Author Topic: What would you wear (women engineers): Update! and new question.  (Read 7919 times)

MayDay

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What would you wear (women engineers): Update! and new question.
« on: September 15, 2016, 10:52:32 AM »
Update:  I got offered a job today!  I start in a week.  20 hours a week, from home.  Yay!  Thanks for the interview attire advice.

New question:  Coming off 6 years of SAHM, I own one pair black slacks, my interview jacket, and one plain black business casual shirt.  I will be buying a few more business casual shirts and maybe one more pair of slacks before I start so that I have more than 2 work appropriate outfits for meeting with customers, suppliers, etc. Starting a new work wardrobe from scratch is awesome because I can stick to all coordinating stuff, but also a bit overwhelming. 

I used to buy all my work clothes at Ann Taylor.  I have read that their quality has gone down.  I don't mind paying a bit more for stuff that will truly last (my one black business casual shirt is from Banana Republic in the 90's, no joke). 

Where would you look for a mid 30's, not trendy but not totally old lady type of business clothes? 

I will look in the thrift store near me, but I have not had much success there in the past with shirts, so I am anticipating needing to go to actual stores.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I am job hunting and got called by a small engineering company in town (5-6 employees, but not a start up).

We talked on the phone today, and tomorrow I'm going to their lab. Itm meeting with the company owner who is an engineer, and a lab tech will be there, too.

I know the owner extremely superficially (kids in the same schools, etc). I've never seen him in anything but jeans.  This isn't a formal job interview like you'd have at a big company. It isn't even for a specific job - more like let's get to know each other for future reference.

A suit seems way overkill. I only own jeans or black slacks. I'll wear close toes shoes for sure (either brown boots with jeans or black flats with black slacks.

How dressy would you go?
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 11:13:35 AM by MayDay »

Good_Juju

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2016, 11:02:24 AM »
It sounds like you're going in for an interview. They contacted you about wanting to hire you. Regardless of whether there is a particular position, I would wear a suit.

rothwem

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2016, 11:03:30 AM »
I am job hunting and got called by a small engineering company in town (5-6 employees, but not a start up).

We talked on the phone today, and tomorrow I'm going to their lab. Itm meeting with the company owner who is an engineer, and a lab tech will be there, too.

I know the owner extremely superficially (kids in the same schools, etc). I've never seen him in anything but jeans.  This isn't a formal job interview like you'd have at a big company. It isn't even for a specific job - more like let's get to know each other for future reference.

A suit seems way overkill. I only own jeans or black slacks. I'll wear close toes shoes for sure (either brown boots with jeans or black flats with black slacks.

How dressy would you go?

Suit.  Don't worry about overkill. Engineers are weird, we'll wear our polo/khakis every day, but then talk shit about the idiot that didn't wear a suit to an interview. 

lizzzi

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2016, 11:13:33 AM »
Agree that no matter how casually they are dressed, you are basically going in for an interview. If you don't dress for it, they will talk about you behind your back. You will be seen as disrespectful and as not having the skills to know how to interview. Are the black slacks nice enough that you can wear them with the black flats and pick up some kind of nice top and  good jacket to make it look as much like a suit as possible? That's what I would try to do, since you have to come up with an outfit at the last minute. You could buy a suit, of course, but won't have the time to get it tailored if need be.

AMandM

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2016, 12:20:27 PM »
+1 to lizzzi

seattlecyclone

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2016, 12:27:31 PM »
It really depends on the industry and location. For software engineering jobs, especially on the west coast, interviewees typically wear dress slacks and a nice shirt. No tie or jacket. You can wear a suit and the people interviewing aren't officially supposed to hold that against you, but wearing one does make you stand out and not necessarily in a good way.

supersudo

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2016, 12:27:50 PM »
As a woman, ex-structural analysis engineer at a very large, american, plane-making company, I have a couple of follow-up questions for you:

1) What is the age of the person who is interviewing you, and what is the general age of the other employees at the company?

2) What is the gender of the person interviewing you, and what is the gender composition of the company?

3) What is your age? In my opinion, if you are older/more experienced, you can get away with dressing down a little compared to a < 30-year-old, though that doesn't apply as universally to women.

