Fashion Fridays: Work Fashion Questions

So I’ve gotten some questions that I can’t really fill up a whole post about or come up with great Pinterest pictures for, but they warrant addressing:

1.  When do I wear pantyhose? Okay, so for some of you in incredibly progressive fields, you may be asking, what are pantyhose?  But for some of us in banks, law, investments, business, etc., the pantyhose question still exists (there is no question if you’re queen – you have to wear them – and if you’re a queen or other similar royalty, would you drop me a note & let me know you’re reading my blog).  This is my personal take, but I recommend that if you are junior in your company you seek out the thoughts of a senior woman before making a final decision (we all know Kate Middleton has made them vogue again):

  • You do not ever have to wear pantyhose with pants (you can wear trouser socks or tights with boots or “work appropriate” loafers);
  • If your office is more informal, you can get away with bare legs in an appropriate length skirt/dress.  However, if you are meeting with clients/customers, going to court, meeting with a senior supervisor, or have a very conservative workplace then err on the side of stockings.

2.  How should my pants fit?  We all get really hung up on the size label in clothes.  Please do not do that with your work trousers.  Try on a million pants until you find ones that fit the thickest part of you – maybe it’s your waist, maybe it’s your rear, maybe it’s your thighs, and tailor them in order to narrow them in the over-sized places.  If they don’t fit well then your leg dimples will show and your waist will roll.  Pants should be flat front, throw out any pants you have that still have pleats, and should fall straight down your leg from your heaviest part (no clinging).  There are great seamless panties in every department store that will help you avoid pantylines.  And if you are tall, shop stores that have tall lengths like Ann Taylor, J. Crew or Talbots or let the hem out (same story if you are shorter – shop petites).  Work trousers should, when worn with a heel, hit mid- heel.  That may mean you must have pants you wear with flats and pants you wear with heels because wearing too short pants mess up your leg line.   Here’s a few examples of well-fitting pants (the naked top girl has low-rise trousers, I wear mid-rise trousers for work):


3.  Where do I take clothes that don’t work any longer?  There are some great options in most cities – places like Dress for Success or the Women’s Center/Shelter.  You can also donate to Goodwill or your local church who generally knows of people in need.  Note though there are some items you should just toss.  If they are very worn or very outdated, then don’t make a charity toss them – just throw them out yourself.  Also, I’ve heard of some working women doing a clothing swap once a year.  Get several of your similarly sized girlfriends together & everyone bring 10 – 15 items they won’t wear anymore and see if someone’s trash could become your treasure.

Keep the questions coming and remember most of all to enjoy fashion and don’t let it stress you out.  Your unique style should always come through – fashion is not about being a cookie cutter image of someone else’s ideal.

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