Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Meanie Mouse

Can you believe it? No one else at the law firm dressed up.

The Deets: Forever 21 sweater dress (GoodWill); Naturalizer boots (Ross Dress for Less); Peacock infinity scarf (Charlotte Russe clearance); you can see just a glimpse of my blue spider web earrings from Megan Mae

I went as The Dormouse Has a Day Job in a Law Office.

Only somehow the receptionist started calling me Meanie Mouse. After he poked me in the ribs and made me spill uncooked oatmeal on the kitchen floor. Which then exploded all over the microwave while cooking.

I do get mean when no one brings in any Halloween candy. On Halloween.

Oh, I guess I could have.

Here's my best effort to look scary in this costume.

Gimme Halloween candy. Now. No, I will not brush my teeth.

Happy Halloween, y'all.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Some Thoughts On Layering

Has anyone ever layered tights? Because I wish I had on this fer-reezing day.

The Deets: Isaac Misrahi  for Target dress (GoodWill); Easy Spirit shooties (Hamricks clearance); Cuff bracelet (Jada's Jewels); Long-sleeved tee (Target); Scarf (gift from The Teen)

Has anyone ever layered slips? Because I wish I had on this fer-reezing day (even though the dress is fully lined and wool-ish.)

Has anyone ever worn a zipped-up sleeping bag to work as the top layer? (Just checking to see if you're awake.) Because I wish I had on this fer-reezing day.

It's really cold when you just want to leave work and go home where it's warm.

How are you keeping warm at work?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: More GoodWill Goldmine

Or, Brrrrrrrrr

No way were any outdoor pictures happening today, unless I wanted high winds to knock over my camera tripod, or lift my hair right off my head. I would have skipped posting altogether, except I promised I would share my GoodWill finds for cooler weather this week.  Maybe I'll get a lot better at indoor pics this winter.

The Deets: Old Navy sweater (like a decade old); Jones New York skirt (GoodWill); Clarks loafers (Rack Room); Scarf (GoodWill); Anne Klein lion pin (in my possession almost 20 years); hinged enamel bracelets (including my most recent one from Chinatown, NYC)

I think I could have tied my scarf a little better, and left the pin off altogether, except I'm trying hard to become a skilled scarf and brooch wearer. I figure lots of practice will make perfect. Eventually.

I did like the mustard tights. I don't care what my little sister calls me. It's not like I can wear this color next to my face.

I'm keeping everyone in Sandy's path in my thoughts and prayers. And wishing my dogs were indoor toilet trained...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Real Women Have Wrinkles

This post brought to you by Megan Mae Daily (the clothes part anyway)

I've joked about changing the name of this blog to Real Women Have Wrinkles for years. Not just the skin deep kind, but the kind that your clothes get from sitting at a desk ones, too.

The Deets: Loft dress (gift from Megan); tie belt (gift from Megan);  navy top (Anthropologie clearance room last year); snap cuff (gift from Megan); angels pin (thrifted); Clarks loafers (Rack Room)

It was drizzling when I went to work this morning, so by the time it cleared up enough to grab pics of the Loft sheath Megan thrifted for me, it was nice and wrinkled. I also discovered too late, even though the dress is fully lined, I needed a slip to keep it from clinging to my tights. Such is the glamorous life of the lowly style blogger, lacking even an unpaid intern to steam out wrinkles for photographs, or to tell you you're standing like a dork.

This pin reminded me of Dylan; I bought a brooch from her Etsy store, too.

Insane week at work, peeps. but I know our law firm is lucky to have lots of demand for our services. Hoping to catch a bit of a break over the weekend - so the insanity can start again next week.

Real women have new reading glasses, too.

I hope all of you have a relaxing weekend, and thank so much for your terrific supportive comments to my recent posts. You guys are absolutely the best.

P.S. I've added this post to Patti's Visible Monday over at Not Yet Dead Style. I hope you'll go check out the real and beautiful style bloggers gathered there.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Floral Week

Or Proof I Didn't Wear the Same Pair of Pants Three Days in a Row

Rumor 'round the blogosphere, okay I heard it from Melanie, is that Sarah at Misfits Village has declared it Floral Week, only it can last as long as we want. That is my kind of deadline.

