Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Like a Rhinestone Cowboy

I know this is not politically correct career dressing advice, but nothin' brightens up your day - and everyone else's day you run into - like a few rhinestones.

Which are different from those bedazzle-stones, or whatever those things are that one bedazzles with. Bedazzles make people sad. Or at least me.

Merona stretch snakeskin print skirt ~ Target
Loft cardigan ~ Loft Outlet
Design History draped tank ~ old, probably Marshalls or TJ Maxx
Nine West wedges ~ Ross Dress for Less
Stretch ring ~ thrift store!
Stretch bangles ~ Walgreen & Loft making nice

I think my love affair with rhinestones began in college, when my hair was only an inch long, I had three or four earrings in each ear, I still looked sort of cute doing the Time Warp Again, and I saw the B-52s in concert when they were still young like me. I scored some awesome (but painful) antique rhinestone clip-on earrings at flea markets and wore them to class with torn up men's t-shirts. I had another pair of giant rhinestone hoops that screwed into my ears like special torture tools, but were so worth it. (I still have them. I might wear them to work soon...)

Lia Sophia convertible necklace can be worn like this or as a pendant.

So I still wander over to rhinestone everything, much to my kids' chagrin. I'm all, "WOW, isn't this great!" and they're all, "No. You. Are. Not. Buying. Those." Like we briefly switch roles for a minute, and they're the bad guy.

I made this really big in case you can't see the honkin' rhinestone ring :P

Speaking of kids, you know my youngest, The Teen, has sickle cell disease. I talk about it on the blog, because it's an inherited disease suffered by millions across the world, but many people have never met anyone with it. Tonight she's experiencing what will hopefully be a mild pain event or vasoocclusive crisis managed at home with fluids, pain meds, and rest. But sometimes we end up at the emergency room rather suddenly for IV fluids and morphine, and sometimes we end up in the hospital for much longer.

This is my, "Who's gonna make me go to work? The mortgage company, you say?" pose.

Sickle cell is a mean disease, and there's no cure. I want to fix everything, so it's hard for me to feel helpless when she's in pain. I don't often share music, but I'm sharing Rob Thomas's "Her Diamonds" video for all of you out there who love and care for someone with a chronic and painful illness.

Budget Career Deal: Old Yeller

When I saw Psyche's yellow ballet flats posted yesterday at Economy of Style, I was reminded of how much I want a pair of yellow pumps for work. You know, just for that pow pop of yellow to liven up a conservative work wardrobe, without being sent home for being too sunshiney.

Good ol' Target comes to the rescue with a pair of Mossimo heels in a yellow that's just right even for that most conservative of working environs: the court room. As of 8:30 p.m. last night, these heels were still available in most sizes, but my personal experience is that everything I've shared on this blog has sold out by the time I actually wandered back to purchase it.

So now I'm trying to convince myself that shoes are not included in the self-imposed shopping ban. Which I just did. To self: "You GO, Girl!"

Y'all, they also come in purple.

Practical Paralegalism shares links 'cause she likes 'em, and has received no goods or compensation from Target in exchange for this post.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: $4 Worth of Clothes

I perhaps mentioned one too many times, and may have even tweeted, that I was wearing $4 worth of clothes today, excluding the shoes (which cost more than I've ever spent on my three most expensive pairs of shoes altogether but are worth every single penny, thank you, John Fluevog).

Breva ice blue pumps ~ John Fluevog clearance
New Directions skirt (fully lined) ~ $1.99 thrifted at local MegaThrift
Autograph New York pin-stripe blouse ~ $1.99 thrifted (still had tags on it!) at local MegaThrift
Multi-ring set ~ Target
Plastic stretch bracelets from different sets over the years
Pendant ~ since college, so, like, decades.

Then it occurred to me that maybe peeps will just feel sorry for me, instead of thinking I'm a little cute, like I can't afford to spend more than $4 on an outfit.

Don't try the rebel ankle bracelet at work, unless your boss hasn't noticed it for a decade like mine didn't.

