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Garfield
  • Law Student

A quick question for lawyers out there: are the blazers with no collar (an example pictured below) too unprofessional to wear to work or an interview? 

 

Screen Shot 2021-12-26 at 10.00.48 PM.png

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MissRepresented
  • Lawyer

No, they are fine, but I would not recommend pairing it with a shirt like the one in that photo (at least for an interview - beyond that you can gauge the office culture yourself).

Edited by MissRepresented
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cherrytree
  • Articling Student

J Crew has 40% off sale styles right now, for anyone looking to get some classic work wardrobe staples!

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On 12/26/2021 at 10:02 PM, Garfield said:

A quick question for lawyers out there: are the blazers with no collar (an example pictured below) too unprofessional to wear to work or an interview? 

 

Screen Shot 2021-12-26 at 10.00.48 PM.png

They can skew more casual so judge it based on where you’re interviewing. Definitely pair it with a higher neckline than this though for an interview. 

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Garfield
  • Law Student

Wow, that was really helpful, thank you, everyone.

Ok, I know this is not directly suit-related, but is it unprofessional to wear boots, like any of the ones below? I will of course wear non-boot heels if I have to, but I would like to avoid doing so if I can.
 

 

E379CC84-FD8F-4FF6-ABE2-A8C2B74BC61F.jpeg

C4ABEBDB-1530-4014-BA30-44D251847754.jpeg

3127D3BE-E703-432B-9270-36289CB597A5.jpeg

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Garfield
  • Law Student

Also to clarify my previous post, I’m referring to wearing boots while in the office, not simply changing in and out of them when arriving or leaving the office.

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Eatable Bran
  • Law Student
On 8/9/2021 at 8:49 PM, cherrytree said:

I wouldn't wear different coloured/patterned top and bottom to court or to an interview, but to a cocktail reception or a coffee chat, sure.

I did wear a patterned blazer to my zoom interviews and had no trouble getting call-backs, but to each their own! 

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cherrytree
  • Articling Student
6 hours ago, Garfield said:

Also to clarify my previous post, I’m referring to wearing boots while in the office, not simply changing in and out of them when arriving or leaving the office.

I think a key variable to consider is whether you have been walking in mud/slush/snow in those boots prior to arriving at your interview? If you feel that muddiness or wetness on your boots could make you feel less confident when you make that important first impression, then perhaps that's something to consider. On the whole I don't think wearing heeled black boots would look unprofessional, if you are wearing them with a suit.

3 hours ago, Eatable Bran said:

I did wear a patterned blazer to my zoom interviews and had no trouble getting call-backs, but to each their own! 

Yeah, it definitely depends on the person and the varying degrees of comfort with more or less subtle patterns and colours. I also feel that the prevalence of video meetings for the past 2 years have caused certain "norms" in pre-pandemic interview settings to relax a bit more. Anyways, how you dress is one way of expressing who you are, and it's usually a good policy to not try to become a totally different person just because you're at a job interview.

Edited by cherrytree
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OntheVerge
  • Lawyer

@GarfieldI personally wouldn't wear a non-collared blazer to an interview as they are perceived as less formal, but I wouldn't hesitate to wear one to work. You never know who's going to be running the interview and while lots of people will say that that minor details or things like that don't or won't matter in an interview, unfortunately they sometimes do. In a perfect world, they wouldn't. But the people interviewing you are not perfect, can have weird mindsets, and first impressions matter. And yes, some people will say "you wouldn't want to work for someone like that anyway", if they were to dismiss you for not wearing a collared blazer but it's a tough job market out there. If everyone else is dressed as formally as possible, would you want to be the person who stands out for looking more casual? My opinion is if you can find a nice blazer/suit jacket with a collar that you feel comfortable in, buy that one. Save the uncollared blazer for once you've got the job. 

Re: boots: Boots can be fine. Of the three you posted, I'd go with the third, as the first two look more casual with the knit on them. If you're wearing them under pants, no one will notice. If you're planning on wearing a skirt suit, I'd lean more towards booties than boots.

