13 May 2011

  • Wine Jersey Dress: Japanese Weekend, via eBay
  • Oatmeal Cardigan: Halogen via Nordstrom’s, gift from mom
  • Brown Peep Toe Wedges: Naturalizer, via amazon.com
  • Teal Chandelier Earrings: Forever 21
  • Silver Necklace: gifted

I was on my way back to the car this afternoon after my Constitutional Law final, and my friend J. says to me, “you look nice! Why are you dressed?” I thanked him for the sweet compliment, but as I was getting into the car, I couldn’t help but chuckle over the fact that he had asked me not, why are you dressed up, but why are you dressed, as if having appeared to put on any clothes with intention was somehow surprising. I’m pretty sure it was just a Freudian slip on J.’s part, but it struck me as a pretty funny comment on the typical approach to exam week dressing around my law school (and not just exam week, sadly).

But, Freud aside, this was what I wore for my final exam this morning, a 3.5 hour affair of joy, fear, and individual rights jurisprudence. I was going for something that was versatile enough that I wouldn’t be too hot or too cold in the exam room, that would feel polished but not constraining, and, most importantly, that would make me feel like a superhero. This dress came in the mail from its eBay seller yesterday, and it’s possible I never want to take it off again (but I will! I promise.). It’s matte jersey, which is a pregnant woman’s best friend, and the detailing and dark color make it dressy enough to wear to the office. It’s from Japanese Weekend’s “d & a” (or “during and after”) line, so it comes with a built-in modesty “bridge” in the surplice neckline designed for both coverage and easy nursing access. In return, though, it’s a bit shorter than most maternity dresses and doesn’t have quite as much “bump room” as some do. At least at the moment, though, I’m willing to sacrifice a few days of 9th-month wear in exchange for a longer post-pregnancy afterlife. The color felt like a slightly controversial choice this time of year, but I like that it’s subdued enough to wear to work, and a bit of a break from the BRIGHT brights I’ve been acquiring a lot of. To me at least, it feels a bit more formal and like it balances out the informality of the matte jersey. And even though I swore I’d never wear another long cardigan with a dress again, I somehow didn’t mind the proportions here, which felt somehow more sophisticated and less dowdy (though I could be persuaded otherwise!).

I love what these chandelier earrings are doing to add a little bit of sparkle to the outfit, but as I’m contemplating my wear-to-work style in a more conservative office, I’m wondering whether there’s a place for things like bigger earrings. Bold necklaces somehow seem less fraught to me, but I’m not sure why this is. What are your thoughts? Do you have boundaries on what kinds of earrings you will and won’t wear to work?

13 May 2011

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