Which is kind of true most of the time, because we have two houses and teenage wallet vampires and hungry four-leggeds and old cars.

I wanted y'all to see the cool button placket thingie on front of the skirt.

Plus, I put myself on a self-imposed shopping moratorium, hopefully to last through August. No thrifting even. Not because I'm a hoarder (actually, I'm a purger, so don't set anything down you won't miss in my presence), but because I want to wear everything in my closet, set free the clothes I'm not wearing and don't love, and be more careful about what I do buy, when I do buy again.

I am wearing two different purple nail polishes. It takes me hours to paint my own nails, which keeps me from shopping :P

I asked The Teen what she needed in the way of school clothes (the kids do their own laundry, for reasons I don't have to explain to those of you owned by kids), and she said just some new camisole tops. So we went to a fave teen fast fashion store, Rue 21, and I almost folded over the no-shopping ban when I grabbed a big set of FIFTEEN perfect bangles for peeps with skinny stick wrists and refused to let go. But I put them back.

Mix Metal Bangles ~ $8.99 (Rue 21) Let's all have a moment of silence while I wish I'd bought them.

I want to tell you I feel really good about it, but the truth is, I really want those bangles. I tell myself if they are meant to be, they will be there at the end of August.

Ever done a self-imposed shopping moratorium? Did you succeed? How long did it last?

P.S. I'm linking up with the always lovely Patti at Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday and #MondayMingle.

Addendum: I figured out how to turn on the Reply feature in Comments. I feel like a hacker now! And I took off the word verification for y'all that have mentioned how hard it is. For you, I am moderating eight million comments a day from anonymous weirdos :o Also, here's a secret I figured out from some of y'all's word verifications. You do not have to get all the letters exactly right in Blogger. Or else I'd never be able to leave comments :P

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Budget Career Deal: Gypsy Red for the Office

Check out WorkChic's "Current Office Wardrobe Checklist" for several must-have staples for your career wardrobe. I love the black sleeveless bow-neck blouse shown in the post, but when I clicked the link and discovered it in red, "Gypsy Red" no less and a hot color this season, I am deeply, madly in love.

Makes a girl want to lift that self-imposed shopping ban, but I'm holding strong, at least until I wear every single seasonal item in my closet, or acknowledge it'll never be worn and pass it on.

Practical Paralegalism shares links 'cause she likes 'em, and has received no goods or compensation from New York & Company in exchange for this post.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: One Sharp-Dressed Cat

My first pair of printed pants has turned out to be my most favorite pants EVER. And that's saying a lot as I've spent almost 50 years on this planet.

Loft cropped pants ~ Loft sale
Loft pewter ballet pants ~ Loft 50% off clearance price
Spense tee-shirt ~ Ross Dress for Less a few years ago
Multi-chain necklace ~ Loft sale

I kind of want to throw all my other clothes away, and buy four more pairs of pants just like them. Drat that self-imposed shopping ban. 

So I may just wear them every Friday, because they make getting dressed so easy. Add one tee-shirt, flats, and a necklace, and it took me less than 10 minutes to get ready for work this morning.

The Cat, the mostly outside one Dear Hubby brought to our marriage, took the time to remind me this morning that no one cares what I'm wearing, especially him.

Dude, you're blockin' the shoes.

He's a much sharper dresser than me anyway, always got that tuxedo brushed off and ready to go.

I'm auditioning for lead back-up dancer.

If he didn't squirt food out of both sides of his mouth when he eats, he'd totally be a contender.

Stop taking pictures of yourself and pet me.

I hope all of you have a relaxing weekend. I am going shopping...in my closet.

Photo Credit: The Absent-Minded Professor

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Murse or Matchel?

I don't give Dear Hubby, a/k/a The Absent-Minded Professor (AMP), nearly enough credit here on the ol' paralegal and budget career style blog. Most of the really great photos are taken by him (or The Teen), and almost all of the really great meals eaten in our house are cooked by him.

