HELP! "Business Professional Attire"

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jbarl1
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HELP! "Business Professional Attire"

Postby jbarl1 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:07 pm

I am attending an initiation ceremony for a legal fraternity at my law school this coming Friday. I just received the formal invitation and it states that "business professional attire is required." I was wondering if anything besides a suit is acceptable? I do not own a suit at this point and there is no way that I can afford to buy one now. I have many pairs of dress pants (black, gray and brown) and skirts (black or gray) as well as sweaters, button-ups, and other business-appropriate (Banana Republic, Dress Barn, Ann Taylor) shirts. Would a combination of shirt and pant or shirt and skirt be appropriate for business professional? Advice is appreciated...thanks!

dougroberts
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Re: HELP! "Business Professional Attire"

Postby dougroberts » Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:20 pm

Not sure for the ladies, but business professional almost ALWAYS means suit.

Business casual would mean what you describe (combination of nice pants, shirt, sweater, etc.)

In regards to buying one, you will probably need at least one at some point so perhaps you should try and buy one and use for the future as well. But remember if you need to get it tailored (which any suit must) then you should give the tailor a weeks time.

You could rent a suit, but I personally think renting is money down the drain and is better spent to allocate to a fund to pay your suit. I bet renting a suit would cost half the cost of a suit you find on clearance or something.
Last edited by dougroberts on Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BU2013
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Re: HELP! "Business Professional Attire"

Postby BU2013 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:29 pm

It's a Legal Fraternity induction--not a job interview, dress your best and don't stress too much.

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OGR3
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Re: HELP! "Business Professional Attire"

Postby OGR3 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:48 pm

BU2013 wrote:It's a Legal Fraternity induction--not a job interview, dress your best and don't stress too much.


It seems like this would be most appropriate:
--ImageRemoved--

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mikeytwoshoes
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Re: HELP! "Business Professional Attire"

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:58 am

jbarl1 wrote:I am attending an initiation ceremony for a legal fraternity at my law school this coming Friday. I just received the formal invitation and it states that "business professional attire is required." I was wondering if anything besides a suit is acceptable? I do not own a suit at this point and there is no way that I can afford to buy one now. I have many pairs of dress pants (black, gray and brown) and skirts (black or gray) as well as sweaters, button-ups, and other business-appropriate (Banana Republic, Dress Barn, Ann Taylor) shirts. Would a combination of shirt and pant or shirt and skirt be appropriate for business professional? Advice is appreciated...thanks!

Image

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jbarl1
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Re: HELP! "Business Professional Attire"

Postby jbarl1 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:44 am

mikeytwoshoes wrote:
jbarl1 wrote:I am attending an initiation ceremony for a legal fraternity at my law school this coming Friday. I just received the formal invitation and it states that "business professional attire is required." I was wondering if anything besides a suit is acceptable? I do not own a suit at this point and there is no way that I can afford to buy one now. I have many pairs of dress pants (black, gray and brown) and skirts (black or gray) as well as sweaters, button-ups, and other business-appropriate (Banana Republic, Dress Barn, Ann Taylor) shirts. Would a combination of shirt and pant or shirt and skirt be appropriate for business professional? Advice is appreciated...thanks!

Image


Legal fraternities are big at my school. My basic reasons for joining are networking and the access to the outlines and all that of the fraternity members (all of the officers are in the top 10% of their class). It seems like fun and a good way to meet people haha

Back to the question at hand...in the professional world, does a woman always need to wear a suit? A lot of my classmates claim that when they worked before school (in the legal field or elsewhere) that women rarely wore suits and usually wore a skirt or dress pants and a nice sweater or shirt. Is this just the mumblings of some 1Ls?

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TTH
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Re: HELP! "Business Professional Attire"

Postby TTH » Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:54 am

jbarl1 wrote:
mikeytwoshoes wrote:
jbarl1 wrote:I am attending an initiation ceremony for a legal fraternity at my law school this coming Friday. I just received the formal invitation and it states that "business professional attire is required." I was wondering if anything besides a suit is acceptable? I do not own a suit at this point and there is no way that I can afford to buy one now. I have many pairs of dress pants (black, gray and brown) and skirts (black or gray) as well as sweaters, button-ups, and other business-appropriate (Banana Republic, Dress Barn, Ann Taylor) shirts. Would a combination of shirt and pant or shirt and skirt be appropriate for business professional? Advice is appreciated...thanks!

Image


Legal fraternities are big at my school. My basic reasons for joining are networking and the access to the outlines and all that of the fraternity members (all of the officers are in the top 10% of their class). It seems like fun and a good way to meet people haha

Back to the question at hand...in the professional world, does a woman always need to wear a suit? A lot of my classmates claim that when they worked before school (in the legal field or elsewhere) that women rarely wore suits and usually wore a skirt or dress pants and a nice sweater or shirt. Is this just the mumblings of some 1Ls?


