12.01.2007

Shades of Gray

What a whirlwind of a week! I just got sworn in so I can officially work in my full capacity as a lawyer. All of a sudden I realize that some of the stylish things I've been wanting are no longer mere wants--they are real needs. For starters, a briefcase/bag is a must...I'm still working on that. At least I've got the business card case covered.

And then there are things that are definitely "wants" and sort of "needs." I do have quite a bit of work attire, so I'm not quite in "need" of them, yet I want to expand my collection, particular for the colder climes. Also, I wanted a dress for my firm's Christmas party. I already have a lot of dresses, but I didn't think any of them would do for this particular occasion. This post is primarily about the work attire; the dress will the topic of the near future, when I actually have the opportunity to take a picture of it.

Lately I've been hitting quite a few stores in search of the dress, the work separates, and the suits. The dress has caused much frustration--when I was broke, I spotted things I wanted, but now that I'm willing and able to buy something special, I couldn't find any. I've spent much time in Loehmann's trying to find that dress and came up empty. Instead, I found a couple of pairs of pants that are great for the cooler/colder weather. How I found them was quite a story in of themselves.

I went to Loehmann's for the specific purpose of finding that cocktail dress, but I kept an eye out for other things as well. I picked out a number of pants and dresses to try on, and none of them worked out for me. Frustrated, I decided to put things on the rack of rejects in the dressing room. As I was doing that, a pair of pants French Connection pants caught my eye. The pants were charcoal gray and seemed warm--just what I was looking for. I tried on the pants and--surprise!--they fit like a glove. Searching through the rejects has worked for me before at the crazy BCBG warehouse sales, and this method came through for me again. When I finally hit the checkout line, I spotted a whole rack full of the same pants (albeit in sizes different from the pair I already possessed) plus pants of a different color and fabric. Because I was so impressed with the fit, I ended up picking up another pair of French Connection pants, the second being of light gray wool. At $25 a pair, the price is really good for good-quality, well-fitted work pants.

As an added bonus, the pants matched perfectly with tops I bought a few days later from the Calvin Klein outlet. The floral top is something I've eyed for a while, and it finally went on sale. The gray wool vest was something that my shopping companion (my sister) saw lying around as I was trying on the floral top. Both were around $27; the top is a bit of a splurge at that price (though I love it) while the wool vest is a good value.


As it turns out, the gray wool pants also matched with a wool blazer I got from the crazy BCBG warehouse sale a few years ago. The colors aren't an exact match, but close enough that they work. Now both blazers I picked up from that sale are completed with matching bottoms; the two suits are essentially $50 each. Yup, I'm pretty stoked.


It's no surprise that I've got a thing for gray. It's a great alternative to black or white, and all the different shades are nice to work with. They mix as well with black as they do with white and other colors. Tone on tone is one of my favorite concepts to play around with.

I've done quite a bit of shopping lately, and I hope to write about it soon. It's hard to find the time to post, deal with work, deal with orders, and shop for Christmas presents, but I'll try to make it work.

10 comments:

Bernie said...

Well, congrats! You seem like you're in a great place in your life and that's fantastic. Also, kudos on the pants—that's a real find.

Sales Rack Raider said...

Thanks, Bernie! I am very grateful indeed for where I'm at.

Ellen said...

It all looks great! Do I ever wish I lived near outlets like that...

michelle said...

Congratulations! The first pair of FC pants look like a pair that I have - I love the fit and they look professional but not overly conservative. Enjoy!

Alison said...

great find on those pants! I LOVE French Connection pants, they fit my body so well. The gray pants and blazer at the bottom is a cute combo :)

kimono hime said...

Congrats on your new lawyership! (is that even a word?)

There's nothing quite like a well-fitting pair of pants. Sounds silly, but it's true. And getting them on sale, well, that just makes them even better.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to you and you look great! I loved this post...last night I almost didn't make the local Bar Xmas party b/c my favorite Ann Taylor straight black pencil skirt somehow didn't fit (how did that happen????!!!!)

I ended up wearing the same aubergine satin top with a light gray AT skirt. At first I felt wierd since I had no choice but to wear black tights and heels and it looked *off*.

A black cashmere wrap pulled the whole thing together and I went to the party after all.It was fun and I never felt off. I'm going to work the gray angle more too now, love yours.... Congratulations again! Karen

Sales Rack Raider said...

Thanks to all for your responses! I guess FC pants have quite a reputation...I just couldn't afford to shop there before, but now I'll be on the lookout for them every time I hit Loehmann's.

Karen--glad to hear that your outfit and party pulled together so well. It's always amazing how one accessory makes all the difference.

Oxanna said...

Hint on the bag/briefcase: make sure you get one with decent handles and support for said handles. I got a fairly inexpensive bag that looked very nice and sleek, but I tend to load my bags up (that's what they're for!), and the handles stretched and make the whole bag look saggy. Just make sure the bag has good support and construction and you should be good to go.

And congrats on the official lawyer title. :)

Sales Rack Raider said...

Thanks for the tip, Oxanna!