Cyran is the founder and editor-in-chief of Corporate Style Story. She loves good pyjamas, good food and good company.
Cyran is the founder and editor-in-chief of Corporate Style Story. She loves good pyjamas, good food and good company.
The trench coat is one of the most versatile pieces in your work wardrobe. It’s a wardrobe staple that you can wear forever.
My first ever trench coat was the Burberry Gabardine trench, I have literally had it forever. We all know Burberry and Aquascutum are well known veterans when it comes to trench coats. Here are some from the high street and beyond for you to consider for this season.
With life the busiest it’s ever been and with so many ways to get distracted, spending time planning your day and preparing yourself up to be productive is one of the best ways to spend your limited time.
Lots of us are trying to squeeze lots of things in to our already busy day. Things we’re trying to organise, fit in, balance and figure out, so there needs to be some kinda method to the madness if you’re going to be productive instead of feeling like you spent your day doing nothing significant to speak of.
The truth is that I was a terrible procrastinator. I knew exactly what I had to do, but I used to put things off and leave things ’till the last minute. Procrastinating isn’t going to help you achieve anything you want to. So I have spent a lot of time learning about why people procrastinate, how to beat procrastination and as a result, I learned how to be more efficient with my time.
I read books, I listened to podcasts, I spoke to people that I considered to be one of those ‘super efficient’ types, I read blogs and most importantly, I then put what I had learned into practice.
Taking action instead of procrastinating and repeating this a few times over finally meant that I have learned a new habit and I although I still procrastinate from time to time, I feel like I know what I am doing.
I recently wrote one of my most shared blog posts, 6 Scientifically Proven Ways to Beat Procrastination – I wanted to share with others what had worked for me, how I’d really learned how to stop procrastinating and get sh*t done.
When you become an adult and you set out in the world on your own, unless you have paid for a life coach or enlisted the hope of an accountability partner, there is nobody breathing down your neck or cheering from the side lines, encouraging you to get things done. This can be a blessing and a curse. We all want freedom, but sometimes without some pressure we can all just coast and not get on with what we know we should.
When you’re trying to make it in your chosen career, working to create a successful side hustle, or learn a new skill, or achieve a goal – it’s all down to you to take action.
If you don’t get what you want done then guess what, nothing happens. Nobody is asking you where that piece of work is, nobody is emailing asking where you have got to with x, y or z and there are no KPIs to to report against. Nothing. If you don’t work, it doesn’t get done and then it’s just you – with no outcome and the thing you want still sitting on your “someday” list.
So seeing as I have goals I want to achieve, my beloved Poppy and husband that I want to spend time with, I had to figure out how to spin lots of plates.
Think about a successful person you know. Now think about what makes that person successful and you’ll likely discover that actually, they do not have super powers or anything necessarily remarkable about them (unless of course you are Beyonce?!). But the things that’ makes them special is that they have clearly defined their goals, have used their time efficiently and have created a habit out of managing their time well to move closer what they want, and have continued to take that action consistently.
“use their time efficiently”
“create a habit out of it”
“do this consistently”
But nothing happens overnight or without effort. We live in a world where everyone wants things instantly. It doesn’t happen like that. One of my favourite quotes is:
“If you look really closely, every overnight success took a really long time”.
I’ve found that learning to use my time efficiently was achievable when I decided to put my mind to it. Creating a new habit after years of procrastinating was tough. Managing my time efficiently and taking small steps towards what I want over and over again is challenging, but I’m doing it gradually (inbetween spinning all of the plates).
Another one of my popular posts, How I Set New Years Resolutions I Actually Achieve is a good read if you want to get started with goal-setting.
You also don’t have to do this on a grandiose scale, this planning can be for the day. Decide what you want to achieve that day and get on with doing it. The act of planning on it’s own will have a huge impact n what you actually get done, trust me.
How many times have you said or heard someone say “I can’t do A, B and C because I’m doing X, Y and Z”? I’ve heard this so many times and I’ve definitely said it myself a few times. The truth of the matter is that we all make times for the things that we want to do.
