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Suits for Women

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32 minutes ago, feraenaturae said:

Imagine someone has exactly 0 appropriate clothes or shoes for their summer job at a big law firm. How much money should they budget to acquire enough to dress appropriately for the first few weeks at least? (Assuming buying mid-range items.)

If you shop smart, you might be able to do it for $500. $1000 would be better.

Get your basics (tops, tank tops, skirts, pants, pumps, jewelry) at Joe Fresh or outlet/warehouse stores for places like Le Chateau, Banana Republic, Zara, Gap (or on sale at the regular stores - try H&M too.) Get a suit and another jacket or two on sale at the Bay or at one of the places I just listed. If you have money for a raincoat, get that too. Payless is going out of business so they may have cheap shoes.

For summer, get a grey and/or navy suit, beige and/or black pumps, a variety of tops and shells in complimentary colours and patterns (blue, white, pink etc) and a couple of mix and match pieces (pants, skirt, jewel neckline jacket) in complimentary tones. 

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2 hours ago, providence said:

If you shop smart, you might be able to do it for $500. $1000 would be better.

Get your basics (tops, tank tops, skirts, pants, pumps, jewelry) at Joe Fresh or outlet/warehouse stores for places like Le Chateau, Banana Republic, Zara, Gap (or on sale at the regular stores - try H&M too.) Get a suit and another jacket or two on sale at the Bay or at one of the places I just listed. If you have money for a raincoat, get that too. Payless is going out of business so they may have cheap shoes.

For summer, get a grey and/or navy suit, beige and/or black pumps, a variety of tops and shells in complimentary colours and patterns (blue, white, pink etc) and a couple of mix and match pieces (pants, skirt, jewel neckline jacket) in complimentary tones. 

Okay, this seems reassuring as a price range. But if I only need one suit...what else do I wear? How often can I get away with wearing the same jacket/blazer?

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5 minutes ago, feraenaturae said:

Okay, this seems reassuring as a price range. But if I only need one suit...what else do I wear? How often can I get away with wearing the same jacket/blazer?

You get another jacket or two that cones without a suit and a couple of other skirts/pants and mix and match. You get a second suit when you have more cash. You can wear the same jacket a lot with different tops and jewelry. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/14/2019 at 1:49 PM, feraenaturae said:

Okay, this seems reassuring as a price range. But if I only need one suit...what else do I wear? How often can I get away with wearing the same jacket/blazer?

This is such an important question!  It is difficult to generalize because every office will have its own unique culture.  Step one, if no dress code is specified, plan to wear a suit on your first day.  This is a generally accepted "first day" outfit, even in offices that have a relatively casual atmosphere, plus it gives you a full day to scope out what everyone else in wearing to get a sense of what is expected of you.  Another great way to get that info is to contact those who summered the year before or junior associates and just ask them what kinds of things people wear in the office. Most people want to help and it's a good way to start a relationship with your peers. 

Once you have your suit and some button ups or blouses to go with it, get a few dresses to pair with the blazer and a few cardigans or jackets to pair with the skirt and/or pants and ta-da you have a capsule wardrobe to last you the summer!  I live in a work-uniform of about 15 mix and match outfits and it makes life exceptionally easy in the mornings.  No one will remember how many days in a week you wore a suit so long as it is neutral, so no need to fret if your wardrobe is limited when you start out. 

Edited by jlw2
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Question: When is the best time of the year to go shopping for business wear? What are the big sales throughout the year that I need to be aware of? 

Also, I second the Payless suggestion - I stopped by this weekend and got a couple pairs of black flats and comfy nude pumps for super cheap!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, WatchMeBePM said:

Question: When is the best time of the year to go shopping for business wear? What are the big sales throughout the year that I need to be aware of? 

Also, I second the Payless suggestion - I stopped by this weekend and got a couple pairs of black flats and comfy nude pumps for super cheap!

Sign up with the Bay and you’ll get e-mail alerts for their sales. Do that with other stores you like. Cyber Monday (Monday after US Thanksgiving - probably the last Monday in November) is great for on line shopping. Black Friday (Friday after Thanksgiving) and  Boxing Day in stores, or online. There are sales on line and in stores at the end of the season. Winter gets cleared out starting in February/March-ish, summer in August or so. 

Edited by providence

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I have a shoe-related question. 

Is it acceptable for a woman to wear men's style dress shoes for work?

I have a pair I love, but I can rarely find the style for women. I also have a friend who would prefer this style as it can provide more support than a flat or a heel.

If it is fine does anyone have any suggestions for where to find such a thing? The only pair I have I bought when I was away on vacation.

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What do you mean by men's style? I have definitely seen women wearing Oxfords in the office, if that counts.

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On 3/26/2019 at 1:27 PM, providence said:

Sign up with the Bay and you’ll get e-mail alerts for their sales. Do that with other stores you like. Cyber Monday (Monday after US Thanksgiving - probably the last Monday in November) is great for on line shopping. Black Friday (Friday after Thanksgiving) and  Boxing Day in stores, or online. There are sales on line and in stores at the end of the season. Winter gets cleared out starting in February/March-ish, summer in August or so. 

Yes! Bay Days is also great.

Also, if you're in Toronto (and maybe in other large cities? I just haven't tried), take advantage of the Bays personal shopper. You make an appointment, give them your size and price range, and style you are looking for. I found everything I needed in 2 hours, without having to sort through racks of clothes. It was amazing.

