Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: 5 Faux Croc Purses under $50

In my style blog travelings tonight, a big time designer style blog featured really adorable teeny croc totes for the bargain price of around $200! Eeek! The Teens eat that much in chips and cookies in a week!

But I really want a croc tote. Only I don't want a croc to die for it.

Maybe I need therapy. But online window shopping is cheaper.

Faux Croc Mini Satchel ~ $32.95 (New York & Co)
Sag Harbor Crocodile Ombre Satchel ~ $33.60 (Kohl's)
Reader, I am THIS close to ordering this one:

Designer Inspired Faux Leather Crocodile Oversized Satchel ~ $50 (Amazon)

Or this one - in blue:

Dasein Faux Leather Embossed Croco Satchel ~ $44.99 (overstock.com)

BONUS PURSE and educational piece for the uninformed, like myself until a few minutes ago. This is a leather wine purse, something it seems like every paralegal could use. Nice spring color, too ;)

Gala Faux Crocodile Leather Wine Purse ~ $27.99 (GiftBrand.com)

Paralegal Career Dressing: New Use for Old Blouse or Maybe Last Hurrah before GoodWill

The last time I wore this sheath dress (under $20 from Steinmart, believe me, you can get the classic look for lots less than several hundred dollars per garment), I unimaginatively put a cardigan over it and hid the neat neckline and waist insert. This time I decided to try a blouse under it - one that wasn't getting worn and might be destined for the GoodWill. I dunno if I like the look or not. Maybe a little too Renaissance Faire for the practical paralegal?

Also, all my bling is from Jada's Jewels, http://www.jadasjewels.com/. (Not a sponsored post. I love my daily a.m. JJ email :) I'm so in love with the cuff bracelet (which is really silver like it looks in the photo with my iPad), because it adjusts to my skinny wrists and looks like a ton of bangles without all the jangling, that I took every opportunity I could to show it off, only no one noticed. Except maybe you guys.

I really wanted to do the multiple watch thing that I've seen other style bloggers do recently, but I was concerned that I'd get questions regarding my senility, like, "Did you know you're wearing two watches?" This is a law firm. Style's not really our priority.

Adrienne Vittadini sheath (Steinmart clearance $16); Peasant blouse (Ross for cheap years ago when I was feeling Bohemian or something); Tights (Target); Jewelry (Jada's Jewels)
Same cheap and comfortable shooties from Ross I've been wearing all winter. They had me at the covered buttons.
Yes, I love my Incase Origami Workstation for iPad but the important thing is my bracelet, see my bracelet? :P.
This is the stuff I did all day to draw attention to my cuff bracelet, kinda like a new engagement ring.

Oops. I did steal your coffee cup, and raided your chocolate stash, too.
Oh, heck, let's just point out the obvious.
Someone has a new bracelet but needs a nap.
Do you like to accessorize with bracelets? What are your favorite kind?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: 5 Items under $50 from Chico's

Perhaps I haven't been fair to Chico's, having never made it past the front door of our local store. But I checked out the online sale catalog, and found several marked down items that would be great fits for a conservative office wardrobe.

Easy Instinct Elin Jacket ~ $39.99  (Also available in a nice neutral color, Raffia)

Silky Sabrina Pullover ~ $29.98
Reagan Stripe Turtleneck ~ $19.99
This tank would rock with a suit or a cardi.

Tiered Terry Tank ~ $24.99
Here's another fun jacket to mix with spring separates:

Baseball Babe Abbegate Jacket ~ $29.98

Paralegal Career Dressing: Visible Monday Is a Brazen Hussy

I titled this post partly to screw with Google's search engine results, and partly because I perhaps over-washed the gray out of my hair last night. In fact, I may have scared it away permanently. The color on the box said something like "Prim Auburn Suitable for Work" - but turned out to be way more "Ye Gads Ye Brazen Hussy."  But I would have been even more wonderfully brazen if I had an awesome leather skirt like the gorgeous Patti over at Not Yet Dead Style.