Do the maths. Calculate how you spend your time that doesn’t help you to achieve your goals:
– Watching Telly/Netflix/YouTube
– Scrolling through Instagram/Facebook/Twitter
– Chatting with friends about nothing in particular on WhatsApp/Phone/Facetime
I was definitely spending at least 2 hours a day on WhatsApp(!), a couple of hours watching the telly and the rest of the time on social media, doing not very much. This was in-between parenting or trying to keep on top of the household laundry/cleaning.
Review where you are spending your time and decide what’s really important to you and prioritise those things.
Turn the commute or driving time into a useful time when you can either get something done or learn something.
I’ve been “reading” books and courses using Audible and have been listening to podcasts for years. They’re a great way to use otherwise ‘dead’ time when I’m driving, walking or at the gym. Just think, the radio plays the same music and lengthy adverts over and over again, so switch it off and learn something or catch-up with what’s going on in a specific niche related to your goals and really use that time the best way you can.
This is my podcast co-host Mel’s favourite tip on how to be more productive and I’m inclined to agree. She doesn’t go grocery shopping and she doesn’t cook. I’m not quite there, but here are the things I have outsourced:
The idea is to spend your time doing the things you WANT to do and will bring you closer to your goals and not the things you HAVE to do. Also, it’s ok that some things just don’t get done. If things aren’t outsourced and still don’t get done, it’s fair to say that those things aren’t a priority to me and that’s ok.
Steven Covey the author of ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, has a great method to help you categorise the tasks that are on your to do list and determine the priority in which you do those things.
The age-old to do list is a good productivity tool, but not on its own. Without a proper system behind it, a to-do list is a never ending, out-of-control reminder that you’re not ticking things off quickly enough before a whole bunch of new things just get added to it.
Prioritise those things on this list and have more control of the never-ending to-do.
Before you organise your day, it’s definitely a better use of your time to find out how best you work before setting yourself up for some sort of unworkable structure. Instead of dragging yourself out of bed at 5am if you’re going to be miserable for the rest of the day because you’re not a morning person, figure out if you’re more likely to be productive at different times of days than others.
I’m a morning person, but because Poppy wakes up early if I do, it doesn’t really work for us logistically. So I have to be a night owl and get stuff done when she’s in bed.
Lots of people say ‘start before the sun comes up’, but that also means going to bed at a reasonable hour, you can’t burn the candle at both ends (trust me I’ve tried, don’t).
It sounds so simple, but it’s been so beneficial for me to create a routine with the effect of eliminating some of the morning stress and start the day off on the best foot possible:
– I get all of Poppy’s uniform ready the evening before (I’m pretty sure all parents of school-age children do this?);
– I plan my own ‘uniform’ in my head for the next day (and
pray make sure it doesn’t need ironing!);
– I write out a list of the things I want to get done work-wise the next day;
– I also write out a list of personal to-do’s that I want to get done the next day; and
– I sort out what I’m doing for lunchtime next day (Do I have time to go out for lunch and catch-up with someone? Or will it be working lunch?)
I have actually used this system on and off since my exams and it works incredibly well and builds discipline.
If you haven’t already heard of it, the Pomodoro technique was created in the 1980s by Frances Cirillo and gets its name from the old style tomato timers (Pomodoro means ‘tomato’ in Italian) and this is the process:
The breaks are like a carrot and you feel like you’ve earned those moments of doing nothing during the day (for checking Instagram).
Let’s face it, there are so many things to be distracted by, not getting distracted should actually be rewarded with more than just a break to scroll through Instagram. Sometimes I feel like it deserves a bottle of champagne!
I worked at a large corporate where I had a colleague there who always stayed late. She was the first one in the door and the last one to leave. Everyone thought that she was super keen and really committed to her job. One evening when we both happened to be staying late, I recall her saying “just because I’m here late, doesn’t mean anything, I may I may not be very efficient or I may take longer to get my head around things…”.
