Petite Outfit: Cubicle Blues

Currently, I work in the biotech industry. That means I run around in a lab coat all day, in constant fear that I might accidentally dribble bleach, ethanol, sulfuric acid, cells…whatever icky, smelly thing I happen to be working with that day, on my clothes. I have to worry about getting dirty, working with and lifting heavy equipment, and standing/walking for hours. Because of all the icky things I deal with at work, I can’t dress as nicely as I’d like to.

On my especially “frumpy at work” days, I wish I could dress like an actual adult, in cute tweed pants, silk tops, and a pair of my beautiful high heels. That’s right, I’ve actually thought, “I wish I worked in an office…a cubicle sounds heavenly! Imagine all the cute clothes I could wear!”

I’ve bought a few pairs of dress pants, but I don’t get to wear them very often, and I feel awful just letting them hang there in the closet. So here’s what I would wear today, if I worked in a chic little business casual office, where the only heavy lifting I would need to do would be retrieving my TPS report out of the printer, and I could wear open toe shoes without the fear of dripping any bio-hazardous material all over my toes…*sigh*

Top: Diane von Furstenberg, size 0 (shoulder straps shortened)
Pants: LOFT Tweed Pants, size 00p (waist taken in)
Shoes: Cole Haan Carma OT pumps, size 5
Necklaces: Akoya pearl 16inch strand (similar) & jet 16inch necklace (similar)

More Posts with the LOFT Petite Tweed Pants:
Adventures in Alterations: Taking in the Waist on a Pair of Pants
Ann Taylor LOFT Petite Tweed Pants Have Arrived!

25 Comments

  • Reply May 3, 2010

    Petite Style

    Very nice! Those colours are so nice on you, even though I cant see your eye colour. Could you at least wear a pretty coloured necklace to work – perhaps that will cheer you up when you have those workday blues.

  • Reply May 3, 2010

    hugstiem

    Omg, I totally know what you mean, being a robotics PhD student. So what do you actually wear to work, then?

  • Reply May 3, 2010

    Alterations Needed

    Petite Style – Thanks! I do try to at least wear fun jewelry. But even then I can't wear rings or bracelets because I accidentally tear them off when taking off latex gloves. *sigh*

    hugstiem – Yup, you know exactly what I'm talking about! I usually wear a pair of jeans, and some combination of top & cardigan. I don't wear jackets to work very often because I end up taking them off and on each time I have to put on a lab coat and it gets annoying. I also either wear a pair of flats (which I have to get more of…my flats collection is pretty pathetic), or a pair of kitten heels. I prefer the kitten heels because I at least feel a little bit pulled together with them instead of flats.

  • Reply May 3, 2010

    Anonymous

    I totally feel you on this! I work with animals, so my work clothes always consist of sneakers, casual khaki pants, and a tee shirt- or if it's an extra special day- a polo! And inevitably by the end of the day I have poop or mud on me somewhere. I always feel sloppy and immature on my way into work every morning when everyone else is in their nice slacks and heels and pretty blouses. I too have wished to work in an office just to be better dressed!

  • Reply May 3, 2010

    Kerry

    When I was teaching HS I could dress nicely, but as a graduate student in Exercise Physiology, I spend a better part of my time in workout clothes. In class we're always experimenting on each other (you walk into our lab and see 25 shirtless students pinching each other with skin fold calipers or hooking each other up to an ECG). If I am not in class, I am administering exercise tests, which involves being exposed to blood, sweat, and occasional vomit. When I have to work in the fitness center, I need to be dressed for personal training.

    I HATE WEARING GYM CLOTHES.

    I will most likely end up with a job in clinical research, which means a lab coat, but I have set myself a ground rule for future employment – no uniforms that involve wearing company issue polo shirts with khakis.

    Has anyone one here ever been issued a work uniform that is only available in Men's Small sizes (or worse, Medium or even Large?)
    I made them order me a children's size Medium polo shirt for when I had to work in our fitness center. Average size people do not understand that wearing clothes 4 sizes too big for you does not make you look professional. I used to argue with my boss at the student gym I worked at as an undergrad – our uniform tops were only available in Men's size Medium or Large. I stopped wearing mine and started wearing normal (nice) clothes to my shift.

  • Reply May 3, 2010

    Really Petite

    What a classy and chic outfit! I love the top on you- fits you perfectly!!!!

  • Reply May 3, 2010

    Tamara

    Your post made me smile. Sitting in my cubicle, I looked down from my TPS report and noticed I am wearing tweed pants, a silk bouse, pink high heel sandals, and a brown sweater-jacket. Yet some days I only wish I could throw on a lab coat and be done with it!

    By the way I LOVE that blouse you're wearing. DVF is one of my favorites!

  • Reply May 3, 2010

    PetiteAsianGirl

    I wonder how I'd feel about working at a casual setting every day. I loved working in NY where women actually put in effort going to work…darn Boston is so conservative (not to mention rainy). I love, love the DVF blouse. It fits great on you with just that simple alteration!