Loft sun dress ~ thrifted $5 last year
Merona Artiste cardigan ~ Target clearance last year
XAppeal Zeena wedges ~ Rack Room
Necklace ~ Jewel Box 4-5 years ago
Stretch bracelet ~ thrift store

AMP couldn't tell you what I have on any given day - but he will say he thinks I'm prettiest with bifocals on.

Bossy paralegal pose.

AMP isn't going to vacuum or dust unless given a direct order - but he will spend long nights at the hospital with a sick teen so I can get some sleep.

AMP loathes Stacy London and Clinton Kelly - but he will stay up with me until the wee hours watching a Dexter marathon.

AMP lets the registration on his vehicle lapse until he's pulled over by a trooper - but he'll give up an entire weekend to fly to NYC and drive The Costume Technician's car back to North Carolina.

Now, for a fashion question, dear readers. AMP is quite excited about his purchase of a bag for his netbook, but when The Teen and I saw it, we both crowed, "Man purse a/k/a Murse!" - which quickly morphed into "Man satchel a/k/a Matchel!" He agreed I could pose the question to you.

Murse or Matchel?

Budget Career Deal: Orange You Classy

As my supervising attorney and I walked to the federal courthouse yesterday in our comfortable low heel shoes and versatile blazers, I couldn't help but notice that both of us were wearing bright orange nail polish. But Helen had some extra color oomph with her bright but tasteful orange tote from ShoeDazzle.

I think this bag would please the Court as well:

The blue and white striped lining in this bag is just the icing on a very lovely cake.

Practical Paralegalism shares links because she likes 'em, and has received no goods or compensation in exchange for this post.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Heigh-Ho It's Off to Court We Go

Today I accompanied my supervising attorney to a Social Security disability hearing. I did a lot of the pre-hearing work, including writing the brief for the Administrative Law Judge. We were ready to make our case, but the hearing itself was short.

Short is a good sign in most Social Security disability hearings. These are the best days in a litigation paralegal's life, when you get to see a deserving client have a successful day in court.

Phoebe jacket ~ thrifted
Colin Stuart heels ~ thrifted
Loft pencil skirt ~ Loft on sale
Gathered tank ~ old, likely Marshalls or TJ Maxx clearance rack
Stone earrings ~ Street vendor in Wilmington, NC

Even though there's no jury, and very few people in the actual hearing, other than the ALJ, the court reporter, your client, and yourself, attorneys and paralegals still need to take a conservative approach when appearing before the Social Security Administration. A multi-purpose blazer over a skirt, slacks, or dress is a less expensive option than investing in suits.

This is what I really look like when I'm working :P

Still, I would love to own a pretty pants suit in a color other than black, grey, beige, or that ubiquitous legal professional color...pin-stripe. 

Do you have a favorite blazer or jacket that goes with everything?

Related Posts:  Weekend Thrifting Haul; Visible Monday, Stripes & Rules

Budget Career Deal: A Simple Linen Blazer

So I've already used this blog to moan about how hot I am this summer, and how I've ditched my usual cardigans and jackets at work. But sometimes in conservative offices, and especially law offices, a jacket is required, usually for court-related activities.

I have to wear a jacket tomorrow, and I found myself longing for the one kind I don't own, just a simple light beige linen blend jacket. If I weren't on a self-imposed shopping ban, I'd be looking hard at this Lands' End jacket with the flattering waist-cinching tie. It gets huge bonus points for being machine washable. Normally, I can't afford Lands' End unless I've thrifted it, but this jacket is seriously on sale.

And machine washable. Did I mention that already?

Practical Paralegalism shares links 'cause she likes 'em and has received no goods or compensation in exchange for this post.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Full o' Hot Air

Not me. At least not usually. But the "breezes" here were full of hot air and water today - melting faces, frizzing hair, and putting the kibosh on most outside activities, until right before the bottom fell out, and it actually rained and rained and rained.

