So it turns out that it's harder than BM expected to find the right sort of suit ie on the knee skirt (not mid-thigh), 33" inside leg trouser (not ankle-flapping) with jackets which nod shyly towards fashion instead of making a bold fashion statement. I accept that it is possible to find such a wardrobe, my difficulty is the matter of cost. Because fairly predictably, the classic well-made, long-lasting, quality outfit costs...a fair bit.
It was ever thus you might say and you would be right. What has changed however, since BM's last shopping expedition for work clothing is the advent of mass online retailing...and discounting! Which does make matters easier apart from the nuisance of having to arrange returns or queue at the post office. To my mind this still trumps the hot, viciously-lit changing room of a department store any day.
B Husband thinks I may be obsessing about the kit a tiny bit, although strangely every woman I talk to agrees about the importance of getting the appearance of competence right, at least for starters. And as for actual competence, I'm off on a course tomorrow for a little refreshment/exercise/stretch of the brain muscle.