Friday, September 12, 2008

Attention working girls!

It looks like I got the internship I was talking about earlier! My professor (who used to work for this agency) sent me an email pretty much saying I am in! Of course he wasn't very direct and used way too many "..." (ellipses) for my liking but whatever, the message was clear.

Here's the problem: I have no "work" clothes. The interview clothes I have don't fit anymore so I just borrow my sister's. This is where you readers come in: I need your recommendations. I would love to shop only at J.Crew but I just don't have the money (this is a nonpaid internship after all). I need a good pair of black pants, a nice black skirt, tops, etc. The internship is with an agency that is part of the federal government so it must be appropriate (read: pretty conservative).


  1. I interned at a law firm all four years of college so I feel ya!

    I bought a lot of stuff at Target, eBay, Gap, Old Navy, Walmart [cheap-o shoes and camisoles], Forever 21...


  2. T.J.Maxx is the place to look for fabulous clothes!

  3. ann taylor loft has great conservative work clothes, and great sales.


  4. I've been working for 11 years and I don't like to spend a lot of money on work clothes. I'd much rather buy a fun, fluffy dress. :)

    Here are some of my secrets for work clothes...

    Buy 1-3 good pair of work pants (black, navy, tan). I get mine at the Limited, about $80 not on sale. The Gap is also good for cheaper work pants.

    Buy a couple of basic skirts that you're comfortable in.

    Change your tops and accessories. Layers are good and make an outfit look different.

    I've found a few dressy tops at Forever 21 that are so cute and work well for work. My favorite jacket (that I wear on interviews) came from Forever 21.

    My sister has to really dress up for work and she gets most of her items from the Limited.

    Have fun shopping! Can't wait to see what you get.

  5. I have been a silent reader for awhile now. But felt compelled to comment. I work at a very conservative Bank - I have to wear suits every day.

    You can usually find some good stuff at Banana on sale. TJ Maxx and Marshal's have good pants and skirts if you are willing to spend the time to look. Ann Taylor Loft has great sales. (I think they are offering an additional 25% of their sale stuff right now)

    Also, check the outlets. Ann Taylor, Banana, J.Crew, Gap - I have found good pieces at all of them.

    Good Luck and Congrats!

  6. I work with the Feds get yourself to the Gap asap. They have tons of hip and affordable looks this season. I just bought the cutest charcoal grey dress for fall. $68! Old Navy would be ok for a quick fix. If you have the patience I guess you could to well at Target.

  7. Congrats!!! Someone at worked mentioned to me yesterday that Gap is having a huge sale on all their cute work clothing. I say head over there and see if you come across anything. I also think you need to check eBay. You can get all the JCrew stuff for a fraction of the website's price, only catch is that it might be a season old and you cannot try it on!

  8. CONGRATS! I was just in Ann Taylor Loft yesterday, and they have some great basic suits, cardigans, jackets, pants and at really good prices. I buy a lot of my work and church stuff there.

  9. I would recommend ANN TAYLOR LOFT. The prices can be GREAT and the look is conservative chic. That's where I got all my post-college interview clothes!

  10. I have been super impressed by Old Navy lately in the work-wear department and (surprisingly) Forever 21 online (think cute vests for wearing over white button downs, etc.)... and you definitely can't beat those prices.

  11. Congrats!

    Do you have a Banana Republic outlet near you? They have the best pencil skirts (I have three) and they are usually an additional % off.

  12. first off congrats darling, what wonderful news!

    I echo what everyone else has been saying. I have had to make a rather large investment in Fall work pieces after the relocation from FL to NYC. Not to mention the conservative factor as I am now working for a religous non-profit. I have been finding great pants at the Gap. Also LOFT has some really adorable things right now. I have been investing in a lot of cardigans and simple black dresses. I have about 6 black work dresses now. You can add fun cardigans, jewlery, shoes, etc and always look chic and pulled together. I was JUST at Old Navy last night and they have some great work dresses. With tights they can take you all the way through winter really.

    Best of luck with the internship!

  13. Everyone pretty much named all the stores I would have suggested.

    Banana republic has some nice pants on sale. Maybe you'll find something there?

    I love JCrew. It has gotten SO expensive. Their sweaters are almost $100 now! (They are really cute and have crystal buttons so maybe that's why). :)

  14. congratulations! old navy is where its at, or ann taylor loft *by a people magazine they have a 20 dollar off a 100 dollar purchase coupon!*

  15. I only wear work slacks (do people say slacks anymore?) from Express - the Editor style. They fit really well, conservative but not so much that you wouldn't want to wear them outside of work. I've had a few pairs that have lasted for years. They are expensive up front but definitely worth it!

  16. Congratulations and good luck! I have gotten several cute conservative work style pieces at Banana Republic. Their clearance section is great, but you have to hit it at the right time.

