Lindsay Lohan's Court Wardrobe: Justification for Learning How to Dress in Context

By , Columnist

LiLo recently made yet another entrance at a court hearing looking something less than… courtly. However, this isn’t the first time she’s been criticized for her courtroom attire - from “eff you” nail polish to white mini dresses, her wardrobe has made almost as many waves in the press as the charges against her. What should she have done? Probably picked a really sweet suit.

Now, suits are boring, right? They denote business, organization, and going to sleep way too early. In short, suits are adulthood, something that many of my college classmates were (and in some cases, still are) extremely hesitant to embrace. But let’s face it - it’s time to start dressing for the success we want, whether we’re trying to convince a judge we’re sober or land the job of our dreams.

Never picked a suit before? Here are some pointers.

Skirt/pant/dress suits

  • Fitted but not obscenely-tight pencil skirts should sit either right at or just above the knee
  • The hem of a dress suit should also sit right at or above the knee and the dress should be conservative in the skin it shows up top
  • Pant suits have a little more flexibility, but in general, pants should be a bit longer than usual to attractively accommodate wearing heels

Jackets

  • Should be fitted but flattering
  • Shoulder seams should sit at the edge of your shoulders
  • Garment waist should fall at your natural waist
  • Sleeves shouldn’t hike up too high when you stretch your arms forward
  • There should be little to no tightness or ribbing across your back when you flex your arms forward
  • There shouldn’t be gapping along front lapels - material should sit pretty flush with the body’s curves

As a side note, don’t be afraid to mix sizes: you might take a size 8 blazer and a size 4 skirt, and this is normal. Also, if even one part of the garment fits wrong, opt for a different size and have it altered. Alteration is an extra cost that’s actually a great investment, as it makes your moderately-expensive garment look like it was made just for you.

In addition, here are a few other LiLo-inspired tips for dressing for success:

Don’t put your wardrobe on a fad diet. That is, make sure you have lovely, timeless pieces - investment garments like suits and classically-shaped dresses - that you can accent with trendy camisoles, shoes, purses, and jewelry.

Dress in context. After all, you’re doing business, not picking up guys at a club. With that in mind, spandex, lycra, spaghetti straps, one-shouldered shirts, miniskirts, stripper heels, glittery makeup, sequins, and things of this nature have no business in an office. You’re not in the office to be a sex symbol - if you want to be Marilyn, go find a studio and a photog. If you want to be taken seriously, dress like it.

Leave the cleavage. Camisoles and bandeau tops are great ways to adapt a low-cut blouse to a work environment by cutting the cleavage. Just keep the girls under wraps.

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Emmie Scott is an English major-turned-marketing exec, with a passion for writing, humor, sharing knowledge, and "pink drinks." After hours, she started Are Toe Rings Professional Attire?, a blog for college grads and twenty-somethings looking to find their way through that daunting labyrinth called…

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