Worthington pencil skirt ~ jcp last year
Maripe pumps ~ thrifted $6
Loft shirt ~ Loft Outlet sale
MMD Button Flower ~ Megan Mae Daily
Skinny belt ~ I dunno, likely Ross Dress for Less for a few bucks
Stretchy bangles ~ Walmart

I can't recall another summer when I've felt so overheated 24/7. Normally, I'm trotting around in my blazers and cardis on the hottest summer days, perpetually cold.

I also know many conservative office dress codes are not fans of the bare arms, and I thought about those of you stuck in that situation when I added a white cropped blazer over this outfit this morning.

And then immediately peeled it off like I was on fire...or full of hot air.

If my family doctor is right, and it's not a middle-aged thang, then what the heck is it?

I miss my sweaters.

Anyone else feelin' the heat more than usual this summer?

Budget Career Deal: Neon Bangles for the Office

Neon yellow and color-blocking are in this summer (I know I should be talking about fall, but it's still dog days here, peeps, dog days), but they can be hard to wear to work. In response to that cool neon orange pencil skirt I shared on Sunday, many of you mentioned using accessories as a way to bring a little neon to the office - and to keep it away from our faces.

You know I'm a big fan o' Party on the Arm, so I am loving this big set of honkin' yellow, black, and gold bangles. Check out your fave local fashion retailers and thrift stores for end-of-summer-to-make-way-for-parkas-way-too-early deals on bright but tasteful neon accessories for work.

Practical Paralegalism shares links 'cause she likes 'em and has received no goods or compensation in exchange for this post.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: The Secretary Blouse...Again

I'll confess I bought not just one, but two vintage bow-tie "secretary" blouses when I was out of town last month. The prices had been drastically reduced, and I do love a good secretary blouse, even if I don't want to be called a secretary at work.

Liz Claiborne Flex pumps ~ Shoe Carnival
Loft skirt ~ thrifted
Vintage Lucky Tops bow tie blouse ~ thrifted A Second Time Around, Wilmington, NC
Belt ~ This is one of my few relics from the 80s - found in Teen's drawer! Yay!
Cuff bracelet ~ Jada's Jewels
Silver drop earrings ~ Kohl's years ago

Which is totally different from performing secretarial duties, which I still do. Many paralegals bristle if they are mistaken for legal secretaries, or if they are given work traditionally reserved for legal secretaries, but the practice of law has changed. Many younger attorneys can create their own documents, and voice recognition software has reduced the need for word-processing.

Please note my rather obnoxious bright orange-y nail polish, actually Revlon Colorstay in Marmalade. For the record, my supervising attorney was wearing almost the same color nail polish - to court. 

Some firms don't even have legal secretaries any more, just "legal assistants," which used to be synonymous with "paralegals," but now can mean a whole new tier of legal staffers, somewhere between legal secretaries and paralegals.

But even with advances in technology, sometimes there are secretarial and clerical jobs that need to be done in a law firm. Some courts and clients still require paper submissions, and both attorneys and paralegals may find themselves running around like chickens minus heads, making copies, punching holes, and trying to get a FedEx package out before the last pick-up across town.

Lisa discusses blogger style poses today. I'm still working on my patented no-face pose.

In a deadline-oriented law firm, anybody might find themselves wearing the secretarial shoe - or blouse - at 5:00 p.m. on a Friday afternoon or the Sunday night before a trial starts on Monday. If we're associate attorneys, paralegals, or legal assistants, we shouldn't look at it as a demotion, but simply as being part of a team that pitches in to get the work done.

The Teen, today's photographer, rocks a Delia's neon plaid shirt.
Team Bow Tie Blouse, or Team Bow Ties Make Me Feel Like Choking?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Budget Career Deal: A Neon Skirt for the Office

I don't have any neon or orange clothes, even though orange - and anything neon-colored - is one of this season's hottest fashion trends. I also can't wear orange next to my face - yikes! But if I were shopping for something orange (which I'm not, because I'm only shopping my closet these days), I'd snag this bright but classic orange skirt:

Have you mixed anything orange into your office wardrobe?
Practical Paralegalism shares links 'cause she likes 'em, and has received no goods or compensation in exchange for this post.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: All Buttoned Up Day 5

I know I'm a fan of "Nightgown Friday," but today, in honor of All Buttoned Up Week, we're gonna do "Loophole Friday".

