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Old 05-20-2010, 11:26 PM   #1  
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Default Clothes Help!!

Hi all. I've been away from 3FC for a good while. I'm still overweight but not really doing much about it. The past couple of years have had so many ups and downs I just have had to regulate my weight problems to the bottom of the pile. I'm starting to feel lately though that I am coming up for air so to speak in that things are back in a forward mode where previously I felt like I was either going backwards or just staying in one spot. Anyway something really great happened, I just landed a new job. I am a registered nurse previously working in a hospital for 10 years then doing a visiting nursing job and now I have landed a job in management. My issue....what the heck do I where??? I think just about every job I've had since I was 16 mandated some sort of uniform that came with the job and as a nurse I wore scrubs at the hospital and as a visiting nurse I wore a light blue polo and blue or black pants. The truth of the matter is that I really don't have any clothes. I hate shopping for clothes, right now the average person would toss most of my clothes or use them as rags. I wear a lot of very casual loose fitting clothes. I have a few 'good' clothes that I wear when my usual loose cotton pants and a t-shirt won't do. I haven't a clue what office attire is, judging from the people in the office where I am going to work and my immediate supervisor it ranges from very casual to casual business. What my supervisor wears probably depends on if she has meeting to go to or is just going to be in the office all day. I need some help!!! Can anyone give me some suggestions on what to buy?? Now that things are settling down a bit I really intend to get back on the weight loss wagon, having a new job where I am working more regular hours will likely help. Any thoughts?
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:45 AM   #2  
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Congratulations on your new job. That is terrific! I worked in a hospital for three years and had to know how to look professional on the job. It seems that a lot of offices have gone more casual in the last few years. If you are now in a management position, I'd probably start by buying some nice slacks in classic colors such as black, navy, or khaki and add some flattering tops or blouses in colors such as white, cream and maybe a bright color or two. Then, I would add a nice tailored jacket or two that goes with your pants/tops for days when you want to look your most professional. Of course, if you like to wear skirts go for a couple of those as well. You might want to go into a store you like and simply ask for some help in putting together an office outfit. Or, look through catalogues for ideas ... most catalogues have a lot of co-ordinating pieces.
Jazz up your outfits with some nice jewelry and comfortable shoes and you are set! Good luck in your new career!
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:59 AM   #3  
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Good advice from Cg! Picking up some neutral slacks and skirts and rotating them with great tops should do the trick. And I can't stress enough the blessing that is accessorizing.

I'm an office monkey, and our dress code is basically business casual so I'm generally in slacks, skirts, cardigans, etc. I can change up outfits in a flash by mixing up my tops and bottoms and varying jewelry and shoes...separates are your friend.

And if you're anything like me, you may have an aversion to buying pricey items, especially when you know you're going to be swimming in them at some point while you're losing weight. Sale racks are my godsend. It takes infinite patience, but I hit Macy's every couple of months and plow through clearance items. Since stores stock for a season ahead, I generally pick up current seasonal clothes for a steal since they're moving them out to make room for whatever comes next. I'm particularly attached to Macy's because their clothing is good quality and fits well.

A couple months ago I bought a bunch of stuff for like 75% off. I must have purchased at least 10 or 11 items and they came in for just over $100 and most of it was workwear. Again, patience is key, but there's lots of stuff out there if you can withstand the search.

Good luck, and many congratulations on your new job!
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Old 05-21-2010, 03:48 AM   #4  
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Kohl's has some amazing clothes. For work, I have to dress semi-professional and my rule (and the company's) is no t-shirts. At first it was confusing to me, but basically it's any cottony-type shirt. Blouses are fine. But it's shirts made out of t-shirt material are no-nos.

I stick to blacks. Where I work, when you wear pants, you have to wear a third piece, like a sweater, jacket, cardigan, etc. If you wear a skirt you can forgo the third piece. It's really all about being polished, and having a sense of personal style but still being professional.

At first, it's very overwhelming. But if you just start looking and finding really cool pieces, it gets fun. Promise. :-)
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Old 05-21-2010, 09:41 PM   #5  
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Create your own professional uniform. For me it's a blazer, a cami and trousers, or a cardigan, a cami, a belt, and a skirt or trousers. That's pretty much it. I'll occasionally wear a knee length dress with heels but it's not part of my normal uniform.

Buy a few well-fitting jackets (blazers). They are my fashion must-haves. They dress up a t-shirt (or vest/cami) and jeans in an instant and make it look like you've made an effort. Even the most schleppy jeans are improved by a blazer. You need to try them on to make sure they fit right. E.g. the ones at Lane Bryant don't work for me (though they may for you), the Torrid ones are pretty much spot on all the time, I find.

If you're not into heels, there are all sorts of nice flats (I got a few pointy-toes cute ones at Sears online last year for around $10 each and I've worn them pretty regularly and they're still lovely). I go for pointy-toes because they lengthen the leg a bit and I think again, they make you look more like you've made an effort. But if not, regular round toe (ballet flats are also ok).

Another alternative is a cardigan (button-down sweater). Better still, get a wide elastic-backed belt (Torrid has an excellent selection) and belt it around the waist. I used to think this would emphasize the fat around my middle but it actually tucks in the fattest rolls and gives you (the illusion of) a much smaller-looking waist. And also it dresses up a vest/cami and trousers or a skirt. You can also just wear a cardigan by itself, but the belt really makes a difference.

There are lots of options for trousers. Dark blue denim (trouser-style) can be professional-looking, black pants of course, grey pants, pinstripes, and also muted traditional suiting patterns (dark plaid, houndstooth, herringbone).

I'm camera-shy and don't have many pics to show as examples, but I've found a couple from when I was getting a friend to help me pick out something last year. They're not technically work outfits since it was more for a brunch with friends, but hopefully you can see an e.g. of what I'm saying with the belt, cardigan and jackets. Sorry about the grotty mirror and kitchen situation going on behind me.


Last edited by toastedsmoke; 05-21-2010 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:21 PM   #6  
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Jen - I have no advice, just wanted to say hi! Nice to see you here again!
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:25 PM   #7  
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Thanks everyone for their replies. I am thinking about wearing a skirt! I can't remember the last time I wore a skirt or a dress. I am liking the idea of a office uniform, I have been in jobs since I was 16 where I wore a uniform of some sort, that's why I have practically no clothes and I end up wearing them until they are rags. I think I need to start slow and work up to a dress! Definitely we cannot wear jeans or really casual clothes, probably no t-shirts but I'll have to review the dress code. The next time I am in the office I'll have to have a closer look at what people are wearing.
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