First three days on the job=heaven. Loving the commute, the people, the culture and the work. I'm feeling extremely blessed to have found this opportunity in today's market. Someone out there is looking out for this nerd.
There's only one thing that has me absolutely flummoxed about the role: what to wear. Let me explain. My current job is my third dot com in a row. That means that most of the people I've worked with over the years have had a very specific kind of uniform. It's one based on function rather than fabulous. We're talking denim, flats and backpack - rinse and repeat. One "person" even wore the "shoes" below every day!!!! Shudder. Still gives me nightmares when I remember my Pradas in the same conference room with those unholy toes.
But the new office (a household name with over 14,000 employees) might just take the cake. During the interview process, the HR person emphasized I should make sure to dress casually when I came in to meet with the team. Que-que? I thought I'd heard it all but explicitly getting told NOT to wear a suit was a first.
I nearly pleaded with her, "But casual is NOT my forte." Instead, I did what I do best: I took direction but put my own spin on things. I wore what made me feel good...and what would make other people feel good about me i.e give me the job.
I kept my interview outfit (most recently the St. John suit pictured at left) in the closet and instead pulled together the outfit at right. Can't go wrong with classic, polished separates - Robert Rodriguez high-waisted skirt, Banana Republic top and coat accessorized with a Chanel bag and earrings.
For the interview, I didn't wear the headband and traded the Kate Spade striped mules for sky blue Manolos at left. Less juvenile but more pop.
When the interview ended, my future boss complimented me on my sartorial choice. Told me that when he interviewed he'd been confused and ended up playing it safe in a suit despite the admonishment to keep things caz. I'm pretty sure he and I are going to be friends ;)
On Monday, for my first day of work, I wore my all time favorite DVF top, black Robert Rodriguez pants, Prada shoes. Chic and feminine but understated and appropriate.
But as the day wore on, I didn't see one woman who wasn't wearing jeans. NOT ONE. My not particularly sassy outfit got lots o' double takes. Eeeks. It's hard enough being the new girl ;(
So on day 2, confuzzled and not wanting to offend, I reverted to a go-to weekend look: LBD and flat sandals. Casual, innocuous, and booooooooooring. Nothing worse than boring.
Day 3, Wednesday, I woke up and snapped out of it. Decided I don't want to blend in or dial myself down or pretend to be someone else...not for a job and not for anyone. I want to dress like me - not like me trying to please other people. Those people-pleaser days are long behind me - along with acne and my 20s.
So I wore the very thirtysomething, very ME outfit that I had WANTED to wear on my first day. A brand new pencil JCrew floral skirt, neutral Marc by Marc Jacobs tee, fuchsia Image wrap sweater, peep-toe Manolo Blahniks, trusty LV Speedy and TO DIE FOR new flower knuckle ring from Forever 21 that matched my skirt purrfectly. Just $4.
Today I felt invincible not invisible...because I felt like me, because I felt like my personal style - which is a reflection of WHO I AM - was intact.
Below are my top 25 personal favorite work outfits from over the years. I plan to rock them verbatim or reinvent them for the season...no matter what anyone else at the new office is wearing. Stamp.
Two important things about the visuals below:
1) LOOK at how different the same pieces can read when reinvented with different accessories
2) Notice how hair color/style/length can make you look like a totally different person
Never forget, personal style is about paying attention to ALL the details of your look. Every part of how you look communicates something.