This always stuck with me. Although I didn’t know exactly why she stayed (it really didn’t matter to me) her reason for staying later than the rest of us could have been for a number of reasons and not all of them were positive. She said so herself.
Don’t subscribe to presenteeism. Aim to be more productive not more busy. Forget what people around you may or may not be saying. Work smarter and not harder by having proper systems in place that help you get more done in less time by figuring out what works best for you.
There are people are there that are a hell of a lot more busy than you or I and they figure it all out somehow. Find out what you need to improve on and get on with learning how to improve it. We all need to start somewhere.
These are some of the books I’ve read and recommend reading some of these for more detail on how to be productive:
This is where I am at the moment, I was thinking of posting my daily schedule and actually listing how I fit in the blog and a work day, Poppy, making dinner, spending time with my husband and self care – if you guys would be interested in that, leave me a comment below or drop me message somewhere on socials.
Trousers – Zara, here
Jumper – Zara, sold out, on eBay here
The freedom to work from home is one of the perks of working in the 21st century. Regardless of how you’ve come to be working from home, having a home office beats working from your bed any day.
I’m in the process of designing my home office; when you move into a new home, the living spaces and bedrooms take precedence, but now the home office I need has to come next.
I want to create somewhere the inspires creativity and helps me to focus. I can’t yet decide between the lovely dark blues that are so on trend at the moment and something light and airy that will reflect light.
These images were found on Pinterest, whilst reasonable effort was made to find the owner’s it was not possible to attribute the owners for all images, despite conducting Google Searches of the images.If any of these images belong to you please email firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can properly credit you.
If you Google, “Why Having a Child Was the Best Thing for My Career” the search results at the top are are a mix of questions on Quora that go something like this: “I’m 30 and crushing my career, and want to have a baby. How screwed am I?” and posts like, “When Women Chose Children Over Career”. It’s disillusioning. Having a baby is not the end of your career and neither does everything in your work:life:family have to take a nose dive before it turns up.
Hubs and I planned to have our daughter and I surprisingly for some, I didn’t think too much about the impact on my career. I knew some things would ultimately change for us lifestyle-wise but I saw no reason why they had to change for me career-wise and here’s why:
Why Having a Child was the Best Thing For my Career #1
I’m definitely more confident. I’m more confident now than I’ve ever been in my life and that may be down to age and maturity, I’m not entirely sure. But it coincides when Poppy arrived in our life.
Now this confidence does not appear immediately. I felt very uncertain when she was a baby – the unsolicited advice, the numerous trips to the Dr and Health Visitors etc. they can have you really questioning yourself and your decisions.wBut ultimately, having a child means that you have to make so many decisions that you hadn’t considered before in your life. It’s no longer just about you – your choices impact your child and their wellbeing. When you have to make these decisions over and over again, it gives a certain level of confidence when you make a decision and it turns out to be the right one.
I’ve learned how to trust my own intuition over lots of unsolicited parenting advice, how to communicate with a non-verbal baby and make important decisions about child-care and education. When your child is thriving and happy you can’t help but feel confident in yourself – you’re doing an amazing job! That spills over into everything else. Career included.
It’s not easy and you may not always make spot-on decisions, but you do what is best for your child and your family at the time. Nobody can ask you to do more than that.
The second reason why having a child was the best thing for my career, is that life throws up challenges and for some reason my first instinct was to just deal with those head on for the sake of my sanity and of my child. I didn’t want to go back to the job I was in when I was pregnant. I knew I wanted a role that was flexible and allowed for career progression and the things that were important to me when I was child-free were no longer important to me career-wise when I had my daughter. Business travel was a no-no, for example. I was no longer a 22 year old wanting to stay in a hotel in a faraway city on my own for the sake of work.