4) What area of the US are you in? East coast is far more formal than west coast, in my experience.

5) What industry is this in? For example, software is very, very casual in dress code but biomedical researchers that may work closely with doctors/hospitals probably don't wear videogame tshirts to work.

When I interviewed for my first engineering job out of school I wore slacks, leather shoes, and a nice button-up. I did not wear a full suit, but I was just one step down from that. If I were to interview for that same company at my current age, I'd still go to at least slacks (not khakis) & a button-up, which some people classify as "business casual," but I've always found that term far too vague when considering women's clothing.

Depending on the company you're interviewing with, wearing a full suit can actually be a detriment, since it can make you seem like you don't know "the way it is around here," and you're "too stuffy" or "too businesslike."

afuera

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2016, 01:03:31 PM »
It really depends on the industry and location. For software engineering jobs, especially on the west coast, interviewees typically wear dress slacks and a nice shirt. No tie or jacket. You can wear a suit and the people interviewing aren't officially supposed to hold that against you, but wearing one does make you stand out and not necessarily in a good way.
Bay Area engineer here.  People only wear suits when they're interviewing.  You will stand out compared to the people in t-shirts and jeans.  However, I would wear a suit and would recommend wearing a suit to anyone coming in for an interview. 

Since you mentioned a lab, I would also make sure to wear pants and close-toed shoes (flats), so you aren't held back from seeing certain facilities.

This^.  When I interviewed for my company it was in a chemical plant where everyone is required to wear coveralls and FRCs everyday. I was lucky to have a former classmate who worked for the company let me know to wear nice slacks, flats, and a button down but ones comfortable enough that I could put on a pair of coveralls over them.  Anything less dressy and I would have not looked formal enough for the business office interviews and anything more formal would have made me extremely uncomfortable/awkward on the plant tour (It would have been awful gallivanting around the plant in heels!).

mskyle

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2016, 01:10:12 PM »
Oof, I would not wear a suit in this situation. If you wear a suit, it should be a pant suit and you should be able to take off the jacket and still have it look like a real outfit. I would probably go dressy pants and a nice top, maybe with a blazer or cardigan.

But I could be way off! Any of us could be!

mandy_2002

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2016, 01:11:27 PM »
As a "retired" female engineer (who was also involved in the interview process), I would go with the black pants.  If I am going into a place that I don't work, I am breaking out the black pants. 

When I was in the plant, my operators asked if I was going out for an interview any day I didn't wear my tennis shoes to work; in the office environment I moved into, I was 50/50 jeans to khakis.  If I visited another office or plant, I wore my black pants with a nice button up or a tank top and cardigan (always with flats - see trappedinmyoffice's comment above). 

MntnFIRE

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2016, 01:50:54 PM »
I'm a recently retired female engineer in Silicon Valley. I would go with black slacks, shoes with low to medium heel and a nice shirt. If the weather is cool, a jacket or cardigan sweater is also good.

Before retiring I was hiring engineers on a regular basis. I can't remember the last time either a male or female candidate wore a suit to an interview. But it is still best not to look like you just got out of bed.

MoolahLula

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2016, 01:58:09 PM »
I would err on the side of caution with a pants suit.  If that's not readily accessible, black dress pants and a blazer or cardigan. 

CanuckExpat

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2016, 01:58:45 PM »
How dressy would you go?

As others have said, I think you'll get a better calibrated response if your willing to share more about industry, location, and perhaps relevant age of interviewer.

At the end, go with what you are comfortable with.

KCM5

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2016, 02:02:13 PM »
Black slacks and button down with sensible close toed shoes. Cardigan if cool that day.

I would not wear a suit.

Kathryn K.

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2016, 02:06:56 PM »
Former female engineer here.  I agree with those who say that a suit would be overkill.  I'd go with the black slacks and black flats.  Wearing a cardigan with your shirt might be a nice way to wear a "third piece" to look a little more polished but wear whatever you makes you look pulled together and business like on top.

pbkmaine

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2016, 02:18:42 PM »
If you do wear a button-down shirt, make sure it does not gap and show your bra when you gesture. Pin it with a safety pin if you have to. A bra showing tends to freak older male executives out.

mm1970

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2016, 02:29:53 PM »
I am job hunting and got called by a small engineering company in town (5-6 employees, but not a start up).

