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GT! My office’s summer picnic is coming up in a couple weeks, and I need some clothing inspiration. Assuming the following, any outfit suggestions? (I would especially love pictures of cute outfits that fit this bill that I could mimic when shopping!)

  • I work in law, but my office can be somewhat relaxed, in line with PNW culture. (We dress up for clients and professional functions but keep in mind that people wear jeans to the opera where I live... it’s not a pearls-and-cufflinks environment, and I am not expected to stick with navy, gray, black, and beige ensembles at work like in some law firms. E.g., we have an important person in the office today, but that didn’t stop me from wearing jeans and flats with my nice blazer in honor of casual Friday.)
  • The picnic is outdoors (beachside), on a weekend, and kids and spouses are invited.
  • My goal is to look put together, a little bit stylish, but not too try-hard and comfortable enough to play with my colleagues’ kids (my perpetual party trick for taking a breather from adult conversations). If folks read anything from my outfit, I’d like it to be, “She’s got it together. And seemingly effortlessly. And she’s fun.” I have bosses who I suspect will cycle to the party and stay in their shorts/tees. I’d like to be a step or two above cycling-casual but not too many steps, if you know what I mean.
  • I will probably not wear a sundress (or at least not one in my closet right now) because mine all feel a little bit too short/casual/cleavage-y for this occasion (purchased to be worn in my private life mostly when local temps are unbearable), and also, I have paranoia about breezes blowing the skirts up at inopportune times!
  • Assume the temp. will be around 75-80, as is customary here.
  • I excel at hats and may add a straw Panama hat, outfit dependent.
  • *Edited to add*: I’m female and pretty femme-presenting, in case that wasn’t clear.

**Please note: What I am hoping folks will not do in the comments is tell me that the tone I’d like to set is ‘wrong’ for a work function or use this as an opportunity to be overly shamey about ‘the rules’ by which I should abide if I hope to ever be taken seriously in my career. We all have different workplaces, and I ask you to trust that I understand mine pretty well.**


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