    Lol @ Kerry … if they didn't have a kids M, I'm sure your skilled sewing self could have whittled the mens shirt down to size : )

  • Reply May 3, 2010

    PetiteXXS

    I definitely know what you mean! I'm in a specialty where I work mostly in front of computer but I do see some patients and do some procedures and my white coat gets so filthy that I don't really want to wear nice clothes to work! And besides, scrubs are actually quite comfortable even though they're frumpy, and I never have to worry about what I'm going to wear in the morning! But of course there are days that I envy office workers that get to wear nice stylish clothes to work.

    Btw I think it's adorable that you actually smile in your pictures (and is that new hair I spy? :P) … I usually have the weirdest expressions when I'm taking pics so it's a good thing I crop out my head!

  • Reply May 3, 2010

    Alterations Needed

    Anonymous – Whew! Working with animals must be tough! I know how you feel about seeing everyone else dressed in cute little outfits and heels and feeling like a slob. Anytime I go out to lunch, I'm surrounded by nicely dressed office workers, and I feel so out of place!

    Kerry – You made me laugh. =) OMG, I hate company issued clothing. My company always tries to give us logo'd t-shirts to instill company pride…well…the men's size XXXXXL t-shirts they always try to hand me turns into car washing rags pretty quickly. And just wait until you have to find an appropriately sized lab coat! Our supplier couldn't quite grasp the fact that I was short, slim, and a woman. After 3 tries, they finally gave me a men's XS lab coat with shortened sleeves…this sucker comes down to my shins and gets caught on EVERYTHING. I finally gave up on trying to get a woman's xs, which seemed simple enough at the time.

    Tamara – You are exactly who I want to be today…lol.

    PAG – I totally have dressing in NYC idealized in my head. I would love to be surrounded by that style every day. Jeans, jeans, jeans, get so boring here in LA.

  • Reply May 3, 2010

    Alterations Needed

    PetiteXXS – Acute sense of hairstyle spotting! Yup, I got a hair cut on Saturday. It's short!

    I feel ya on the weird facial expressions. I'm pretty uncomfortable in front of a camera in the first place, so if I had to take pictures where I wasn't posing like a total geek AND my face/smile didn't look goofy…I'd never post any pictures at all. =P

  • Reply May 3, 2010

    diaryofashopper

    Cute outfit-I looooove those tweed pants! I worked in a really conservative office with business formal attire for five years. But now I work at home, and only get dressed up about once every week or so for client meetings. Sometimes I miss getting all dressed up every single day. I am a girly-girl, and I love the skirts, dresses and heels!

  • Reply May 4, 2010

    PetiteGorgeous

    Great outfit and great topic, AN. I am happy that you found a way to make the top work for you because it is a very nice top on you! I enjoyed reading everyone's comments here, and definitely feel related to many of you. Being a doctoral student, I need some sets of clothes that are appropriate to wear as a student (the more casual types) so that I don't appear to stand out among other graduate students cuz many do wear very causal clothes; then I need another sets of clothing for professional meetings and conferences, and some sets in between when I meet with professors for lunches and such. At this point in my life, I have a closet filled with the most causal T-shirts to the most conservative dress pants and suits heh.

  • Reply May 4, 2010

    Dreamcatcher

    That top is beautiful !

  • Reply May 4, 2010

    Anonymous

    During my Undergrad I worked at a conference center that required everyone to wear button down navy blue shirts.

    Of course they all came in standard mens sizes, and when i started they were out of XS because all the other girls, much bigger then me had already taken them. So there i was, in a mens S blue button down-I looked like a 3 year old in play cloths- it went down to my knees and the sleeves were so long that they looked silly even rolled up

    Even Worse, my boss was continually upset that I did not tuck this shirt in and look more professional-I couldn't get her to understand that i couldn't tuck in a shirt that went down to my knees and have a yard and a half of fabric hanging out in my jeans………finally i just started wearing my own navy blue tops-my boss still glared at me, but honestly, what was i supposed to do? I quite that job pretty quickly.

    Anyway, now i do work in an office, but I gotta say, no one dresses nearly as nice as this! very pretty :)

    -Nila

  • Reply May 5, 2010

    Nukem

    Love the outfit, especially the DVF top, so pretty on you.
    I am now in cubicle land and can wear cute clothes to work. Several years ago, I worked in a chemical plant, where I mostly wore jeans (not designer for fear of dirtying them) or khakis and a polo shirt. Very boring, though I saved a ton of money since I didn't have to spend it on a wardrobe :)

  • Reply June 17, 2010

    Trish

    I've just started reading your blog and I am about your size with maybe half an inch here and there. I actually though that I was PetiteAsianGirl's size but shes slightly taller. Thanks for all of the helpful tips!

    But anyway, I'm a QC chemist at a manufacturing company and I think about wanting to wear cute clothes all the time! I've had 2 situations where I wore a new t-shirt to work and i got bleach stains on them. Even with just the t-shirts I still cried a little haha.

