Get the Look to Get the Job: Stylish Work Attire

Tips on shopping for modern looks that are appropriate for the office but still have flair.

Whether you are a new graduate interviewing for jobs or a seasoned professional heading to the office, every woman can use a little update on her professional attire. It seems the tired look of a white button front and flared black slacks has taken its toll on most of the current and potential work force of San Diego, but with a few adjustments you can be looking stylish again and, most importantly, feeling confident.

Dresses: To eliminate the stress of combining the right top with the right bottom, put on a dress. There is no garment more cost efficient, simple and work appropriate than the right dress. The right dress for the work place will generally hit you at the knee and no higher. It will also cover all your cleavage and have shoulders no thinner than seven inches. A shift dress, a wrap dress, shirtdress, and a sheath are all great options. Sleeve lengths to look for on these dresses are short sleeve, three quarter length sleeves and sleeveless. Long sleeves can be a bit conservative on a dress and strappy sleeves are too dressy or sexy for the office.

Blazers: A blazer could be one half of a suit or a bold separate to pair with contrasting slacks or be put over the famous dresses we just discussed. The goal of a blazer is to give your form a structured edge for a competent and powerful image. A traditional blazer is common knowledge, but if your career doesn’t require the conventional and conservative appearance, try some blazer alternatives. has two blazer-esque jackets that can take the place of the traditional office jacket over dresses and with slacks and skirts. One has a floral print with self-belt that will make you a fashion plate in a more creative work environment. The other is a structured jacket made of lightweight denim linen. The floral can be paired with a solid colored shift dress in cream or blue as well as a light gray slack and white blouse. The wannabe denim jacket could be paired with cream slacks or tan chinos.

Slacks: Black slacks are always of use in your career wardrobe, but branch out into light gray, charcoal, light blue, and, most importantly, tan or camel. is well-known for its camel shades, so stop into the La Jolla store and check out the selection. When looking for slacks, skip over the tired flare of yesteryear along with the trendy boyfriend fit slack that seems to strangle your ankles. Instead dip into the trouser trend and scrounge for the hard-to-find straight leg slacks. Both of these fits should fit smoothly against your waist, bum and hips. The straight leg will travel along down to the upper thighs, taper lightly at mid thigh and then head straight down to the end of your inseam. Straight leg slacks can be worn with a heel of any height including flat loafers, but the wide leg must be worn with a heel of at least 2 inches. The higher the heel the better with a trouser. The width of the trouser leg can create a short and wide line of the body if you skimp on the shoe height.

Tops: The long sleeve button front can be such a snore, but if you love them or need them for a cold office or traditional dress code, get one with some details. When picking one out, ask yourself, “What makes this one unique?” Is it the pleats, some ruching, the buttons, its texture or the color? If you can’t give a reason why the shirt is unique, don’t wear it. Alternatives are blouses and shells. There are so many work-appropriate tops out there that you may not have even realized could function in that avenue of your wardrobe. At in Bird Rock, there is an adorable purple elephant printed top that, when tucked into slacks or pencil skirt and paired with a cardigan, blazer or jacket, would be fabulous in your client meeting. If you are looking for more traditional work tops, Elie Tahari is an incredible resource.

Jewelry: Throw on that bangle or cuff with your sleeveless shirt. Tie on that bib necklace with that simple blouse. Slip on that gold cocktail ring. Put on those dangly earrings. Accessories are the easiest and most inexpensive way to spice up your 9 to 5 wardrobe. Have fun with them! There are only a few rules. No real feather jewelry. Hearts will not demand much respect from your boss and no accessory should ever make a peep. If that means wearing one bracelet instead of two or skipping your bell earrings then so be it.


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