If you read my interview with Lisa from CityRunMum.com, you’ll hear how before I was pregnant I was working in the legal team of one of the best-known brands in the world, friends and family thought I was mad to leave when I had my daughter, but I knew what I wanted. I wanted engaging work that I enjoyed, flexibility, a role with space for exec-level progression, to make a real difference to the business and no longer be a small cog in a big wheel. Essentially I wanted to stay at that company for at least the next 5 years. My role at that big-time brand couldn’t offer me that post-baby.
So I left that company and went to work for a much smaller owner-managed company, who at the time was (and still is) making waves in the industry. I was given more responsibility (maybe than I could handle at the time but oh well) as I was their only lawyer and it was a big change considering I joined right when I finished my maternity leave. Stepping up to take on more responsibility has benefitted me hugely in my career for obvious reasons; more exposure, more recognition, more flexibility as a senior executive and more of everything that comes with that, including a higher salary. But again, it was not easy.
Ah the art of the difficult conversation. I rather welcome confrontation in all honestly, and before you think I’m an antagonistic, ego-maniac, I do not mean the drama-filled raging arguments kind of confrontation. Being able to confront a situation head-on and address an elephant in the room to get things sorted is something that so many people shy away from and it does nobody any good.
Since having Poppy I’ve both initiated difficult conversations and been on the receiving end of difficult conversations with lots of people; nursery staff, doctors, friends, family, clients and colleagues. If it’s a conversation about not giving my daughter too many sweets, questioning medical advice, immunisations and medication, discussions about discipline, or talking to my bosses about what I need at work – things have to be discussed if they are to be sorted. I don’t sweep things under the carpet unless I really don’t care about them.
It’s no longer acceptable for me to skirt around issues or ignore them. I’m my daughters’ advocate, I need to use my voice for her because she can’t yet. As a parent I have been forced to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and that has only benefitted my in my career. A lawyer that can’t have difficult conversations is about as good as a Rich Tea biscuit in a cup of tea in my opinion – cultivating this skill this means I do better for my clients by having those conversations on their behalf too.
You can hear my co-host, Mel and I discussing prioritising on our chart-topping podcast, Not Wonder Woman, here. With less time than I had before I became a parent, I had to get better at managing my time if I was going to be efficient and get stuff done.
I learned the hard way, by good old failing. I worked myself too hard when I first went back to work after maternity leave, I was trying to prove myself and worked far too much – it wasn’t sustainable.
Nowadays, I am a huge fan of outsourcing things I don’t have to do, to make time for the things I want and need to do. Admitting that I can’t do everything at home and outsourcing those things has given me the ability to know what and how to delegate things effectively in the workplace too.
Effective delegation is an important skill, lots of us take on too much and buckle under the pressure of it all – trying to spin all the plates. Learning when, how and to whom to delegate to is necessary as a leader in business and I first learned how to do this properly as a mother.
I fit more into my days by maximising productivity having finally given up the terrible procrastination habit I’ve had since I was a student.
I have more of an ‘up and at em’ attitude seeing as I know I have less time to waste. Since having my daughter, there is a new commodity I’m chasing and it’s not money – it’s time. This is the single most important thing to me and I won’t waste it or have anyone else waste it if I can help it.
I have forgotten about being ‘busy’ and instead try to focus on being productive and efficient instead. I actually get stuff done instead of saying I’m going to do it or procrastinating.
Making time for self-care doesn’t just apply to parents, it applies to all of us. Even when I had lots of time on my hands before I had my daughter, I was socialising like most 20-somethings and generally having a great care-free time, but I don’t think I was taking time to consider what I really wanted or needed for that matter.
Nowadays, I have discovered I need to make time for myself to rest and recuperate, let my hair down and invest in my mental health and wellbeing. If I’m ill, feeling overwhelmed, or stressed there is a knock-on effect on how I can care for my family and work on my business. I can’t ignore my own health and keep going until the wheels fall off. That doesn’t make sense.
