Fashion advice from the Mouse House

Okay, I know it sounds odd, since when do any mice wear clothes, unless they are famous…
but hey, I found this question via’s temp area so I answered it. The question is in blue, and the response I made it in black, below it.

Hello. I have a question about dress code for temps. I have had great success working with temp agencies and have always been able to advance within the company I have worked for, including going permanent both times. With the help of a temp service recently I took a position that offers great promise and advancement. Every company I have worked for has always been a blue collar, suit atmosphere. This position is the exact opposite. In the department I work for it is not uncommon to see shorts, flip flops, short skirts and jeans…completely casual setting. Knowing that if I ever want to advance and get hired permanently shorts and flip flops are out of the question. However formal, suits are out as well. Can anyone give me some advice on how to dress for success in a casual department without looking out of place? Thanks.

You are right in saying that you’ll never get advanced if you look and dress like everyone else. The key here is to dress how you feel is APPROPRIATE. If you’re not down on the floor getting dirty, you dont need to wear “icky” or unprofessional clothes. This is written assuming you are female.
The good news is, you can still stand out while looking appropriate and using your old wardrobe too! A few new pieces will round out your wardrobe and keep your look up to date as well. I recommend finding separates that will match your suits. Short sleeve or long sleeve blouses with embellishment, yes a few polos for Fridays, and a nice pair of “trouser jeans”–Levi’s sells them. Or just a nice, dark wash wide legged jean with no holes or frays. Find footwear you find appropriate and comfortable. If you have skirts, you can wear them with trendy jackets (JC Penney, Target, and even Wal-Mart sell them). The key term is SEPARATES. For instance: Your suit jacket with cargo pants in a neutral color/khakis and a bright colored camisole. A military style jacket with your dress pants and a silk-esque blouse. Suit jacket with lacy camisole or short sleeved shirt, trouser jeans and heels. Since you already have I’m assuming several suits, it shouldnt take many additions to your wardrobe (which you could also wear on your days off/weekends) to jazz up and play down your wardrobe. Try and pick colors or patterns that would go with several suits that you already onw(shirts or skirts with blue and black or brown and tan in them, for example). I would stay away from investing in too many tshirts, but jackets, trouser jeans or cargos/khakis and lace trimmed tops, camisoles, etc. are good pieces on which to invest. And, they’ll do double duty, still allow you to wear your suits, and give you weekend looks besides. Maybe some of those tshirt wearers will look up to you!


  1. Hmmm…the fashion challenged among us need pictures! I’m going to look up the trouser jeans first because I have no clue what they are. I do think I’ll be posting more about my fashion woes here and there on my blog. Maybe you and some others will have some good advice for me. I’ve watched What Not to Wear only a handful of times and I’ve gotten a few good tips, but often I just really don’t like the clothes that they pick out. I want to look like *me* still, only better. KWIM? I may be back and forth here as I look up things from this post:o)

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