outfit: for a 12-Hr work day (+ what I do at work)

ootd 2018-03-26 at 9.02.03 PM

This is what I wore to work today.

It was yet another busy Monday at work.  I knew it was going to be a shit-show, so I got into work an extra hour early.  And I’m glad I did because some co-workers were out unexpectedly and so the workload was even worse than I had expected.  I was non stop busy for 12 hours straight, no breaks.  I took about 5 minutes to scarf down lunch, but was on the go and putting out fires all day long.  Today, even though I felt pretty burnt out by the end of the day, I made sure to reflect on it and felt pretty accomplished in being able to help other doctors and their patients who are all going through some type of life crisis.

Here are some examples of consultation orders placed by physicians that I’m called for:  1) patient believes there are parasites in his skin and has been injecting his skin with fish oil, 2) patient tried to commit suicide by taking whole bottle of tylenol, 3) patient is intellectually disabled and smoking cigarettes while using at home oxygen tank, 4) patient is now homeless, feeling depressed, 5) patient diagnosed with cancer, now depressed, 6) patient using crack cocaine, hearing voices, feeling depressed…. This is an example of a typical set of consults we get on a given day.  For each consult we spend time reviewing the whole medical record (20-30 minutes), interviewing the patient (45-60 minutes), talking to family members (usually 10 minutes), and then formulating our recommendations and writing it all into an often lengthy note (20 minutes) meant to be read by the physicians who placed the order.  A lot goes into each consult and sadly there seems to be more and more work for us these days.  I love my job though, and feel very lucky to be able to do what I do.  There’s certainly never a dull day at work.


But anyway, back to this outfit.  It feels a bit boring, but it’s functional, simple, and got me through the day without getting in the way.  I’m wearing a cashmere blend long sleeve under a cashmere cardigan.  Both are thin knits and gave me the perfect level of warmth in the hospital which has generally run cold lately.  I like these pants, more so in how they function than in how they look.  The pockets are generous.  I can fit my iPhone plus in them with room to spare and the pants holds its crease for a quite some time before needing to be pressed again.  But when I look at them in my outfit photos, I think they look just OK.  I wear them often because I can get away with just one layer in 30-40 degree temps, but the minute it warms up, I won’t be wearing these at all.

I bought and then returned the big flat tote by Baggu.  The bag looked really cute on the model but was overwhelmingly big on my frame.  It was so large that it looked comically avant garde.  Back it went.  I’m debating if I should get a large bag with better organization for traveling and for carrying my notebooks to work.  I don’t own a large bag, which is so weird when I think about it.  But of course I’m asking myself, do you really need one?  I’ve been looking at the Dagne Dover midi tote, which the internet says is the quintessential organized work bag, but I worry that it’s going to feel too heavy at 2.5 pounds!  Is that a lot?  Seems like it.  Do you have any recs for a good work/travel bag with an organized interior?

[outfit:  *marni cashmere cardigan, ATM cashmere blend stripe top, everlane slim wool pant, HOPP studios oxfords]



12 thoughts on “outfit: for a 12-Hr work day (+ what I do at work)

    1. Appreciate your comment. It’s a great line of work to be in and I feel very fortunate to be able to do it. We just need more folks, votes and funding to meet the needs.


  1. I really like those pants. They are a good fit and it’s a bonus they are so functional for you at work. They look tailored; I would not have guessed the pockets will hold a large phone.

    Do you have to carry a lot of supplies/equipment with you throughout the day (charts and notebooks and pens)? Would the tote be for traveling to/from work and home, or to move around the hospital as well? I think 2.5 lbs is pretty average for a sturdy tote, but usually the bag is only carried for several minutes/day… when you’re walking around on errands, between your destination and whatever transportation you’re taking, etc. I am used to carrying a large bag, but I think I would find an alternative if I had to use it during the work day.


    1. It’s for a total of 25 minutes of walking. Just enough for usual stuff plus a couple notebooks. Maybe a laptop at times. I could use a separate smaller bag or pockets for all day use. But good to hear 2.5 isn’t like terribly heavy in comparison.


  2. #4 is so hard to hear… I admire social workers who go the extra mile in cases like these. I now carry a backpack but used to have an MZ Wallace tote called the Jane? Belle?, and it had lots of pockets but zero weight. Kind of looks like a diaper bag, but the nylon really held up.


  3. Thank you for doing the work you do – so important.

    Regarding the bag, I don’t own the Dagne Dover but I have also heard that it’s really heavy. I like my Angela Roi Cher Tote for work. It doesn’t have nearly as many pockets as I’d like, but the inside isn’t lined so I can wipe it clean, which to me is a nice feature.

    I’ve heard good things about the Lo & Sons OG/ OMG totes, also.


  4. I like your low key work outfit, and it sounds like there are enough characters in your day who need the spotlight, so it’s actually nice that your look can be boring and functional. We so often perceive “boring and function” as a negative, but honestly I’m starting to think it’s a positive. It’s just that we’ve been trained that novelty and excitement are somehow more important than getting a job done and done well.


    1. Well stated. Boring = dependable = stable = trustworthy… not necessarily but these are ways we can think of how we feel when we dress outside of trends.


  5. I’ve always thought the Dagne Dover would be too heavy for me to ever want to carry (and I’ve found that I don’t particularly like, or need to, carry that much with me to and from work). I haven’t tried the Dagne Dover but I have tried on what I think is one of their main competitors, the Lo & Sons OMG, and the OMG felt a bit too big for my needs. I just don’t need quite that much organization in my daily bag! That bag did feel pretty light for something with that much internal organization.

    For my usual needs, up to a few notebooks and folders and sometimes (but not that frequently) a laptop, along with wallet, small umbrella, makeup bag, keys, and not too much else on top of that most of the time, I’ve always liked something around the size of a Longchamp Le Pliage large with mostly just one big pocket. It can accomodate a bit more, or even a lot more if I need it to, but it doesn’t feel like too much when I carry less. If I had to carry much more than my usual, I think I’d generally prefer a backpack instead, if possible! (On the pricier end, some of my peers and colleagues have started carrying slim laptop backpacks from State or Knomo, and I think they look pretty cool.)


    1. i tried the whole back pack thing but i hate how i have to put it down to get anything out.. i’m constantly in need of rummaging through my things .. i don’t think i’d go beyond the midi size which is small.. its actually smaller than the madewell transport tote by like 5 inches on one side.. but 2.5 lbs does seem heavy although lighter than the 3 lbs + leather bags they sell with interior organization.. still on the fence about it.


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