Saturday, January 19, 2019

I've Got to Get This Job: How to Dress Professionally

"I really need this job. Please God, I need this job. I've got to get this job!" - "Opening: I Hope I Get It" from A Chorus Line.


For me, and I'm sure for many of you who are looking for jobs, internships, and externships, it's application season. I always find job applications incredibly nerve-wracking. From the cover letter, to the resume, to the writing sample, and (hopefully) the interview, the whole process makes me anxious. The part of the job search that brings me joy is dressing for the interview. I have always loved putting an outfit together, no matter the occasion. What's special about professional attire is the empowerment that clothes can make you feel. When I'm in a suit, it's like I'm on top of the world. I want to share my fashion wisdom and help you feel confident walking into the interview.


#1: Where to shop?


When it comes to professional attire, fit is key. If your outfit doesn't fit you impeccably, it will look messy. No matter where you're shopping, keep good tailoring in mind. My personal favorite places to shop for workwear are J.Crew (petite, tall, and plus sizes), Banana Republic (petite, tall, and up to size 20), Ann Taylor (petite, tall, and up to size 18), ASOS (petite, tall, and plus sizes), H&M (plus sizes), Topshop (petite and tall sizes), Zara, ModCloth (sizes XXS-4X), Nordstrom Rack, and T.J.Maxx. These stores have the best selections; a mix of classic and on-trend pieces. I like to shop at J.Crew, Banana Republic, and Ann Taylor when sales are going on. J.Crew Factory, the outlet version of the store, has more affordable options. I bought my favorite suit there.


#2: What to buy?

via GIPHY

Everyone has their own personal sense of style. Stay true to yours. However, I believe there are some staple pieces everyone should have in their wardrobe to help them dress for success: a black blazer, a suit, a white button-down shirt, a black button-down shirt, a striped button-down shirt, and a black cardigan or sweater. These are pieces you will be able to style in countless ways for a wide range of professional opportunities, to interview and beyond. I love both skirt suits and pant suits, but if you're not a skirt person, by all means, stay away. The same goes for a dress. If you don't wear dresses, don't buy one. It will be a waste of money you could have spent on clothes you love. Let your clothes reflect who you are. Don't try to fit into some mold of what you think a "professional" should look like.


#3: Heel or no heel?

via Tumblr
If you don't like heels, don't wear them. I am a heel fan, but a lot of times I find them uncomfortable. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, BREAK IN A NEW PAIR OF HEELS, OR ANY SHOES, FOR A JOB INTERVIEW!!! You will be in pain, and you don't want that. Interviews are painful enough without blisters.


#4: What to wear?


It depends on how formal the job in which you will potentially be working is. Some jobs are business casual, others require a suit. Before your interview, be sure to research what the environment is like to gauge what attire is work-appropriate. In my view, it's better to be overdressed than underdressed. As the saying goes, dress for the job you want. For my upcoming job search within the legal profession, I plan to wear a suit, with either a pencil skirt or pants, a crisp white button-down shirt, and heels. This is a classic look that makes me feel most powerful. Find your power outfit and wear it with pride.


Best of luck to all of you who are embarking on the job search! You're going to be stylish, smart, and a "singular sensation!"


~Bitsy

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Doorway Series #1



Sweater: Isabel Marant (sold out, similar here) | Skirt: Aritzia (sold out, similar here) | Coat: Topshop (sold out, similar here) | Shoes: Dr. Martens | Bag: Forever 21 | Hat: Free People (sold out, similar here)

When one door closes, another door opens. Since I've started law school, I haven't had the time to blog like I've wanted to. Bits of Style took a necessary backseat for my very first semester. Yes, Elle Woods. Law school is hard. Instead of going on photoshoots around the city, I was studying Civil Procedure.

This blog has been my creative outlet for six years; a space to express myself and my passions for writing, fashion, and photography. Now that (I think) I get the general gist of how law school works, I want to post more this semester. Lately, I've been inspired by '50s and '60s fashion (thanks, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and editorial styling. I want to share that inspiration with you.

When one door closes, another door opens. My latest photo series utilizes the doorways inside my apartment. I love the retro aesthetic and the way the doorframe frames the photographs. For this outfit, I drew inspiration from the editorial and retro styling I've been inspired by. The result is a bit British and a bit French.

Pairing red and green is my favorite way to color block. A sleek scarlet coat and an emerald '70s-influenced handbag with a bamboo handle (you'd never guess it is Forever 21) make the look vibrant. My mom gave me the handbag as a gift. She once had one just like it. Classic Doc Martens are my shoe of choice.

Here's to new doors opening in 2019.