Maripe pumps ~ Thrifted $6
Printed cropped pants ~ Loft sale
Cardigan ~ Loft Outlet sale
White tank ~ Loft sale
Necklace ~ Loft sale

So the office dress code says "NO JEANS" (all caps, basically yelling in writing like we can't figure out this means not even on office moving day).

I still like my accidental pics best.

So the office dress code says "NO CAPRIS" (which are basically short fat pants on me so I'm cool with this.)

I was holding this fence up at 7:30 a.m. before the rain and the outdoor sauna struck.

But the office dress code doesn't say "NO CROPPED PRINTED PANTS". Win.

Now the dress code says "No hot pink and purple cropped pants with red shoes."

Oh, I bought these pants because Gracey made me.  See "A Passel of Printed Pants."

Just a lucky blooper shot of my heel  getting stuck between the bricks.

Yay for Gracey!

But I still don't own a single pair of shorts. I'll be 50 next year. Do I need shorts? Are any of y'all short-less?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: All Buttoned Up Day 4

I wore lots of dresses to work in the 80s and 90, with miles and miles of wide collars, shoulder pads, dropped waists, and floral prints.

For your amusement, here is a photo of me in 1991 at a good friend's wedding, with The Costume Technician (who is now 27 years old and living in NYC). I wore that double-breasted, entirely synthetic dress to work all the time, and thought I looked darned good.

I didn't stop getting my hair electrocuted perms until around 1994 or 1995. Good times. All you had to do was bend over, spray half a can of White Rain on your upside down hair, and then GO.

I dug up this photo because I think it explains why I couldn't leave this vintage Kings Row dress behind when I found it in our local MegaThrift.

Vintage Kings Row dress ~ thrifted
Anne Klein pumps ~ I think the Costume Technician forgot them at our house several years ago
Mad Men pearls ~ Banana Republic on sale when the collection was available

It doesn't have padded sleeves, but the sleeves are definitely poufy because of large gathers. It's actually kind of a square dress in general, but I think the over-dress tied on the side is supposed to give it some shape.

I pro'bly should have had second thoughts about actually wearing it when my sister and The Costume Technician laughed their asses off when they saw it. Of course, these are the same women who called me "Smurfette" when they found my post with the bright blue tights from We Love Colors. (They were right, I actually learned a lot from that outfit post :P No matchy-matchy tights and sweaters.)

If you're blogging about your personal style, and your family hasn't found out yet, I highly recommend keeping it to yourself.

I didn't realize until I saw today's outfit photos that the sleeves make me look like a football player. Eh, these are POWER sleeves, and you know what? I'm still not ready to part with this dress. (I can hear you laughing, Sister and Costume Technician.)

For my readers of a certain age, what do you miss most about 80s style - or least?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: All Buttoned Up Day 3

You guys, I think I did it.

What, satisfied The Man's dress code?


Wore J. Crew for the first time.

J. Crew skirt ~ eBay
J. Crew shirt ~ thrifted
Nine West wedges ~ Ross Dress for Less earlier this year
Faux multi-strand pearl necklace ~ I bought it from Ann Taylor in the early 90s when I had to wear pantyhose to work EVERY SINGLE DAY
Pearl post earrings ~ formerly my Mom's
Skinny belt ~ dunno, it's been woefully neglected in my belt drawer for years
Gold ankle bracelet ~ Sharp-eyed Desiree noticed this; my boss didn't for 10 years :P

That's how poor I normally am. No J. Crew for me. I don't even look at the catalogs. And this was kind of an accident. After I greatly admired my friend Megan's new-to-her yellow skirt, and moaned a lot a bit about how I could not find a great yellow skirt in my price range (I did send Megan the link to the yellow skirt ideal in my head, which seemed to be this $600 J. Crew suede pencil skirt), she replied with some eBay links for previously owned yellow skirts in my size.

