Sometimes I’m getting ready for an event and I know I want to look professional, but I’m not sure what level everyone else will be dressed at. Is this a hip networking happy hour or a panel luncheon or coffee with someone in the industry? Are the attendees people I want to work with or work for? Are they in the same field of work as you? I’ve never been so afraid of being under or overdressed as I am when I go to networking events. Fortunately, though trends come and go, some pieces will always be classically professional in any setting. Here are some pieces I want to add to my professional wardrobe.
The Perfect Dress // I love pencil skirts and I sometimes feel so confident in them, but those days are infrequent compared to the ones where I feel giant and awkward. What does make me feel confident is a really well-fitting dress. Dresses are effortless and easy because they look nice without a lot of fixing up, but can also be styled to the nines. Interesting belts and different types of jewelry can change up a simple dress into something special every time you wear it.
The detailing on this navy and yellow cardigan from ModCloth is perfection. It would look so pretty over either of the dresses on my list, but would also dress up a pair of dark jeans or soften up structured pencil skirt.
The Power Shoe // Speaking of my speech and debate tournament days, that’s when I discovered the importance of the power shoe. Walking into a CX round wearing the hot pink Steve Madden pumps I scored at Goodwill for $3 always made me feel like a winner, even if I got slaughtered by the other team. At least they were intimidated by me before I got to the 2NR.
These days, I’m looking for something a little more grown up. I don’t know what leopard and yellow have to do with being a grown up, but every outfit I put on these days would be improved by a yellow or leopard pump. Unsurprisingly, I would die for the leopard Etta pump from J.Crew for its thick heel and rounded toe. I’ve also been searching for the perfect pair of yellow heels for quite some time now and this ModCloth pair might do the trick (*please go on sale!*).
Practical Accessories // To be a real business lady, I’m going to need a sturdy, carry-all bag. I love my orange and cream bag because it’s pretty big and holds
all of my junk my laptop, but it’s also really smushable (that’s the technical term). I want a really structured bag in a solid color with gold or brass metal and serious straps. Oh, and the printed lining inside of this one from Francesca’s doesn’t hurt either!
And, because laptops aren’t always appropriate or practical, having a great notebook is important. I was at a networking luncheon the other day sitting by women from The Cupcake Bar and they both had matching Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake notebooks. I use a little journal that looks like Nancy Drew book that I received as a gift from one of my favorite professors, but there actual book pages every few sheets, so it doesn’t look very professional in meetings. Also the pages aren’t lined. Womp womp. Anyway, I’ve been lusting after this Word Up notebook from J.Crew for a few months (it was even on a past wishlist!). If someone wants to buy it for me I will love them forever…
It was unintentional at first, but I really love how well all of these pieces go together. This is exactly what I mean: a strong professional wardrobe is filled with items you can mix and match to keep outfits from getting stale.
What’s on your business lady wishlist?