You guys give the BEST advice!

Our Corporate Curves Reporter was in town yesterday, and we hit the streets of Manhattan on a whirlwind shopping trip. On my subway trip in to meet her, I reviewed Domestic Outlet’s vital statistics from the Full Bust Starter Work Wardrobe Challenge, but I avoided reading any of your comments or A Sophisticated Pair’s Strategy and Strategy in Action responses to the challenge because I wanted to see what I would come up with on my own.  It’s a good thing I skipped the reading, or I would have been too intimidated to proceed!

Here is how I approached Domestic Outlet’s work wardrobe:

1. First, I sent her the DD Atelier Wool London Jacket in size 70F after showcasing it at the Busty Clothing Swap. Once Miss Underpinnings tried it on (below), we knew it would likely fit Domestic Outlet, and it does, perfectly. Domestic Outlet is going to write a review of it soon. (In the meantime, check out Miss Underpinnings’ reviews of the DD Atelier Diva Dress and Floret Blouse on her blog today!) A big thank you to DD Atelier for saying I was free to gift this item after the clothing swap!

This jacket put me at a giant advantage because (1) I had a color scheme to work with; and (2) I didn’t have to use any of Domestic Outlet’s $300 budget on it!

2. I made a list of five basic outfits to get Domestic Outlet through one work week.

  • Monday: sheath dress
  • Tuesday: skirt and tee
  • Wednesday: pants and shirt
  • Thursday: pants and shirt
  • Friday: wrap dress OR another pants/top or skirt/top combo

3. From this, I made a list of essential pieces (the crossed out pieces are part of step 4):

  • 1 black pencil skirt
  • 2 pairs of pants in grey and black (more if she decides against a skirt)
  • 1 white button front shirt
  • cardigans: 1 bright color, 1 red for power, 1 black for seriousness and versatility
  • 1 colorful bib necklace
  • 5 black and jewel tone tees in a nice weight (if the latter go w/ her coloring. I doubt the black goes w/ her coloring, which is why I include the colorful bib necklaces and cardigans)
  • 1 sheath dress in black, grey or heather that would look good with flats or Dansko clogs
  • 1 wrap dress
  • 3 pairs neutral and colorful tights

4. Next, I checked what she already had and crossed them off the list. Here are some of the items she has that I think she can still use:

  • white and light blue Express Essential short sleeve shirts, especially under her cardigans
  • purple Express Essential long sleeve shirt if she can have it altered to fit
  • black fit and flare skirt
  • Merona magenta shirtdress with a black cardi (or perhaps even the white button front shirt or a black tee beneath it)

Here are the items I think she should get rid of so that she isn’t frustrated by thinking she has more clothes to work with than she does:

  • plaid button-ups
  • brown corduroy/velour blazer
  • espresso/maroon pinstripe pants
  • khaki pants
  • brown corduroy A-line shirt
  • light pink wool A-line skirt (unless it looks great w/ the grey blazer and other new items . . . throw out if she doesn’t wear it after a few months)
  • empire waist dress
  • too tight dress

5. Finally, I hit the stores. It was SO fun to look in the Small and Extra Small racks for a change! Here’s what I’ve found for her so far. (I’ve run out of time, so I’ll continue with looks and prices in Wednesday or Thursday’s post.)

black pencil skirt from Express

Pocket-less Essential long sleeve button fronts in a great variety of colors (including white). The sign below even says they’re meant for “an hourglass silhouette”. The large size still gapped on me, but I tried it on over my Fantasie FL2222 bra in 36G and a camisole. Domestic Outlet is smaller than I am and has had good experiences with Express in the past, so this might work well for her.

Houndstooth sheath dress from Max Studio for $40. I like the details. I also like that it has no waist seams, so I think this can work well with Danskos or flats (for some reason, I feel like a waist seam requires dressier shoes). This is size M, but it gets the idea across of what I’m looking for. (TJMaxx and Nordstrom Rack)

Bust detail.

Navy size 2 faux wrap dress from Laundry by Design for $40. I like this dress because it has a collar. Collars = authority. (Nordstrom Rack)

I adore this seamed knit blazer from Banana Republic, currently on sale for $80. It could either overwhelm Domestic Outlet OR give her presence. It looked great on me in large when I tried it at the beginning of the season, and I’m kicking myself for not buying it then. It’s still available in XS or S for Domestic Outlet.

$22 bib necklace found via Already Pretty from this  eBay seller.

Hue tights.