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The Lipstick Page Forums Fashion Blog
Joining the work force...


Posted by Dain, Friday, March 23, 2007 3:18 PM (Eastern)

I'll admit, I don't really want to work. But then, who does? I suppose that's why it's called work. But I'll be graduating soon (May), and earning my bread will become a necessity. I just want a job, not the job, flashy degree notwithstanding. Practical matters elude me, in all honesty. I loathe the idea of being on the clock, of paying taxes and bills, but I know that playtime's over. So, I want to work with cosmetics in some capacity, because I love doing this stuff. I'll probably begin with sales. I'm pretty much planning to move to France (I feel a stranger in my own land, but at home there); it'll be an easy transition because my boyfriend (at least I think he is; it's sorta ambiguous) lives there and I can stay with him. I could work the floor at Galeries Lafayette or Sephora (there are at least two I know of in Nice, they clog France the way Starbucks do America) or Marionnaud, and write in my spare time.

In any case, one way to make this fun is to think of my ultimate work wardrobe. I will probably have to wear all black, which is new to me (I wear a lot of color), but I figure I'll have to buy very little, because black makes for such a uniform. I'll have to make sure everything is very, very chic (to attract customers), but without too much flash (otherwise I'll look like a customer myself). Personal style, but with much restraint. An interesting exercise, anyway.

FIRST, bottoms, which I believe is the best place to being when constructing a wardrobe. I'll need a black skirt, and if that's not enough, a pair of black trousers.

Banana Republic Taffeta Curved Pocket Skirt $59.99
I like the curved pocket detail, makes it just a little special without resorting to patterns or textures or grand embellishments. It's simple and flowy, a universally flattering a-line (a pencil skirt must be worn with heels), and it looks very comfortable.

For a pair of trousers, I don't think you could do better (at least in mass market) than Express Editors in Luxury Stretch; the black is $69.50. The fit is great, the material sophisticated enough for any occasion, really a perfect pair of black pants (I usually wear J. Crew chinos because they're durable, but they're more casual). I prefer skirts, though. I think they're much more comfortable.

SECOND, a pair of comfortable and stylish flats. I do have a pair of perfect black pumps, but I imagine I'd be on my feet all day, so flats are far better.

Pelle Moda Zest $141.95
You've no idea just how many ballet flats I looked at before I chose this one. I wanted something demure, so a black ballet flat seemed perfect. I started with "the queen of ballet flats", Repetto (they still make some styles by hand), but had difficulty finding anything beyond the basic styles. I wanted something special, not basic. I really like this pair from Pelle Moda: black suede, the dipped cut (very Valentino), the cute round toe, and of course, the pretty baroque embellishment (very much like these Manolos). I think the embellishment is ok, because it's in black, and toe is closed rather than open.

I also liked Sam Edelman Cassia $128.95
Perhaps this is a better choice for work because it's not so flashy. The shape is more your classic ballet flat, but the detail at the toe is actually a bouquet of tiny suede rosebuds and grosgrain ribbon. Very cute, and special. I actually love this brand. They make high quality shoes that are classic styles but with very unique details, and they're not terribly expensive (no more so than, say, Steven Madden or BCBG). This is an academic question, though, because they're out of my size.

I also liked these three, which have mid-level heels: Marc Jacobs, Gabriella Rocha Vivian, and Bruno Magli Jamila. But I prefer the ballet flats. It'd be between the Pelle Moda or the Sam Edelman.

THIRD, tops. If I could find a really fine black jacket, like this one by Alexander McQueen, that would be the end of it. I could wear this every single day, simply because it's so beautifully made. But at $1615, it's hardly a reasonable purchase for me. Another option would be a Chanel-esque tweed jacket, which, though perhaps cliché is a softer look, with plenty of texture, like this one from La Redoute (at a much more comfortable $29.99). I like this one because it lacks pockets—more like a shirt than a jacket. But I really dislike the idea of wearing a jacket.

I mean, if I'm just gonna wear something simple and black, would not a pretty sweater do? J. Crew Solid Featherweight Merino Button Boatneck Sweater $79
I have this in the "Belize" print, so I know it fits well. I love the button detail at the shoulder—just a little better than basic. Other options: Anthropologie Novella Pullover, Laureate Lane Madison Cardigan, Kimchi & Blue Lacey Babydoll Top. But I really like the simple look—one might call it "soignée"—of the J. Crew sweater. I should probably get two of these, at least.

The final possibility is a blouse or buttondown, in black. I'm tired of searching, so you can imagine a black silk blouse or a crisp black or black&white striped buttondown for yourself.

FOURTH, accessories. Hm, I think I'd just wear my own. My mother's pearls and my gold art deco bracelet; they go well together. Pearls are of course classic, and the bracelet, though flashy, would be the only touch of intensity in my entire outfit.

If I want a touch of color, I suppose a silk scarf (I have one in pink floral) would do. My bag would be my trusty big brown bag, my jacket that fabulous bright green cape jacket with giant buttons I saw at Zara but didn't buy and now I'm kicking myself over it.

FIFTH, makeup! See Beauty Blog for that.

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