By Beth Anne of Heir to Blair Guest Blogger
Without delving full disclosure into my career, I admit to being the face of the company. As a marketing/sales/public relations gal, I am the smiling face that greets clients in both the office & events. In short? I don’t get to wear jeans to the office. It’s considered bad form to the let the tattoo of stars behind my right ear show. I keep it modest, both in cut & fashion so not to scare any more conservative clients. & yes, in the fall & winter, I wear tights every time I wear a skirt.
For an event, the far left picture is my typical outfit. Black skirt, black tights, black blazer with ruffles, & a sparkling top underneath. (The sparkles are so I stand out to clients so they will remember me later! Always with the marketing, folks.) A casual day at the office with clients usually means a skirt with a blouse & cardigan, while a day of simple paperwork & phone calls means slacks & a blazer with a comfy cotton shirt underneath. & when I’ve snagged a red-eye home from San Diego, only to pull in the office at 8am? I still have to be dressed, meaning that I rocked a black skirt & silk top, but did toss my two-day hair into a bun.
My goal is to purchase classic pieces that fit well & flatter – the ruffle blazer was purchased two years ago from Kohls, while the navy dot blazer was purchased four years ago from Loft. My favorite outfit is a simple black BCBG dress (not pictured) that I pair with different color jewelry or scarves or heels – it’s four years old, but still looks completely new. I can usually get two seasons out of skirts & bottoms before replacing them, since I do wear them more often. & before purchasing, I ALWAYS check labels – 90% of my wardrobe can be washed on a delicate or handwash cycle, meaning I don’t have to mess with the cost of time of a dry-cleaner.
Can I be honest? Folks are super-sweet by telling me they miss dressing up for work, but it gets old constantly ironing & pulling at hose & curling my hair. I do not even remember what it feels like to sit at my desk without shapewear sucking me in, or my feet not aching by the end of the day. Like everyone, I struggle to not feel like I’m wearing the same things over & over, or losing my own personal sense of style. (sometimes? I have dreams of walking into the office with pink hair extensions just to see how folks would react! Or maybe a new tattoo?)
So instead, I try to focus on the small details that really pull my own style in. Long strands of pearls, or a slip that is edged with lace to purposefully peek out from under the skirt. I have found over the years that I lean towards girly, flirty pieces that really make me feel pretty.
A few tips for working style with a toddler:
- Invest in a good, pretty pair of flats. It makes running errands after work SO MUCH EASIER when I’m not hitting up Target in 3-inch heels after a 9-hour day. This past year, I splurged on a pair of Born Mary Janes for comfort, choosing them in a bright patent leather red to spice up boring slacks & cardigans.
- Buy things that are machine-washable, but have them dry-cleaned every few months to be properly pressed.
- Wait to put on your cardigan or blazer until you get to the office. This way, if Harrison smears oatmeal on my blouse or I spill coffee, I can just button up my cardigan over the stain.
- Go light on the make-up. Unless there’s an event, I only wear concealer, blush, & mascara. It cuts down the time I spend in front of the mirror.
- Find a good, large bag. I carry a large Kate Spade purse that I snagged at their online sample sale for 30% of the retail price. It’s gorgeous, but what I love best is that it fits my wallet, planner, water bottle, baby wipes, toy car, & notepad all comfortably.
If you must stay pretty & polished for your job, how do you manage? Any tips other than what I shared?
p.s. follow me on Instagram for the iPhone under heirtoblair to follow the hashtag #officefashionshow, where I show off my working momma outfits!
Now it’s your turn to link up! We can’t wait to see your Working With Style posts. Make sure to link the specific URL for the post, and snag the badge to place on your post and help spread the word about Working With Style over on LWM. And you know, you can always tweet this to pass on the Working With Style love:
I just linked up with @heirtoblair over on @LiberatingWM to show off my #WorkingWithStyle outfit. Come check it out! http://bit.ly/qXvAwg