Eventually, I’ve learned to be selfish and get what I need to manage a full schedule. This has been the hardest new habit to establish – I took nearly 3 years before I had a night away from Poppy. I didn’t feel comfortable leaving her.
I’ve since learned that prioritising my routine medical appointments, making time to meditate and exercise, getting in downtime and prioritising little things like having my hair done and wearing nice pajamas, organising my bathroom cabinet (you can check it out on Instagram Stories here) enable me to indulge myself and feel human instead of a mouse on a perpetual treadmill.
Identifying when I may be feeling overwhelmed allows me to be more self aware. Getting what I need ultimately helps me to be more resilient which is a much needed quality anyone needs in this day and age for navigating your career.
Corporate Style Story is actually my second blog, I started a parenting blog when Poppy was a year old.
Other than those women who choose to be at home full time after having their children, lots of mothers have returned to work in the UK about a year after taking maternity leave, whether that’s part-time or full-time, whether thats for an employer or to work for themselves. The time away from work tends to be much shorter in the US and longer in some other parts of Europe.
When I returned to work, there were of course less opportunities for me to meet and connect with other women and mothers who had similar things going on as me. I needed to finish work and get back to my family. Also, I was tired! Sooo tried! I didn’t have the energy to leave the house once I was back, Poppy was not a good sleeper, but that’s another story.
That first blog was amazing at helping me find other mothers online, to read their stories and advice and discover their product recommendations. I looked forward to Twitter chats twice a week and writing my blog (albeit sporadically). Blogging allowed me to connect with the women and mothers behind the blogs and social media; savvy business women whom I still pick up the phone to now (you know who you are). I’d recommend blogging to anyone wanting to connect with people online and share their passions, because aside from creating the content there is a whole community of people out there and it’s amazing meeting people on line.
If I hadn’t started my first blog, then I definitely wouldn’t have started CorporateStyleStory.com. This blog is turning into more things than I could ever imagine and as such this has been the best thing for my career. It allows my to be creative and use my business head at the same time, I’ve learned so many new skills and I get a lot of satisfaction from it.
I’ve never been happier and I think that’s because I have all the things I want right now. Don’t get me wrong things are not a walk in the park every day and some times its really tough trying to juggle it all, but essentially I’m appreciative of everything and everyone in my life. People that are in my life are people I’ve consciously chosen to have around.
I’m sure I could have cultivated all of these qualities over time without having had a child, but it just so happens that for me, having Poppy has had such a positive impact on me and my career that I wanted to share this to encourage women that having children can certainly be a positive thing for you and your career. Challenging, but definitely positive.
Women needn’t think that it has to be one or the other. Assess your situation and decide what’s best for you and your family. This post isn’t about encouraging you to rush out and have children willy-nilly, it’s about women considering their options and not thinking that having a child is detrimental to your career, it certainly isn’t considered that way for men. Having a child was the best thing for my career (which is obviously just one of the reasons motherhood is amazing) and it can be the same for you too.
This week focuses on transitional pieces to add to your wardrobe for the (hopefully!) now changing weather. With the ‘Beast from the East’ descending over the UK last week bringing freezing temperatures and snow. I think it’s fair to say that everyone is well and truly ready for some Spring weather.
The stores are all carrying the new season’s pieces but the weather isn’t quite ready for bare legs and arms just yet. I’ve chosen a few pieces below will carry you over but will still be wearable in this transitional weather.
Have a great week everyone!
I’ve you’ve followed my blog or Instagram for a while, you’ll know that I love Winser London Tweed *heart eyes*. This gorgeous houndstooth English tweed in a truly classic styled dress is a perfect addition to your Spring wardrobe and I so love the pockets – they’re so underrated.
Spring Work Wear Outfit: Wear with tights, a blazer and black shoes whilst it’s still chilly and switch to nude shoes and forget the jackets when the sun decides to shine.
This is the perfect versatile Victoriana blouse, you can wear it with a pencil skirt or trousers to the office and it can easily see you through desk to drinks. I’m absolutely in love with the ruffles. As worn by the model, leather trousers also make this perfect for the weekend.