The Deets: H&M Dress (thrifted); Banana Republic button down (clearance); NaturalSoul by Naturalizer boots (@$27 Ross Dress for Less); Rhinestone bracelet (Loft clearance); Enamel hinge bracelet (Kohls on sale)

I only accidentally had a floral dress on today. I wanted to shake things up a bit after wearing the same deadly dull black pants for two days in a row. Plus, this dress is a tight fit, and I figured I could fill up some gaps by layering it over a shirt. Actually, the neckline is too deep to wear it to the office without a shirt.

Prior to reading style blogs, it would never have occurred to me to use my sheath dresses as jumpers. I am so literal.

It is supposed to turn cold this weekend (yay?), so next week I might do another GoodWill Goldmine week, and show off all the winter and fall GoodWill scores I haven't been able to wear yet.

Hey, I'm thinking of changing the name of this blog to Who's Your Grandma (Style)? Yes? No? :P

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Confession

I can't believe I'm sharing this with you guys, but in the interest of budget career style blogging transparency, I'm going to spill all.

I wore the same pair of Banana Republic black slacks two days in a row this week.

No, there will be no pics, partly because of the reason I wore the same pants...for two days in row.

I think my recent outfit pics have chronicled my shrinking figure, and I can promise you guys I don't diet and I love The Sugar.  I have medical issues.

But I'll share one of my fave pics of me and The Teen (when she was in the 3rd grade) roller-skating, before I knew one day I'd be lucky enough to be her mom.
But suffering through The Great Dread Crud this past week more or less finished me off. (You know you have The Great Dread Crud when you throw up ginger ale.) I waited until the last minute to get dressed this morning (pre-planning would not have helped because I would've wrongly assumed my pants would fit), and discovered even my most recent new pair of slacks now hang like overalls on a scarecrow.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Horrible Poor Grandma Style!

Maybe it means you've made it as a style blogger when you receive your first really negative comment about your appearance and/or style? 

I thought I'd be devastated, but I actually find it funny, and wanted to make sure that everyone gets to see it.

So here's what Anonymous commented on my last post (and I did publish the comment because I don't subscribe to the concept that everyone likes me):

My goodness!I'm here by mistake and I'm in shock!!!! HORRIBLE UGLY MODEL, HORRIBLE POOR GRANDMA STYLE! Ladies if you are in your mind, please don't ever dress like her. She needs to bleach her teeth #1, loose 30-40lbs, and she has NO style whatsoever. She has no business to run any blog especially FASHION..... run run away from here. Go to or something like that. SCARY HERE.....

I'm a big believer in the concept of owning what you publish. If you put it out there, sign your name to it. I do understand Anonymous gets around in the blogosphere, but is afraid to show his or her face.

Plus, I own my grandma style, peeps.

But lose (yes, I did take the liberty of correcting A's grammar) 30-40 pounds? I am a size 2. Helloooooo.

Y'all run away now, there's nothing to see here.

P.S. I've always wanted to be scary. Seriously.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Gift from Megan Mae!

Or, Why Does Your Hair Look Like the Business End of a Broom?

Somewhere in my published burbles, I may have mentioned I really wanted to thrift a square scarf. The reason? Mainly, 'cause I'm kind of fashion-challenged, and wanted to wrestle my fear of square scarves to the ground.

In the space of two weeks, I was gifted with two gorgeous square scarves, this one from Megan, and a horse scarf from Gracey (which I wish I'd had with me when we saw WarHorse in NYC last weekend.)

I do manage to look rather clueless on occasion. Okay, many occasions.
The Deets: Merona skirt (Target); Boatneck top (J. Crew Factory Outlet); Easy Spirit loafers; Cuff bracelet (Jada's Jewels); YSL scarf (Megan Mae Daily)

Follow me here, because I truly haven't lost my train of thought, and all will become clear, well, sooner or later, but I have no problem looking fashion-challenged when I comment on other style blogger's posts, either. For example, on a recent comment to a post by the insanely gorgeous Melanie at Bag and a Beret, I might have mentioned I would not recognize fashion designs by Pucci. (Although I dearly love the aria "Nessun Dorma" from Puccini's Turandot, and have been known to play it over and over and over...).

