Dressed for Success With Attorney Michelle De Blasi
I meet a lot of new female lawyers asking where to buy professional clothes and what to wear day to day for work. I’m excited to have the opportunity to meet and interview Michelle De Blasi (of Fennemore Craig) and hope her interview will help the women of Phoenix. She has great style and great advice. Enjoy her interview:
1.) Tell me about yourself and what type of law you practice.
I practice environmental and energy law for clients in the industrial, data center and the energy generation fields.
2.) Can you talk about your current style and how you dress for clients, court and/or meetings?
I have a classic style. When meeting with clients I generally dress in business attire, unless they are a casual company, in which case I will dress business casual.
3.) Do you have a work uniform? Do you tend to buy/wear the same color suits, jackets, dresses, etc? or no?
I like to mix up my style so I don’t have a work uniform. For our warmer weather in AZ, I like to wear simple A-line or fitted dresses, or pencil skirts with a blouse. My Firm allows jeans every day so many days I will wear dark colored jeans with a collared button-down blouse or sweater.
4.) What advice do you have for new attorneys for building their wardrobe? What key articles of clothing should they have? What should they always keep in their office?
I advise new female attorneys to invest in a few high-quality suits, dresses and skirts that are interchangeable. I recommend solid colors that can be mixed with shirts or accessories for more color. They should be lighter-weight fabrics that breathe in warm weather. It’s also important to have a professional leather bag or briefcase for meetings with clients. Nice shoes that are a solid dark color are also key.
Always keep an extra suit coat and dress shirt in the office.
5.) Do you wear the same clothes for court, client meetings, partner meetings, etc? What do you usually wear for these events/meetings? Suit? Dresses? Heels?
I would only wear a formal suit in court, usually with heels. I’m not a fan of pantsuits for women so I wear skirt suits. I don’t wear nylons, but keep my skirt just above the knee. For client meetings, I will typically wear a dress or skirt and blouse, usually with heels (or boots in the winter). Partner meetings are usually more business casual.
6.) What are your thoughts on pantyhose? Heel height? Skirt/dress length? Undergarments?
I refuse to wear pantyhose unless it’s winter and I’m wearing opaque tights with boots. My heel height is between 3-4 inches, but they are typically platforms. Skirt and dress length should not be more than a couple inches above the knee. Undergarments should be comfortable but not seen on the outside!
7.) Do you ever dress casual and if so, for what occasions? What are some casual looks you like to wear?
I typically dress casual for work unless I have meetings or will be with clients in the office. Casual looks I like are dark colored jeans with a collared button-down blouse or sweater with a casual jacket.
8.) Anything lawyers should avoid wearing to court, client meetings or partner meetings?
Lawyers should never wear anything other than a formal suit to court. I try to match my particular clients’ style of formal – casual attire, erring on the side of more formal. I think women should always avoid clothes that are too revealing or tight-fitting in any work setting.
9.) How do you dress differently when the temperature gets so warm here in Phoenix? Do you keep an extra blouse at the office if you sweat?
I typically wear more dresses and skirts (as opposed to pants) in the warmer months. I bring a light sweater to work because it tends to be cold from the A/C. I also stay away from silk and other fabrics that don’t breathe in the heat.
10.) Any advice or style tips you would like to share?
I think it’s important for women lawyers to dress feminine, and to show their style. Unfortunately, too many women give up their femininity thinking it makes them less powerful, which is the exact opposite of the reality.
Q. Contrary offers a wide variety of women’s custom suits, jackets, shirts, slacks, and skirts. Call or email today to schedule your personal fitting. See more on everything about women’s custom clothing on the service page.
Phoenix, AZ 85016