Summer Associates: Please Don’t Dress Like Fashion Victims.
As a new summer associate, you must have heard many a horror story about your predecessors, including tales of fashion disasters. For example, do you remember the boozy Milbank SA who supposedly showed up to events wearing an Olympic jumpsuit? How about the girl who wanted to march around her firm with a $9,000 Birkin bag? As this year’s summers descend upon Biglaw firms across the country, we thought that we might be able to offer you some assistance to prevent you from committing comparable crimes of fashion.
To accomplish this feat, we’ve teamed up with none other than Anna Akbari, the “thinking person’s stylist,” to help you make it through the summer. You don’t want to wind up as a bullet point on Weil Gotshal’s “unacceptable” list….
In case you’re not familiar with Anna Akbari, she’s a professor at New York University and the founder of Closet Catharsis, a fashion and image consulting company that takes a holistic approach to individual empowerment and identity construction through personal styling and image management. (You can see her full bio at the end of this post.) This woman knows a thing or two about fashion.
When we spoke with Professor Akbari, the conversation was a little heavy on women’s fashion — sorry guys, but ladies just have a lot more to deal with when it comes to dressing for work in a professional setting. While most men are able to slip into a suit and head out into the world looking dapper as can be, women have to worry about their hair, their makeup, their Spanx, their heel height, their bra, their accessories, and most importantly, the social mores of their office. After all, as we know from the allegations in some recent sex discrimination cases, it’s a mad, mad, Mad Men’s world out there.
Here are Professor Akbari’s tips and tricks on how to dress fashionably — and appropriately — as a summer associate this year. Much of her assessment was based on questions that we received from our loyal readers. And unlike the 80s-inspired fashion advice from Duke Law, these helpful style hints might actually be applicable in 2012.
We’ve divided this into four categories: Suits and Separates, Shoes, Grooming, and How to Stand Out. We hope that you’ve already been following most of these “fashion do’s.”