Category Archives: Fashion Fridays

Fashion Friday: 10 OCI/In-Firm Fashion Tips

You have to look your best to do your best.

It might sound silly but that’s one of my favourite sayings – when you’re confident in yourself you give your best.

I think this is especially true during OCIs and In-firms. It’s intimidating enough to meet a bunch of lawyers working at big Bay Street law firms without having to worry about your outfit not being on point. So, hopefully these 10 tips will make your OCIs and In-firms slightly less stressful.

(1) Buy a Nice Suit –Take the time to buy a nice suit. Yes, suits are expensive, and it will seem like a lot of money to spend before you even have a job. However, a nice suit can make all the difference. I should note that by nice I don’t necessarily mean the most expensive suit on the market, you need a decent suit that works for you. For women’s suits especially the hunt can be challenging. My best friend and I went shopping about 8 different times before I found one that worked for me. I found that the Bay and Calvin Klein seemed to have the nicest suits for me, while other people found Banana Republic or J Crew suits work better for them. Brands that work great for your friend might not work at all for you, so be sure to try out lots of places.

(2) Pants or a Skirt – My thought is skirts are best for interviews and the reality is most people go that route. But, some people rock pants and if you’re more comfortable in them wear them – it’s all about confidence. If you have the option to buy a 3 piece suit it’s not a bad idea because you’ll just have more options for when you land that dream job!

(3) Keep the Colours Simple – Most of the women during OCIs and In-firms wore a black, navy, or charcoal suit. There are special rules for men’s suits though, one of which is that men should not wear black suits because they are considered to be too formal. I would also recommend wearing a white or neutral coloured dress shirt under your suit. I chose to wear a collared blouse, but a lot of the women wore a neutral shirt without a collar under their suit. It is important to note that, I know my colleagues Kojo and Tegan would disagree with me on this point. Kojo, being the stylish guy he is, he wore a bright pink tie to his Cassels interview. Tegan went to OCIs with a patterned shirt under her suit. Again it’s all about confidence!

(4) Go to a Tailor – A little bit of tailoring can make all the difference. I’ve heard a lot of lawyers say that it is better to have a less expensive suit that fits right, than an ill-fitting more expensive suit. So, when you are buying your suit, keep in mind that it will take time and cost extra money to get it tailored.

(5) Nails Done… – This is a very small detail, but you want to make sure you look put together from head to toe. I would suggest either a clear coat of nail polish or getting a neutral coloured shellac polish. The days are long and a regular coloured coat of polish may chip.

(6) Hair Done… – Again it’s about looking polished and professional. Most people wear their hair down and neat but a simple ponytail or bun is also an option.

(7) Everything Did (oh you fancy huh… but not too fancy don’t overdo it)Wear Natural Makeup – If you wear makeup, I would suggest making it look as natural as possible. Also keep in mind that the days are really long and you may not have time for touch-ups. However, it is most important that your makeup is done in a way that makes you feel comfortable and confident. For example, I didn’t wear any lipstick during OCIs/In-firms due to an irrational fear that I would get lipstick on my teeth.

(8) Bring a Structured Purse – For OCIs and In-firms most women brought some sort of purse to hold all of their stuff. As Tegan mentioned in her last post on things to bring with you to OCI’s, the purse you bring should be structured, professional looking, and medium-sized. Don’t worry about the brand. But, if you are looking to save money on a nice bag, I would recommend the Toronto Premium Outlets in Milton, where there’s Kate Spade, Coach, and Michael Kors outlets. You can also find things at Winners or the Bay both name brand and otherwise. Additionally, the simple colours tip from #3 applies to bags as well.

(9) Wear Sensible Shoes – During In-firms especially, there will be a lot of walking from place to place. The best piece of advice I received from upper years was if you plan to wear new shoes to In-firms, make sure you break them in first! Specifically, I would recommend wearing plain black shoes with less than a two inch heel.

(10) Minimal Jewellery (but definitely a watch)– The attention should be on you, not your bling. Some people chose to wear no jewelry but simple studs and/or a simple, small necklace are great options too. Whichever route you go, you should absolutely wear a watch especially for In-firms – you will need to check the time and it is rude to be pulling out your phone. Just be sure the watch you pick is professional (i.e. none of those GPS, calculator, scuba diving plastic ones) and not too flashy.

*Disclaimer, these are my personal opinions with help from Tegan, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident in your outfit so you will rock your interviews!

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Fashion Friday OCI Tips: Mary Poppins Bag

Hey All!