This is fine. I can't speak for academia, but in firms and government work, the shorter the skirt/tighter the shirt, the better.

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reasonable_man
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Re: HELP! "Business Professional Attire"

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:18 am

I find that a good number of women attorneys seem to feel like they can wear whatever they want when attending court or depositions. Men would never get away with the informality that women attorneys (especially younger women attorneys), can get away with in Court. So frankly, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Your gender has set a rather low bar/expectation for your attired in the professional legal setting. So just go with it. Throw on a pair of sandals any old blouse you find and a skirt of any length and go for it. Sadly (and I mean this sincerely), no one will notice.

Note: This is not to say that many men attorneys don't look like slobs as well (which I find to be equally reprehensible -- have some respect for the profession "gentlemen"). Its just that typically, while looking like a slob, Men attorneys will, at least, be wearing a suit with some form of a tie and shoes.

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jbarl1
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Re: HELP! "Business Professional Attire"

Postby jbarl1 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:23 am

reasonable_man wrote:I find that a good number of women attorneys seem to feel like they can wear whatever they want when attending court or depositions. Men would never get away with the informality that women attorneys (especially younger women attorneys), can get away with in Court. So frankly, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Your gender has set a rather low bar/expectation for your attired in the professional legal setting. So just go with it. Throw on a pair of sandals any old blouse you find and a skirt of any length and go for it. Sadly (and I mean this sincerely), no one will notice.

Note: This is not to say that many men attorneys don't look like slobs as well (which I find to be equally reprehensible -- have some respect for the profession "gentlemen"). Its just that typically, while looking like a slob, Men attorneys will, at least, be wearing a suit with some form of a tie and shoes.


I would never wear an open-toe shoe, sleeveless shirt or a skirt shorter than my knees to any professional setting, but I do know what you are talking about. I was stunned at what someone of my classmates thought business casual was at orientation, so I am sure I will be equally stunned with their interpretations of business professional. I do intend to own suits, I just can pull together the money to get one this week.

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reasonable_man
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Re: HELP! "Business Professional Attire"

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:29 am

jbarl1 wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:I find that a good number of women attorneys seem to feel like they can wear whatever they want when attending court or depositions. Men would never get away with the informality that women attorneys (especially younger women attorneys), can get away with in Court. So frankly, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Your gender has set a rather low bar/expectation for your attired in the professional legal setting. So just go with it. Throw on a pair of sandals any old blouse you find and a skirt of any length and go for it. Sadly (and I mean this sincerely), no one will notice.

Note: This is not to say that many men attorneys don't look like slobs as well (which I find to be equally reprehensible -- have some respect for the profession "gentlemen"). Its just that typically, while looking like a slob, Men attorneys will, at least, be wearing a suit with some form of a tie and shoes.


I would never wear an open-toe shoe, sleeveless shirt or a skirt shorter than my knees to any professional setting, but I do know what you are talking about. I was stunned at what someone of my classmates thought business casual was at orientation, so I am sure I will be equally stunned with their interpretations of business professional. I do intend to own suits, I just can pull together the money to get one this week.



If you were stunned as you say you were, then you already have a good handle on what is and is not appropriate. Go with your gut and you will be fine, I'm sure. When Christmas rolls around, get gift cards for stores you like and get one or two suits... You'll need them for interviews for summer jobs.

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jbarl1
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Re: HELP! "Business Professional Attire"

Postby jbarl1 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:38 am

reasonable_man wrote:
jbarl1 wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:I find that a good number of women attorneys seem to feel like they can wear whatever they want when attending court or depositions. Men would never get away with the informality that women attorneys (especially younger women attorneys), can get away with in Court. So frankly, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Your gender has set a rather low bar/expectation for your attired in the professional legal setting. So just go with it. Throw on a pair of sandals any old blouse you find and a skirt of any length and go for it. Sadly (and I mean this sincerely), no one will notice.

Note: This is not to say that many men attorneys don't look like slobs as well (which I find to be equally reprehensible -- have some respect for the profession "gentlemen"). Its just that typically, while looking like a slob, Men attorneys will, at least, be wearing a suit with some form of a tie and shoes.


I would never wear an open-toe shoe, sleeveless shirt or a skirt shorter than my knees to any professional setting, but I do know what you are talking about. I was stunned at what someone of my classmates thought business casual was at orientation, so I am sure I will be equally stunned with their interpretations of business professional. I do intend to own suits, I just can pull together the money to get one this week.



If you were stunned as you say you were, then you already have a good handle on what is and is not appropriate. Go with your gut and you will be fine, I'm sure. When Christmas rolls around, get gift cards for stores you like and get one or two suits... You'll need them for interviews for summer jobs.


That is good advice...thanks!




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