30 November 2006

Style Dilemma: First Work Happy Hour

BlueSuitGirl emailed me today. She's a recent MBA grad who just left her publishing company business manager job for the Big Consulting Firm. She's in her "training" (read: brainwashing) phase, but they're pretty much letting her work at home until she's put on a project. Here's her dilemma:

HELP.....I need some advice from my fashionable friend, DC Celine..... I have a work happy hour to go to tonight....what to wear? I've never met these people before, from what I understand, the company is fairly conservative, I want to make a statement but not over the top. I don't think jeans are appropriate, although you can always dress them up and look hot, not going to wear a suit, so I need something in between. And i don't want to look as if I've actually gotten dressed up fpr the event....remember, I've been hanging out at home all day!

Dear BlueSuitGirl:

I could feel sorry for you that you're at home all day, but I won't. Instead, I'll help you with your dilemma (sorry, just couldn't help getting that in).

First thing that came to mind: Kate Hepburn. Always savvy, always stylish. Cuffed slacks, like the Trina Turk pair above left, or for a modern version, the now ubiquitous suit shorts (see the Banana pair on sale, left). My personal preference is gentle brown or rusty tweeds, as they can be so elegant, but I'll leave the color up to you. Put on a cowl neck sweater (the Isaac one, sleeveless, would do nicely for a day that keeps insisting we aren't one day away from December), and use the sophisticated drape to your advantage.

Or, if you don't want to do the pants/shorts thing, go Wrap. It's my new favorite thing, ever since I put on my new H&M version this morning, and H raved all the way out the door. The Target (yup!) $22 version sports sassy patterns, and you can pick it up today in your busy schedule (wink wink). If you don't feel like baring the boobs, like most of the wraps end up doing, throw a little coordinating cami on underneath, or find a brooch in your jewelry box that'll let you pin the V-neck shut a little.

Then, of course, report in and tell us what you end up with, and how your new colleagues react to it.


prettyinpink said...

I was challenged with a similar dilemma earlier this week - an unexpected downtown Chicago dinner on a gross, rainy night with the hubby-to-be, his coworkers (most of which I hadn't met yet), and his boss. The solution? An emergency trip to the mall resulting in brown tweed, cuffed, cropped slacks. Purchased from Banana on sale, I paired them with a short sleeved (it was unseasonably warm), thin, slightly blousey turtleneck and classic pumps, they were the perfect combination of style, class, and sass with just a splash of conservative.

Today, with knee high boots and a cream, v-neck, (also slightly blousey) thin sweater, they served as an excellent solution to today's predicament of an impending snow storm. Nothing's worse then pumps in the snow and wet pant bottoms!!

Anonymous said...

The pants in this post are so freakin' cute. I must, must have...

Anonymous said...

Hi. Your blog is great ! I leave in France and I love fashion. If you enjoy shoes, take a look on my shoes
Marina (from France)

Carrie said...

very, very nice picks, dcc! love them!

Anonymous said...

with the fabulous fashion advice of the dc celine diva, here's what we went with for the oh so uppity happy hour...the camera was dead so i couldn't take a pic..... but we went with the sophisticated look with a little twist. Black turtleneck sweater- and yes, i was freakin' hot that night, with a brown tweedy A-line skirt, just below the knrees, big brown braided belt over the sweater, black boots and pulled it all together with a slightly slutty, sexy pair of fishnets. The "man" told me I looked hot, actually his exact words were if anyone can make a turtleneck look hot, you can. I think it went over well, smart and sophisticated, yet a little spice (at least for one that mattered).

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