The Elements of Legal Style: The Pencil Skirt

It’s no big secret that the legal profession is ultra conservative, but dressing for the office doesn’t need to be boring.  Welcome to The Elements of Legal Style, where The Law Babe will highlight the chicest office-appropriate style options, so that you can dress like a partner even on an associate budget. 

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Hi there, Law Babe!  Today we’re talking about the classic pencil skirt, one of the quintessential pieces that we all know what professional women are supposed to have in their closets.  Whether you’re new to the legal game and buying one for the first time or looking to replace one that you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a little tricky to find exactly the right fit and style in this age old staple.

First things first.  When it comes to the pencil skirt, I recommend that every Law Babe have at least one pencil skirt in either a solid black or blue suiting fabric.  After that, you can get wild.  Pencil skirts can be a simple way to implement a bit of fun and pattern into your work wardrobe.  I like to pair a patterned or colored pencil skirt with a solid shirt (like a classic white button down) and neutral heels for a polished but fun look.  Of course, consider skipping the crazy colors and patterns for important meetings in favor of your neutral suiting skirt.

When it comes to the neutral pencil skirt in suiting material, I like to purchase pencil skirts as part of a suit set, so I always have a pencil skirt on hand that matches a blazer.  When I purchase my suits, I tend to buy them in collections of 3’s: the blazer, the pants, and the pencil skirt.  However, I also think it makes sense to have a few suiting separates that are more throw and go, for the days you don’t need to wear a blazer but what to look fantastic.

Solid and neutral, or fun and colorful, when it comes to work wear essentials, there are few styles as polished and feminine as the pencil skirt.  They are put-together, professional, and still flirty enough to take you from the office to happy hour.

Here are just a few of the (million) fantastic options out there:

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T Tahari Suit Skirt ($68)

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Marks & Spencer Tailored Fit Pencil Skirt ($33)

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Dorothy Perkins Grey Spot Pencil Skirt ($45)

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Boden Modern Pencil Skirt ($95)

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Anne Taylor Ponte Pencil Skirt ($69)

Do you have any go-to pencil skirts?  What’s your favorite way to style this classic feminine piece?!

Stay Smart, Law Babe!

xoxo.

The Elements of Legal Style: The Classic White Shirt

It’s no big secret that the legal profession is ultra conservative, but dressing for the office doesn’t need to be boring.  Welcome to The Elements of Legal Style, where The Law Babe will highlight the chicest office-appropriate style options, so that you can dress like a partner even on an associate budget. 

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Hey, Law Babe!  Today we are going to chat about one of my all time favorite wardrobe items.  The classic white button down shirt is an absolute staple, for work or for play.  Pair it with literally anything: suit pants, a pencil skirt, or jeans on a casual Friday and you are going to look classically chic and sophisticated.   In the winter, layer your classic white shirt under a shift dress.   With the instant ability to make you look polished and sharp, this shirt is one of the true heroes in any Law Babe’s capsule wardrobe.

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There are a lot of really pricey classic white button downs out there.  I’m certain they are all beautiful, but for my own wardrobe, I prefer to purchase my white shirts on the more inexpensive side.  First of all, it’s a big world out there, which means there are tons of options available to you… and quite frankly, I dare someone to tell me they can really tell that me the difference between my $60 button down and a $260 one.  I vote we save our money for the real big ticket items: suits, classic pumps, great highlights, a killer bag, or whatever else floats your boat.  Second, let’s be honest.  I can only speak for myself here, but white clothing inevitably does not remain white.  There’s makeup, nervous sweat, the inevitable coffee spill, the time you accidentally throw a brand new red shirt into your white laundry, and the myriad other threats to my white clothing that come as a result of me being a closeted slob.

I usually rotate through 2-3 white classic shirts at a time.  As soon as they start to look a little dingy, I bid them adieu (guilt free) and thank them for their service (thanks, Marie Kondu).   As for fit, I recommend sizing up for a comfortable, but tailored fit.

In any event, I’d be hard-pressed to think of anything quite as classic, or as necessary, as a white button down shirt.   Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite options:

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Gap New Fitted Boyfriend Oxford Shirt ($49.95)

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Everlane The Relaxed Soft Cotton Shirt ($68)

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Banana Republic Dillon Classic-Fit Oxford Pocket Shirt ($68)

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Treasure & Bond Drapey Classic Shirt ($69)

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Madewell Drapey Oversize Boyshirt ($72)

What are the staple pieces in your wardrobe?  Have you discovered any must-have classic white button downs that all of your fellow Law Babes need to know about?!

Stay Smart, Law Babe!

xoxo.

The Elements of Legal Style: Hair Accessories

It’s no big secret that the legal profession is ultra conservative, but dressing for the office doesn’t need to be boring.  Welcome to The Elements of Legal Style, where The Law Babe will highlight the chicest office-appropriate style options, so that you can dress like a partner even on an associate budget. 

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Hello, Law Babe.  Sometimes, you just need to pull your hair back.  In my case, that’s approximately 90% of the time if we’re being real.  A super easy way to add some polish to your hair while getting it out of your face (i.e. when you’re too lazy/tired/busy/whatever to actually wash it) is to add a great hair accessory.

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The one rule I have for pulled back hair?  Save the messy bun for out of the office.  It’s fine to pull your hair back as long as you don’t look like you’ve come from the gym.  That’s not the polished look we’re after.  I also tend to steer clear of headbands, as I think they have the potential to make us look a little too school-girlish.  I don’t think they’re totally off limits, but tread lightly.

