Mission: Dress like a grown-up.

As much as I try to dress somewhat  fashionably or decently or whatever, I can’t escape the feeling that I’m dressing like a teenager. I wear t’s and Chucks, flouncy skirts, Forever 21 galore. I like the way I dress, but I’m starting a real internship this summer; I need to dress in a way that will make people take me seriously. I’m young, and I’m petite, and I’m tired of being called “adorable.” So, time to dress like a real person.

To help me out in this endeavor, I went to the library and checked out some books by Nina Garcia. I’ll be honest here — I really have no idea who she is. Some wonderful person told me that I should read her book The One Hundred, so I did. I read two others, too: The Little Black Book of Style and The Style Strategy. I didn’t like Style Strategy — some snobby part of me thinks that a style book should not require actual reading but rather be made up of bullet points and pictures — but the other two were fairly genius. She  has a great personality, an interesting personal story and a very accessible set of tips and tricks — even someone fashion-illiterate as me understood it all. Sure, some of it was not so practical for me — can’t afford Pucci or Christian Louboutin, Nina, sorry — but I’d recommend the books nonetheless. At some point I’ll probably do a more thorough post about The One Hundred, but for now I’m keeping focused on my mission.

Her books were all a little different, but they each repeated the list of “classic must-haves”:

  • Classic high-heeled pump
  • Ballet Flats
  • Trench Coat
  • Classic white shirt
  • Little Black Dress
  • Cashmere cardigan or turtleneck
  • A great bag
  • Denim

“The One Hundred” had a ton of different items, including the ones above, but there were a few I think I can easily work into my wardrobe (read: ones I can afford). I’m listing them alphabetically, just as she did.

  • Animal print flats
  • Ankle booties
  • Bangles
  • Blazer
  • Boyfriend cardigan
  • Denim Jacket
  • Hoop earrings
  • White sundress
  • Pearl necklace
  • Metallic sandals
  • Sailor Stripes
  • Wrap dress

So this, I guess, is my shopping list. There are a few other things that I’ve found around the various blogs I’ve been reading — for example, Jean at Extra Petite, who is probably one of my heroes, writes that her go-to is a ruffled blouse and a pencil skirt, so I’m going to look for some of those — and I would love suggestions from any of you, because I’m always impressed by how all of you look. I notice that a lot of you shop at LOFT, Gap, H &M, Banana Republic, etc., so I’m going to give those places a shot (though I’ll always be a Forever 21 addict!).

What do you guys think? What else do I need to do, what do I need to buy, where do I need to shop, to look like someone who has a job (and is good at it)?


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sheyla
    Apr 09, 2011 @ 21:09:52

    Hello!! You should check out Nina’s other book: Look Book: What to wear for every occasion. It has outfit ideas for all sorts of events like job interviews, first day of work, casual Fridays, etc. It’s a great book!! I also have some tips for you: if you going to wear pants or trousers for work you should wear shoes that are the same (or pretty close) color as your pants. It makes you look taller. And wear heels to work, but nothing higher than 4 inches because it looks unprofessional.
    Take care 🙂


    • MG
      Apr 10, 2011 @ 16:15:00

      Thanks for the shoe tip! Most dress-up-for-work days I wear black pants with black shoes, because it’s just easiest. My flats just broke and I’m still looking for new ones, but I’m wearing wedges in the meantime. I like heels, but my job requires a lot of walking, so it’s not always the most practical choice. I’ll give it a try at some point!
      And yes, I have my eye on that Nina book! It was checked out at my library last time I was there, but I’ll find it eventually.


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