Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stylenation: Can You Help my Co-Worker?

Dear Stylenation,

I was sitting at my desk this morning when one of my co-workers came over to ask me where she could look online to find out how to dress better (her words, not mine).  I'm tickled that she came to me for help, since she said it's because she always enjoys my clothes.  She's curious about where I find inspiration for my outfits, so I told her that I people-watch a lot in Chicago (she lives in the Chicago suburbs, so she has less options there) and read style blogs.  

Since I've learned so much from all of you, I was wondering if you could recommend any resources for my co-worker to check out.  She's interested in business-casual for a woman in her 40's, and I should also note that she's petite, so she sometimes has trouble finding things in her size.  Can you help us?

(it feels weird not posting a picture, so here's some Jude)


  1. IT's always nice to hear that people take notice of your clothes : )

    I am petite at 5'4 and I find some great wear to work clothes for petites at the Loft and at Banana Republic. I ten to only buy classic stuff for work I can dress down like basic pencil and A line skirts and button downs that I can mix and match.

    And, I've been fiding a lot of work wear inspiration in the J Crew catalogs as of late.

    Dressing for work can be tough. At times I feel like I have two wardrobes one for work and one for me!

  2. Kelly at Alterations Needed writes great content for XS petites, and her blogroll also has the most exhaustive list of petite resources I've ever seen.

    Good luck to your coworker! She definitely consulted the right person! : )


  3. I am petite at 5'3 and I also have a trouble finding the right fit in most retailers. My favorite store is 'banana republic'. They make beautiful petite pieces. I buy sales rack items mostly but it does not matter because their items are pretty classic. I think Loft and j.crew do good job as well. One thing I want to say is to pay a physical visit to the stores instead of shopping online. That's the best way to figure out what works and what does not.

  4. For general fashion tips about proportion and color, I really like Inside Out Style, or Already Pretty...but that might be a little close to home to point a co-worker to.

  5. I also wanted to through into the ring. There's some great tutorials there too.


    she's petite and focuses on a lot of business casual stuff, how to style outfits and build a wardrobe and so on. she also has a daily outfit pic blog (link at site).

    going to physical stores to try on is good advice! good luck to your co-worker.

  7. Thank you all so much for your suggestions! I've passed them on (with the exception of Already Pretty - you're right Cynthia, that might be getting too close to home right now) and she's very excited to read through everything :)

  8. A Femme d'un Certain Age, Une Femme d'un Certain Age, Passage des Perles are all excellent reads. They are not so much personal style as they are advice about style, but they are also somewhat pricey at times. But within reason, I think. And, obviously, Style Underdog puts us all (and by "us" I mean me) to shame.

  9. I just wanted to weigh in and say I concur, top three sites for general wardrobe advice are:

    Already Pretty
    You Look Fab
    Inside Out Style

    Good stuff!

  10. Everyone gave you a great list of blogs; I follow pretty much all of these too. I also live in the Chicago suburbs, and if you look in the right places, you can find a lot of sharp dressers and various bits of inspiration. Whole Foods or any grocery store around dinner time is one of those places: lot of women and men stopping by on their way home from work are there. Myself included. :)

  11. Obvy, everyone else is all over your request for help. So I'm chiming in to say how much I love Jude. He seems really smiley in all his photos.

  12. For smaller sizes, try H&M, Macy's Jr section, Ann Taylor LOFT, Old Navy, Bebe, NY&Co. At most of those (basically everything other than LOFT and NY&Co), you have to dig a little to find work appropriate clothes, but they are there.

    For blogs showing outfit photos of work appropriate outfits:

    Really Petite ( has elegant style, and she's petite and frequently writes reviews of her purchases and how they fit on her small frame.

    What I Wore Today ( is age-appropriate and office appropriate with quite a bit of creative flair.

    The Glamourai ( definitely gives off a glamourous draped-in-jewelry vibe, but on closer inspection, many of her outfits are quite professional looking.

    What Would Krissie Wear ( hasn't updated in a while, but I like her office style.

    Kansas Couture ( is younger, but her clothes are office appropriate and she's small, so keeping an eye on what brands she wears might be helpful.

    Some other bloggers with inspiring work wear:
    Academichic (
    Blog Fashion (
    Between Laundry Days (
    From Sneakers to Stilettos (
    I Take Photos in the Bathroom (

  13. Forgot to add, I've found that the stores tend to have a much wider selection of work-wear in their Loop locations and Michigan Avenue stores than they do in their suburban or neighborhood locations.