Monday, October 15, 2012

How Do Ya Like Them Jeans, Visible Monday?

I'ma be honest. These pictures are from the Friday before last.

The last time I wore my beloved Franco Sarto shooties.

The Deets: Franco Sarto shooties (bye! bye! oh, probs from Ross); a.n.a. black skinny jeans (jcp); asymmetrical button front blouse (Loft Outlet sale); cardigan (thrifted); rhinestone snake pin thrifted in college; assorted rings 'cause I like lots o' rings I really do

I thought these shooties were my friends. But the nature of my job has changed. As an immigration paralegal working in a historic house, you walk up stairs, run down stairs, and scoot back and forth between clients and the copy machine, rather more like a nurse in the ER than a sedentary desk type.

By the time I got home on the last day I wore these shooties, I was experiencing nearly crippling left foot pain. Right across the ol' big toe joint, home of our family's genetic hallux valgus deformity (fancy word for bunion). I did the reading; I know many experts attribute bunions to women wearing too high heels, and too small shoes (word on the street is a lot of women don't wear their correct shoe size). But my mom has hallux valgus deformity, and she's rarely worn high heels for long periods of time.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Love 'em & Leave 'em

I know, on Tuesday my new bifocals were the best things since M&Ms were invented, and today, I'm all, "Who is that woman in those thick glasses?"

But I do need them for work, so will wear them when I need to see REAL GOOD, and the rest of the time, I'll just walk into walls.

Or wear my contacts.

The Deets: Clarks Chris Sydney ankle boots (jcp) | Madison Studio "people" skirt (thrifted gift from the wonderful Megan Mae!) | ZOA cardigan (v. old, pro'bly Marshalls) | mac & jac draped tank (v. old, pro'bly Ross) | multi-chain necklace (v. old, can't recall)

I'ma save my post about aging feet for next week, but I'll share with you one of the pairs of shoes I had to buy with a big fat toe bed (because nothing can touch the top of my feet any more apparently) and layers of padding.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: New Bifocals!

Not even I believe I just titled this post "New Bifocals"...this is style blogging?

The Deets: ny connection skirt (Goodwill) | Luxe cardi (thrifted) | bow tie blouse (Loft add'tl 50% off clearance rack) | CW suede t-strap pumps (thrifted and survived the shoe purge) | Megan Mae Daily Button Flowers!

Well, it kinda really is, if you're kissing 50 years of age, blind as a bat, and should have been wearing bifocals 10 years ago, but were so vain you'd wear contacts that didn't quite correct your astigmatism, buy loads and loads of reading glasses to wear with them, and sometimes wear the reading glasses over your old prescription glasses.

Please excuse the blur. It's not your glasses. I was at the start of twirling the skirt.

Yep, the old double glasses look. But only at home.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Lovely Lawyers

One of my supervising attorneys, Helen Parsonage, is making a name for herself as a highly successful trial and immigration attorney, most recently making the news for saving a man from deportation, and highlighting the issue of whether a married gay couple should have the same rights as a married straight couple. Helen fights for the underdog every day, and I'm extremely proud to provide litigation support as her paralegal.

Helen is also a very stylish professional woman, as is the newest member of our firm, attorney Alice Chen Anderson. When I saw Helen's new super slim pants from the Loft Outlet and Alice's beautiful suede coat today, I begged to photograph them for the ol' budget career wear blog, and they kindly acquiesced.

Alice: Suede trench coat: Vancouver | Shoes: purhased by friends in France
Helen: Sweater and pants: Loft Outlet | Jacket: Petite Sophisticate

Two things you need to know about these pictures: 1) we were talking about work matters the entire time, and 2) the office was freezing today. Alice was wearing her coat pretty much as a suit. The temperatures in this part of the southern USA plummeted from in the 80s every day last week to a high in the 50s today, with the awful oily, chilly drizzle that makes you want your jammies (the ones with the footies), hot cocoa, and a good book - at home.

