So I ordered this dress from J. Crew to wear to the Boards:
It seemed like the chances that I would wear it again were slightly higher if I got a dress rather than a suit, and anyway, it's a pretty cute dress and it was listed in the "work" section, so fine, YOU WIN, AMERICAN COMMERCE. It may need to be altered (there was no petite sizing on this particular dress and I'm only 5'2") but even if it's a little long, whatever, at least it won't be slutty. I have black heels and I have a cardigan, so I'm set--add a yellow beanie and a pot of tea and it'll look straight out of Wellesley in the 1960's.
(I know, I know, there's a V-neck, but don't worry, I have no boobs and therefore no cleavage, the effect would be the same whether the V-neck was in the front or the back.)