7.21.2006

How to dress like a lawyer, part 2

Here's an article for those of you wondering how to dress for success (hat tip: Precedent: The New Rules of Law and Style). It's from our friends on the other side of the border (well, one of our borders) and is chock full of style tips for the clueless professional women:

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Style File!
By La Fashionista

You’ll note this column is written under a pseudonym. There’s a reason for that: Y’all are spiteful little bitches and I just know that if you knew who I was, you would rip me to shreds.

But what do you know anyway? I saw you last week at a motion, and you were wearing a suit from Fairweather – you know, the kind where the lining doesn’t reach the bottom of the jacket but stops halfway up the back?

The Style File will monitor trends, provide the profession with much-needed fashion tips, and arm you with fashion-forward information like where to buy the best suits and what actually counts as business casual. In short, the Style File is going to save you from fashion failure.

Let’s start with that age-old dilemma for women lawyers: What hosiery and shoes should be worn with a navy or light-coloured suit? It’s a killer. I know women who simply refuse to buy a blue suit just to avoid this issue. The answer: No white pantyhose. Ever. Unless you are a nurse. And practising health law doesn’t count.

Navy suits require sheer, nude hose (not the shimmery kind please – who are you, Beyonce?) and dark brown shoes. Not navy blue “pumps.” Are there exceptions? No.

And while we’re on the subject, do not buy / wear / go anywhere near “pumps.” Or “slacks.” Or a “jumper.” But I digress. It’s not about the language, it’s about the shoe. You are not your mother or your grandmother or June Cleaver. Here is an easy rule for all of you. If you are under 50, do not buy a shoe with a heel that you could walk 5 miles in. That is a pump.

If you work at one of the mega-firms (aka seven sisters for seven brothers … whatever) find the secretary who has worked at the firm the longest. She works for some old guy who the firm hasn’t yet squeezed out — that guy who just shows up to avoid his wife and children. Find her. Look at her shoes. Don’t ever be caught dead in those shoes.

Now go out and practice what I have taught you. Don’t make me catch you in First Canadian wearing any of the shit discussed above or I’ll call you out.
I'm not so sure that I agree with all of the fashion "advice". What the hell is wrong with pumps? I prefer to be able to walk at the end of the day, thank you very much.

And how about the blue suit advice? Is she spot on or totally off base? I'm not so sure that there's a hard and fast rule in that regard. I agree that white hose are a no-no, but I've nver been a fan of totally nude hose. I think that they're tacky--not sure why--they just are. I prefer hose that are sheer, almost off white-ish tan. Not sure if you get the gist, but they go with everything--tan suits, black suits, navy, you name it. And, I've never been a fan of sheer black hose at the office.--seems too "evening wear" to me.

How about that ban on navy pumps? I'm not buying that one either. If you find the right pair, they look ok with a navy suit, although brown looks nice as well.

So, what do you do with navy blue suits? Any hard and fast rules that you go by? Speak to me!

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