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Work Wardrobe: The Basics

Dear Sugar
I am 25 and about to start my first office job. The dress code is "business casual" and I'd like to start out on the right foot, looking professional, but still feel young and hip. I figured that the best place to start my wardrobe revamp would be with some new slacks, but I'm having trouble.

I usually wear boy-cut style jeans, because my hips and butt are pretty small. Each time I try on trousers, if they fit in the waist, they are huge and saggy in the butt, and if they fit in the hips and butt, I can't button the waist. AHH! Can you help me find some pants that I can wear to work that fit my boy-cut body? Dress Me Right Rona

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Dear Dress Me Right Rona
Anything that you will ever need for work, you can find at Ann Taylor. I sound brain washed don't I? But it's true. They have served as a haven for me through my many career changes and they are always right on the money.

Now, I am not saying they are Chanel. I'm the first to admit that they are (excuse my french), definitely a little bit "farty." But they make so many different styles for the professional woman - something is bound to fit you.

And the key to remember is that you just need to look appropriate. Your hair, makeup, jewelry, shoes all spell out hip and fun, but business casual clothes (remember that you have clients now) need to be smart looking and tailored. I've had my AT wardrobe for 10 years now and the $110 pants I've invested in, still do the trick. Thank you AT.

So here's what you need: Buy 3 pairs of slacks to start you off; A basic black, (try these fit and flare pants). They are shaped wider at the bottom and are still professional, but have a more youthful look.

a dark gray - (these Margo drapey straight legs come in gray) . . .

and khaki color. The Lindsay pants sit lower on the hip. I'd try this style first for your body type.


Next, buy 2 skirts. I would by an A-line flowy skirt (below) and a pencil skirt for more dressy days.


Now you are all set for one full week's worth of clothing. From here, you just learn how to mix and match. Buy a few sweater sets, button downs, scarfs and a blazer. If Ann Taylor is too pricey, there is also Ann Taylor loft and Ann Taylor Petite sections in each of the stores.

Welcome to having a "work wardrobe." It's definitely not the most exciting as your weekend wardrobe and it takes years to build a good one...but after each bonus, buy a new suit. You will learn how suits are a great staple. Congrats on your new job.

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