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r.steiner4
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12 Jan 2017, 9:25 pm

Recently got a job as an appointment setter at an insurance company and was informed (politely) by my NT partner that it would be wise to update my attire to appear more professional. Unfortunately (humorously playing on female stereotypes) I think my ovaries might have shriveled up and fallen out at some point because I have no idea what "looks good" on me or how to match colors. My daily uniform (clothing is more comfortable if it all looks the same) for years was black. Not sure how to make colors work on me. On top of that apparently there are shades of color which look good on certain hair and skin colors? I am very pale with almost black hair, not sure what goes with that. Whenever I go on fashion websites to do research I always find advice on how to "hide" or alter some aspect of myself to fit an ideal of beauty which I find stupid and a waste of time since I'm perfectly satisfied with how I look. Have been looking around on the internet because I hate shopping in person and found a few things but I seem to be attracted to "much older women's" clothing styles. What was your experiences with clothing choice for sake of looking professional? Did you find any tricks that made selecting clothing easier?



EclecticWarrior
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12 Jan 2017, 10:25 pm

You have pale skin and black hair. Nothing wrong with black or almost all-black with an accent colour. Pretty much any colour would make a good accent in a professional environment apart from hot pink and neon stuff. Maybe wear some gold or silver jewellery.


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14 Jan 2017, 1:50 pm

I started buying a few things for work that I like, and I realised that pretty much all of them were black, grey and purple. So I decided to stick with these colours. I tried buying stuff online to get it cheaply, but soon found that sizes varied a lot from brand to brand. So I found one brand that I liked and bought several pairs of trousers in that brand. Most of them are different varieties of pinstripes- this makes me feel more smart and professional.

I think there is a huge difference between dressing to look professional and the ideals of beauty where you have to hide certain aspects of yourself. I don't think you need to worry about those, they are more for pandering to women's insecurities and making money from it. I think if you can find a style that feels comfortable for you and helps you feel confident, then don't worry too much about whether it fits in with other people's ideas of fashion or age.

If you hate shopping in person, have a look at some cheap second hand stuff online- this gives you the chance to try things on without having to worry about returns etc. Ask your partner if the stuff you like works with what they were thinking of as professional. When you find something you like look for more by the same brand in a similar style. The advantage of something like a black suit (skirt or trousers) is that you can give it a bit of variety by wearing it with different coloured blouses for example (and pretty much anything goes with black) or even a black top and a coloured scarf. It's obviously impossible to say what will work for you without a picture (not saying you should post one) but if you are attracted to "older women's" styles, give them a try and see if they feel right for you. It is better to wear something that makes you feel right and confident than try to wear what feels wrong just because someone else said it would suit you.


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14 Jan 2017, 3:51 pm

I make my own clothes.


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FandomConnection
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15 Jan 2017, 2:25 pm

Do you have friends or family who are good with fashion? It would probably be a lot easier for somebody to give you advice if they know you in person.


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PaulAspie
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15 Jan 2017, 5:32 pm

FandomConnection wrote:
Do you have friends or family who are good with fashion? It would probably be a lot easier for somebody to give you advice if they know you in person.


Ether this or politely go to the NT coworker who suggested it (assuming she's also a woman) and ask her to help you shopping at a local mall as you don't have a good eye / never seem to match colors right / or some similar but legit and valid excuse. Indicate you'll pay for a nice dinner of her choice for the help.

About 90% of NT women love clothes shopping and even if they are only helping you pick out outfits, they'd feel excited and honored.


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com.plex
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15 Jan 2017, 11:47 pm

I hate shopping for clothes. From the constant awkward feeling I have while walking around in a store to being incredibly indecisive about picking out anything. I shop for most of my things online, but with clothes sometimes you just have to go in person. I would probably be just as anxious as you are about professional-looking attire. Just thinking about anything that I see "professional" looking women wear makes my skin crawl. Thinking about tights makes me itchy, those blazers look so restrictive and uncomfortable, and although I love how pencil skirts look on women - definitely not for me. Anytime I feel like I need to dress a little "nicer", my go to is black leggings (comfort and I like the snug feeling), tank tops (snug feeling) and a long loose top of any color to go over it to distract from my awkward gait and posture. I like to pair it with black flat shoes. My main goal is comfort but I feel like I'm still able to get away with looking "fashionable."



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17 Jan 2017, 1:36 pm

There are more than one way to dress professionally . First and foremost I would check with the firm's dress code , if there is one . As long as the employers are OK with your appearance that's ultimately all that matters . And actually I have found that combining black and white garments in an outfit is actually a safe choice , as it pertains to color coordination . If you do prefer to wear at least mostly black , here are some fashion ideas http://sophistiquenoir.com/2011/10/dressing-goth-at-work-and-not-getting-fired.html , http://ultimategothguide.blogspot.com/2010/12/styles-of-goth-fashion-corporate-goth.html?m=1 .



Mattoid
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18 Jan 2017, 7:56 am

I don't have much of a fashion sense, either. But I think that red would complement your look.


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18 Jan 2017, 8:35 am

For a while, I was obsessively watching "What not to wear" - American version, not the British original, which I think focuses too much on the presenters' personal taste and less on what their "victim" needs.

If you watch enough episodes, you can pick up a lot of useful info, keeping in mind that it's important to pick clothes that you feel comfortable in and that blend your personality with your role. Uncomfortable is always a bad look, so if you can't walk in high heels, don't let people talk you into it, for example.

Re: combining black and white - good as long as you avoid the "waiter" look.

I often like to wear a stretchy dress that ties at the waist. So it's comfy but has a bit of structure. Then I can add a structured jacket or a nice scarf and make it look more fancy. Add knee-high boots, and you look dressed up even if you don't have high heels. Go for accessories with very little detail, nothing shiny or patterned.

Looking "professional" is mainly about structure, and then using mainly neutral colours.

Sometimes when listening to "fashion experts" you can end up looking too "fashiony" or a bit overdressed, so it's important to take note of what people are wearing at your actual workplace.


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underwater
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18 Jan 2017, 9:21 am

Btw, does your job require you to go outdoors, or is it all indoors, and what kind of customer are you dealing with?


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rats_and_cats
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18 Jan 2017, 2:54 pm

I second the What Not To Wear thing. I learned a lot about fashion and actually grew to appreciate it as a form of expression because of that show (and Rarity from My Little Pony).

https://www.mystylerules.com/ is a good site; you input your measurements and it shows you what clothes to look for and also what to avoid. You can save outfits and individual pieces as well.

Always prioritize comfort. People can tell when you feel miserable. Don't pay attention to trends, just choose things that look good and feel good on you.



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20 Jan 2017, 4:16 pm

Thinking about this a bit more: one of the things that started dawning on me after watching What Not To Wear a lot, was that I finally started getting a grip on semantics. I used to be able to combine colours well, but I tended to get the semantics wrong, and quite frankly, some people were laughing at me because of it. I think this is something that autistics struggle with, and is quite probably the reason you go for an 'older' style. Because you are not unconsciously copying your peers, you're just working from some mental model of what 'clothes' are supposed to be like, and that picture is pretty stable, while fashions change all the time.


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