For patterns, it's important to think about what kind of pattern, as some work as professional and others more casual. I've seen some blazers with large floral patterns, which is too casual in most cases. Some larger plaid prints (whether whole suit, or just separates) can still look formal. Generally, the smaller and more subtle the pattern, the more formal the look. I'd keep in mind that a whole suit in a pattern can appear less formal than solid pieces, depending again on the pattern itself. But that doesn't mean you can't ever wear patterned pieces. I typically pair most patterned pieces with a solid one for more formal events - for interviews, I sometimes wore a small print black and white houndstooth blazer with a black skirt and black top. 

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cherrytree
  • Articling Student

Houndstooth and herringbone are my two favourite patterns for suits haha

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OntheVerge
  • Lawyer

Same here! I have 4 separate items all in houndstooth (the aforementioned blazer, a jacket, a blouse, and a skirt lol). I actually have to be careful I don't wear them back to back every week as I tend to reach for them more than any other item in my closet. The skirt is my newest purchase, a high waisted, wool pencil skirt in dark pink and black houndstooth.

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  • 2 weeks later...
lawstudent12345
  • Law Student

Does anyone have recommendations for affordable but nice-looking watches?

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BuckDancer
  • Lawyer
On 1/1/2022 at 9:12 PM, Garfield said:

Wow, that was really helpful, thank you, everyone.

Ok, I know this is not directly suit-related, but is it unprofessional to wear boots, like any of the ones below? I will of course wear non-boot heels if I have to, but I would like to avoid doing so if I can.
 

C4ABEBDB-1530-4014-BA30-44D251847754.jpeg

3127D3BE-E703-432B-9270-36289CB597A5.jpeg

I wear boots exactly like the third pair (maybe literally those boots) 98% of the time for work (office, client meetings, mediations, arbitrations, etc.) during the winter. 

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OntheVerge
  • Lawyer

Re: watches, there's usually two paths people take. The first is to save up and get a really nice brand of watch that becomes your day to day watch. What "really nice" is, depends on your budget, your taste, and what you're comfortable spending. Keep in mind since it's a watch you'll put on every day, that most people opt for a pricier watch.

The second path, if the first doesn't appeal to you, is to find a few nice but more affordable watches, that you can then swap around. I tend to call these fashion watches, as they look nice and you can pair them with particular outfits, but don't break the bank. 

I have a mid-range Bulova watch that I tend to wear every day, and a more ornate watch that looks like a bracelet I wear if I want to look a little dressier. I also just bought a cheaper Ann Taylor watch only because the strap was royal blue and looks great when I wear it with a specific ring. 

I'd figure out a price point then if you want a fashion type watch, you can check out clothing stores for their accessories. If you're wanting a nicer watch, then I personally love Bulova and they have various price points and looks. 

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  • 2 months later...
OntheVerge
  • Lawyer

I'm resurrecting this thread for a piece of advice I'd like to share: Everyone should have at least one outfit that they feel great in. In an ideal world, all of your professional outfits would make you feel great, but sometimes that's not always the case (for various reasons). But there should be an outfit that you feel confident and powerful when wearing. Sometimes it's a certain suit, sometimes it's a blouse of a particular colour, and sometimes it's just a great piece of jewellery that pulls together any outfit. But really strive to find that one outfit that makes you feel like you can conquer any obstacles in your day. 

I have one suit that makes me feel like a real boss. It's an unassuming colour - dark grey - but any colour top goes with it, it's got a great cut, and I feel like my best self in it. It was my go-to for interviews when I needed a confidence boost.

I also have a more casual outfit that I wear when meeting with clients but that still gives me the same vibe. Black faux leather pencil skirt, black blouse with faux leather shoulders and high neckline, and a more casual, less structured black blazer (no collar, no lapels), with the hems come into subtle points in the front. I love to wear it with a statement necklace. 