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1 hour ago, Cabaret said:

take advantage of the Bays personal shopper. You make an appointment, give them your size and price range, and style you are looking for. I found everything I needed in 2 hours, without having to sort through racks of clothes. It was amazing.

Still a bit new to LS.ca... is it like reddit? Can I give you gold for this tip? Take an imaginary gold anyways! 

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On 3/14/2019 at 9:41 AM, feraenaturae said:

Imagine someone has exactly 0 appropriate clothes or shoes for their summer job at a big law firm. How much money should they budget to acquire enough to dress appropriately for the first few weeks at least? (Assuming buying mid-range items.)

This is a hugely broad topic, but I'll give some advice as I've been there. In the fashion world this is called a capsule wardrobe. 

1. Invest in a good pair of shoes. I personally prefer flats, but go with whatever you like. If you'll be doing a ton of walking (inside or outside), cheap shoes are going to kill your feet and back, and you'll hate putting them on. They'll also fall apart after just a few months. I don't care what anyone says, buying cheap things over and over gets more expensive in the long run.  Invest in decent shoes. 

2. I'd go with two blazers, one lighter, one darker. The darker one can be part of a suit. 

3. Bottoms: 2-3 pairs of pants, one of which can match your blazer (see above); 1-2 dresses/skirts. I personally prefer pants over skirts/dresses for work, because the latter means I need to wear heels and if I'm on my feet a lot of the day, they're going to hurt after long hours.

4. Tops: 2 blouses you can mix and match with, and 2 tank tops (if you're comfortable with those) if it's summer. You could add a sweater for winter. 

5. Colours: the standard navy, charcoal, beiges, grey, blue, white, cream, etc will mix and match with almost anything. Accessories can make the outfit pop if that's what you're going for. 

6. A dark blazer doesn't necessitate wearing the same colour pants/skirt. I almost never wear same colours top/bottom unless it's a suit, and I rarely need those unless it's a very formal meeting. 

I do think people focus too much on fashion and less on function when deciding work wardrobe. For example, if you bike commute (which I've done), you want to have things that are flexible and breathable, or wrinkle-free. You'd also need to ensure you have things at work to freshen up with (towel, toiletries). 

Pinterest is your friend with this topic: 

https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/454933999840861584/?lp=true

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Some of the links in previous posts don’t work anymore, so I wanted to ask - what are some recommended heels for an entering 1L? Any good brands to watch out for?

Is it better to go with round toe vs point toe? Leather vs suede? I can sense I’m overthinking this way too much :P I’m just looking to make one good investment now and then stock up on more as needed!

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Kada said:

Some of the links in previous posts don’t work anymore, so I wanted to ask - what are some recommended heels for an entering 1L? Any good brands to watch out for?

Is it better to go with round toe vs point toe? Leather vs suede? I can sense I’m overthinking this way too much :P I’m just looking to make one good investment now and then stock up on more as needed!

A lot of this is personal preference, but as a starter heel, I'd recommend a black, leather, pointed-toe heel. Just strikes me as the most versatile. Pointed-toe just looks more professional to me than round-toe (the latter of which I'd be more likely to wear to a nice event), and I find that leather is easier to weather-treat than suede, making it more lasting in all seasons. I personally find Naturalizer to make good basic heels that are relatively comfortable, but see what works for you.

Edited by barelylegal
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23 minutes ago, barelylegal said:

A lot of this is personal preference, but as a starter heel, I'd recommend a black, leather, pointed-toe heel. Just strikes me as the most versatile. Pointed-toe just looks more professional to me than round-toe (the latter of which I'd be more likely to wear to a nice event), and I find that leather is easier to weather-treat than suede, making it more lasting in all seasons. I personally find Naturalizer to make good basic heels that are relatively comfortable, but see what works for you.

This is exactly what I was looking for, thank you so much!

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I've been loving the Abella brand from DSW/The Shoe Warehouse.  I'm a heels wimp and these are the comfiest I have worn yet, and also affordable.  I also have a couple naturlaizer pairs that I like, and a a clarks pair that is pretty comfortable.  Abella's win by far though. 

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5 hours ago, Iheartcats said:

I've been loving the Abella brand from DSW/The Shoe Warehouse.  I'm a heels wimp and these are the comfiest I have worn yet, and also affordable.  I also have a couple naturlaizer pairs that I like, and a a clarks pair that is pretty comfortable.  Abella's win by far though. 

Didn't even know these existed, will definitely be checking it out. Thanks!

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Do you find heels are "mandatory"? Would kitten heels/flats be acceptable? I'm not big on wearing heels anymore and want to avoid it if I can. (I'm going in 1L in Sept.)

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2 hours ago, wunderwoman said:

Do you find heels are "mandatory"? Would kitten heels/flats be acceptable? I'm not big on wearing heels anymore and want to avoid it if I can. (I'm going in 1L in Sept.)

I don't wear my heels very often, and I would say its a pretty even split among the lawyers in my area who wear heels and who wear flats with their suits. I am in Alberta. 

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3 hours ago, wunderwoman said:

Do you find heels are "mandatory"? Would kitten heels/flats be acceptable? I'm not big on wearing heels anymore and want to avoid it if I can. (I'm going in 1L in Sept.)

I'm at a DT Toronto firm and I haven't found that it matters. I have both heels and flats in my office and really just wear whatever I feel like. 

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If you are looking for a good work/school tote, Kate Spade is having a 75% off sale with lots of larger bags and "tech-friendly" options. 

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