Coffee Date with Nine-Thirty to Five

Lawyers by day, fashion bloggers by.....the time the office door shuts. The lawyer-fashion blogger hyphenate is a pretty rare one, and it's one of the things that has me so fascinated with Karen and Paloma from the blog Nine-Thirty to Five.

Outfit Details: Paloma / Karen

Last time I had them on the blog I had them share their advice for dressing in a professional environment (view it here). This time I wanted to have a little more fun with them, so I took them on a virtual coffee date for some get-to-know-you questions and other girl talk.

First, since it's a coffee date, what's your order at Starbucks?
I am super boring. I order coffee with cream. Preferably breakfast blend because it's the lightest brew.

I get an iced Americano, sweetened.  I like my coffee pretty strong!

Okay now, on to the questions. First, can you tell me how you decided to start a blog together?  
Their first ever outfit post! Details here
Karen and I worked together for a year and a half - our offices were right next door to each other and we quickly developed a pattern of popping into each other's offices multiple times a day to discuss various things, including clothes, fashion blogs, and of course, reality TV. At some point we realized we both secretly wanted to start a fashion blog. And so, on December 30, 2012, Nine Thirty to Five was born.  And amazingly, it has survived (and thrived!) even though my job change tore us apart. I now work about four blocks away from her, but since we are busy ladies it's hard to get together for a picture every day unfortunately. We try to do it as much as we can!

Paloma's story is pretty on point.  We were in casual December at our firm, so I think around that time we were particularly observant of each other's outfits.  Right before going on the long weekend, there was nothing going on at the office and I randomly said, "I'm going to post our outfits."  We took extremely quick snapshots and then I asked Paloma what she was wearing... and there it was.  You can say it started out as a pet project, even a kind of joke between us, and then it started taking on a certain momentum.  We decided, what would happen if we posted what we wore every single day, the good, bad, and lazy?  But of course we started caring more and more about what we wore and what we posted.  You can really observe the evolution of the blog, how the entries changed, how the photos got bigger... and eventually it made more sense to post separately and when we were able, when our schedules diverged a lot and we got so busy.  It's always been a totally joint and collaborative effort, and I can say it is really wonderful to do this with someone else because Paloma notices ways to improve our blog that I maybe never would have found out on my own.

What's the best and worst part about blogging?

Best: Having a catalog of everything I've worn for the last year and a half comes in surprisingly handy.  Also, the blogging community! I feel like we've connected with some awesome blogging women which is super fun.
Worst: Not much bad about it thus far.  I guess I don't like when all I want to wear is something comfy and not cute, but I feel pressure to dress up for the blog.  Though this could also be seen as a good thing!

Best: We love going back and seeing our old posts.  Not just what we wore, but what we were doing, and I think we both feel really proud that we've been consistent with it. It's so gratifying to see a project now literally spanning years.  Worst: Trying to stay consistent when you're busy!  I sometimes cringe at a few photos or posts I put up when I was in a rush.  (Why didn't I put on more makeup!  Why did I take that photo at all?! etc.)  But the main objective of our blog is that we're just being normal and posting what we wear to work. It's not to look svelte and stylish standing in a prairie (which I would LOVE). That's a fantasy world for us, versus our very accessible every day "we want to look cute but we have so much to do" existence.

Since we're on the subject of clothes and outfits (and you're On the Daily Express), what are your favorite items in your wardrobe from Express?
Full Details: One / Two  / Three / Four

The Portofino Shirt, for sure. Boring answer but it's true! I also love my Columnist pants in barely boot cut (see them here).
Their basics are the best.  I have a pair of black
Cropped Leggings  that I just wore the heck out of.  And as the years have gone by, being obsessed with anything black, cropped, or leggings, I've purchased so many more pairs of other brands, but I always go back to that one pair I bought from Express.  It's so weird to me that I got so attached to something so simple, and the best part is, people don't know it's the same pair because it's just that utilitarian item you can wear with everything!

Any other favorite products or pieces on your radar?
Full Details: One / Two & Three / Four

I'm contemplating a purchase of the  J. Crew Factory draped pocket tank. I love all the colors but would probably get "bronzed moss."  This top would be such a great one for under cardigans, with suits, etc. 
Sorry to butt in here, but Paloma, I do believe you've also professed your love for a certain Halogen pencil skirt a few times... (See subtle reminders above!)

I am obsessed with the J.Crew Factory Charley sweater in white for summer.  Since it's been in the high 70's the last month, this is the perfect thing to wear and obviously matches everything.

Let's talk beauty products: What nail polish color are you loving right now?
I am not big on painted fingernails, and on my toes it's always always always  OPI Big Apple Red.  I'm a creature of habit, what can I say?

Deborah Lippmann Naked is my current obsession for nudes; and I LOVE Essie Clambake for the poppy orange red.

What about lip colors: any favorites in that category?
Nine Thirty to Five Favorite Lipsticks

Burt's Bees lip balm and lip gloss in  Autumn Haze.

Takin' it way back to 1995 - MAC Taupe!  And almost anything Armani Rouge Ecstasy. (I like 102 and 103.)

How about a little pop culture to wrap things up. What song are you loving on the radio right now?

"Am I Wrong" by Nico & Vinz.

I'm so bad with Top 40!  I actually had to Google Top 40 just to see what's being played right now.  I listen to a lot of indie (KCRW in these parts).  But I do love anything Sam Smith.  Velvety!

Do you watch any TV shows or movies about lawyers? Do you relate to them or do you laugh at the portrayal?

Um, no.   I have tried but I personally have never found any that I enjoy and oh MAN are they inaccurate in their portrayal of what lawyers do! It's truly laughable at times, and I actually find it distracting! (I assume doctors probably feel this way when watching Grey's Anatomy, right?) Like, in what universe does a lawsuit go from inception to jury verdict in one week?? That shizz usually takes years, people! Years!!

