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:


A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. 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. 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.

    1. 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!

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