square-elie-suit-1

School Picture

 
I received a dire email several weeks ago advising me that as part of the re-design of the firm’s website, the firm was bringing in a photographer to take new photos of all of the lawyers. Oh no.

If you haven’t visited many law firm websites, the lawyers’ photos are generally one of three types: (1) headshots that are not so different than your elementary school pictures; (2) tough-guy pictures with crossed arms and unsmiling faces; (3) pseudo-action shots that are supposed to look candid but just look weird.

Ridiculous

Ridiculous

More ridiculous

More ridiculous

Most ridiculous

Most ridiculous

We were advised that the pictures would be full-body shots (WHat?WhAt?) and exhorted to wear professional clothing. It was suggested that we bring more than one option to the shoot and that the men bring an assortment of ties.

The Directrice mentally began rifling through her closet. So many lawyerly outfits . . .

alt

Lawyer

The Discreet Charm of a Shapeless Dress

Lawyer

The years, they blur together; have I achieved the singularity?

Lawyer

Et voila!

Lawyer

And then I made it happen

Lawyer

Little puffed sleeves

Lawyer

Doubled over laughing

Laughing hyena

Just the thing!

Lawyer


Upon reading the email more carefully, I saw that we were being told to wear traditional professional attire. That is, a suit with a white or blue shirt.

 
 
 
This was my compromise.

Note: This is not my actual firm photo. This is the re-imagined version by The Directrice staff photographer.

I do love this suit. While it will never be the peak of fashion, it also will never be out of style. The jacket is trim, but not shrunken, and the lapels are perfectly proportioned for the jacket and me. This suit would look equally good with a white cotton blouse, a colorful (patterned) silk blouse, or a lightweight crewneck sweater. The jacket closes with a single button, but next to the button is a purely ornamental chiffon trim, tied in a floppy bow. Charmant!

Compromise

Compromise: a black, pinstriped suit with black chiffon blouse


Black chiffon blouse

Black chiffon blouse

with purple buttons

with purple buttons

 
The team that came to do the photographs was very impressive: photographer, photographer’s assistant, makeup artist/stylist. The makeup artist made the dark circles under my eyes disappear with a few rapid brush strokes and an excellent concealer. (For those who are curious, she used MAC Pro Longwear Concealer.)

 
 
 
 
The photographer snapped two dozen pictures in rapid succession and while we looked them over, the stylist noted that the buttons on my blouse were purple, something I had never noticed.

 
 
 
As it turns out, full-body shots will not be used on the website. It was a ruse! We were photographed standing because standing (generally) produces better posture than sitting. The shots will be cropped — something more than a classic headshot, but less than a 3/4 portrait. I hope that the bow on my jacket will show.

For your benefit, however, I have included full body shots here. Note the posture.

See the little wedges on my shoes?

See the little wedges on my shoes enhancing the posture


Suit: Elie Tahari; Blouse: Tory Burch; Bag: Coach Gramercy Satchel; Shoes: Lazio Collezione

7 thoughts on “School Picture

  1. Fabulous suit, my Directrice. For some reason, I hate blue pinstripe but I absolutely love black pinstripe. The latter seems very cosmopolitan, even slightly sinister. Go figure. The purple buttons in the blouse are a nice subversive touch! As an aside from a fellow lawyer: your readers may be shocked to learn that the US Supreme Court still frowns (and, I believe, actually for bids) on women wearing pant suits to court. My friends find this shocking and unbelievable. Alas, it is true!

    • I love that they brought a make-up artist . . . not that you actually need one! And although it may have once been true that female lawyers could not wear pantsuits to the Supreme Court, it isn’t anymore: when she was the Solicitor General, Elena Kagan wore pantsuits. (Finally, a fashion subject I know something about!)

      • This is one of many reasons that we love Elena Kagan; it’s toward the bottom of the list, but it’s on the list. The make-up artist was totally optional and she wasn’t tarting people up. I think her purpose was more to counteract the effect of bright lighting. But years of sleep deprivation were whisked away with a few feathery strokes!

  2. That’s very impressive that they included a makeup artist!! But it seems like you will all look alike with those restraints on the dress code….is that the idea? No individualism? I’m super surprised you didn’t buck the system and go with something more colorful!!! (I think I would have slipped in red earrings–ha ha). jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

  3. Very entertaining piece. Thankfully in my office we haven’t been subjected to photos! Usually in my line of work we try and be as private and anonymous as possible, for safety reasons. The purple buttons on your blouse and said charming floppy bow totally give you away as our stylish Directrice. I wonder whether the photography team have checked out your beautiful blog since?

  4. A moment of applause for the Directrice, because I thoroughly enjoyed the subtle photo collage. In fact, I find the Laughing Hyena pose most delightful! It can become a new meme. Or perhaps a new yoga pose.

But what do you think?