That said, I have watched the first three episodes of The Good Wife and really enjoyed it.  Again, I don't find it to be an accurate portrayal, but I like the characters and generally find it to be the most watchable lawyer show.

I totally don't.  I never have.  It never appealed to me, and I never imagined myself as a dramatic courtroom attorney growing up.  It was only after I started practicing that I'd pause now and then to observe a lawyer show, and then sometimes I'd roll my eyes at how oversimplified or illogical some of the dramatizations end up being (I think I am kinda a hater like that!).  That said, I still enjoy watching like, Divorce Court or Legally Blonde!

So lawyer shows are clearly out. What do you watch on TV?
Sources: The Leftovers / RHOC

My husband and I are super into The Leftovers on HBO! SOOO good. But no one else seems to like it for some crazy reason?!  We are also currently binge-watching Friday Night Lights and loving it!  For nights when my husband isn't home I'm all about trashy reality TV - The Bachelor/ette, Real Housewives, you name it, I love it.  Oh, and also Hart of Dixie.   

Real Housewives of Anywhere.  And if you want to go back... Sex and the City.  And if you want to go way back... The Golden Girls.  And if you want to go way, way, waaaay back... I Love Lucy!

* * * 

I loved getting the chance to know these smart and stylish ladies better and am really hoping to get the chance to meet them for a real life coffee date session someday since we don't live too far apart! Karen and Paloma - thanks for collaborating today, and to everyone else, make sure to check them out on their blog and on Instagram for plenty of real-life, office-friendly outfit inspiration.

Shop the Post:

Linking up with:
Random Wednesday / I Feel Pretty / Pleated Poppy  / Victoria / Mix & Match Fashion / Tres Chic Fashion  / Jacqueline & Elle / The Fashion InformantFashion Friday / Crystal & Lindsay 



  1. Fun feature they look so sharp, I need to check out their blogs.


  2. I have seen their blog around a few times, loved getting to know them more. I am loving Karen's outfit on the first post, so cute! I dont know anything about being a lawyer, obviously, and I really liked Ally McBeal back in the day haha. Oh that darn Portofino shirt, it keeps taunting me. I think I am worried that I will only wear it for work, which is fine, but a lot of money to not wear for 'fun' either. I know you wear yours for fun, and it looks freaking adorable but I just don't feel like I could pull off a 'business looking' shirt in fun situations. If that makes sense. I am trying to buy things that can work both ways. I'm rambling. happy wednesday!

  3. Fun post! Always enjoyable to see "behind the blog" and find new blogs too ;-)
    Kellie @ www.ie-style.com

  4. What a fun post! I always like learning about other bloggers! I will head over and check out their blog!


  5. What a fun interview! It is so much fun to learn about other bloggers! Great questions!

  6. I love these behind the blog posts. It's so much fun to get to know other bloggers better.

  7. Love their style! They seem so down to earth too. Must start following them. Thanks for bringing them to your blog !

    Cha Cha The fashion Genius

  8. Gina, thanks for featuring us (again)! I loved doing this whole thing and this post is adorable. It cracks me up seeing your take on our answers (like the RHOC, haha)! I'm definitely taking you up on a coffee date the next time I head down to San Diego, a beloved city for me since that's where I went to law school...

    Simply love your blog!

    xo Karen

  9. What a fun interview! They have great style and it is always fun to get to know other bloggers!

    Nicole to the Nines

  10. Fun interview. I love that they started their blog together, what a great collaboration!

  11. I really enjoyed this! Bc of manic Monday, I feel like we have a lot of common "friends" so this was a nice reminder of another blog I need to read. I liked the previous feature you did on them- this one was just as much fun if not more for me! Awesome how they casually ended up blogging together! And now I'm following them on IG too! :) http://morepiecesofme.com

  12. These ladies are fab! I loved the response of not trying to look svelte while standing in a prairie! Haha!

  13. What a great interview, I loved it! (side note) - I am so jealous you live in SD!

    Eleventh & Sixteenth

    1. It's definitely not a bad place to live. :)

  14. What a great and unique "date". Maybe someday we can have a "coffee date" but since I don't drink coffee or shop at Express anymore, will I still be able to attend LOL!? JK. I love getting to know other bloggers! :)


    1. LOL! You mean you don't shop at Express YET. :) Aside from that I'm all for a real life coffee date where I drink all the coffee and you can have tea or hot chocolate or whatever you DO drink!

  15. I'm a skinny vanilla latte kind of girl, or a pumpkin spice latte girl in the fall/winter. :)

    Happy Thursday, babe! Hope you have a good weekend ahead!


  16. Always fun to meet new bloggers! You are so good about sharing others on your blog.

    xo, Amy Ann
    The Real Arnolds

  17. Loved getting to know these ladies a little bit better! I always enjoy your virtual coffee dates! Now I'm in the mood for a Starbucks lol!

    xo, Erica
    Casually Styled

  18. How could I have forgotten about my love for Halogen pencil skirts?! Good catch, Gina! Thanks so much for featuring us, we had so much fun doing it!! :)

  19. 2 very well dressed ladies!
    xo Jessica

  20. Amazing looks and tips! =D
    Please, check out my blog!

    NEW POST on http://whattostyle.blogspot.com/


  21. Its always great to find out about new bloggers, and its so nice of you to introduce them to your readers.
    Nice post!

  22. SO much to love about this post!! I'm so excited to read about these two! I'm a fan of essie clambake too and my love for Armani Nude (No. 27) is strong.

    Thanks for linking up this week!

  23. Great interview and loved their looks!


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I sincerely appreciate each and every one and always do my best to answer questions promptly!