Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Work Appropriate for Who featuring Karen, the Associate Attorney

Hey all! Another Work Appropriate for Who post here, featuring the other half of the Nine-Thirty to Five blogging duo, Karen! One of the things I love love about Karen's style is that she loves to break the rules when it comes to fashion, but it always works out perfectly for her. Read on and learn more about Karen's work appropriate style.
Work Appropriate for Who featuring Karen, the Associate Attorney | Something Good



Job Title
Associate Attorney

Job Description
I am a trial attorney practicing employment litigation defense.

Organization Description
 Mine is a full-service mid-sized law firm based in Los Angeles, and we generally practice litigation defense in various areas of law.
Work Appropriate for Who featuring Karen, the Associate Attorney | Something Good

What dress code was given to you when you began the job?
Business, and Business Casual Fridays.  But my firm does casual August and casual December with a donation to a local charity.  And wow, do people take advantage of that, and have a very broad definition of casual...

What do you generally wear to work?
Pencil skirt and a sleeveless blouse of some sort with a cardigan.

Where do you like to shop for work attire?
Club Monaco, J.Crew, J.Crew Factory, LOFT, H&M, and Zara.  Even Target!

How have you developed your professional style?
I used to be exclusively Theory dresses, black, charcoal, and tan.  I've really branched out to wear brighter colors, mixing patterns, and just trying to diversify - such as wearing chambray shirts with a nice skirt.

In your specific office, what is one thing you would tell a woman to definitely NOT wear? 
I think shoes really create a dividing line between nice and casual.  For instance, an open-toed pump is classy.  But an open-toed wedge is decidedly casual.  I really look at lady lawyers' shoes when I'm trying to decide on their personal style.  That sounds judgmental, but I'm pretty sure other lady lawyers do it to me, too.  :-)  I always love going to court, walking down the hall, and seeing the smartly dressed lady lawyers flanking either side of the corridor.  I always notice when someone has killer stilettos on.  

So I would definitely tell a lady lawyer to NOT wear wedges, or like an open-toed sandal, unless it's casual Friday!

What is the best "dress code" advice you have ever received?
I love me some torn jeans.  I love my Current Elliotts, and I have other sleek, designer jeans that have rips in them.  However expensive they are, though - it's kinda weird to wear those ripped jeans to an office.  I think it's good advice to keep the torn jeans, however trendy, to a minimum when going into a law office.  Maybe it's old school, but it suggests you wore those jeans to clean out your garage.  Even if they did cost $200.

What advice would you give to women starting in her career about dressing for her job?
The same as you'll hear everywhere - dress for the career you want.  Even if others in the office have questionable style or are overly casual, you really cut an impression when you dress like you're headed to the top.

Anything else you would like to add?
I think I break rules a lot - I have been practicing for 8 years, so I really wish I could wear jeans to work every day, I get kind of tired of the monkey suits.  So my dress code, I think, is typical for my particular firm.  I think it's important to really absorb what your environment is and stay within those parameters!  There's no one universal accepted style of dress; but at the same time, looking your personal best and knowing what looks good on you will always work.
Work Appropriate for Who featuring Karen, the Associate Attorney | Something Good

View other Work Appropriate interviews here and check back on Tuesday to see who I interview next!



  1. Love this! Thank you for sharing our blog! Love the looks you picked, I can never tell really what will work so this is the ultimate validation! It was so much fun answering these questions. Love this weekly feature!

    - Karen http://ninethirtytofive.blogspot.com

    1. Thank you for participating! I love your looks and definitely think they've all worked :)