Spring Work Wear Outfit: Wear with trousers and a coatigan under the weather warms up and with a pencil skirt when it’s warmer.
These are such a perfect addition to you work wardrobe, heels for work are quit easy to find, but good flats with a bit of character are another story. I think you can push the boat out a bit with flats. These would look fab with a pair of navy trousers and would also look great with a pair of blue jeans on casual Friday.
Spring Work Wear Outfit: Wear with pop socks under wide leg trousers or even with ankle grazers until it gets warmer and these are perfect to bare your ankles in when it gets warmer.
The search for the perfect black trousers continues, these are a great staple for any work wardrobe outfits and at a great price. Plus, it’ll be time to bare the ankles hopefully soon, perfect with this trouser length!
Spring Work Wear Outfit: Chilly, with pop socks. Sunny, sans pop socks.
I love this style of skirt for the office and the subtle colour blocking detail will make this an on trend piece for your work wear wardrobe this season.
Spring Work Wear Outfit: With a wool maxi coat and nude stockings or tights whilst its still cold or with a trench when it gets warmer.
Fishtail pencil skirts a ultra feminine, if you usually wear skirt or dresses, try this fishtail for a different take. The nipped in hem before the fishtail flare is very flattering and creates the illusion of a smaller waist (if that’s what you’re after!) This is one that would go perfectly with the Victoria blouse and always with heels.
Work wear style for the next working week. Here is another ‘5 Work Outfits to Copy from Instagram This Week’ post. With London Fashion Week just behind us, I’m starting to see the beginning of new trends coming through for Spring and colour is definitely peeking through! The days are getting longer and the sky is becoming sooo blue or bright (higher temperatures, please hurry).
My fellow work wear style bloggers and I are starting to post the new seasons collections and refreshing our work wardrobes. I love seeing what new work wear styles there are out there. Spring is definitely nearly here!
Related post: What to Wear to Work, Weekly Finds
These fashion bloggers and Instagrammers are inspiring a new season work wear style and I wanted to share it with you for your transitional work wear wardrobe, hope you like the collated work wear styles:
I really like Kim’s classic modern style. This deep berry colour worn by Kim in the trousers is really popular at the moment (see another look below) and it’s definitely a favourite one of mine to incorporate into my work wear style.
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looking for some Workwear inspiration? Catch up on all my posts this week over on SheGoesWear.com including how to wear the modern pencil skirt trend & my pick of the best gingham pieces! shop this entire outfit via the link in my bio or by searching ‘She Goes Wear’ on the @liketoknow.it app! 📸: @victoriametaxas http://liketk.it/2uyWT #liketkit
I love Dorothy’s feminine work wear style. I think she is one of the best people to follow on Instagram if you’re like wearing dresses and skirts, she has an eye for the most flattering pieces that are on trend yet appropriate for work.I love this skirt and top combo, it’s a perfect transitional outfit and super on trend – selling out fast though!
Also known as little old me! The guys at Hot Squash sent me this dress* and I must say that I love the fit and the criss cross detailing on the front – it really is flattering. Plus people said that this colour looks really good on me and I’m inclined to agree, I have a jumper in the same berry tone, (check out this Instagram post if you want to have a look) and I also wear the relatively new Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Colour in Grenadine which is a very similar berry colour and isn’t matte.
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Currently in a food coma after another fun night with the @ubereats_aus team. Why did I have to eat that second donut?! 🍩 || #whatiworetowork #corporatefashion #littlemisscorporate . . . #officechic #details #corporatewear #womensfashion #styleinspiration #todaysoutfit #whatiwore #fashioninspo #outfitpost #fashionblogger #fashionstyle #everydaystyle #sydneyfashionblogger #fashioninspiration #fashionpost #businesswoman #sydneyblogger #chicworkchick #wearthisnext #bloggerfashion #currentlywearing #sydneyfashionblogger #instastyle #fashionstyle #whatiwear #fashionista
I love this outfit from Little Miss Corporate, that lovely berry colour again! Depending on where you are in the world will dictate what you can get away with top wise (I’m thinking a berry long sleeve roll neck bodysuit in the UK at the moment, so cold!) but I love these colours together. The textured coat over the shoulders is such a stylish accompaniment.