I was also on the telephone for work when I grabbed my outfit shots. I'm modeling the headset I use everyday, so y'all can see the hair challenge. Yes, I have gotten it tangled in my hair and had to rip it out.

Look for my scintillating post later this week, sharing the middle-aged reasons I had to purge most of my career shoes this weekend for, well, what my stylish shoe fancier friends would likely call, gulp, orthopaedic shoes, more or less.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

To Sheila, With Love

Or Break Out Your Party Dress!

Sheila of Ephemera's birthday isn't until next week, but she's hosting a birthday party tonight! This party will be so fun, that it's almost guaranteed someone will lose an article of clothing. In fact, someone already has!

I so wanted to attend, in real-time. But Sheila lives in Canada. The next best thing is attending her e-Party invite, but I felt a little like Cinderella. I'm a paralegal for a law firm. I don't have many party dresses. You've already seen the lone "People Dress" a lot.  I have one other appropriate for nighttime weddings. Very sad, I know.

The Deets:  Rhinestone necklace (um, I wore this in the 80s, so, er, vintage); Assorted stretch bracelets (thrifted, Loft, Walmart, Jada's Jewels); Peruvian Connection stretch dress (thrifted); rialto shooties (Ross last year when they were burgundy, but now they're oxblood, yep)

I did what Cinderella would have done if she coulda gotten a ride and a babysitting gig for the extra bucks, and went to a couple of local thrift stores, hoping to spend under two tenners for something to wear for Sheila's party, upcoming holiday parties, and to work. Because on my budget, if you're coming home with me, you have to be a multi-tasking dress.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Fashion for Shrimps

Sponsored by Fashion for Giants

erm, no compensation exchanged hands, just a new-to-me dress courtesy of Gracey

I have to tell you how awesome Gracey at Fashion for Giants is: she's young, she's beautiful, she's tall, and she's got this amazing individual style that reminds me getting dressed for the office can be fun.

Yes, that is the lawn services guy. Not just anybody can get one in their pictures. 
Also, pantyhose, ugh. But my Leg Maintenance Plan simply stops from September 30 - March 31. 
There's no contingency plan for 84 degree days in October.
The Deets: Jenny Petites dress (thrifty gift from Gracey!); LizClaiborne Flex Pumps (Shoe Carnival); a.n.a. multi-bead necklace (jcp clearance); skinny belt (Ross I think)

Plus, Gracey is magic.

Paralegal Career Dressing: Do Not Open Until...

...I Can't Stand Not to One More Minute

As an adult, I have a weird relationship with packages, both mailed and personally delivered. I don't open them right away, even if they contain something I ordered myself. I know it drives peeps crazy (hey, hubs!), but I like to savor the mystery of a wrapped box, gift bag, or envelope, sort of recreate the magic of childhood Christmases in a mortgage-paying-Hamburger-Helper-coffee-fell-on-my head world.

I also adore real mail, because it's become so rare. I'm old enough to remember writing tons and tons of love letters back in the day to the object(s) of my affection, and sending them via the rapidly becoming extinct U.S. Postal Service. Long distance phone calls cost a fortune, and there was no Internet, or email, or even computers at your house. If your love was not near you, you pined away and wrote about pining away on real paper with a felt tip pen to match your mood, in that perfect Palmer penmanship that was drilled into you in fourth grade.

So when I  received surprise and/or swap packages and real mail from Ally, Gracey, Patricia, Charmaine, and Sheila, I just stacked it all up like this:

I let the suspense build, until last night when I was chatting via email with Megan, and it hit me: what if someone mailed me FOOD? Uh-oh. I vowed to stop circling the real mail like it was do-not-open-until-Christmas, and dived in.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Goodwill Goldmine Party!

