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Paralegal Career Dressing: Not All That or A Bag of Chips

Paralegal Career Dressing: Not All That or A Bag of Chips

You know those days you go to work sick or recovering from being sick, and you don’t care what you look like, as long as you can keep yourself propped up at your desk for the requisite number of hours?

This is one of those days. I thought about not posting today’s pics at all, except I thought it might be a good time to explore “dressing for sick when you can’t stay home.” Of course, this does not apply to court-related activities, when you have to wear a nice jacket and coordinating ensemble no matter what you feel like, and sneak sips of Pepto Bismol out of your briefcase on the sly.

I actually used to look way worse than this when I’d drag myself in to work not feeling all that or a bag of chips. I loved those elastic waist polyester career slacks New York & Co used to sell in the 90s. I had them in black, tan, and blue, with matching New York & Co v-necked sweaters. I could show up to work wearing a sleep t-shirt tucked in a pair of those grandma pants, “dressy” sneakers (at least in my mind), a no-color sweater that hung to my knees, no make-up, and glasses, and feel almost as good as being sick at home, except the bathroom was a lot further away.

But I feel like I have to do a little better in my middle-age. I can’t afford to lose a job because I showed up to work wearing a pajama top. College tuition is coming up. Plus, lots of different kinds of people are in and out of our office all day, and once in a while, I even have to cover the front desk.

I generally turn to trouser jeans for our business casual office when I’m cold, or just not feeling it (whatever it may be). Trouser jeans automatically preclude sneakers for me, because I have to wear heels so the hems don’t drag on the floor. Yeah, I’m a shorty, my clothes are all kinda too big right now, and no, sweet readers who expressed concern, I’m not on a weight loss kick of any kind.

This is a great outfit for sitting all day. The Limited blazer (thrifted last year); T-shirt (Gap clearance last year); Merona jeans (Target several years ago); Aerosoles pumps (Steinmart a couple of years ago); 1928 triple locket (decades ago); Gemstone necklace (Target)

I’ve had that 1928 triple locket for years and years, and even though all the fake gold is rubbed off, I still love to play with it in meetings wear it.

More than one pendant gives you more to play with in meetings.

You can almost see the cool shiny gold thread in this jacket.
Is anybody wearing their jackets inside out? Call me!

What do you wear to work when you’re not feeling all that or a bag of chips?

13 Responses to Paralegal Career Dressing: Not All That or A Bag of Chips

  1. Wow! We were on the same wavelength. Even weirder, the teacher I met with was also in nearly the same colors.

    Also NY&Co did a resurgence of pajama-dress pants back in 2009 I believe. They looked like slacks, but had a flat waist band similar to yoga pants (non-fold over). I had them in three colors – and actually wore them to work.

    As for what to wear when I'm not 100%, I wear dresses if I can. Especially if they're dresses that look good without a belt. I am in college now and have a lot more freedom to dress for comfort than work did.

  2. You look great. I'd never know you felt sick. Your selections are professional and attractive. Nice work.

    I have two categories of suits: nice ones for court or meetings with clients and cheap ones for when I'm sick or just don't care. The former are pure wool; the latter are polyester blends.

  3. MM ~ You know those NY&Co pants were SO comfortable that I wore them until they were pilly 😛 Yay for NY&Co for resurrecting them, probably in a better fabric than a decade earlier!

    Dresses are my favorite item of clothing; I don't know why I avoid them when I'm under the weather.

  4. Ally, thanks for the compliment. It's nice to know that maybe I did look better than I felt.

    It's interesting that you have different categories of suits. I do, too: suits I think of as "fancy" for speaking engagements or court, and suits I think of as more "every day" that I'll wear to the office less conservatively styled, or even as separates.

  5. Hope you are feeling better Lynne, and I agree you look great in this picture! I had to post when I saw your 1928 necklace. I have some 1928 jewelry that I will never part with – I love it.

  6. You do look very professional – one would never know you're not feeling 100%!

    I'm with Megan – when I'm feeling ill or blah, I have a green dress with a really bold print that I wear (scroll down to the green/black dress: I call it my "jammy dress" because it's as comfortable as pajamas (and it's machine washable). I always get compliments when I wear it too – bonus!

    I loved 1928 jewelry – so pretty!

  7. It's tough to be "on" when you're feeling "off". Our office has a no jeans rule, so for comfort I wear khakis and loafers which dress up well with a nice jacket.

  8. Sheila, I love the idea of a "jammy dress," and think I have a few that'll fit the bill in warmer weather.

    I also have a couple of pairs of 1928 earrings that I still wear, and a chain that needs to be fixed. I really love the line, and don't even know if it's available anymore.

  9. MC, I think a nice jacket takes business casual to the next level and is a great way to add polish to an ensemble, even if you're not feeling *it* that day.

  10. Ms. A, I'd love to see pics of your 1928 jewelry. I'll never part with my few pieces either. Even though they're just costume jewelry, they mean the world to me.

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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