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Paralegal Career Dressing: All Buttoned Up Day 4

Paralegal Career Dressing: All Buttoned Up Day 4

I wore lots of dresses to work in the 80s and 90, with miles and miles of wide collars, shoulder pads, dropped waists, and floral prints.

For your amusement, here is a photo of me in 1991 at a good friend’s wedding, with The Costume Technician (who is now 27 years old and living in NYC). I wore that double-breasted, entirely synthetic dress to work all the time, and thought I looked darned good.

I didn’t stop getting my hair electrocuted perms until around 1994 or 1995. Good times. All you had to do was bend over, spray half a can of White Rain on your upside down hair, and then GO.

I dug up this photo because I think it explains why I couldn’t leave this vintage Kings Row dress behind when I found it in our local MegaThrift.

Vintage Kings Row dress ~ thrifted
Anne Klein pumps ~ I think the Costume Technician forgot them at our house several years ago
Mad Men pearls ~ Banana Republic on sale when the collection was available

It doesn’t have padded sleeves, but the sleeves are definitely poufy because of large gathers. It’s actually kind of a square dress in general, but I think the over-dress tied on the side is supposed to give it some shape.

I pro’bly should have had second thoughts about actually wearing it when my sister and The Costume Technician laughed their asses off when they saw it. Of course, these are the same women who called me “Smurfette” when they found my post with the bright blue tights from We Love Colors. (They were right, I actually learned a lot from that outfit post 😛 No matchy-matchy tights and sweaters.)

If you’re blogging about your personal style, and your family hasn’t found out yet, I highly recommend keeping it to yourself.

I didn’t realize until I saw today’s outfit photos that the sleeves make me look like a football player. Eh, these are POWER sleeves, and you know what? I’m still not ready to part with this dress. (I can hear you laughing, Sister and Costume Technician.)

For my readers of a certain age, what do you miss most about 80s style – or least?

16 Responses to Paralegal Career Dressing: All Buttoned Up Day 4

  1. well, you look great in this version now! I'm not sure there's too much that I treasured in the 80's as far as clothing except that I do have small shoulders and the shoulder pads made everything hang better on me back then that's for sure. But, I was also pregnant for a lot of the 80's….I needed the extra "pick me up." 😉

  2. That's a fun dress – not entirely flattering on you, but life is for fun!

    I love the picture of you in 1991! Oh man, the perms! I had a few very similar ones.

    From the 80s, I don't miss:
    – the shoulder pads on everything!
    – the ugly shoes (for the most part)
    – the crazy hair

    But I did and do love:
    – all the wonderful colours! So rich!
    – the way fashion took off as a way to express oneself (at least for me)

  3. Very pretty dress. Looks nice and summery.

    You didn't include your email address in your comment on my blog. This is Joe Fresh. It's cheapy clothing sold at the grocery store.

    I buy "trendy" clothing from them because it's a way to add faddish things for little money.

  4. Ha, I was just discussing whether to spill my blogging beans to my eldest sister or not? Maybe not then…

    That old photo of you is SO familiar. I just did an old perm photo post too! Come on, it was the LAW to have a perm in the 80s (or later) and the upside down hairspray, plus a bit of backcombing, made sure that hair was extra huge. Ozone layer? Who needs it, right?!
    I have rediscovered an unexpected liking for some 80s style, mostly the dresses. I think we should re-wear them with pride, Lynne! It is a decade which has been so villified, I feel a perverse delight in revisiting it and making it work.
    I really like your daisy frock, you look lovely.
    I don't think we should ever look back and feel ashamed or embarrassed about what we wore or how we looked. It was fine in its context, and we were HOT! And young!
    And the music was fabulous!
    I do like your blog, maybe it's an age thing! xxxxxxx

  5. @Joni James ~ I feel ya!

    @Sheila ~ As much fun as this dress is, I agree that it isn't even in the Top 10 in my closet. You nailed it re not flattering me. You should see all the horrible pics from today 😮 It's actually a size 10 (running small) but still too big for me. I think I'm going to set it free into the Big Circle of Clothes and let someone else rock it.

    @Megan ~ Oh! We have Fresh Market in the USA, but no clothes in it.

    @Curtise ~ It was your perm photos that inspired me to take mine outta the closet. My fave local radio station plays 80s music all weekend long, so I won't let the fam touch the dial. We WERE fabulous. I wish had more pics of my clubbing outfits, but no ubiquitous camera phones back in th' day 😛

  6. Aww I think this dress is great for nostalgia, but is way too big on you! Although I do have to say – your hair was pretty intense back then.

    I thankfully missed the 80s. By a whole 17 days. However I do miss the wonderfully awful outfits my brother used to put together. His favorite shorts were a pair of spandex exercise shorts with the HUGEST loose cut up tank.

    My family is aware of my blog-life, but they mostly keep out of it/unaware. The worst I've had is a couple of photobombs.

  7. I talked my mom into letting me get a spiral perm in the 80s, and it was probably the worst hair choice I have ever made. The pictures are scary!

  8. I like the dress, the pose, the photo! Would not have recognized you in the wedding photo!!

    I actually do not mind shoulder pads and lately I've been gravitating in my shopping to bright blues. I can remember wearing that with black separates in the 80s.

  9. I love this shape on you! And the photo reminded me of my very own 'perm' days. Each era has its pros and cons. Actually, I thought the shoulder pads were fun, but don't long to go back to that. But do have pleasant memories.

  10. Ha! I laughed when you told me you did 1991 – you sure did! But I think this dress looks fantastic!

    Totally permed my hair in the 90's and it NEVER lasted. My hair was wayyy too thick. My mom always had a perm too back then. Oh the 90s.

  11. Aww, that photo from 1991 brings back memories! I remember when I was a teen, my cousin decided she was going to give me a makeover, so she started with my hair. She turned my head upside down and blow dried my hair for a while. Then she sprayed it with loads of hair spray. Turned me back over and said, "There! We're done!" I looked like I had been riding a motorcycle without a helmet! lol

    I definitely don't miss the hairstyles of the 90's! As for the 80's… I was just a kid then. =)

  12. Really? My family has been the biggest supporters of my blog! That's odd. I love your dress Lynne. And the older picture of you is great–thanks for sharing!

  13. How amazing is that big hair? I kinda wish it was still in style because I might go for it! I love that you found a similar dress and made it work- vintage is fab and you look stunning! PS. I am a fan of shoulder pads!

  14. Your comment about White Rain had me chuckling, Lynne. I remember the "Aqua Net" and "Rave" hairsprays, too. (sigh) You know…the ones used to hold up the wall o' hair. ha ha. Thank God we moved past that phase. No more walls o' hair, people. May the old school hairspray brands rest in peace!

    Thanks for the memories, Lynne.

Contact Info:

Lynne J. DeVenny, N.C. State Bar Certified Paralegal

Owner & Virtual Paralegal, DeVenny Paralegal Services

Email: lynne.devenny[at]

Telephone: 336-582-0003

Inquiries are welcome, with free quotes available.

Meet Lynne:

Lynne DeVenny is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal with over 27 years of experience working on complex litigation cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and Social Security disability.

Disclosure: I am not a lawyer and cannot provide legal representation or legal advice.

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