In response to my invite to a virtual Goodwill Goldmine Party, the following lovely, talented - and super thrifty - style bloggers kindly shared some of their fashion finds from Goodwill or other charity-non-profit store.

I'm sharing the submissions in the order received, and including links to the charitable organization, including Goodwill, when possible. Please check out these fashionable, creative, and thoughtful bloggers - they are some of my most fave peeps I have never met in the world.

Also, if some of you saw this post for ten minutes in your RSS feed readers earlier today, I had a perfect and beautiful post in Blogger Preview - but not on th' Internetz! Some of the gorgeous pics were missing from the published post, and I was seriously mortified. But I think I know where I went wrong trying to sort out the different sizes and types of images submitted, and this will never happen again. Or if it does, I will simply just be mortified again.

Megan from Megan Mae Daily

Megan is wearing her thrifted Vintage orange dress and Diy'd vest. I actually have met Megan in person :) But she's a relative. Yep, per her DH, we are "sisters-in-cat".

Curtise from The Secondhand Years

Curtise's outfit is what she likes to think of as Parisian Schoolgirl Chic - and is entirely thrifted, from head to toe, even the underwear! (Yes, the tights and shapewear knickers were new in their packets, and the bra looked unworn and was in her very odd size). Jacket, beret, silk blouse, vintage skirt, shoes, bangles, all bought in charity shops. Only Curtise's watch, rings, and earrings were bought elsewhere or given as gifts.

I am eternally grateful to Curtise for mentioning what I have been hesitant to broach here on the ol' paralegal budget career wear blog. And that is shapewear. I have some, some of it works so well I can barely breathe, but I don't have knickers. Note to self: Get shapewear knickers!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: Bucky's Goodwill Haul

Or Why No One Will Eat Lunch with Me

(i think i might have used this one before...)

Yesterday, it was raining and freezing (high 68 degrees). Today, it was raining and steaming (high 80 degrees). I'm not even interested in my closet these days. I'm mostly concerned that my feet stay dry.

The clouds burst forth - again - while I was trying to focus. I know, difficult during the best of times.
The Deets: Trouser jeans (Loft clearance, $11); Striped jacket (Loft Outlet); Jennie & Marlis draped tank (Steinmart); Clifford & Wills t-strap pumps (thrifted); Cuff bracelet ($1.67 Steinmart clearance); Hoops (bathroom junk drawer)

For those of you new to Practical Paralegalism, Budget Bucky (for realsies) is a fully articulated plastic human skeleton who lives in my office. (No way was I leaving him behind in the recent move). He was originally purchased as a trial exhibit, only the case settled, and he's had to settle for providing endless entertainment for everyone in the office.

We are so fun.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Paralegal Career Dressing: What I Learned Today

If you get hit on the head by your travel coffee mug,
brimming full of hot life
as it slips off your rain-slick car roof,
crash-landing on your feet,
splashing sweet stinging nectar of the Gods
give it up,
go home,
hide under blankies.

Hey, I see other bloggers centering every sentence. I took Advanced Poetry Writing in college. My professor told me I coulda been a contender.

I wanted to try it. Be kind :P

Eh, it rained all day. I also wanted to be transparent about wearing coffee.
The Deets: Embroidered Ann Taylor cardi bought in early 90s; Dress Barn dress bought for Teen's semi-formal earlier this year (thrifted); old costume pendant flipped backwards in pics (rats); Franco Sarto shooties

Don't say anything about my tights. 
I know. 
Too much.
What I learned today.

The Cairn's thought bubble, from the sofa:
"Only dumbasses go outside on days like this."

I linked up to the wonderful Patti at Not Dead Yet Style's weekly celebration of visible women of all ages at Visible Monday, only I used last week's post with the neon pink Talbot's tee I scored at Goodwill.  Also, it's not too late to participate in my Goodwill Goldmine Party post. Just shoot me an email with a pic of you wearing your fave Goodwill find and a brief description to I'll be running 'round like a paralegal with her head cut off tomorrow, so I expect you have at least a 24-hour window. I'm not as strict as the Courts regarding submission deadlines.