Happy Fashion Friday! When I was going through the recruit I read this blog and my two favorite kinds of posts were OCI Tips and Fashion Friday posts, so today I figured I would combine the two.

I’m sure you will all wind up putting a lot (if you’re like me maybe too much) thought into what you wear. This post isn’t about that. This post is about all the other stuff you should bring. You know that scene in Mary Poppins where she just keeps pulling things out of her bag – that is what I felt like during OCIs and in firms. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you should probably go watch Mary Poppins it’s a classic. Although another good reference would be Hermione’s handbag from Deathly Hallows. Now if you don’t get either of those references I really can’t help you but I digress.

Here is a list of things you should carry with you during OCI’s and in firms:

  • Gum, toothbrush, floss etc.: nobody likes bad breath and you will be eating… a lot.
  • Make Up: For touch ups – these will be looooong days.
  • Advil etc: Hopefully you won’t need it but you might. And I wouldn’t want to be trying to find time to run to the drugstore while already dealing with a headache.
  • Tide to Go: for obvious reasons.
  • Hair ties, bobby pins etc.: Your hair will look fly when you leave the house in the morning but after running around and sweating it may be more fly-aways than fly. Be prepared.
  • Hairspray: Good for your hair, also good for stopping runs in panty hose. Sometimes they can’t be stopped so…
  • Extra pantyhose
  • Flats: Some people can rock it all day in heels I am not one of those people. I walked everywhere in flats and changed into the heels in the lobby of the building (the building lobby not the firm reception area – made that mistake once – regretted it).
  • Band-Aids: Sometimes even flats can rub you the wrong way.
  • Granola bars or other snacks: Yes there are lots of places to buy food but no you will not always have time. Oddly, even with all the firms feeding me, I still ate about 3 granola bars a day during in firms.
  • Hard copy of your schedule and locations: Your phone may die but the show must go on!
  • Copies of your resume: No one I know got asked for a copy but this is definitely a time to be better safe than sorry.
  • Umbrella: Weather dependent of course. It should be noted that you can take the path everywhere but I still get lost down there so I liked having the option of popping up to the surface.

It should be noted that most people brought way less stuff with them than I did. But, it should also be noted that I gave a lot of Band-Aids, bobby pins, Advil and even a pair of pantyhose to people. I carried a large structured bag – a good idea because they look professional even when bursting at the seams, other people carried much smaller bags and only carried what they deemed to be essential opting to pick up anything else they might need in between interviews. The reality is you need to pack for you. If you’re like me and it makes you calmer to be prepared for any possible situation, bring lots of stuff with you. There is a room to leave stuff in during OCIs and firms have coat rooms where you can leave the bag during interviews. If you would rather travel light that’s fine too (just make sure you know where the closest Shoppers is in case of emergency).

Until next time!

-Tegan (with guest contributions from Meghan who I bothered while trying to make sure this list was complete)

 

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Fashion Friday: Shoes Shoes Shoes

Hey Fashionistas,

Happy Canada Day!

I so am excited to present my first Fashion Friday that I’ve used my day off to do it! I have decided to start by talking about shoes because we have a love/hate relationship. On the love side: shoes can make an outfit. They can be a great way to add a pop of colour to a look, dress up an outfit, and there are so many amazing styles to choose from. On the hate side: shoes can hurt! The first week of work I was determined to look fierce at all times. By the second week, I was coming to work in flats. 

I polled the female summer students and we all do the same thing: Come to work in flats and then change into heels for the day. We sometimes throw our flats back on to go get lunch, and some days just stay in our flats all day.

Here are some of the shoes Meghan and I keep in our office:

IMG_0104 

Even with cute heels, for work, comfort is key – you don’t want to be the person who takes the elevator one floor. Also, you don’t want to be in super high heels – I would say 2 inches is about the max.

Bottom line – if cute shoes make you happy, wear them. Just be sure they look professional. If not, going for comfort is also totally fine. Again, just choose dress shoes that are professional. No flip flops, no sandals.

Now those are the shoes we wear to work. OCI’s and in-firms are a different story. There will be a Fashion Friday post with OCI and in-firm tips, but you’ll have to stay tuned…

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Fashion Friday: Some Tips For The Fellas

It’s summer. That means it’s law firm tour season. Many law students wonder what to wear to these tours – it can be stressful, especially if you’ve never stepped foot in a law firm before. But fret not. Cassels Brock & Blogwell is here to save the day (and your potential embarrassment by stopping you from mismatching your belt and shoes) with our Fashion Friday posts. Each Friday throughout the summer, we’ll be helping you navigate the fashions of Bay Street and Cassels to help you look your best.

