What I Wore: Professional Plum

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Wardrobe Oxygen What I Wore Dobbin Clothing Dress Wardrobe Oxygen What I Wore J. Crew Black Leather Structured Tote Wardrobe Oxygen What I Wore Dobbin Clothing Ponte Knit Dress
Dress: Carmen‘ c/o Dobbin Clothing | Bag: J. Crew (similar) | Shoes: Ivanka Trump (same brand, similar style) | Watch: Citizen | Bracelets: Nordstrom, Rebecca Minkoff (similar) | Lipstick: Revlon Matte in Wine Not

I purchased this black tote in 2001. I made a career change and after my first day at the new job, I went to J. Crew.  I had been eyeing this tote for months, and saw one left in the sale department for the discounted, yet still crazy high to me price of $199.  I felt I deserved it, it would be an example of my new professional life, and I swore it would be a classic. As with most pieces deemed classic it didn't feel quite as classic after a couple of years. In 2001, it was fine for carrying files and a notebook for business meetings, but once laptops became a necessity, this bag seemed too small for work and too uptight for most anything else. But as laptops shrank and tablets commonplace, this bag has come back into rotation. It was damaged when a tree came through our roof, but my cobbler was able to restore it to a wearable condition. Glad that my classic has become a classic once more!

Shop Black Totes for Work:



  1. tgchi13
    August 17, 2015 / 4:23 pm

    I wonder if you’d share the contact info for your cobbler. I have a wonderful leather jacket with a tear that, perhaps, they would be able to repair. Thanks!

    BTW – just started reading through your posts a couple of days ago when I saw that Bridgette Raes was a fan 🙂

  2. November 8, 2014 / 9:37 am

    Great dress and the color is fab on you!

  3. November 7, 2014 / 3:32 am

    Forget the tote, what about that dress! Love it! You look great in plum and it’s such a good cut too. I’d snap that one up myself if I saw it in a shop.

  4. Aimee
    November 4, 2014 / 9:59 am

    Love the bag and the plum. I am glad to see this color in various shades this season.

    • November 5, 2014 / 1:51 pm

      Me too, it’s one of those “I’m not an Autumn but I pretend to be one” colors that I adore and play with makeup and haircolor to make it work! 🙂

  5. November 3, 2014 / 10:04 pm

    Yet again, you read my mind. I just told a friend the other day that I was in the market for a new work bag. Thanks for the round up!

  6. Sonia
    November 3, 2014 / 12:58 pm

    The handbag is a classic and looks similar to many totes I’ve seen and carried throughout the last year. I’m a bagaholic and rotate handbag collection like many other women rotate their shoes. Love, love, love that gorgeous shade of plum on that stylish classic dress as well.

  7. Janeane
    November 3, 2014 / 11:04 am

    This look is beautiful. And it is nice to hear someone say that they were worth purchasing a nice handbag. I am in a transition of making choices like that in all aspects of life.


    • November 5, 2014 / 1:49 pm

      It’s easier said than done, isn’t it? 🙂 I have purchases I SWORE would be worth the $ that now collect dust or have been sold, and other pieces I found to be a frivolous buy that are staples season after season. The more we examine our lives and know our selves the better purchases we can make!

  8. November 3, 2014 / 10:37 am

    Plum is such a fantastic color on you!
    And I hope my LL Bean Field & Town tote lasts as long as your bag! It was my first “grown up tote” and the most I had ever spent on a bag, but I use it every day and get so many compliments on it.

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