We talked on the phone today, and tomorrow I'm going to their lab. Itm meeting with the company owner who is an engineer, and a lab tech will be there, too.

I know the owner extremely superficially (kids in the same schools, etc). I've never seen him in anything but jeans.  This isn't a formal job interview like you'd have at a big company. It isn't even for a specific job - more like let's get to know each other for future reference.

A suit seems way overkill. I only own jeans or black slacks. I'll wear close toes shoes for sure (either brown boots with jeans or black flats with black slacks.

How dressy would you go?
My last interview, and also the last time I "dropped by" to talk to a place:

Black slacks, black shoes, blouse.

Honestly I don't own anything better than that anymore.

mm1970

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2016, 02:31:01 PM »
I am job hunting and got called by a small engineering company in town (5-6 employees, but not a start up).

We talked on the phone today, and tomorrow I'm going to their lab. Itm meeting with the company owner who is an engineer, and a lab tech will be there, too.

I know the owner extremely superficially (kids in the same schools, etc). I've never seen him in anything but jeans.  This isn't a formal job interview like you'd have at a big company. It isn't even for a specific job - more like let's get to know each other for future reference.

A suit seems way overkill. I only own jeans or black slacks. I'll wear close toes shoes for sure (either brown boots with jeans or black flats with black slacks.

How dressy would you go?

Suit.  Don't worry about overkill. Engineers are weird, we'll wear our polo/khakis every day, but then talk shit about the idiot that didn't wear a suit to an interview.
We talk about the idiots who wore suits to interviews.

I am in CA though.  (Jeans would not be okay either though.  For an interview. I wear jeans and t-shirts to work every day).

ysette9

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2016, 02:46:39 PM »
I am a female engineering manager in Silicon Valley but I work at an older (pre-tech) big engineering company. People where I work wear suits to interview but it also is fine to wear something a notch below. Not knowing what industry you are interviewing in, I think the best bet is along the lines of what others have said: dress slacks with a nice top and throw a jacket (the female equivalent of a sports coat) over the top. That way you can take the jacket off and put on a lab coat or a bunny suit or ESD smock or whatever and not be ridiculously hot. Definitely wear flat, closed-toed shoes if you are going to be in a lab or if there is any possibility of a factory floor tour. I feel like people who wear impractical dress shoes in an engineering job look unprepared for the job.

I'm a red panda

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2016, 02:53:49 PM »
What kind of engineering? Does that make a difference?

When I interviewed for petroleum engineering jobs, it was mostly in black slacks, nice top and cardigan.  A suit seemed way too dressy.  The people who interviewed me were usually in jeans.

BDWW

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2016, 03:20:13 PM »
Reminds me of:
http://theoatmeal.com/pl/minor_differences5/suit

It's all about location and industry. Apparently it's even more casual here than other places, because jeans(nice) and a button up would generally be considered fine.  You'd definitely get poked a bit of fun at for a full suit, but it probably wouldn't be held against you.

ysette9

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2016, 04:32:39 PM »
I just have to take a moment to say how very dearly I love all that The Oatmeal has given us. What a treasure.

ender

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2016, 04:43:22 PM »
Uh, ask them?

That seems like the best and easiest approach.

MayDay

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2016, 05:27:06 PM »
As a woman, ex-structural analysis engineer at a very large, american, plane-making company, I have a couple of follow-up questions for you:

1) What is the age of the person who is interviewing you, and what is the general age of the other employees at the company?

2) What is the gender of the person interviewing you, and what is the gender composition of the company?

3) What is your age? In my opinion, if you are older/more experienced, you can get away with dressing down a little compared to a < 30-year-old, though that doesn't apply as universally to women.

4) What area of the US are you in? East coast is far more formal than west coast, in my experience.

5) What industry is this in? For example, software is very, very casual in dress code but biomedical researchers that may work closely with doctors/hospitals probably don't wear videogame tshirts to work.

When I interviewed for my first engineering job out of school I wore slacks, leather shoes, and a nice button-up. I did not wear a full suit, but I was just one step down from that. If I were to interview for that same company at my current age, I'd still go to at least slacks (not khakis) & a button-up, which some people classify as "business casual," but I've always found that term far too vague when considering women's clothing.