That being said, sorry ladies, can’t help you out there. Nor would you want my help. All of your shoes look the same to me. They all look like, well, shoes. Tegan will be covering women’s fashion. I’ve been asked to write this guest blog on something I know a little more about: men’s fashion. “Guys can just throw on a suit” said almost every female ever. While true, we can “just throw on a suit”, we want to look good whilst doing it. So without further ado, here are some things to consider when dressing for a Bay Street law firm tour:

1. Fit

Sure, you might have a $2000 suit on. But that $2000 suit isn’t going to matter too much if it looks like you’re swimming in it. Conversely, if it looks like tight enough that it might be something a boy band would wear, you might want to consider another suit.

First and foremost, a suit jacket should fit in the shoulders. You want to make sure that there aren’t shoulder divots. Almost everything else on a suit can be tailored except the divots. Many tailors refuse altering the shoulders because: a) it can throw off the proportions of the entire jacket and b) it takes a lot of time and skill. That being said, if you get a jacket that fits in the shoulders from the beginning, you won’t have to worry about any of that. Here are some other things to consider:

– Try to stick with a single breasted jacket, with notch or peak lapels

– The length of the jacket sleeves should ideally expose roughly 0.5-1” of your shirt sleeve

– The jacket should be long enough to cover (or most of) your seat (your butt)

– You can go with a three piece suit should you feel compelled too, but you might be really warm (also, calm down there, Harvey Spectre)

– The break on the pants (where the pant legs end) is a matter of preference. I personally like a half-break or no-break to show off the sock game (more on that later)

– No pleats or cuffs on the pants for a more modern look

2. Colour

Stick with navy or charcoal for the firm tour. I’ve heard mixed opinions on black. The majority has argued that one should not wear black to the office. That being said, I own a black suit and haven’t worn it to work, and don’t plan on doing so anytime soon. Nor have I seen many others wearing black. Take from that what you will. However, if a black suit is all you own, absolutely go for it (just don’t pair it with a white shirt and black tie – you don’t want people giving you their food orders while at the tour).

Most patterns on suits are fine. Prince of Wales, glen plaid, and pin stripes are all acceptable. Unless you’re going for the Don Cherry look of the firm tour world (not advisable), anything that isn’t too flashy works. Don Cherry is the litmus test here.

3. Shirt

When I attended firm tours, I always wore a plain white shirt. I did the same during OCIs and in-firm interviews. While colour is a matter of preference, plain white is a classic and safe colour that goes with any suit, and is easily paired with a variety of tie colours and patterns. Light blue is also another favourite. Some things to consider:

– This goes without saying, but make sure that it is a dress shirt (don’t be the person to show up in a t-shirt – you’d be surprised)

– Make sure that it’s clean and ironed

– A spread or point collar is most common at law firms

– If possible, make sure that the shirt has collar stays. Keep that collar crispy

– Patterns are fine (gingham, checks, or stripes), but again, a plain white or light blue shirt would be ideal

With the above being said, whatever shirt you pick, just make sure that it looks crisp and fresh the day of the firm tour. You want the lawyer you’re talking with to be concentrated on you and not on what may or may not be Cheeto stains on your shirt.

4. Socks

Sure, you can wear plain black socks, but come on, let’s get real. You can also eat the strawberry flavour in Neapolitan ice cream first. Why would you want to?

You have a little more discretion when it comes to your socks. You can use them to show off your personality when you might feel a little more restricted when it comes to your suit and shirt options. I’ve seen everything from neon polka dots, purple argyle, to turtle patterns grace the ankles of the boys at Cassels. Though you can definitely get away with a little more when it comes to socks, make sure to keep it within reason. This is true especially if it’s the first time you’re stepping foot in a law firm or at an interview. You want the lawyers to be concentrated on you and not distracted by your socks. You don’t want to become known as the guy who only wears crazy socks every day. If this is you, you’re trying too hard. You’re like that guy who loses their mind at pick-up softball, sliding into home, and taking out the catcher when you’re already up 12 runs. No one likes that guy. Stop.

5. Shoes

If your dress shoes are black or brown and aren’t falling apart, you’re probably fine. If possible, make sure that they’re polished the day of the tour and don’t look like you just trekked through the Andes in them. When it comes to the style of shoe, you have some choices. Oxfords, cap toes, brogues, and wingtips all grace the hallways of Cassels. NOTE: Make sure that your belt and shoes are the same colour. Major key.