So for people building your work wardrobe, try not to settle for "just" a suit. Try to find a suit that makes you feel great and confident. You may have to try on a lot to find the right one (or two), but it'll be worth it. And if you're uncomfortable in a suit, put it on for a day and just head out downtown, or wherever all the other suit-wearers are, so you can get the feel of it. That way when you have to wear it to an event (mooting, social event, interview, whatever) for the first time, you'll have lost any self-consciousness that may have arisen. 

Edited by OntheVerge
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  • 1 month later...
Geworfenheit
  • Law Student

Does anyone know about the current dress code on bay st? I heard that most bay st firms have been going back to their offices like three times a week now. I will be starting articling this August and was wondering if the dress code is more casual than pre-Covid or if it remains the same. Do women wear suits on a daily basis? Or it's more like you just have a blazer in your office and only put it on when needed? And do women generally wear pumps? If you do wear pumps, would you wear something else when you commute and go change when you arrive at the office? Also, what bags do women use?

Thanks in advance!

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Garfield
  • Law Student

Adding to the above, if anyone has suggestions for decent brands for suits (e.g. Club Monaco, Theory, etc. are some brands I've heard) and other brands for other types of clothing (e.g. shirts) that would be great. 

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typinganxiety
  • Law Student
On 4/19/2022 at 5:37 PM, Geworfenheit said:

Does anyone know about the current dress code on bay st? I heard that most bay st firms have been going back to their offices like three times a week now. I will be starting articling this August and was wondering if the dress code is more casual than pre-Covid or if it remains the same. Do women wear suits on a daily basis? Or it's more like you just have a blazer in your office and only put it on when needed? And do women generally wear pumps? If you do wear pumps, would you wear something else when you commute and go change when you arrive at the office? Also, what bags do women use?

Thanks in advance!

To add, is it typical to wear "business casual" as in blouse and dress pants considering it is the summer? 

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GoBigOrGoHome
  • Law School Admit
1 hour ago, Garfield said:

Adding to the above, if anyone has suggestions for decent brands for suits (e.g. Club Monaco, Theory, etc. are some brands I've heard) and other brands for other types of clothing (e.g. shirts) that would be great. 

My absolute favourite is Judith & Charles.

They have an easy care line that can be thrown straight in the washing machine. It feels quality. They also seem to produce the same colour tones season to season. 

 

Not cheap but sometimes you can find a sale. I found a blazer on sale at Nordstrom and got a matching skirt directly from them. I am going to see if I can find some of the other pieces on Poshmark. I plan to just keep buying more and more pieces from the easy care lines so I can mix and match. 
 

(I have always been the one in the office to wear a suit and clean nice sneakers. Kind of sad that I won’t be able to do that anymore but maybe I can find various loafers and similar to men’s dress shoes so I can be comfortable but stylish. I like the look of women’s traditional pointed flats but hate walking a lot in them)

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OntheVerge
  • Lawyer
On 4/19/2022 at 5:37 PM, Geworfenheit said:

Does anyone know about the current dress code on bay st? I heard that most bay st firms have been going back to their offices like three times a week now. I will be starting articling this August and was wondering if the dress code is more casual than pre-Covid or if it remains the same. Do women wear suits on a daily basis? Or it's more like you just have a blazer in your office and only put it on when needed? And do women generally wear pumps? If you do wear pumps, would you wear something else when you commute and go change when you arrive at the office? Also, what bags do women use?

Thanks in advance!

If you're not sure, I'd go full suit and blouse for the first few days until you can see what the environment is like. It's always easier to dress down a full suit - take off the jacket - than it is to dress up a more casual look. Also when you're looking to see what people are wearing, look at not only the other articling students but the lawyers, too. I'm always more concerned about not dressing up enough, than I am about being overdressed in a group. 

 

On 4/20/2022 at 11:49 PM, typinganxiety said:

To add, is it typical to wear "business casual" as in blouse and dress pants considering it is the summer? 

