Improving attorney quality of life one complex litigation project at a time

Virtual Paralegalism

The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism

Paralegal Career Dressing: Stand Up Straight and

Paralegal Career Dressing: Stand Up Straight and

Suck Your Stomach In

I heard that all the time when I was growing up from my mom. “Stand up straight and suck your stomach in!” At the time, I felt picked on, persecuted, and generally ill-used, but eventually, I did stand up straight and suck my stomach in, without being reminded.

I know, whoa, that woman looks like she’s had too much coffee and sugar.
The Deets: Talbots shirt dress (thrifted, when I thrift one in a better color and fit, I’ll return this one to The Great Circle of Clothes); Talbots linen skirt (clearance rack, now too big, but I think it might make a good petticoat); Candies pumps (old, Kohls clearance); Wide belt (old, Steinmart); Cuff bracelet (Jada’s Jewels); Cuff links (thrifted in college, real, real old); Glass ring (family heirloom)

I thought good posture was a permanent habit until I saw from my outfit photos how bad my posture has become. My upper back started hurting, too, in a way I couldn’t simply ignore. I discovered that not only was my old chair at work contributing to the problem, but that not standing up straight actually causes pain.

The Cat stood on my spot when I walked away. Pretty sure he’s making fun of me. 
Or trying to take over the world this blog.

As I get ready to enter my fifties, I think about issues I never did as a younger woman. (Younger women, listen up, so you won’t be as shocked as I am.) I can see myself 20 years down the road, as an increasingly stooped little old lady. I know the medical science says I ‘ll start shrinking in height during this next decade, partly due to deteriorating posture. Quite frankly, that image of a frail woman with a hunched upper spine and constant back pain scares the bejesus out of me.

Now I’m the one constantly reminding myself to stand up straight, doing the back exercises, and modifying the time I spend sitting at a computer, with better ergonomics and more stretch breaks.

First time I’ve ever layered a skirt under a dress. Thank you, Sheila and Megan. But now I need to know how to look tall.

Regaining good posture is more of a struggle than I thought it would be. So much so, I’ve actually asked my family to tell me to stand up straight if they see me slouching.

Sometimes a little persecution can be a good thing.

Warning, dear readers. My mind’s starting to focus on very middle-aged things. I might talk about the Dread Whiskas next week. Don’t say I didn’t give ya the heads up.

14 Responses to Paralegal Career Dressing: Stand Up Straight and

  1. Aww I think the dress is great. It's like a holy-grail type dress. My childhood best friend's Mom used to joke with us that one day we wouldn't want to slump over, but instead would be pushing our chests out! We laughed at her, but she wasn't entirely wrong!

    Kudos for your first skirt layering. The key to looking tall is keeping things analogous. I think a light colored cami might have balanced the light color into your upper half more.

  2. Love the skirt layered under this! You did a great job of it! The belt is perfect, as are the shoes.

    I laughed at The Cat. It's like he's thinking, "Okay, now I'm in the magic spot. Now what?"

    When I started doing my blog, I would stand with (what I thought was) an exaggerated posture, like what Mom tells you to do. To my utter astonishment, gee, I look normal. Ergo, I have bad posture. I do pushups to keep my back, upper arms and shoulders strong, and I still straight up in my chair at work. Thanks for the warning (and I already have the stupid whiskers).

  3. Oh dear. I have the worst posture ever. I don't even want to know what kind of little old lady that I will turn out to be. I really like the skirt under the dress! Very classy!

  4. Guess what? I think this is one of my favourite outfits on you! I like the colour and your layering. Everything. Including that caffeinated smile. Cats are too clever.

  5. I've been thinking a lot about posture lately too. And the morning show I listen to in the morning was even talking about how my generation on down is getting the "text neck" – we spend so much time looking down at our phones, our computers, video game, etc, that we're ruining our backs and necks. So I'm trying hard to sit up straighter and stand up straighter!

    Way to go on layering a dress and skirt – I tried it earlier this week and it did not work at all. Maybe I'll try it again sometime though.

    And hello cat!

  6. You don't look anything close to turning 50! You look great in this dress/skirt combo.

    When you mentioned whiskers, I thought I had dry skin around my lip area. Nope it's hair growing! That was probably TMI, but I realized I am getting older too. Heather

  7. I like the way you layered the dress and skirt–looks very swishy.

    I personally have TERRIBLE posture, which will probably come back to bite me in the ass later in life. I try! Slouching seems inevitable, though. My mumsey, who is in her early sixties, is (last time I checked) still an inch taller than me, like she's been since I reached my full height, so you may not have to worry about shrinking/hunching at all.

    Also, we should see more outfit pictures from The Cat. I like his style.

  8. Wow, Lynne! I think you look incredibly glamorous! This look works really well on you. I've got a very similar outfit which I will surely be wearing soon, but yours is better. Your shoes & accessories are spot-on, cuff links are fantastic! Beautiful light in today's photos too.

    Ach, I think we all need to talk about the "middle age" stuff a hell of a lot more – it's the way things really are, definitely not airbrushed (I'm dating myself, better say Photoshopped!), you know? You are so wise: attending to mobility now is crucial for quality of life later on, though it's never too late to start.

  9. I love your posts Lynne, you have such a fun way of using words, I really like your sense of humour. 🙂 You look absolutely stunning in this layered attire. 🙂

  10. I love this outfit with the layering. You look great! I have to tackle this type of clothes layering. It always looks so cute on other people.

    I have heard yoga is good to keep the shrinking at bay. My coworker actually gained an inch! All that stretching out of the spine is apparently good. I have awful posture myself, so I try to sit and stand straighter, too.

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.

Website design by T.Marie Hilton-Girly Girl Geek Designs