While Megan is Mistress of eBay, I've never gotten a single item I bid on. So Megan told me how to do it, and I scored this awesome yellowy gold J. Crew skirt from a seller that was getting rid of all her size 4 stuff. The skirt is way prettier in person that it was in the eBay photo. I wish I'd bought all of her skirts, but I only got just the one.

What was really weird is I decided to pair it with the gingham button front shirt I scored at a MegaThrift 50% Off All Clothing sale for $3. I'd seen gingham shirts on other style bloggers, but I'd forgotten mine until All Buttoned Up week.

Look, y'all, NO ROOTS!

So I was gobsmacked when I took a quick peek at the label, and it says, "J. Crew." It's two sizes bigger than I normally wear, but it's soft and super silky, and I love it and might wear it EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Please help me out, guys. What is up with me and Donna Reed?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: All Buttoned Up Day 2

I got up this morning, and tried to do the simplest of the conservative office ensembles, a button front shirt with a collar (and a tie!), a longer, not too clingy pencil skirt, and low pumps. But I couldn't quite toe the uptight office party line, as you'll soon see. Dang it, maybe I'll get it right tomorrow. Nah. Do you guys know how long it took me to paint my nails this weekend? I am never taking this polish off.

Also, I really appreciate your thoughtful comments and questions in response to Monday's "All Buttoned Up Day 1" post. I thought it would be fun to highlight a few of your mean employers rather strict office fashion dictates, high five a few of you gettin' away with dress code murder, and answer a question or two.

I call this one, "Lawsie, I tried."
Ideology bow tie blouse ~ $2 thrifted! Thanks, Megathrift.
Loft pencil skirt ~ I dunno when purchased, I just always have a black Loft pencil skirt on hand
Breva ice blue pumps ~ John Fluevog
Big gaudy stretch ring (whoops) ~ Forever 21
Two bangle watches (whoops) ~ Steinmart, Jewel Box
Big dangly earrings (whoops) ~ Boutique in Chapel Hill, NC
Two colors nail polish (whoops) ~ Revlon FrenchMix nail polish duo
Onyx magnet on bow tie (to prevent whoops) ~ Fasheners

The lovely and thoughtful Terri at Rags against the Machine said the only garment off limits in her workplace is shorts, but she's seeing bloggers writing about wearing shorts and heels to the office. Me, too, Terri, but if I wear shorts and heels to the office, I'd better be carrying a cardboard box to clean my personal items off my desk.

Super cool and modern Megan of The Fashionable Bureaucrat pointed out that so many peeps have ink these days, it'll soon be hard to find anyone to hire if employers require tattoos to be covered up. The always gorgeous Sheila of Ephemera confessed the blouse she wore yesterday did show her tattoo - from the back. I'll confess I never wanted a tattoo until some time last fall (at age 48, a baby!) when I became obsessed with the idea. Yep, still obsessed.

We're so busy at work I did not have time to go outside for an outfit pic, but mixed things up with a different office.

Wendy Brandes, genius jewelry designer and chic New York chick, rebelled against dress codes requiring pantyhose in the summer, and was dying to get called down for it, but you'll have to read her comment to see why.

Reader Valerie, a legal staffer in a relaxed small law firm, said she liked my recent wavy hairstyles, and asked what tool I used. One that a monkey can make loose curls with, I promise. Last year I stumbled upon the only curling tool I can use without ripping out half of my hair and burning myself repeatedly in the process, The Infiniti You Curl by Conair. No clamp, no danger of getting stuck in, or lighting the pile o' straw that has always been my hair.

Whoops. But c'mon, I need some keyboarding entertainment.

Beautiful Patti of Not Yet Dead Style has the best dress code evah at work: "Don't be naked."

