As you may already know, and I have discussed this at length in the past, dressing for the fashionable female professional can be difficult. I have always had a hard time letting my personal style shine through my professionally-acceptable attire. A great way to add a little “you” to your drab professional wardrobe is with accessories. Accessorizing a professional look must always follow the golden rule: less is more! You don’t want your accessories to distract from you, especially in court or a deposition, so one or two accessories is the maximum recommended for a professional look (and usually, in real life as well).
A classic watch is a great accessory because it can be worn with any professional wardrobe to add a little glam. Investing in the right watch can be daunting, there are so many brands and styles and an extensive range in prices. Good quality is a must. Your watch should be versatile, so avoid choosing crazy colors or prints. I recommend something subtly feminine and avoid larger, boyfriend-style faces. While I love a hugely faced watch like the next girl, this is more of a weekend watch and should not be worn in the workplace or courtroom.
It is important to note, you always want to avoid wearing something that will make your colleagues or your boss envious. The last thing you want to do is buy something flashy or diamond encrusted for work, you should stick with something classic and chic like a Movado or Tiffany-style watch. As a lawyer, you especially don’t want to be wearing a watch that will make your clients uncomfortable or lead them to believe that your rate is too much or something flashy that would distract a judge or jurors.
A great pair of glasses can be the perfect professional accessory. We all know the common stereotype that someone wearing eyeglasses looks or comes off as more intelligent than that same person without their glasses. This can be used to your advantage in our field, if you choose the right pair.
The same way red frames will always make one nostalgic of Sally Jesse Raphael, a bright colorful plastic frame can be very distracting. I recommend a more neutral palette of black, browns, darker blues and greens, or a tortoise for the more daring fashionista. The lens shape depends highly on your face. ‘Selecting the Right Eyeglasses For Attorneys’ advises choosing a frame “that is in contrast with your face’s angularity. For example, if your face is boxy, angular or squarish, choose frames that contrast with your face, meaning you want round or oval frames.” One of my favorite sites for fashionable frames is Warby Parker where you can order 5 frames to try and keep the one you like best and ship the rest back. It is the best in online shopping for eyeglasses!
Shoes: Pumps & Flats
A great way to add some personal style to your professional wardrobe is with the right shoes. While your favorite spiked Louboutins are not really acceptable in the workplace, you can still dress up your basic Theory suit with a great pair of conservative yet stylish pumps. You want to stick with a neutral palette and then you have some room to play with texture and toe shape. Patent leather adds a fun shine to a basic look and a pointy toe gives it a chic edge, rounded toes are more classic and feminine. Avoid platforms and hidden platforms and keep your heel under 3 inches, any higher and you are going to border on flashy.
For attorneys in litigation or busy running around the office, we can be on our feet all day and every woman knows that standing in heels, hurts. Badly. Wearing flats can come off as unprofessional, especially when in a suit or pencil skit and is rough for height-challenged females like myself. But, choosing the right pair can really add some glam to your look. Picking a pair with stylish hardware can really update a basic professional wardrobe all while saving your feet. Ballet flats by Tory Burch or Chanel are adorned with gold and silver metal hardware on the toes, and they come in leather, patent leather, plastic and faux fur.
Choosing the perfect professional handbag is tricky. You must find something that works with suits and pencil For similar reasons as watches I discussed above, you want to avoid loud designer handbags dripping with labels or logos. I know, I know, when you are in love with your new favorite Louis Vuitton satchel, the only thing you want to do is use it. But, in the workplace you don’t want to parade your Gucci handbag collection in front of your colleagues or your boss or your clients. Pick something less flashy and more chic and tasteful for the workplace. If you are label loyal, choose that Epi leather Louis Vuitton bag that doesn’t have the LV monogram. If you want something more practical, you should go for something that is styled for utility like a designer laptop case or briefcase. The key is you should avoid obvious or ostentatious labels. In terms of shape and style, a boxier or satchel-styled bag is more professional looking and easily holds documents and files while bucket or oversized beach bags are too chunky and unorganized for a professional look. Longer straps should be avoided, you should choose something with handles or short straps that can be held versus worn.
While it may not be a fashion accessory, your iPad is the work accessory you must have. In addition to all the benefits and perks of having an iPad, having an iPad with you at work daily aids in endless distraction for the commute to and from and keeps a clean browser history on your work computer. And if you’re feeling especially frivolous you can even invest in a couture case for it. Using your iPad as a work accessory also allows you to have access to your necessary personal information without also having to drag your personal laptop along to and from work. Your personal calendar can be cross-referenced easily and productivity apps are always a plus. And if you are in the market for a new tablet, the iPad Air is super sleek and perfectly chic in white.