dress for the day: a hard workin’ wardrobe

welcome to wednesday, where we let our friends remind us that, even after a weekend spent moving, you still have to get dressed for the day. bailing me out of my post-cross-country-move stupor is the lovely, the brilliant, the champion of stick figure humor, the blah blah blahger herself, my friend jen.


Abby tells us to:

dress for the day you want to have,
not the one that’s trying to have you.

And that’s great advice, especially for a girl like me who puts a lot of pressure on her wardrobe to communicate many things to many people.

Before I get any further, let me introduce myself! My name is JJ and I’m known as the Blah Blah Blahger.

dftdme When I’m not gallivanting around the internet, telling stories and being silly, I actually have a pretty intense job as the director of public affairs for a large land developer. Commercial real estate is a heavily male-dominated field and I often am the sole woman in a sea of men (not that it’s always a bad thing – HELLO, DID I MENTION I’M STILL SINGLE?!).

As my career has grown, my responsibilities and interactions with our senior management team have taught me a few things:

  1. I’ve got a young face and I’m a newer executive, so my experience is often questioned; therefore
  2. I want to be viewed as a tough, intelligent contributor and one of the guys BUT still seen as feminine; and
  3. guys can totally re-wear their suits all week long, but women get the shaft when it comes to professional wardrobes.

I love a good pants suit (especially during the winter when I don’t shave my legs very much!). I feel in control and empowered when I’m dealing with the dudes. But then I put on a dress, some tights and heels and remember I gain a different kind of power from my femininity (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, get yourself a hot dress, throw on some heels and strut around your house for a while).

For a while there, I was making myself choose one or the other, but then I realized that girly accessories and a feminine blouse or shell under a pants suit gives me the best of both worlds.

Yesterday, I attended two meetings, one of which was a big awards luncheon. As one of maybe 10 women, I felt perfectly confident and still pretty.

dftd I wore dangle pearl earrings and a double strand of long pearls. The top I wore was a pinky neutral, embellished with black lace. My suit was a black wool blend from Banana Republic (my favorite). I carried a leopard print handbag and wore quilted and patent leather flats. I didn’t need heels or a dress or skirt to feel womanly and I put off an image that I was confident and successful. When I look at these photos, I am pretty pleased and think I chose well.

[Note from Abby: I concur!]

My wardrobe is a work in progress, just as I am. I’m constantly learning what kind of image I want to project and how to use clothes to do that better. Dressing for the day I want to have means I am pulled together and professional, but still feminine and girly. Some days I nail it, and others I miss the mark.

What do you want your wardrobe to say about you? How would you convey professional, yet feminine??? Help a sister out!

if you’re into buttons, feel free to grab this one, and link up a post or a photo that tells your story below. feel free to link up anytime during the week, and look for a new dress for the day story each wednesday. even if you don’t link up – join me throughout the week on twinstagram (twitter +instagram) by using this hashtag:



  1. I hear you, I’m a supervisor at a University library and sometimes it’s hard to strike a balance between authoritarian and trendy. I already have a quirky style so…. But I do like the blend of feminine and masculine, very nice.

  2. Oh I like it!! Professional dress is always super super hard for me… this is fabulous advice though! Thank you!!

  3. You look GAH-GEOUS. I had a similar problem in my twenties – I was an exec but way younger than every one and so wore Ann Taylor pantsuits to compensate. *shudder*

  4. Your confidence always inspires me SO MUCH. You have no idea. And you encourage women to be so secure in their own sense of identity – that is HUGE. Love you, and I want that top! So proud of the leopard inclusion, too. #leopardprintFTW

  5. I am in love with the shirt you’re wearing!! So pretty yet fierce. Just like you. :)

    Lord, have mercy, do I ever understand the challenge of dressing professionally when you have a youthful face. It’s a relief not to deal with that right now. Suits were too formal for the hospital I worked at but I tried to wear dress pants and a nice shirt most days. I wore khakis when I knew I’d be interacting more with the kiddos in clinic. Most days I had to trust people would see my badge and get over any preconceived notions after talking to me for 5 minutes.

  6. This makes me so happy!!! A million times happy. Work it, JJ. Work it.

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