Like I Needed Another Reason to Shop

Last week I did my first adult thing… I went to a professional conference ALONE.  If any of you follow my tweets, you’ll know that I was incredibly nervous about venturing out alone and schmoozing.

Well, I survived.  And as dumb as it sounds – I feel more grown up.

I took a workshop titled, “The Power to Persuade and Influence without Authority”.  While it sounds a wee bit corny – I actually learned a lot.

One of the things that stood out to me was the idea of conveying a perceived authority.  The quickest way to do this is by your clothing since a first impression is important.  This includes:

  • Name brands – people look at logos!  And apparently the fancier and well-known a label/logo, the more important you appear. 
  • Jewelry
  • Neat appearance – ironed, lint-free, well-coordinated clothing
  • Shoes – polished and professional

This idea isn’t exactly ground-breaking.  We judge people all the time!  You don’t?  Okay, I do! 

I work in an environment that is “business casual”.  And some people take the casual part very seriously.  I have let my work clothes go and have summed up my look as “soccer mom”.  I wear a lot of khakis and flats. 

However, this course just reiterated that old adage that you should dress for the job you want and not necessarily the one you have.  I think if I want to be taken more seriously or at least have a chance to climb up the corporate ladder — I need to step up my game.

I need a serious overhaul of shoes.  I’m a total klutz and a lot of my shoes are really scuffed.  However, I don’t wear leather.  Can I tell you how hard it is to find cute, professional shoes that aren’t made of leather?  The one I’m struggling the most with is a pair of nude leather pumps! 

I want these… in a NON-leather material:

Kate Spade Karolina Shoe

I feel like I’m chasing after a damn unicorn or something.  I found some camel/nude color kitten heels at Target.  They looked nice online but cheap and flimsy in person.  Ugh.

I also decided to use one of my more structured bags to carry my work crap in (planner, folders, etc.).  It is an old Coach tote (before I decided to nix leather) and since brands carry a lot of weight – I figured it couldn’t hurt.  Despite the Coach bag being a little stained and scuffed, I am always peppered with compliments anytime I break it out.  This probably just reiterates the fact that people notice brands.

I made a shift today into a more professional outfit and was instantly asked if I was interviewing for a new position today.   Good sign?

We’ll see.  And now I have another reason to shop!  I’m looking for new shoes and a nice trenchcoat.  Any suggestions of where I can find a not crazy expensive but still nice trench?



Filed under Charm City Kim Shops

6 responses to “Like I Needed Another Reason to Shop

  1. Target or old navy for the trenches. I got a really nice trench at target 2 years ago and still get compliments on it.

    Isn’t it amazing how people respond to a few small changes in your wardrobe?


    And yes – it was kind of funny… but it made me wonder how schlubby I look on a normal day!

  2. Sarah

    I second Target – I got a great trench from there a few years ago (probably the same one as the post above!) and love it. It was also maybe $30 at most!

    I am also on a search for good nude heels too. Update your blog when you find them 🙂

    Good call on Target!

    And believe me, when I find the shoes – I will tell the world!

  3. Good luck on the overhaul! It’s always a little scary to make big changes to a wardrobe, because it means that you’re changing the person that you present to the world. But I’m sure that this one will bring only good changes!

    I hope it brings good changes!

  4. Meredith

    It pains me to spend $$ on work clothes but it’s a necessary evil in order to move up the ladder!

    My grandmother picked me up an adorable khaki trench and a white one for my cousin at Kohl’s at an excellent price.

    Ooh Kohl’s! Great suggestion.

  5. One of the major things I remember from all my professional development, and this theme was running through my head and then you actually said it, is to dress for the job that you aspire to have. I’ve practiced this concept for a long time. Compared to my co-workers, I am overdressed. But I don’t care. I represent myself and my office well and it shows, I think. I also find that, when I’m having a bad day, if I make myself presentable and look good, I will often feel better too.

    I don’t wear a lot of big name brands, but I have spent a little more on some of my staple dress pants and tops at The Limited, Ann Taylor and Express. And I’ve found that often times these places will taylor your pants to the right length for you. I’ve been known to pay my tailor the $7 to alter my pants as well. I figured I’ve spent the money on nice things, they should look nice too.

    I’m not a big shoe person. I often wear black or brown. But I do make sure that they are clean and swipe them with a Shoe Shine Sponge ( every couple of days to keep them looking nice.

    Good luck!

    A friend of mine uses that sponge and high recommends it. I have to pick that up because I really can’t afford to do a total overhaul on my shoes.

  6. Dude. I STILL haven’t found a pair of nude pumps I like & can afford. My best friend and I have been calling them the “soled unicorns of fashion” for at least two years now! When I find some I’ll let you know.

    I am the queen of flats and kitten heels though and usually I don’t buy leather, so let me know if you ever want to dish about those. 🙂

    I think we’re shoe soulmates!

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