Not in my experience, but I didn't work on Bay St. In summer, I wore sheath dresses with a matching jacket for court or client meetings, and dress + loose blazer or cardigan for just days around the office. Usually the air conditioning is kicking it full blast in most offices, so I'd have something for my shoulders, then take if off when running around outside in the gross heat. 

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OntheVerge
  • Lawyer
On 4/20/2022 at 10:23 PM, Garfield said:

Adding to the above, if anyone has suggestions for decent brands for suits (e.g. Club Monaco, Theory, etc. are some brands I've heard) and other brands for other types of clothing (e.g. shirts) that would be great. 

It really comes down to what not only fits you best, but looks best on you. The distinction is key. I can find any blazers or suit jackets that "fit me" - shoulder seam where it needs to be, not stretched tight across the bust, sleeve length at wrist bone/thumb bone, etc. But not every blazer looks good on me, even if the fit is there. For me, LOFT, Banana Republic, J + C, Aritzia...all look awful on me. Something about the cuts of the blazers/jackets are not flattering. Anne Taylor, Theory, Maje, heck even a RW Co. blazer I bought at Eaton centre after spilling coffee on myself right before court, are all brands that look good on me, personally. 

If you're not sure, go to a store that has a lot of different brands like the Bay or Nordstroms, and try a simple fitted suit jacket across a variety of brands and see what works and what doesn't on you. Once you find a few that look good, try on the coordinating bottom pieces. These can be harder to fit than a suit jacket. I still cannot find a pair of suit pants that look good on me, so I stick to skirts, but it's a personal preference. After working your way through a bunch of suits, you'll start to find what brands work and what don't. I don't even try buying pants from LOFT or skirts from Banana Republic, but I'll check them out for things like blouses, shirts or cardigans. 

When you're building a work wardrobe, think about where you want to invest. I put my money into my suits and then cheap out on blouses/shirts and separates (i.e. a gray skirt with no matching blazer, or a fun blazer). The suits are classic fitted and will last years. The separates are more for updating the wardrobe and keeping trendy. And since they fall in and out of fashion quicker, I don't want to spend as much on a top that might be dated in a year or two. Like right now, unstructured blazers are all the rage. I have a black one I can mix and match with my outfits, but my pricier suits are more structured for the classic look that's a bit more timeless. 

 

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OntheVerge
  • Lawyer
On 4/21/2022 at 12:17 AM, GoBigOrGoHome said:

My absolute favourite is Judith & Charles.

They have an easy care line that can be thrown straight in the washing machine. It feels quality. They also seem to produce the same colour tones season to season. 

 

Not cheap but sometimes you can find a sale. I found a blazer on sale at Nordstrom and got a matching skirt directly from them. I am going to see if I can find some of the other pieces on Poshmark. I plan to just keep buying more and more pieces from the easy care lines so I can mix and match. 
 

(I have always been the one in the office to wear a suit and clean nice sneakers. Kind of sad that I won’t be able to do that anymore but maybe I can find various loafers and similar to men’s dress shoes so I can be comfortable but stylish. I like the look of women’s traditional pointed flats but hate walking a lot in them)

If I'm going with pointed toes, I usually go half a size up to reduce pain in the toes. For me, it's the support. I find the support flats offers varies significantly. I have a few pairs of Clarks, Rockports, Ecco and Cole Haan flats and they're not only comfortable, but supportive. I've walked around downtown for hours in all pairs and my feet don't get sore or start to ache. Sometimes I'll get home and am too tired to change, so I'll walk my dog in my work clothes + flats for another 30-60 minutes. I bought a cute pair of oxford like loafers from Anthropologie last year (can't remember the brand) and they're super supportive! Plus they're a shiny burgundy, so they look great with most colours.

On the other hand, I've tried on some flats that while comfortable, are not supportive at all. I have some Anne Klein "sports" flats, some sort of Naturalizers, and a few other pairs that offer no support. It's like walking on cardboard strapped to your feet. I have high arches so I look for shoes with good arch support at a minimum. 

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