Curtise, the creative and sexy thrifter behind The Secondhand Years, looks back upon her former work wardrobe "with regret at the dullness of it." Don't I know it. Last week I found a picture of me with a client, taken about six years ago. I am wearing black elastic-waisted stretch pants (Grandma called...) and a matching black v-necked sweater - with what looks like orthopedic lace up shoes sprayed black. Yeah, I thought about shredding the evidence, but I love the client so much!

Finally, Amy, whose blog Uncommon Threads I just discovered due to her comment, got schooled over wearing "big dangly earrings," actually pearls, to work. Aw, man, big virtual hug. That's just wrong.

Should I get a tattoo? Yes or no? Wait, that is so sixth grade. Have you ever been called out for something you were wearing at the office?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: All Buttoned Up Day 1

I know that some of my readers work in offices with very strict dress codes and rules for every day showing up to work, including but not limited to (fancy legal talk):

  • No toes showing
  • No knees showing
  • No sleeveless arms showing
  • No tattoos or piercings showing, except maybe one hole in each in earlobe, and they'd rather not see those
  • No pink, purple, or blue hair showing (even if it's your hairdresser's fault)
  • No denim showing
  • Pantyhose better be showing
Working in a bit of a more relaxed environment, albeit a law firm, I decided to show solidarity with my less fortunate sisters in the working world, and do an All Buttoned Up Week, trying to comply with the basic conservative office rules with my mostly thrifted wardrobe. Well, at least through Thursday. Although I suspect my knees might show some 'cause I'm a really short rebel, and I'm not wearing pantyhose in July unless I receive a Court Order.

H&M dress ~ thrifted at A Second Time Around Wilmington, NC
Tarhari tee ~ probably Marshalls, another old workhorse
Colin Stuart heels ~ thrifted last year at Etc in Winston-Salem, NC
Skinny belt ~ 2 for $7.50 at Rue 21
MMD button flower pinned to belt ~ Megan Mae Daily
Initial D necklace ~ Key of A
Bangles ~ Loft, ShoeDazzle

I thrifted this H&M dress on my most recent business trip, and while it made a great cocktail dress, I realized that it wasn't going to work without a cami or tee underneath. I was glad to let another one of my black Tahari tees get a taste of freedom. ("How many black Tahari tees do you own?," you ask. If you count gray, um, a lot. Like, I could've totally been a Professional Mourner.)

I also enjoyed wearing my antique typewriter key necklace made by Anne of Key of A, who is also a legal secretary, and one of my MMD button flowers. Megan is doing a button flower giveaway right now, so you should check it out. She's giving away three, but I think every woman needs at least ten.

And I'm participating in Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday, a weekly celebration for style bloggers of all ages, but especially those of a certain age who are proving women don't become invisible as they get older. Instead, they get more beautiful, wiser and cooler, plus they've learned from all the style mistakes they made when they were whippersnappers. Or they're breaking all the old style "rules" for some incredibly awesome results. You pick.

Speaking of invisibility and being a certain age, I got my hair did on Saturday. Mostly I color it at home, not because I mind it being gray,which it's not except for the occasional bright white antenna, but because I'm really a ginger head trapped in a mousy brown head's body. I was really surprised when my long-time stylist said, "Let's do your eyebrows, too" and then slapped on the highlighting color she was using while my mouth was still hanging open. 

The Teen clearly got all the style blogger moves in the family. She's wearing a Perry the Platypus tee I've hoped she'd outgrow and give to me for years, and skinnies from Forever 21.

Oh, man, why didn't someone tell me you could color your eyebrows, like, years ago? Mine have always had lots of blonde and defied all brow-grooming cosmetics. If I use pencils or powders, they look fake and drawn on. But not any more. They are just right, and oddly, I feel younger-looking. While I'll never inject anything into my face, or go under the knife, I am totally all for eyebrow-dyeing. 

Does your work dress code prohibit anything not already on the above list?