But I like the hair color. To be honest, if I worked from home, my hair would be purple.

So I'm still having trouble styling this bright green thrifted skirt. Probably because for the past several decades, I've worn mostly black skirts. And black everything else. I also never shop in Chico's, well, because peeps that buy mostly black clothes wouldn't, and I get a little over-stimulated by Chico's colorful prints. But when I saw this Chico's blouse in a local thrift store, I thought it might be what my it-ain't-easy-being-so-green skirt needs.

Chico's blouse (thrifted); Banana Republic skirt (thrifted); Tights (likely Walmart); Shooties (Ross @$14); Pendant (Charlotte Russe a coupla years ago); Stetch rhinestone bangles (old)
Yep, that skirt really is that green.
Last night's Oscars reminded me of this skirt and my sad one-eyed office frog.
He's not really that sad.
Someone send me an eye.
When you take your own pics, things turn inside out and no one tells you.
What do you do with your gray hair? Wear it proudly, or put it off for a few more years?

Paralegal Career Dressing: 5 Pleated Skirts Under $50

Spring is coming, and a sleek, chiffon-type, swingy pleated skirt, suitable for a conservative office, is on my wish list, inspired by recent looks from some of my favorite style bloggers. I'll keep checking the thrift stores and eBay, but in the meantime, I'll use these economically priced skirts for inspiration (or fold and buy one if I can't score on local sale rack or thrift store. I'd love to find the Jason Wu but hear that local Target stores emptied pretty quickly of his line.).

Charter Club Skirt ~ $49.99 (Macy's)
Pleat Me for Dinner Skirt ~ $42.99 (ModCloth)
AK Anne Klein Pleated Soft Skirt ~ $29.99 (6PM.com)
Jason Wu for Target Pleated Skirt ` $29.99 (Target in stores only)
Mod Print Skirt by Line & Dot ~ $47.99 (Piperlime)
What spring item(s) are you eyeing to spruce up your office wardrobe?

Paralegal Voice Podcast: The Latest in Court Technology for Paralegals

The latest edition of The Paralegal Voice, “The Latest in Court Technology for Paralegals” co-hosted by Vicki Voisin and me, is now available at Legal Talk Network.
Find out what’s new in court technology on The Paralegal Voice.  Co-hosts Lynne DeVenny and Vicki Voisin join Ted Brooks, the Founder & CEO of Litigation-Tech LLC for his insight on the latest in court technology for paralegals. Ted provides tips for paralegals getting ready for a big trial using extensive technology in the courtroom and explains how paralegals can learn the basics of commonly used trial software.  Ted also gives his picks for blogs and online resources for paralegals interested in learning more about courtroom technology.
Also in this episode:
  1. How Ted became a trial presentation specialist
  2. What trial software Ted prefers
  3. What hardware Ted uses for trial
  4. What’s in Ted’s trial emergency kit
  5. Some newbie mistakes to avoid in trial presentation
  6. How to get started in trial presentation
  7. How to find a trial presentation vendor
  8. Vicki’s practice tip and Lynne’s social media/technology tip
Internet resources and links mentioned during the podcast:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What Do Paralegals & Country Club Members Have in Common?

If you guessed annual income, you're wrong.

According to BlueKai, a research company, paralegals and country members love their e-readers, and their coffee and energy drinks. Check out this excerpt from the infographic:

Source:  Device Magazine

Look, we're on the same shelf as country club members...although the country club member looks kinda like a valet.