I’ve rounded up some of my favorite office-appropriate accessories below:

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France Luxe Ribbon Bow Tige Boule Barrette ($32)

 

 

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L. Erickson Rectangle Barrette – Animal Instincts ($24)

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Alexandre de Paris Small Jaw Clip ($45)

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Mrs. President & Co. The Lucky Charmed Barrette ($70)

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France Luxe Elodie Cuff Ponytail Holder ($18)

Do you have any hair tips or tricks for the days you just can’t even?  Let us know!

Stay Smart, Law Babe!

xoxo.

The Elements of Legal Style: The Chicest Affordable Flats

It’s no big secret that the legal profession is ultra conservative, but dressing for the office doesn’t need to be boring.  Welcome to The Elements of Legal Style, where The Law Babe will highlight the chicest office-appropriate style options, so that you can dress like a partner even on an associate budget. 

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Naturally, certain scenarios call for a power outfit (hello, sheath dress!) with a crisp blazer and perfect pumps.  But real talk: most of the time, you just want to wear your flats in peace while still looking polished and professional.  Flats are simple, chic, and will keep you comfortable from breakfast to cocktails and everything in between.

Here are a few shoe game tips from one Law Babe to another:

1.    Consider investing in a small shoe rack for under your desk. A few years ago, I finally got tired of the enormous jumble of shoes under my desk (honestly, it was just plain embarrassing that my under-desk area was so sloppy), and invested in a small shoe rack that sits under my desk.  Total game changer.  My space looks so much cleaner, I can actually see my shoes, and they stay in far better condition when they aren’t all piled up on one another.  Also, anytime someone crosses the threshold (i.e. awkwardly invades the space on the side of your desk where you sit), they won’t be horrified by your mess.

2.    Purchase flats on the inexpensive side, so that you can replace them frequently.  Flats tend to serve as the footwear workhorses in our professional wardrobes.  Not only will you put a lot of miles on your flats around the office, but in warmer weather you may also end up commuting to and from the office in your flats.  For me, this meant a 2.5 mile round trip walk a lot of days.  We all know the drill.  Flats don’t stay in their prime forever.  Ragged, stretched out, smelly flats are so not the mark of a Law Babe.  There are so many inexpensive options for flats, that will still keep you looking sharp and polished.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend $40 on a fresh pair of flats that I won’t feel guilty replacing than having to wear last season’s $250 flats long past their prime (and yes, I’m thinking specifically about a certain brand whose flats aren’t even comfortable and turn you into a walking advertisement).

3.     Dare to be a little more bold than usual with your flats.  Sure, you should definitely have some basic, neutral flats (black and camel, for example).  However, I also think that flats are an area where you can afford to get a little bold.  Fancy a pair of bright red ballet slippers?  Leopard?  Metallic gold?  In a conservative shape and style, and paired with a neutral outfit, you should feel free to have some fun.

Here is a roundup of office-appropriate flats that are flat out (get it?!) chic, comfy, and won’t break the bank:

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Sam Edelman Felicia Ballet Flat ($100)

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Gap Cinched Ballet Flats ($69.95)

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Banana Republic Pointed-Toe Robin Ballet Flat ($98)

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Lulus Emmy Camel Suede Pointed Loafers ($25)

What is your go-to flat?  Share your shoe game tips and tricks with the rest of the Law Babes out there!

Stay Smart and Sexy, Law Babe!

xoxo.

The Elements of Legal Style: The Quintessential Black Blazer

The law babe (3).pngIt’s no big secret that the legal profession is ultra conservative, but dressing for the office doesn’t need to be boring.  Welcome to The Elements of Legal Style, where The Law Babe will highlight the chicest office-appropriate style options, so that you can dress like a partner even on an associate budget. 

Today’s post is all about a quintessential item in every lawyer’s wardrobe: the classic black blazer.  An attorney in a black blazer is practically cliche, but for good reason.  This wardrobe workhorse pairs well with just about everything and makes you instantly look like a million bucks.  I’m all about having at least one fantastic splurge suit (more to come on that later), but I also like to stock up on at least one or two additional black blazers for daily use, so that you’re not wearing out your pricier piece.

I like to keep a black blazer in my office at all times, so that I’m always ready to throw it on if something comes up last minute.  If you drive a lot, it might also be worth keeping one on a hanger in your car.  It can’t hurt… you really don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you’re unprepared and are the only one in the meeting without a blazer on.  I’ve been in that position, and I’ve felt so awkward that it likely distracted from the content of my message.

You can pair a black blazer with just about anything and, viola, you’ll look instantly polished and pulled together.  Remember, no one wants an attorney who doesn’t look like she knows what she’s doing!  Throwing on a black blazer is a fantastic way of dressing up more casual work pants, skirts, dresses, or even jeans if your office has casual Fridays.  I like to cuff the sleeves of my blazers for a more casual look.  The possibilities are endless here, and you’ll feel like a million bucks in your black blazer!

P.s. I used to worry about matching separates, and pairing blazers with pants, skirts, or dresses that weren’t part of the same set.  For daily life, don’t sweat it.  No one can tell!  Of course, for more important meetings, you want to have a special suit, but if you’re wearing a black blazer to the office on a Tuesday, it definitely does not need to be part of the same set as whatever you’re paring it with.

I’ve rounded up a few blazers below for your shopping pleasure.  Let me know what you think.

Stay Smart and Sexy, Law Babe!

xoxo.

cn14927100I love this Banana Republic lightweight wool blazer.  It retails for $198, but you can almost always score a discount on full price items at Banana, so don’t pay full price (unless you’re in a true emergency, then pay full price).

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This Lulus Miss Punctuality Black Blazer (only $53!) is the perfect throw and go blazer to make you look perfectly polished any day of the week.

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Oh Zara, I love you.  This classic Basic Blazer ($49.90) will instantly elevate your look.