Oh yeh...I'm an engineer

Top - Urban (hand me down); Cardigan - Banana; Pants - Anthro; Shoes - Boutique 9 via Anthro; Earrings - Franklin Square

Date: Thursday, January 6, 2011

Do you guys know what I do for my day job? Some of you may know, but for those of you who don't know - I'm an engineer. Let me tell you why that's relevant to this outfit, and a new resolution I've made for 2011 and beyond.

As an engineer, I visit industrial sites such as power plants and refineries in my day job. The nature of the work I do restricts what I can and cannot wear. In the past, I have given ZERO thought into my clothing when I go to my site visits (3 times a week). I end up looking CRAZY, I typically wear a company-logo-laden polo, khakis and UGGs in the winter, or Sperry's in the summer. This type of wardrobe could probably land me on my favorite show of all time, What Not to Wear. Some of the recent makeovers have featured women in non-traditional jobs. Stacey and Clinton have managed to maintain style, and still make the outfits work-appropriate for those women. I hope to do the same for me and my day job! Let me start off by explaining some of the limitations that accompany working at an industrial site.
  1. You should not wear anything dry clean only
  2. You cannot wear dresses or skirts
  3. You must wear steel-toe boots
  4. You must wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - PPE consists of a hard hat, safety glasses, and ear protection in some plant areas
  5. Earrings cannot be larger than a quarter 
  6. Clothing must be breathable and comfortable*
  7. Clothing must be bending-appropriate - longer tops and belts are necessary*
These rules may vary by site, but in general, they will allow you to be appropriate at most industrial sites. I added the last two rules in because some activities that I perform are labor intensive.

You can probably start to see why I threw in the towel and said that I will not look cute at my day job, I thought, "It's not possible." BUT IT IS POSSIBLE! My new resolution is going to be to maintain my personal style, and to make it engineer-work appropriate.

I have discussed this dilemma with a lot of my engineering female friends. I do think it's a challenge, but it's one that I'm up for in 2011! So this is for all of my ladies in non-traditional jobs. For those of us who get our hands dirty, who sweat, and occasionally spill things on ourselves - this is for all of you. Let's be the beautiful women we are! Although we may work in male-dominated fields, we are still women, and our clothing can reflect that in an appropriate way. Moving forward, I'll add an "Engineer Approved" label to any outfits that I wore on site visits.


  1. I can't imagine having that many restrictions, but you still managed to look chic even in your work basics! ;)

    ps. I'm going to try that soup with bacon and let you know my verdict on the taste.

  2. I find it interesting that I have the same restrictions working in the political relm, only my limitations stem to play the "tradional" game of respect & what is aid in propelling you forward. I am now battling habing to wear sew-in weaves because my now all natural hair is too afrocentric.

    So apparently, my Fred Perry collection & $500 hair can trump my naturally coarse thick and lovely hair, my suits with style designed by my own hand and for the icing my productivity & intellect lol smh. Keep making your look work for you ma'am madam & miss as I will continue to work on mine as a rock my double platform pumps to a senate seat.

    Love & miss ya!

  3. cute for work! I really like this post as I used to work in a mailroom and it was hard to maintain some kind of "style" and do that work so I feel ya lol keep it up I'm interested to cee how it pans out:)