Depending on the company you're interviewing with, wearing a full suit can actually be a detriment, since it can make you seem like you don't know "the way it is around here," and you're "too stuffy" or "too businesslike."

Man I am interviewing with:  ~50-55.  I am 33.  Other employees that I know of are two 40-50 year old women and a college lab tech. Indusitry is materials/chemicals.

Sorry for delay in replying, I posted and ran to work then a family thing.

 I am wearing my black slacks now, going to go with them and black flats, still deciding between long sleeve black shirt, dark grey jacket with a shell, or sweater set.

Cressida

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2016, 05:29:40 PM »
Uh, ask them?

That seems like the best and easiest approach.

Really?

Firm: We'd like to interview you.
MayDay: Great, what should I wear?

That makes her sound like a child.

ender

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2016, 05:33:52 PM »
Uh, ask them?

That seems like the best and easiest approach.

Really?

Firm: We'd like to interview you.
MayDay: Great, what should I wear?

That makes her sound like a child.


We talked on the phone today, and tomorrow I'm going to their lab. Itm meeting with the company owner who is an engineer, and a lab tech will be there, too.

"Do you have any specific clothing requirements I need to wear in order to visit your lab?"

Easy way to start a conversation about the subject of "what do you expect me to wear." Unless of course the OP already knows exactly what those requirements are, in which case I don't understand the post here in the first place.


MayDay

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2016, 05:46:15 PM »
If you do wear a button-down shirt, make sure it does not gap and show your bra when you gesture. Pin it with a safety pin if you have to. A bra showing tends to freak older male executives out.

No bosoms here, no worries!  Yes, I have seen that look with some busty ladies, though.

MayDay

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2016, 05:49:19 PM »
Re. asking what to wear, that would be weird. 

I already know to wear pants and closed toe shoes.  If I didn't know that, I am an idiot and they should not hire me.

Re. location:  If it was a big company I would go suit all the way even if I knew everyone wore khakis/jeans, but being a tiny company it what throws me.  They don't have offices, everyone works from home (presumably in their underwear) unless they are at the lab or in toll manufacturing facilities. 

Cressida

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2016, 05:52:25 PM »
We talked on the phone today, and tomorrow I'm going to their lab. Itm meeting with the company owner who is an engineer, and a lab tech will be there, too.

"Do you have any specific clothing requirements I need to wear in order to visit your lab?"

Easy way to start a conversation about the subject of "what do you expect me to wear." Unless of course the OP already knows exactly what those requirements are, in which case I don't understand the post here in the first place.

The OP hasn't mentioned a concern over lab-appropriate attire; that was brought into the conversation by other commenters. The original question was about being overdressed. I maintain that asking the interviewer such a question sounds unprofessional.

ender

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2016, 06:00:33 PM »
The OP hasn't mentioned a concern over lab-appropriate attire; that was brought into the conversation by other commenters. The original question was about being overdressed. I maintain that asking the interviewer such a question sounds unprofessional.

There are a lot of ways to ask questions like that both professionally and unprofessionally.

Anyways, sounds like the OP got what they wanted.

boarder42

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #30 on: September 15, 2016, 06:07:30 PM »
The OP hasn't mentioned a concern over lab-appropriate attire; that was brought into the conversation by other commenters. The original question was about being overdressed. I maintain that asking the interviewer such a question sounds unprofessional.

There are a lot of ways to ask questions like that both professionally and unprofessionally.

Anyways, sounds like the OP got what they wanted.

ender just quit we agree on too many things... your way was an excellent way to ask a question and get a professional answer.  no idea why you're getting called out

Lanthiriel

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #31 on: September 15, 2016, 07:05:12 PM »
The East Coast/West Cost question is for real. If you're on the west coast, I'd go black pants and the jacket/shell combo you mentioned. Black closed toed shoes. The lab tech is going to be wearing a shirt with holes in it and dirty jeans, I promise you.

electriceagle

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #32 on: September 16, 2016, 08:59:22 AM »
It sounds like you're going in for an interview. They contacted you about wanting to hire you. Regardless of whether there is a particular position, I would wear a suit.

Unless you're in California.

