Monday, November 22, 2010

Friends in High Places

This week in the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving, and all around me for the past couple weeks, I've been hearing people talk about the things they're grateful for, in preparation for the holiday. Concurrently, I've been hearing a lot about the unemployment rates, the barely budging economic indicators, and it all drives home to me that on my Top 5 List of Things For Which I'm Grateful, somewhere after my family, my friends, and my health, is the fact that I'm employed.

"Work is just work," I've heard said, and while this is true, it's also so much more.  It's the means to providing for ourselves and our families, to meeting our responsibilities and obligations, to sustaining our lifestyles, and to making conversation with strangers at parties ("So, what do you do?...").  Work provides many of us with our sense of identity, purpose, and value. It's how a lot of us contribute to the world at large, to our communities, and to our families.  Sometimes, it's the way we show our love for each other and even for ourselves.

Kathryn and I are so happy to be collaborating with Tara from Little Girl, Big Closet this week on her "Friend in High Places" feature, and especially so as we're using the opportunity to highlight the work of Dress for Success, an international non-profit organization that helps women, struggling to enter the workforce, overcome a very basic but very real barrier - acquiring a suit to wear to the interview.  They also provide other services to help women find jobs and remain employed. They're able to do this very important and increasingly pertinent work through support from men and women like yourselves in the form of monetary contributions and the donation of new or gently used and cleaned professional attire.  Tara, Kathryn, and I are pledging items from our closets to DFS, and hope that you'll join us. We encourage you to open your closets, find those office clothes that are a little too big or a little too small, or were a good idea-that-never-quite-made-it-into-an-outfit (you know the ones I'm talking about) and contact your local chapter to schedule a donation.  

Here is the amazing and incomparable Tara B. in her "interview outfit."  We love how she incorporated her signature love of color and print to demonstrate her creativity and flair to potential employers. So beautiful!

To see more of Tara's fabulous outfit and her tips on assembling your own perfect "interview outfit," check out her blog here.

Here is Kathryn's "interview outfit," and like Tara, Kathryn did a brilliant job of really choosing pieces that make this a trademark Kathryn look. I love how the feminine silhouette of the suit and the ruffled cami layered under the jacket evoke Kathryn's aesthetic so well. Really lovely!

H&M suit
J.Crew Coralie Cami
Bedecked Brooch Necklace
White House Black Market Patent Belt
Zara Heels

And here's my interview outfit.  Many years ago, I was applying for a "promotion" at an agency I used to work for, and because I was interviewing for the position with my very own supervisor and the Deputy Executive Director, I was a little on the fence about whether or not I should "dress up" for the interview - especially since it was scheduled to take place in the middle of the work day, and an interview-appropriate suit wasn't actually appropriate attire for my job duties.  My very dear friend Loretta gave me a piece of really good, sound advice, which I have remembered and applied ever since, and that was, "I think you should wear a suit to the interview. It shows that you're serious about the job, and that you respect the position you're applying for, and that you respect the people who are interviewing you." 

While I've yet to wear this outfit to an interview, I think it conveys those things, don't you?

Twenty8Twelve Blazer
Burberry Button-up
Lanvin Platform Pumps (sans chains)

Kathryn and I are pledging the following items to Dress for Success, and without any pre-planning, it turns out the pieces we're pledging make up a whole suit between them!

This dress shirt +  this Gap tweed belted jacket + these Gap black trousers = one whole outfit (minus the shoes and other accessories)

We really do hope that you'll join us in supporting Dress for Success.  There will be a linked badge in the sidebar of this blog all week.  Thanks so much for reading!


  1. Carol--I will steal your shoes if you wear a size 7. Seriously.

    Kathryn--I love how polish, yet adorable you look. Your best accessory is the smile you wear with those awesome dimples. I used to want dimples like yours as a child, and would try to press dents into my face until my mother told me it would never work.

  2. Great looks, ladies! I have a blazer and skirt that doesn't fit anymore, I'll get it dry cleaned and donated to help the cause :)

  3. GREAT outfits ladies!! I love your ideas and am a new follower so look forward to seeing what you come up with for the rest of the challenge.
    cheers, Jodi

  4. This sounds like a good cause...I will have to check it out in my area.

  5. Dress For Success is such a great cause and I've been involved with them in the past too! Great feature on some interview outfits and you guys are all so inspiring!

  6. Awww, you girls look so professional and look like you mean business! I've now got to check out Tara's blog - she looks amazing.
    Kathryn - i really like your blouse - so pretty and feminine.
    And Carol, you look too too cute as always!

  7. Those are great interview outfits and excellent reminders on appropriate dressing for important events like an interview. When I see people show up to my office for interviews I am shocked. While we don't have a dress code once you are employed, the fact that I dress up more for shopping at Target is jaw dropping.

    I love that you are promoting Dress for Success! While I have never donated directly to that organization, we have a similar one in Milwaukee called the Bottomless Closet that collaborates with a local women's shelter and requests clean and "stylish" professional clothing for women who have left abusive relationships and are now venturing out into the workforce for maybe the first time. I love bringing tubs of things there for them. Such a great cause!!!

  8. This is sooo awesome what you're doing girls! Such a great organization to work with! And I would hire either one of you!
    Kristina J.

  9. Always wear a suit to an interview! I couldn't agree more. Yours are lovely. And, yeah, Carol, those shoes are amazing!

  10. Carol, I LOVE your Lanvin platforms!! Gorgeous! And yes - dressing up for an interview is better than dressing down. Always go more formal than less!