A Dress A Day: Business Meeting (Day 21)

Belted Textured Crepe Fit & Flare Dress from nordstrom

Navy Blue Fit and Flare Dress | Suede Pumps (currently 30% off!) | Fendi Bag (also here in charcoal and here in a mini version!) | Tortoise Sunglasses | Bracelets here and here | Lipstick in ‘Bawse’

So it’s Monday. Again. That means, most of us are begrudgingly heading to work with a weekend hangover. With the weather having been so nice, this is a particularly tough hangover to get over. This is one time when I support the “hair of the dog” strategy. A little more weekend? Yes please. Unfortunately, it’s time to put on your best business casual and head into the office for that day job. Ugh.

But let’s talk about what to wear for that business meeting you have coming up. This is something y’all have asked me for over and over! I wrote one post here but today’s post is all about another. Surprised by my choice? Let me tell you about my philosophy on the workplace. Or at least a small part of it because the entire philosophy could take up a multi-volume novel.

I’ve always been in male dominated industries. From engineering to aerospace to finance, I’ve been surrounded by men in my career. While this is not for everyone, I’ve learned a lot about myself and about what works over the last 10 years. There are certainly challenges that come along with this that are totally different from when I was working in beauty back in LA.

Straight out of college, I rocked the business pants and blazers every day. I was in consulting so it was business casual at minimum. Why I thought shoulder pads were a good idea on my broad shoulders is beyond me. But I was trying to blend in. That’s what you do when you’re 22 and trying to work a corporate job. You play it safe. Right?

Tired of ill fitting pants, I started incorporating more business dresses into my wardrobe when I worked at Activision. We dressed very casually there (Call of Duty tees and jeans were the norm) but I started something I called Fancy Fridays where I would dress up in a dress like this. You know, hold myself accountable to not just “mail it in”. While I could never get many of my coworkers on board, it was still fun for me to experiment. I’ll always remember when the General Manager left, he said he really appreciated that I did that (in a non creepy way).

So, what I’m saying is, that as a women and “girlboss” that’s when I really started to embrace the fact that I was, in fact, female. Not that I was ashamed of it. But, I was too busy trying to not stand out that I didn’t realize I did anyway. And the ways in which I stood out, might play to my advantage career-wise. I’ve always had a strong personality. Standing up to my male peers has never been an issue for me. Some men hate it, some respect it. It’s an interesting moment of truth when you watch a man react to you being smarter/right/whatever. Things are definitely getting better in the workplace but let’s be honest, it’s not 100%.

But instead of complaining about it, my approach is simple: be bold and be a worthy advocate. I embrace the fact that I’m female. Part of that is not trying to dress like a guy. Sure, pants are great sometimes but my body type usually isn’t a fan. So while it’s warm, I’m going to wear all the dresses I can until it’s 2-pairs-of-pants-and-boots season again. I also make sure my shit is together. I work longer and work harder to make sure I know what I’m talking about. I act like an equal, not sit back and complain about the fact that I’m not. Real talk.

And this dress is in my opinion, the perfect thing to wear to a business meeting. Classy and flattering. Business with flare and flair. Yes, you may turn heads but isn’t that what you want? In my experience, you don’t get a raise or a promotion going unnoticed. Don’t be afraid to be in everyone’s face just a little bit. You do you.

How’s that for a little #mondaymotivation? It got a little real, y’all! But when it’s something you feel strongly about, sometimes you just gotta let it out!

As a reminder, you can see all of the dresses from this A Dress A Day series here! Or there’s a list below!

adrianna papell navy business meeting dress

beige suede pumps on sale for 30% off

what to wear to the office

work outfit inspiration

navy fit and flare dress for a business meeting

fendi 3jours bag in brown leather

how to dress for a corporate office

adrianna papell cap sleeve navy dress with a gold belt

a work dress for your day job

classic office pumps in suede

what to wear to work

19 thoughts on “A Dress A Day: Business Meeting (Day 21)

  1. Definitely! Let it out! I found in my own career that I was a lot happier and when I embraced who I was! Similarly, when I first started teaching I was all business pants and collared shirts and I never really felt completely comfortable! Then I started embracing color and skirts, dresses, fancy shoes…who cares if others came to work in khakis and a polo shirt? It’s ok to stand out!

    Virginia
    More to Mrs. E

  2. I’m also a woman working in a male dominated industry and this resonated so much with me! Thanks for sharing 👌🏼

  3. You look stunning! Love the look! How do manage a blog, IG account, and work a full-time job?! Wow!!!

  4. Your post is so great! I love that you stood out in your blazers and pants because of you not what you were wearing! That’s the weay to do it, you go girl!

  5. I love this post! I just graduated from college and started my first engineering job a couple weeks ago. I was just telling my husband this weekend about how much I hate dress pants. I told him that I stand out anyway, so I may as well stand out clothes that I like and feel confident in. I appreciate you taking the time to write this out, because it is extremely relatable.

  6. Such a classy look! I love the navy paired with neutral accessories. Loving your ‘A Dress A Day’ series!

    -Tristan

  7. That blue color is absolutely gorgeous, and I love it paired with those neutral accessories! Such a great day to night look!

    xx,
    Lauren

Let me know what you think!