I've definitely gotten shit for wearing suits, ties and pants dressier-than-jeans to interviews. Of course, that was in startupland.

One guy I know impressed the interviewer by showing up on a unicycle, with a baloon hat on his head. I shit you not...

Good_Juju

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #33 on: September 16, 2016, 09:02:47 AM »
It sounds like you're going in for an interview. They contacted you about wanting to hire you. Regardless of whether there is a particular position, I would wear a suit.

Unless you're in California.

I've definitely gotten shit for wearing suits, ties and pants dressier-than-jeans to interviews. Of course, that was in startupland.

One guy I know impressed the interviewer by showing up on a unicycle, with a baloon hat on his head. I shit you not...

I've been on the east coast my whole life. From what everyone else is saying, that changes makes a big difference.

MayDay

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #34 on: September 16, 2016, 09:59:11 AM »
Update: interviewer was wearing dad jeans ( Tim Kaine 😁) and a button down, lab tech was wearing ripped jeans and T shirt as 100% of posters predicted, I wore slacks, blazer, and shell. Met one other employee (supply chain), she was wearing T shirt and capri's.

Nothing official yet but I believe an offer will be forthcoming within a few days.

Thanks all!

Good_Juju

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #35 on: September 16, 2016, 10:11:47 AM »
Update: interviewer was wearing dad jeans ( Tim Kaine 😁) and a button down, lab tech was wearing ripped jeans and T shirt as 100% of posters predicted, I wore slacks, blazer, and shell. Met one other employee (supply chain), she was wearing T shirt and capri's.

Nothing official yet but I believe an offer will be forthcoming within a few days.

Thanks all!

Glad it went well!

Kathryn K.

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2016, 10:28:00 AM »
Thanks for reporting back and also glad to hear that it went well!

pbkmaine

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2016, 11:42:48 AM »
Awesome!

ysette9

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #38 on: September 16, 2016, 02:10:07 PM »
Awesome! Thanks for the update. Here is to hoping it is a lucrative offer. :)

Jack

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers)
« Reply #39 on: September 16, 2016, 02:23:29 PM »
You. Got. This.

Glowing text?! Well, I learned something new about the forum software today...

MayDay

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers): Update! and new question.
« Reply #40 on: September 23, 2016, 11:14:18 AM »
Bump!  Got job offer.  See new question about where to buy non-trendy but not old lady work clothes in the OP.

boarder42

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers): Update! and new question.
« Reply #41 on: September 23, 2016, 11:26:22 AM »
Bump!  Got job offer.  See new question about where to buy non-trendy but not old lady work clothes in the OP.

no idea where to get them... but once you find out use slickdeals alerts to buy them as cost effectively as possible.  get the high end stuff at the thrift store price.

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers): Update! and new question.
« Reply #42 on: September 23, 2016, 12:07:24 PM »
I buy my work clothes in lots from ebay.  Search for "lot size (x, x-1, x+1) (brand1, brand 2, brand 3)" and see what kinds of goodies are out there.  The last time I bought clothes for work I found a seller emptying out her closet.  I bought 3 lots of clothes, dozens and dozens, mostly Ann Taylor, Gap, and BR.  All in good shape.  Resold stuff I didn't want on ebay, worked perfectly.

ETBen

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers): Update! and new question.
« Reply #43 on: September 23, 2016, 12:09:33 PM »
I'm a little trendy but not totally so my advice is here. I have a client facing position and leadership, so I need to look the part. But then I want a younger look but still classic. I find the best idea is to get classic cut pants, jackets and cardis from more mature brands, but not too boxy. I find some more modern cut clothes at mall stores that are affordable tend to be thin materials that don't wear well over time.

- Talbots has great sales

- NY and Co. This is hit or miss for the fit of their pants and jackets. I don't like their tops. I want to but they don't fit me ever.

- my favorite pants are Alfani from Macy's. Yes, this is an "old lady" brand. But they make these $39.95 straight leg dress pants that slip on. They are incredibly comfy and flattering. Buy basic colors and you can switch out jackets or wear them with any top. I wear with flats and heels.

- I like basic fitted sweaters with bold necklaces when I'm feeling plain. I buy cheap jewelry.

