Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Dress for the Job You Want"

So I work at a large performing arts center, whose season just begun this past weekend. As the patron services director, I oversee everything in front of the curtain - that is, everything dealing with our patrons. I and my staff make sure the performances start on time, that the patrons are seated correctly and know where they're going, etc., etc.. I have a staff of about 50 employees - all students (the Center is part of the university) and up to 4000 patrons might come through our doors if all of our four houses were open.  Needless to say, it can get busy. But, I love my job. I've always been involved in some sort of customer service field, and my educational background is in the arts (specifically music history), so this job is the perfect confluence of my experiences. 

I also love my job because, well, I get to dress my best for the events (read: because I will be seen by LOTS of people - donors, bosses, other important people I might need to impress.) I always dressed up when I was a teaching assistant in grad school, too - unlike just about every other grad student I knew and worked with.  But, I was in front of people! I had to represent!  (Even if they were only college students in their pajamas...) When I became a regular old graduate assistant (sans teaching), I would dress up more often than not, but I was always clearly overdressed for my little 10 hour/week office job. My excuse was "I worked in retail for 3 years, and I have a lot of clothes to show for it. I gotta wear this stuff!" As a curvy girl my entire life, though, I always felt that dressing up mitigated the fact that I was larger. I felt more comfortable in my skin because I knew I was looking my very best, despite the size I wore.  I wanted people to see my style, my ability to look "so put together" (a compliment I did often receive), not just a big girl trying to hide herself. Perhaps, too, I followed that whole addage "dress for the job you want" because, well, I moved from the GA in Patron Services to the Patron Services Director in a year.

I do have to admit that, over the course of my first year in this job, I've gotten way more relaxed in my attire than I have ever allowed myself before (yes, even as a grad student!), especially during the summer in the "off-season."  Jeans, flip flops, hoodie, VERY little make-up, hair always up - I wasn't trying very hard if there wasn't a performance that day. But now that the season's started again, and because I really want to commit to changing how I see myself on a daily basis (the main reason for this blog, after all), I have every reason to do myself up right for event nights.  I don't get too fancy or anything - I still have to dress somewhat professionally, but I'm not a buttoned-up suit kinda girl and I never will be. The Center has a causal but thrillingly energentic vibe, too, which generally seems to complement my own personal style.


At the foundation of today's outfit (aside from Spanx, anyway) is a nice little cardi and pants combo (for tonight's dance performance that has a smaller audience), but done up with a colorful belt, fab neutral heels and handbag (I wore the Steve Madden I featured on Tuesday), and a statement necklace.   As I'm sure you'll notice in future posts, I LOVE me some statement necklaces, especially when they can impart a needed pop of color.

Powder blue cardigan - LOFT
Ivory satin-trimmed tank - Banana Republic
Beige wide-leg pants - NY&Co
Yellow faux-croc belt - The Limited

Pearly drop earrings - The Limited
Yellow statement necklace - Urban Outfitters

Camel peep-toes - Banana Republic 
Shoe inserts - FootPetals

Self-confidence. Blog. Work.  Here's to having lots of reasons to dress well!


  1. This might be my favorite outfit yet. Love the splashes of yellow. Well done!!

  2. THis outfit is amazing - in structure and on you. love that color're inspirint me to try it myself! Keep posting...I love your style!!

  3. thanks ladies! you'll probably see me do these cardis a lot - I have about 5 of them in different colors... (buying multiples is something i do WAY too often!)

  4. I still can't get over this outfit - it's absolutely BEAUTIFUL, and I want every part of it on ME! You look amazing, sister!!

  5. You look fantastic. I need to get a skinny belt, it can make an outfit look so polished.

  6. rabbitstylenews - thanks and welcome! belts of all sorts should be in a girl's wardrobe. such a versatile accessory!

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