    I do love how I can wear jeans and a tshirt but I feel like I look the same everyday. Of course, no cute shoes for me because I'm supposed to have steel toed shoes. Luckily I'm able to get away with Dansko clogs (shhh!)

    Plus, another thing about dressing too nice is that I work with certain types of guys who will ogle if I wear something too cute. And I'm actually doing a career change to nursing so instead of jeans and a tshirt, I'm going to have to wear scrubs.

    NO CHANCE to dress up for me at all!

  • Reply June 17, 2010

    Alterations Needed

    Trish – Oh man…steel toe boots? That's rough! Mine just have to be closed toe, but I do wear some pretty low-cut shoes which really don't protect me at all. Last week, my shoe didn't cover my whole foot, and some liquid nitrogen splashed on my foot, and I freaked out. It just all evaporated away, but it still made me re-think my shoe choices.

  • Reply May 25, 2011

    Nukem

    Love the outfit, especially the DVF top, so pretty on you.
    I am now in cubicle land and can wear cute clothes to work. Several years ago, I worked in a chemical plant, where I mostly wore jeans (not designer for fear of dirtying them) or khakis and a polo shirt. Very boring, though I saved a ton of money since I didn't have to spend it on a wardrobe :)

  • Reply May 25, 2011

    Dreamcatcher

    That top is beautiful !

  • Reply May 25, 2011

    Anonymous

    During my Undergrad I worked at a conference center that required everyone to wear button down navy blue shirts.

    Of course they all came in standard mens sizes, and when i started they were out of XS because all the other girls, much bigger then me had already taken them. So there i was, in a mens S blue button down-I looked like a 3 year old in play cloths- it went down to my knees and the sleeves were so long that they looked silly even rolled up

    Even Worse, my boss was continually upset that I did not tuck this shirt in and look more professional-I couldn't get her to understand that i couldn't tuck in a shirt that went down to my knees and have a yard and a half of fabric hanging out in my jeans………finally i just started wearing my own navy blue tops-my boss still glared at me, but honestly, what was i supposed to do? I quite that job pretty quickly.

    Anyway, now i do work in an office, but I gotta say, no one dresses nearly as nice as this! very pretty :)

    -Nila

  • Reply May 25, 2011

    diaryofashopper

    Cute outfit-I looooove those tweed pants! I worked in a really conservative office with business formal attire for five years. But now I work at home, and only get dressed up about once every week or so for client meetings. Sometimes I miss getting all dressed up every single day. I am a girly-girl, and I love the skirts, dresses and heels!

  • Reply May 25, 2011

    Alterations Needed

    Anonymous – Whew! Working with animals must be tough! I know how you feel about seeing everyone else dressed in cute little outfits and heels and feeling like a slob. Anytime I go out to lunch, I'm surrounded by nicely dressed office workers, and I feel so out of place!

    Kerry – You made me laugh. =) OMG, I hate company issued clothing. My company always tries to give us logo'd t-shirts to instill company pride…well…the men's size XXXXXL t-shirts they always try to hand me turns into car washing rags pretty quickly. And just wait until you have to find an appropriately sized lab coat! Our supplier couldn't quite grasp the fact that I was short, slim, and a woman. After 3 tries, they finally gave me a men's XS lab coat with shortened sleeves…this sucker comes down to my shins and gets caught on EVERYTHING. I finally gave up on trying to get a woman's xs, which seemed simple enough at the time.

    Tamara – You are exactly who I want to be today…lol.

    PAG – I totally have dressing in NYC idealized in my head. I would love to be surrounded by that style every day. Jeans, jeans, jeans, get so boring here in LA.

  • Reply May 25, 2011

    PetiteAsianGirl

    I wonder how I'd feel about working at a casual setting every day. I loved working in NY where women actually put in effort going to work…darn Boston is so conservative (not to mention rainy). I love, love the DVF blouse. It fits great on you with just that simple alteration!

    Lol @ Kerry … if they didn't have a kids M, I'm sure your skilled sewing self could have whittled the mens shirt down to size : )

  • Reply May 25, 2011

    Trish

    I've just started reading your blog and I am about your size with maybe half an inch here and there. I actually though that I was PetiteAsianGirl's size but shes slightly taller. Thanks for all of the helpful tips!

    But anyway, I'm a QC chemist at a manufacturing company and I think about wanting to wear cute clothes all the time! I've had 2 situations where I wore a new t-shirt to work and i got bleach stains on them. Even with just the t-shirts I still cried a little haha.

    I do love how I can wear jeans and a tshirt but I feel like I look the same everyday. Of course, no cute shoes for me because I'm supposed to have steel toed shoes. Luckily I'm able to get away with Dansko clogs (shhh!)

    Plus, another thing about dressing too nice is that I work with certain types of guys who will ogle if I wear something too cute. And I'm actually doing a career change to nursing so instead of jeans and a tshirt, I'm going to have to wear scrubs.

    NO CHANCE to dress up for me at all!

Leave a Reply