~Bitsy

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Cowgirl at Waterloo






Top: Nordstrom (sold out, similar here) | Vest: Levi's (sold out, similar here) | Jeans: H&M (sold out, similar here) | Shoes: Dolce Vita (sold out, similar here) | Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters | Bandana: Walmart | Bracelet: Pandora | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (sold out, similar here)

Jessie from Toy Story was totally my inspiration for this outfit. She's low-key a fashion icon and unofficial "it girl." I rarely wear denim on denim, but the vest works well with these flares for a '70s-meets-western, festival apropos look. I've never been to Coachella, but if I did, I would wear this. Sunglasses straight out of the movie Get a Clue (2002) starring Lindsay Lohan (cough, cough, I mean Urban Outfitters) and a bandana at the neck complete the outfit. Come to think of it, Donna from Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again would wear this as well.

~Bitsy

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Long Time, No Post


Well, hello! Long time, no post! Much has happened since the last time I blogged in April. I graduated from Emerson College with a degree in Marketing Communications and am making the move to Washington, D.C. for law school. I'm excited for what's to come, and a bit melancholy about saying goodbye to four unforgettable years in Boston. Change is wild.

I'm not sure how much time I will have to devote to blogging when law school starts. I barely had any my senior year of college. I don't want to stop blogging, though. Bits of Style will turn six (six!!!) in December and I want my blog to continue to grow as much as it can. I've devoted a lot of time to this little creation and am like a proud mother (to keep this maternal metaphor going). 

I've photographed a whole bunch of outfits over the past year, and I want to share as many of them as I can with you. I've cut my hair since a lot of the "older" photos were taken, so bare with me, and pay no attention to inconsistency in 'do length. Through sharing these photos, you'll get a sense of how my style continues to evolve. I find fashion evolution fascinating, which is a big reason why I created this virtual space. I hope you find a thread of inspiration in my collective, clothing musings and the moments that define them. 

~Bitsy   


Photo credits: Maggie Skerry (@magsterpiece97)

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Business Casual




Blazer: J.Crew Factory (sold out, available in navy here) | T-shirt: Hanes | Jeans: LF (sold out, similar here) | Shoes: Topshop (sold out, similar here) | Bag: Kate Spade (sold out, similar here) | Necklace: BCBGeneration | Earrings: BCBGeneration | Watch: Michael Kors

I couldn't wear this to the office, because, ripped jeans, but I'm still going to call this outfit business casual. A blazer can make any look polished. I hadn't worn blazers in so long until I started working in a professional environment. Now I like to style them on days off. A blazer, jeans, and a T-shirt can take you anywhere, from meetings, to running errands and dinner out. You can't go wrong. 

I paired my blazer with a boys Hanes T-shirt I got at Walmart for $4. Seriously, buy boys/mens T-shirts to layer with. They're affordable, durable, comfortable, and classic. My favorite jeans I got at the LF sale last year add a laid-back edge to the look. To counter the ripped denim, I wore ankle boots and minimalistic gold jewelry. A mini bag adds the finishing touch. 

~Bitsy

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Snow Day




Dress: Forever 21 (sold out, similar here) | Top: American Apparel | Scarf: Steve Madden | Shoes: Dr. Martens | Glasses: Warby Parker

It's a snow day here in Boston and that means I'm in hibernation mode. What a great opportunity to bring you a new blog post! I am not wearing this outfit today, but it's what I would be wearing if I wasn't stuck inside while 20 inches of snow accumulates around me. Perhaps if it were a light dusting, I would.

I call this look "snow day-chic." It's comfy, cozy, and captures the essence of what's left of the New England winter. I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to spring. Snow in March is a big no from me.

~Bitsy

Photo credits: Maggie Skerry (@magsterpiece97)

Friday, March 2, 2018

Feminist Oliver Twist





Coat: Topshop (sold out, similar here) | Top: American Apparel (sold out, similar here) | Jeans: Brandy Melville (sold out, similar here) | Shoes: Topshop (sold out, similar here) | Hat: Free People (sold out, similar here) | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff | Glasses: Warby Parker | Earrings: H&M

"Please, sir. May I have some more respect for women?" - Feminist Oliver Twist. 

It's Women's History Month; a time to celebrate and reflect on the advances women of all ages, backgrounds, identities, and abilities have made in society. Women are revolutionaries. We are movers, shakers, thinkers, creators, entrepreneurs, and so much more. We're strong and vulnerable, clever and scrappy. We persist and defy expectations. We raise our voices. We say #MeToo and Time's Up. We demand positive social change.

I love the color red. It's a power color. Red lipstick colors the words I speak with a stroke of strength and passion. A red coat keeps my body warm that others have branded with a scarlet letter for being too vocal. Isn't it strange how women can seemingly never win? How people try to color us with their favorite shades? 

When someone tries to paint you with a broad brush, make your colors shine brighter. Be unapologetic in the showcase of the masterpiece you call your soul. Be kind to yourself. Celebrate yourself. Support your sisters. Be an ally for those who are not able or are hesitant to express their complete selves. Listen. Learn. Speak and stand up. We are women. 

~Bitsy