the thermostat) and the rest of my department is like "I think it's fine in here." So for some reason we haven't turned on the AC yet... although the rest of the building has. I share a corner office with a huge window and I just have a small fan for airflow.

So I'm looking for some style ideas, fashionable outfits, and specific pieces to look for in a new summer wardrobe. Plus I can list the places I tend to shop regularly. This is my first full-time office job and I have only stocked up on winter clothes so far. (I have 17 cardigans, only 3 are thin enough for summer plus tons of long-sleeved shirts.)

Basically I'm dying of heat. Help me! (24 yr old, small woman.)

- I like vintage/retro styles (think Mad Men). Plus basics like greys and blacks. I also love colors and fun patterns. I work in marketing so I can pull of some fun stuff.
- My office environment is casual/business casual. Our handbook says to dress appropriately and use your best judgement. Some days are business formal for certain events. I'm covered in that department.
- We can wear jeans, dresses, long shorts, etc.

- The complicating factor is that I am fairly heavily tattooed on my upper arms. There's nothing in our handbook about tattoos. I show the ones on my legs (a couple) wearing skirts. I also wear slightly sheer tops and at this point I'm doing that until someone tells me not to. I'm the most tattooed person in my office of about 40. (Oh and I live in Salt Lake.)

I like to shop at: Express, Nordstrom Rack, Ross, TJMaxx, Target, Old Navy, and other mall stores/department stores. I also use Amazon a lot, but prefer to try things on in-person. But if it was returnable and was amazing I'd consider ordering online.

Can you help me find some good styles, things to mix and match for summer, suggestions for shopping, appropriate summer dress for a tattooed-lady, etc.

I feel stuck with thin cardigans, blouses, and long sleeves, and want something more fun and stuff that can last a long time in a business environment. (It's like my version of a t shirt and jeans and I'm bored!) Oh! And shoes too! (no heels) I wear a women's small/X small in tops and a S/M 2/4 27/28 in jeans/pants and a 6 in shoes.
posted by Crystalinne to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (5 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
So for shoes, I recommend mohops. I am totally useless at the rest, but would those work? They worked in my last office.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 5:22 PM on June 14, 2014

This Eileen Fisher top is great, its nice and cool. I wear it with a statement necklace and capris with a cute belt or with a black and white striped skirt from Banana Republic. Very versatile, I have it in several colors. Eileen Fisher is great for natural fabrics that are a good mix of being on trend while staying usable for a long time. Uniqlo also has great linen shirts.

I just got this H & M wrap front dress, and it would work for you too. Flowy so it breathes well despite being a synthetic material.
posted by Nickel Pickle at 5:42 PM on June 14, 2014

Boden makes some great, fun dresses. Top with a cotton or linen blend cardigan.

How about midi skirts with looser tops? I like the Eileen Fisher linked above. Vince Camuto makes a ruched midi skirt that is flattering.

This faux wrap top is office appropriate. It would look great with a pencil skirt according to YouLookFab.com.

You might find inspiration on Corporette.com and TheClassyCubicle.com
posted by Fairchild at 7:37 PM on June 14, 2014

Eshakti.com I am getting customized, Indian cotton dresses from eshakti. You pay $7.50 a dress to customize, but you can change the neckline and length, add sleeves or leave off waist detail. They frequently offer "Buy two, get one free."
posted by MichelleinMD at 9:27 AM on June 15, 2014

We wear similar clothing sizes and other than places you've already listed, I've been getting most of my business casual from H&M, NY&Co, and the Limited. (I just got a bunch of fun stuff at Akira, surprisingly.) Slightly complicating factor is that my office and I run cold, and I am okay with covering my arm tattoo with cardigans forever. But 3/4 length blouses and elbow length button downs are a staple. I have this top in two colors and the picture does it no justice.

As far as shoes, if you are willing to consider a wedge Anne Klein makes a lot of "sport wedge pumps" of which I have several, comfy pairs -- for example.
posted by sm1tten at 10:34 AM on June 15, 2014

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