I'm always looking for new ideas -
Congratulations on so much good news in your life! :) It sounds like you have the right idea in your desired appearance, I've been a receptionist myself in the past and you always want to make sure that newcomers are seeing someone polished and professional . :) I *love* to peruse the Talbots catalog/website for classic and conservative ideas myself...their styles are wonderful but since I'm not made of money (LOL), I use that merely as a template and try to find similar looks at more cost-effective local department stores and such. (I live minutes away from ther biggest mall on the east coast so I have to exercise discipline!) You might also do well to check out a website and catalog called Bedford Fair Lifestyles...they have very tasteful professional looks at good prices.
When it comes to fall and winter I'm quite partial to the sweater-and-slacks look, so I'd make room for a nice pair of black slacks and a black skirt too...you'll have no problem finding sweaters and buttondowns to coordinate with those. Black leather ankle boots will also be useful in the office setting as you have described it, as well as in general. :)
Happy shopping and continued good luck to you! Hugs,
Thanks for the input, I'll have to check out some of those ideas.
As a general rule slacks are out - they're just not comfortable or flattering on my figure.