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Help! I need to look professional and I own no suits.

(60 Posts)
LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 15-Oct-13 19:16:59

Next Friday I am going to go into a room with a copy of my thesis and let two professors tear it apart while I gibber and shake. And then hopefully they're going to tell me I have not totally failed my PhD.

Customarily I believe people wear suits to do this. Or at least something very smart.

I hate trouser suits. I look an idiot in trousers.

I would love to find something that looked a bit 1940s/vintagy - something I would actually want to wear, as opposed to 'corporate uniform' style. Like, if Vivienne Westwood made skirt suits. Which she doesn't, AFAIK. It's allowed to be a bit quirky. At this stage, desperation and the large credit card I've just been sent mean you could probably push my budget quite a long way if you show me the pretties.

I am 5'4ish, size 12/14 with about D/DD bust and a bit of tummy. Dark hair and eyes.

Any help? I am counting on your awesome wisdom.

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 18-Oct-13 00:19:13

Thanks tethers.

And I'll go look at the Austin Reed, thanks!

trills - ahh, I see. grin Sounds fun.

Trills Fri 18-Oct-13 00:17:52

I just boozed and then came onto MN - anyone who happened to be online got to laugh at me grin

tethersend Thu 17-Oct-13 22:59:33

Dress and jacket don't necessarily need to match

Black is a bit boring, but could work if the cut is good.

tethersend Thu 17-Oct-13 22:58:42

Had forgotten about Austin Reed- one or two nice bits.

This dress has a matching jacket, although is smart enough without one...

Or how about a matching waistcoat and skirt over a pussybow blouse?

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 17-Oct-13 14:32:07

Trills got MN boozing? envy

Right, so given that the lovely pinstripe dress won't turn up in time, and when I rang VW at Bicester they said they have jackets but no suits, I am thinking of following the suggestion for a nice dress, maybe with a smart jacket over it.

Questions (if I may, I know I am being so picky!):

- when you wear a smart jacket over a dress, do you think they ought to match in colour?
- Is black too boring?

I found this and quite like it (it came up after I looked at BOF's sites, so thanks!

Trills Wed 16-Oct-13 21:41:38

A good memory I hope grin

BOF Wed 16-Oct-13 21:35:51

I remember boozing with you, Trills grin

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 16-Oct-13 21:17:26

Thanks chub, will have a look.

trills - I have post-PhD feminist conferencing. Same difference. grin

Trills Wed 16-Oct-13 21:15:21

Do you have post-PhD boozing sorted out? Tis tres important.

Chubfuddler Wed 16-Oct-13 21:08:17

I'm a solicitor and I never wear suits. I only wear dresses to work, Boden is ideal if you avoid the prints.

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 16-Oct-13 21:06:52

Not so keen on those, tethers - the cut on the Armani and the colour/fabric on the VW. Sorry, I am massively picky!

trills - you have no recommended, thank you! Sorry to hear yours was shit. I imagine they're never exactly relaxing fun. I am kind of using this to distract me a bit.

almost - thank you! Looks like my sort of site.

Trills Wed 16-Oct-13 21:03:29

My viva was a bit shit actually, but it was only 3 hrs 20 minutes of shitness and then I got the bit of paper that I wanted and then I went and got really rather drunk.

tethersend Wed 16-Oct-13 21:03:10


Almostfifty Wed 16-Oct-13 21:01:31 has some good businesses on it, that might just have a lovely, lovely dress.

Trills Wed 16-Oct-13 21:01:25

Have I recommended Dressipi to you?

Put in your measurements and it'll compare them to all the different brands' size guides and tell you what size you need (and give you advice about what shapes suit you, etc).

tethersend Wed 16-Oct-13 21:00:50


LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 16-Oct-13 20:58:41

trills - I would like that piece of paper too! smile

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 16-Oct-13 20:58:14

Erm ... DH's response was not repeatable! grin

(Gorgeous, though ... but that's about twice what I paid for my wedding dress!)

Trills Wed 16-Oct-13 20:57:55

I didn't wear a suit.

I got the piece of paper that said "do some small writing stuff and show it to us and then we'll give you the better piece of paper that says you're allowed to graduate"

tethersend Wed 16-Oct-13 20:56:23

Oh, Fuck the budget.


LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 16-Oct-13 20:45:40

Oh, bollocks. Pinstripe dress is made to order in 2 weeks. Lesson to me to be organzied.

shredded - that's a great thought, I might very well do that.

And thanks for the good luck. smile

ShreddedHoops Wed 16-Oct-13 20:21:20

I had a similar situation recently - first interview in about ten years and am currently a SAHM!

I went for a dress (cheap-ish but I love it and will wear again) and a really good suit jacket that will be forever useful.

Maybe that's an option? Get a VW jacket you love from the website, then take it with you shopping and try on lots of lovely dresses. Maybe a bright shift, or a DVF type wrap or drapey thing, whatever floats your boat. I'd personally avoid floral prints - big flowers or 'ditsy prints' <shudder> as I think they look a bit chaotic, but most day dresses with a good jacket, opaques and good shoes (maybe Mary-Jane or a small chunky platform, or a basic court if you'll wear it again?) will be a better investment. Plus if you start sweating during your viva you can remove the jacket and be wearing a fab dress! Just a watch, or a statement necklace if a plain dress, and you'll rock it. Good luck wink

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 16-Oct-13 20:14:18

Ohhhh. You lot are amazing.

BOF, I love that pinstripy dress.

I love the LRD too, but possibly not for the viva! grin

Reality Wed 16-Oct-13 20:04:45

Reality Wed 16-Oct-13 19:50:41

The first site BOF linked, I mean.

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