6. Ties

Definitely wear one to the firm tour. Again, just like socks, you have a little more discretion when it comes to ties. I’m not saying go ahead and break out that festive holiday one or that it’s time for the one with the piano keys to make an appearance, but you can definitely add some flare to your look with your tie. Just make sure it goes with what you’re wearing. Ex., combining a striped tie, striped shirt, and striped suit generally isn’t a good look (unless tastefully done and the distance between the stripes are all noticeably different. But even still, just don’t).

If you’re unsure how to match patterns and colours, a solid, dark coloured tie is usually safe when paired with a plain white or light blue shirt. Some safe colours for ties include: burgundy, dark blue, and purple. Stick with a half-Windsor or Windsor knot.

Also, be sure to keep your tie proportional to your jacket. The rule of thumb is that the widest part of your tie should be no thinner than the widest party part of your jacket lapel. Generally, this means no super skinny ties. A tie less than 2”in width would fall into this category.

7. Accessories

Here’s a quick (non-exhaustive) list of tips when it comes to accessorizing:

– Wear a brown or black belt with a conservative buckle. Your belt and your shoes should be the same colour

– A simple analog watch is always safe. If it looks like it could be worn in a rap video, you might want to reconsider wearing it to a firm tour

– Necklaces are fine, just make sure that it’s not visible because you have the Miami Vice look going on and have three buttons undone. Though the necklace shouldn’t be visible anyway, since it’ll be under your plain white or light blue shirt and half-Windsor or Windsor knot. See above

– Pocket squares are also fine. Avoid matching your pocket square to your tie. Your pocket square and tie should complement one another, not match. To be safe, a plain white cotton or linen pocket square in a square fold goes with almost every tie, shirt, and suit combination. Very Don Draper

– Make sure your hair is neat and clean cut. You’ll be visiting a professional work environment and your overall appearance should reflect that. Having hair that looks like it could belong on the Bride of Frankenstein detracts from having a perfectly accessorized and fitting suit

8. Budget

There is absolutely no reason to break the bank over any of the things on this list. I don’t want anyone reading this to think that they have to go out and buy the things on here to be able to attend a firm tour or that you’ll be shunned if you show up in a black suit. That was not the point of this post at all. The goal here was simply to provide some guidance if you’re completely lost on what to wear.

At this point in your career, there is absolutely no reason that you need a bespoke suit form Savile Row or expensive shoes. Honestly, no one is going to care. You’re still a student and lawyers know this. No one is expecting you to wow them with the price tag of anything you’re wearing. If anything, you’ll look like you’re trying too hard. If you fit things off the rack, absolutely go for it. Just make sure that it fits. If you get a suit on sale, even better. Use the money you save and go see a tailor. I cannot stress that enough. A $300 suit that fits well can and will look exponentially better than one that’s a $1000 and poor fitting. Many people will have zero idea how to tell the difference between that $300 and $1000 suit. The majority of people will have no idea if that same suit is a polyester blend or wool or even know what difference that entails. As long as you feel confident in what you’re wearing, that’s the most important thing.

This is Richard signing off. Keep your fashion game strong.

DISCLAIMER: I am by no means a style expert and you’re more than welcome to completely disagree with me on anything that was said. Take everything on this list with a grain of salt.

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Fashion Fridays: A Shopping Guide

Buying fashionable clothes for work can seem like a challenge, and can seem to be quite expensive. But, do not fear, Fashion Fridays is here! We have compiled a list of some of our favourite places to shop.

TIP: Always ask if a store takes a student discount. They usually do but they don’t advertise it (hint: Club Monaco, JCrew, Banana Republic)

TIP: check out factory or outlet stores!

For the men:

  • Brooks Brothers
  • Club Monaco
  • Tom’s Place
  • Suitsupply
  • indochino.com
  • thetiebar.com (please see David Kelman for endorsement re: his new burnt orange tie)
  • JCrew
  • Banana Republic
  • Strellson
  • Aldo
  • Winners (a Matthew Gold personal favourite)
  • Moores (who doesn’t love a buy one get one deal!)

For the ladies:

  • Club Monaco
  • Ann Taylor
  • The Loft
  • Banana Republic
  • JCrew
  • The Bay
  • H&M
  • Aritizia
  • Zara
  • Femme de Carriere
  • Ricki’s
  • The Gap (sometimes)
  • Joe Fresh
  • Winners (don’t underestimate it!)

Have a great weekend, and happy shopping!

 

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