    I hope you have a nice weekend!

  17. Congrats!!! I'd recommend Ann Taylor (sale) and Ann Taylor Loft and of course Marshalls and TJs

  18. Hey!

    I just found your blog and it's great! I am a new blogger and I'm always looking for new blogs! :-) Oh and I live in DC too and in grad school.

    Anyways, I love the NY and Company because they usually have coupons. I used to never shop there and I went there on a whim with my friend recently and their pants are fantastic! Try them out... OH and if you go, ask the cashier if she has a coupon you could use. They usually do. Good luck!

  19. try express, old navy, forever 21, and sales at j.crew!

  20. Definetly hit up Old Navy, Esprit (sometimes pricey), Banana sales etc.

  21. I'd get a few things at the places the other commenters recommended and then let's hit up Leesburg in a few weeks (K and I really want to go). I found a lot of good stuff at the Banana outlet this summer. Looks like you have a lot of ideas to go on, though. Can't wait to see your finds!

  22. When I first started working (accounting) and needed a suit, I stopped by the Banana Republic outlet. Picked up a black jacket, skirt, and slacks to mix and match them with different tops and accessories. Suit is lightweight wool so it can be worn all year long and is quality material so it should last for many years and all at a great deal! :)

    Believe it or not Target has some cute button shirts and cardigans by Merona. Check out the clearance racks and find them for about $8 each.

    JcPenny's has a good assortment of what I like to call "play" jewelry/ accessories. So you can easily jazz up your outfit without paying an arm and a leg.

    And, finally Banana (store) has some really good sales. I anticipate that they should be taking some markdowns on the first wave of fall merchandise within a couple of weeks. Check the online website from time to time, especially on Thursdays.

    Hope this helps and good luck!

  23. Congrats! I agree with everyone else - Target, Old Navy, TJMaxx, Marshall's, Walmart, Penney's. I still go here for my work clothes most of the time!

    Also, I did spend a little more on black pants, BUT go to Gap Outlet if there's one near you and they have GREAT fits for even less - mine all come from either there or J. Crew.

  24. congrats! try shopping at target, good luck! i know it's not j. crew but it could work!

  25. email me your address, your sassy happy is ready to ship!

  26. Congrats! I recommend going to the outlet mall if there is one near you. I bought a really great professional outfit there this summer at the Ann Taylor Outlet. The J Crew outlet is always fabulous as well.

    Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft tend to have really good sales and really cute clothes. I went to Kohl's and bought three pairs of Dockers in black, gray, and khaki and then I accent them with shirts and sweaters from Target, jackets from Old Navy and Marshall's, and various items from JC Penney's, TJ Maxx, J Crew, The Gap, and Steinmart.

    I love Macy's and Steinmart for good sales on basics.

    I'd spend some money on your accessories if you can. While I like some of Forever 21's jewelry, a lot of it probably won't be professional enough. I feel the same way about their clothes. I think that basic white or yellow gold studs, pearl studs, or really small silver hoops would look great. You can never go wrong with pearls!

    Good luck and Congrats!

  27. Congrats on the internship.

    Try TJ Maxx. They have tons of cute things at great prices.

  28. Old Navy, Target, Ann Taylor Loft, and Gap. Be prepared to spend a little more to get the basics - black skirt, black/tan/navy/grey pants, suit jacket, white button down - then go cheap for other things like sweaters, cardigans, etc. My "uniform" for work is generally pants or skirt with a sweater. Sometimes I do the collared shirt under a sweater, sometimes a cami under a buttoned up cardigan. Target has some great fall work clothes out right now, the tops are great!

  29. Anne Taylor Loft and Limited sale racks are BRILLIANT. Also, Filene's Basement can be totally fab depending on the day.

    Good luck!!

  30. Congratulations!

    I work in a very conservative profession, and in my still-in-school years, I got by with 2-3 quality (Brooks Brothers & Ann Taylor) suits in conservative (brown, black, navy) colors. In my case, these were skirt suits, but if you are working in a slightly less conservative (ie, anything but law) profession, you might be able to get away with pantsuits. I would check on this first, however. You'd be surprised how many people, particularly older men, who don't approve of the pantsuit.

    With quality suits, you can sub in cheap alternatives for pretty much everything else - tops, shoes, and handbag included. More than likely, no one is paying attention to the labels you're wearing at this level / conservative environment. Ann Taylor sweater sets are so versatile and often go on sale. As others have recommended, I'd also frequent TJ Maxx, Marshalls, etc. for discounted separates.

  31. Congratulations!!! And shopping for work clothes is so much fun!!

  32. Congrats!

    I had a summer internship. I wore dresses pretty often. I also wore/own a lot of Polo shirts and collared shirts. I also found great things at Banana Republic.

    ^ Oh, and cardigans from Ann Taylor are pretty awesome.


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