Paralegal Career Dressing: 5 Statement Necklaces Under $25

A statement necklace can really add an interesting and unique focal point to a classic outfit, and is a great piece to invest in for the office. I found five that I'd love to add to my own accessory collection:

Gold Statement Necklace w/ Turquoise ~ $18 (BellaBluJewelry - Etsy)

Faux Stone Necklace ~ $6.80 (Forever 21)

Aimee Lynn 2-Tone Woven Chain Necklace ~ $20 (Nordstrom)
Blu Bijoux Circle Leaf Necklace in Gold ~ $24 (Max & Chloe)
Dana Buchman Chocolate Brown Textured Flower Bib Necklace ~ $23.40 (Kohl's)
Don't forget to check thrift stores, Etsy, and discount fashion retailers like Burlington Coat Outlet for super deals on polished and unique statement necklaces to add a little oomph to your career style. But for conservative offices, remember that one beautiful piece per outfit is enough - don't go overboard on the statements you're making with your jewelry.

Paralegal Career Dressing: Bright Shiny Trinkets

I'll have to admit that before I starting reading style blogs, I leaned toward fairly conservative accessories. I still have to lean that way, working in a law firm, but I've found myself more drawn to color and statement necklaces, like the one I wore yesterday (and might wear tomorrow). It's bright, has many beads in my favorite colors, and just makes me happy to look at it.Wearing this necklace is a step outside my style comfort zone, but one that I think I needed to take.

I'm also really happy with the Talbot's trouser jeans I thrifted. I spent part of the afternoon with The Teen at the hospital sickle cell/hematology clinic, and jeans were great for lots of walking all over a large hospital.

Talbot's trouser jeans (thrifted); Sandro jacket ($10 clearance rack find at TJ Maxx years ago); Boat neck blouse (Sears last year @$11); Booties (Ross); Statement necklace (Steinmart)
Rumor on the street is stripes are in this year.
Dem booties have bows.
This necklace just says "happy" to me.
Do you have a favorite piece of statement jewelry that brightens your day just to wear it?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Tips for the Scarf-Tying Impaired

I love scarves, but pretty much have about three simple ways I know to tie them. When I saw 15 Chic and Creative Ways to Tie a Scarf, I was thrilled to have some new ideas such as the scarf rosette belt (#4) and the knot row (#10).  Get ready to see some scarf creativity in future career dressing posts.

But I'd also be happy with this delightfully simple Gauzy Feather Infinity Scarf ~ $9.50 (Charlotte Russe)

Source:  The Fashion Spot (Thanks StumbleUpon!)

Paralegal Career Dressing: If I'm Wearing a Giant Sock, Why am I Still Cold?

This $9 sweater dress, scored off a red dot clearance rack at Steinmart, seemed like the perfect solution for a chilly day. Plus, it's soft and feels like pjs. I should have been snug as a bug in a rug, but still found myself shivering in my office, struggling to concentrate. It must have been genuinely freezing, because even my eternally hot co-worker let me jack up the heat.

Workshop sweater dress (clearance Steinmart); Candies Mary Janes (Kohl's clearance years ago); Tights (can't recall but gray is a fave color); Necklace/earring set (thrift store)
You may notice that I rarely wear jewelry sets together, believing that one statement piece is enough to make a statement, especially when you're a short, skinny person. I had to add an extra chain to make this pendant long enough for the cowl neck sweater. I figured the matching earrings were far enough away not to over-state my accessories.

I have to admit I was super-comfortable all day long, even if the air was chilly.
Adding an extra chain to lengthen necklaces is a trick I learned from reading style blogs.

I love a simple pendant.
We've been watching a lot of British TV lately, which inspired the hairstyle. I hope I don't look like I'm in the third grade...

What's your favorite outfit to stay warm on chilly days at work?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Tuesday's Deal Is We Love Colors

I don't know why I'm startled by retail bathing suit displays in February, but honestly, I am. It's still freezing outside. I want my toasty tights. But no, they're almost all gone in retail stores - to make room for itsy-bitsy bikinis. Which I'm kinda old for, so maybe I'm just bitter...
But that's okay, because there's the wonderful world of We Love Colorshttp://www.welovecolors.com/, where you can order all kinds of tights in any color that trips your trigger or livens up your wardrobe. I found colors I hadn't seen in any local stores, and was able to break my black tights only habit.

