One of my supervising attorneys, Helen Parsonage, recently featured in The Xemplar, and also made a partner of our firm, almost always has to be dressed for a variety of court appearances, and manages to do it with great style and elegance – and on a budget. She’s wonderful to work for, in no small part because she was a paralegal herself for eight years before becoming a lawyer.

When I saw her in this coat, I begged to photograph her for Practical Paralegalism (in truth, most of my co-workers run and hide when they see my camera, or hope I’ll forget I asked, which I never do). She saw the coat at a university holiday party, and was surprised to find it came from Charlotte Russe, normally a mecca of trendy, inexpensive clothes for juniors. She scored it for $20, a great deal for a versatile piece.

Coat (Charlotte Russe); Skirt (Spiegel clearance); Blouse (hand-me-down); Shoes (Rack Room BOGO while buying kids’ shoes)

This is also a great coat for the horrible wet and windy weather we’ve been enjoying for months.

Helen’s style is simple and elegant, and usually features a key focal piece such as a jacket – with great shoes.

Helen also has the best collection of designer shoes I’ve ever seen. Her shoes could have their own Tumblr blog. I’ve asked her to write a guest post about shopping for shoes on eBay, because she finds the best deals.

We wear the same size, but haven’t fought over shoes in thrift stores – yet.

Have you scored any great work wear from traditionally junior-oriented stores?

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