A couple weeks ago I had a big meeting at a large public company — not a tech company per se, but close. I’d never been to the company’s campus or even seen it, and I was pretty stumped about what to wear.
It’s that same kind of feeling you might have when going in for an interview — you want to look and feel good but also strike the right tone.
The meeting was in the Bay Area, which made it even harder. Everything here is business casual, except when it isn’t. And given that this was not a traditional tech company where Birkenstocks are regularly acceptable at first-day orientations, I found myself flipping through my closet and searching beyond my traditional “go to” meeting outfit of dressy jeans, blouse, fun blazer and snappy shoes.
All I could think was that I wished I had thought about this earlier than the day of the meeting 🙂 So, because of this, I put together my own “meeting capsule” — three go-to options for meetings in my closet ranging from semi-casual to formal to have on hand going forward, just for times like these…
This is for sure my go-to outfit for meetings. Dressy jeans, blouse, fun blazer, snappy shoes. By fun blazer, I mean a fun color or stripes or checks — something eye catching but professional looking. My favorite right now is a knit blue blazer with a rose pink trim. Or you might go with a bright colored blouse under a white, black or blue solid blazer. This outfit presents well, you’ll feel comfortable and it looks sharp. If it’s an interview versus a meeting, I’d opt for a pair of nice pants and leave the jeans behind. Better to be overdressed than underdressed.
When in doubt, I think there’s tons of opportunity in the closet for a nice Sheath dress or two or three. The Sheath can go with flats or heels or work-appropriate short boots depending on how fancy or casual you want to take it. Throw on one of your fun necklaces. Black is probably the most versatile but if your budget allows for a few, consider a fun color. My mom swears about closing deals in red.
Check out this selection from J Crew. There’s a lot in here to like, and if you happened to have an evening event (hate these at the moment) it could go day to night. Pair it with a cardigan (short vs long) to keep it fresh.
THE EAST COASTER
OK — I hear you — there are just some times where you need to wear a suit. Maybe your interview or meeting is at a law firm or a bank. The new suit options can just look so elegant. If this is your world, Refinery29 put together a beautiful guide and current selection to help all the corporate mamas out there find the right suit.
Seems to me if you have a variety of these go-to’s and buy in colors that compliment each other, you can mix and match without much hassle. The general idea is to keep it simple so you don’t stress or think too hard when it’s showtime.
Maybrooks is a career resource for moms. Search jobs, research family friendly companies, and find tools to navigate your career. Stay in touch with our newsletter. Employers can post jobs and create profiles to get in front of women talent..