All these amazing colors to choose from! Buh-bye, black!
This is not a sponsored post, I did not receive any complimentary tights to review, but about a month ago, I ordered five different colors that I could not locate in area stores, and have been happy, happy, happy with my newly colorful legs, especially the red ones :)

Today's Quote: Paralegal Intern and Wood Chopper

Ah, I love th' Craigslist. This ad for a paralegal intern in Santa Clara, California describes the unpaid internship offered as follows:

A way to understand this internship is through an analogy of creating a fire in a fireplace with the intent of warming a room. Before you can sit back and enjoy the fire, you will first have to go out and locate the wood, chop the wood, carry it into the house, put it in the fireplace, light the fire and nurse the fire until it creates warmth. This internship will give you the skills needed to locate, chop, and carry in the wood, put it in the fireplace, and light the fire. 

I like the part where anyone with "an entitlement mentality" need not apply. 

Internships are required to graduate by some paralegal programs, and can be a good way to get some much needed work experience prior to graduation. But potential interns need to be careful of being taken advantage of by employers who also may be raising employment and labor law issues by not paying interns for extended and extensive periods of work.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Visible Monday & Smurf Tights

This week I'll be pulling some articles of clothing out of my tiny closet that I'm not sure if I should keep or donate, like this shawl sweater that is short in the back, but almost a knee length blankie in front. Every time I wear it,  I feel swallowed whole by it. My female supervising attorney suggested that maybe the front ends needed to be tied instead of left hanging, which was a bit of a challenge with the belt attached to the sweater. But I tied it and liked it.

As for the tights, not a single person I met today didn't mention them...good? bad? I dunno, but definitely visible for Not Yet Dead Style's Visible Monday.

Cardigan (old Marshall's); Loft skirt (thrifted); Apostrophe tank (old Sears); Rialto shooties (very inexpensive Ross); Multi-chain necklace (super inexpensive Burlington Coat Outlet); Ring (Jada's Jewels); Tights (We Love Colors)
My boss helpfully pointed out that I matched my dual monitor screens, always a fashion plus.

Is there such a thing as a paralegal smurf?

The original galoshes (Target) I wore in - we had a dab o' snow!
I love, love, love this cocktail ring from Jada's Jewels. It made me happy to look at it even when I was typing boring stuff.
My morning email with Jada's Jewel's specials of the day makes my day. Want to sign up to receive your own email? Follow this link.

Have you got stuff in your closet that's in the undecided category - hard to wear but hard to part with?

Newest Movie Paralegal to Save the Firm in NSFW?

I like to say, as a paralegal, that you never know what you're gonna have to do when you report to work, but the premise of action-adventure director Joe Johnston's newest low budget thriller, Not Safe for Work (NSFW), is that a paralegal has to deal with a murdering destroyer of documents at work.

I've never dealt with a murderer at work, although once I dealt with a survivalist type that threatened to set up house-keeping in our lobby.

Cinema Blend.com reports the harrowing plot:

The script, penned by horror-thriller creators Adam Mason and Simon Boyes, centers on a young paralegal who comes face to face with a dangerous killer, who is on a covert mission to destroy some top-secret documents as well as anyone who gets in his way...

Obligatory cute action paralegal
Max Minghella is in talks to play the hot paralegal.

This sounds way more exciting than my usual day at work, but the story made me think about what I'd use in my actual office to ward off a killer trying to steal our files. Lessee, my stapler (minus staples because we're paperless), the squirrel teeth (Southern for staple remover), scissors which I better locate in case I catch myself face to face with a killer, the can crusher in the kitchen in case I can trap the killer's elbow in it, the copier lid might be painful if slammed hard enough, hot coffee if anybody remembered to make any, oooooh the paper cutter hidden in the office supply room, a high heel aimed for the eye...well, you get it. I obviously have a lot of repressed action hero.

Oh, and I could take a hammer to the server to take out the network and kill access to all scanned documents. Yeah, make my day, psychopathic killer.

What would you do if you were the paralegal in this scenario?