Please help me look less like Gaga and more like Coco

I am starting my new job in three weeks and I have nothing (new-job-worthy) to wear. I am looking for something business casual but with a formal slant.  Skirts and pants alike are welcome.  I would describe my personal style as “blue” and “on sale” and “OH MY GOD IT ALMOST FITS ME I’M BUYING IT.”   Also, I am short and I hate buying pants.  And skirts that fall above the knee.  Because nothing fits well.

Basically what I’m saying is that I need a personal stylist.

This is all I have in my closet right now (I have both black and white, but I can’t really wear the white one any more since, you know, after Labor Day, also I think it’s growing stalactites):

Help.  Which office fashion blogs should I read that are not Corporette because every outfut on there costs more than I spend per week on food?  Maybe something like this? Or this?

She hates me.




29 thoughts on “Please help me look less like Gaga and more like Coco

  1. I think your best bet would be to go to Banana Republic because that is where I get 90% of my work clothes from… from the tops to the pants, you will NOT be dissapointed! Also, GAP BLACK MAGIC PANTS! Just go try them on… they’re awesome! Good Luck!

      1. If you buy something at Banana and give them your e-mail address, they’ll send you updates on deals, coupons for % off, etc. They’re having their online celebration right now, daily deals until next week, I think.

  2. Ann Taylor as well as New York & Company are great choices for short-legged people like me and you. Also, don’t be afraid to buy something that almost fits (esp. if it’s a bit bigger) and follow Stacey London’s advice and take it to the tailor. Hemming it yourself might be easy, too, if you’ve got an iron and some Heat N’ Bond iron on hem tape (ultra hold).

    1. I love NY&CO for pants that fit short people and other cool stuff too, although lately they’ve been disappointing me with too much leggings and not enough work pants. I will take you up on the tailor advice, aka, just give it to my mom.

  3. I am 100% with Jane regarding tailoring. When a piece of clothing is flattering and fits nicely you will get more use out of it than something that’s just so/so.

    Ann Taylor loft has some great sales right now and if you’re willing to do a little digging SYMS has good deals on quality pieces. I’d get several pairs of nice fitting slacks (black, brown, navy, grey.. any of these colors…) and a couple cardigans that you can mix and match and wear any season, several tanks to wear under the cardigans. A button down or 2 in blue or white… Maybe a couple easy to throw on dresses on the days that you don’t feel like putting something together… You’ve got a lot of options.

    Can I come? I’d like to support you in your shopping endeavor. Good deals are my thing!

    1. Yay! Please come along if you’re good with work clothes. I haven’t been to Ann Taylor before but the fact that you both suggested it means I should put it on my list. I’ve been really hunting for a cardigan that’s under $30 these past couple weeks but might have to settle for more if I get lots and lots of use out of it.

  4. Two pieces of advice:
    1. dress for your body type/shape.
    2. Buy clothes that fit (or have them tailored). If it’s too small, even if you’re “planning” to lose weight, it will make you look AWFUL, no matter how gorgeous you really are.

    Rachael Bagley has a good breakdown of body types at Cardigan Empire (see the buttons on right).

    From your pics here, I’m figuring you for lower-body (pear) type or hourglass, can’t really tell without measurements. Once you figure it out, use her blog for ideas and then go to J.C. Penney or Sears for cheaper versions of what she profiles (spendy Anthropologie)

    1. Thanks for the body type link! I am definitely a pear and upon reading the body types I rediscovered that I am a pear and hate buying pants, one of the reasons I am dreading this shopping.

  5. Asos ships to the US now at low rates ($6 for 8-days shipping, $14 for 4-days express shipping; they have free shipping promos every now and then) and you can buy new Monsoon items via British eBay at a fraction of Highstreet prices, current season items even. (Bonus: Britain’s way ahead of the US in fashion, so items on sale from British sellers will last you for a while fashion-wise.)

  6. Oh, I just saw at Asos that standard shipping to the US is free at the moment. Make sure to check their size guide as the British sizing system is different from the American one.

    1. Vicki: The size difference between the UK and the US is a considerable problem. What is a size 0 in the US is a (almost non-existent except on catwalks) size 4 in the UK. Most British brands on the high street do not have sizes below 8. But sizing also varies across brands so don’t go by size numbers but dimensions corresponding to the sizes. Above all check returns policy if buying online. British businesses, at least in Britain, aren’t all very returns-friendly.

      FWIW I have found J Jill in the US to have good cuts, modern but not outré design, materials (including buttons which, if bad, can undo a fabulous piece of clothing), robust quality of stitching and if you pick carefully no hippie accoutrements in sight.

      1. Hippie accoutrements :)

        This is why I don’t want to deal with British websites/British clothes. I am a stupid American and I’d like to stay that way.

  7. I have absolutely nothing of value to contribute. I hate shopping almost as much as root canals. But I wish you lots of luck in finding the perfect outfit, then buy five and you are all set!

  8. I can’t contribute much to what was suggested already, but want to say that the overwhelming majority of my work outfits is coming from a hadfull of stores mentioned above (NY&Company, J Crew, Gap, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor Loft). I try to get things on sale, especially when it comes to BR and J Crew. Oh, and I buy shirts from Victoria’s Secret when they are on sale.

    Enjoy your shopping!

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