- jCPenney has nice basic suit jackets in the Liz Claiborne section. Not the other sections. They match fine to the old lady pants at Macy's. Both are a trim flattering cut but not tight. If you specifically want suits, I buy Tahari on sale. The cut is fantastic for me.

- Macy's also has $30 cardigans I think Charter Club that are great for layering.

- I always buy shells to wear under cardigans and jackets that are cheap but a material with a slight sheen or texture. Don't go thrifty with tee shirt type materials bc they don't look as nice.

sisto

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers): Update! and new question.
« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2016, 12:10:43 PM »
I'd suggest looking for a few classic items on clearance at Kohl's or JC Penney. I've also found some really nice button up wrinkle free fancy Eddie Bauer shirts at the outlet. These have held up extremely well and are super comfortable. I have worn them with jeans, khakis, and dress pants they are so versatile.

historienne

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers): Update! and new question.
« Reply #45 on: September 23, 2016, 12:12:52 PM »
Pendleton and Brooks Brothers for skirts, dresses, pants.  Wait for sales.  Much better quality than J Crew/Banana Republic/Ann Taylor.

I wear Everlane sweaters and wool pants a lot, and Ibex wool tees are my base layer for 75% of the year.

Lands End has some surprisingly professional stuff, although it doesn't often work for my body shape.  Eileen Fisher is also super high quality, though spendy and skews older (may be a plus or minus, depending on your personal style).

I also buy stuff on Ebay once I figure out what I'm looking for.

MBot

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers): Update! and new question.
« Reply #46 on: September 23, 2016, 12:53:29 PM »
Before hitting particular brands, I would think about a "signature" look. It's easier to dress with one or two silhouettes you enjoy and know look good on you (eg pencil skirts and cardigans in black and jewel tones, ankle pants and v-neck sweaters in dark greens, navy and browns)

Then once you have it, I find it's easier to find brands that fit that aesthetic. Because some brands are great for trousers, some for skirts, some for suits but not sweaters etc.

Someone on this forum suggested Into Mind and I found their 10-step Wardrobe Revamp (free, 1!: it talks about this!) really helpful. Especially the Proportions Catalogue.

into-mind.com/revamp/

 I used to buy high-waisted things and a line skirts until I realized that silhouette never, ever works on my long torso. It's much easier to say "no" now to purchase that don't work well.

Candace

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers): Update! and new question.
« Reply #47 on: September 23, 2016, 01:04:08 PM »
I'm a female engineer at NASA. Another vote for JC Penney, if you are buying new clothes and not going to a thrift store. They have good sales and the clothes are flattering to me, with a lot of variety in fabric, cut, color etc. and very decent quality for the price. Of course I AM an old lady (50), but I think their Worthington line clothes are fashionable enough for work. I've been wearing a pair of knit pants with piping down the front a couple of times a week for years, and they still look fine. I have a few shirts that have been mainstays for a while too.

Congratulations on your job offer!

mskyle

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers): Update! and new question.
« Reply #48 on: September 23, 2016, 01:08:50 PM »
I recently discovered thredUp (referral bonus link for $10 for you and $10 for me), which is basically a huge online consignment store. If you know you like Ann Taylor and Banana Republic stuff, look on there. More expensive than a thrift store but easier to find stuff from specific brands and still less expensive than buying new. (Their return policy is not bad either.) Also they have coupons and discount codes all the time.

And you really will be fine with one more pair of pants and a couple of shirts. When I used to have a job that required "work clothes" I had two pairs of pants, 5-7 shirts, and a couple of dresses and skirts that I wore, and that was for a 5-day-a-week work-on-campus job.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 01:12:18 PM by mskyle »

boarder42

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Re: What would you wear (women engineers): Update! and new question.
« Reply #49 on: September 23, 2016, 02:11:35 PM »
man reading all of this clothing updating tells me women really need to simplify their wardrobe for work.. its not a fashion show, its work.  lots of women at my white collar place where slacks and a blouse similar to the men with slacks and a shirt and tie. 

all this base layer top layer middle layer ... holy hell ... wouldnt the mustachian thing to do be very similar to what a man does.  3-4 pairs of slacks, black and brown shoes and a few shirts/blouses that can be mixed and matched.