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Leather is never a bad idea. Whether it’s trousers, leggings or a jacket, they are worth investing in. I’ve had these @hushhomewear leggings for years and they are still like new. I’ve linked some similar ones over on the blog and here if you’re on @liketoknow.it 💋 http://liketk.it/2uH73 #liketkit #LTKstyletip #LTKxLFW #LTKeurope @liketoknow.it @liketoknow.it.europe
Lisa’s style is so effortless and she always has the best accessories, this is a perfect smart look for Friday’s if you’re in a formal environment although I think it’s a great look any day of the week. Loving this coat too, the colour is perfect for Spring!
Have a great week!
Want to come back to this later? Pin to Pinterest:
I love to share what I find whilst shopping so that you can get inspiration and shop from these posts without trawling the internet or the shops. According to a survey by totaljob.com as as many as 29% of women say that they find dressing for work stressful.
I have certainly stressed out about what to wear to work on occasion and the whole point of starting the blog was to be a destination for working women to find inspiration for what to work and to hopefully the some of the stress out of it.
I love this white double breasted blazer from Marks and Spencer, this will be perfect in warmer months on dress down Friday with jeans (or of course on the weekend!). Things from M&S sell out super quick because they’re spot on style-wise and price-wise so if you like something don’t wait, because it may not be around for long:
This is a great pencil skirt from Boden, it’s great quality and I love how Boden’s pieces fit. This is a classic cut and will be one that you can wear again and again. I like to wear it smartly with a jacket and heels or even dressed down with a more relaxed shirt:
I love this dress, this is another one from Marks and Spencer, the peplum hem is great on the waist and the pattern on this fabric is a nicer option that a plain colour:
Here is another dress, this time from Warehouse. I do love a wrap dress, they create an elusive of a waist if you’re quite straight (like I am) and also give more definition around the waist if you need it. This material falls nicely and I am a lover of polka dots as you may already know!
I think every woman needs a silk shirt in her wardrobe. A real silk shirt. It’s an investment piece and will last forever if you get a good quality one. Marks and Spencer are renowned for their quality and at £69.00 this one such a great entry level silk shirt. It would go perfectly with the Boden pencil skirt and is another piece that also doubles up for the weekend effortlessly:
I really cannot get enough of this coat, I think it’s such a steal and so iconic. the amount of love I got for it on Instagram was testament enough.
I also love this jacket, again this is perfect to wear with the Boden pencil skirt or even a leather pencil skirt (one of my favourite looks). It’s a popular one from Marks and Spencer, so be quick if you want one. This would also be perfect with a pair of jeans a ballet flats on dress down Friday.
What to Wear on Valentine’s Day – ah Valentine’s Day – such a divisive topic. I don’t know of any other day that creates such a reaction in people other than Valentine’s! I have friends who ignore its very existence, others who are total cynics because it’s a commercial holiday and others who buy into it (quite literally) whole heartedly. The latter is usually me.
I’ll be honest with you, I quite like an excuse to celebrate events and milestones, even commercial holidays. I don’t really mind that what used to be a day to mark Saint Valentine’s commemoration is now a commercialised opportunity to buy stuff we don’t need in the name of love, ‘just because’.
When else are you encouraged to make a fuss of one another? When else do you buy your significant other a gift and expect one back (on the same day), besides Christmas?
It’s actually rather difficult to ignore Valentine’s Day nowadays, the balloons, flowers, red heart-shaped paraphernalia everywhere, it quite takes over February, but it’s all in good fun in my eyes. These days, I really don’t think we should dismiss a day to celebrate love or your relationship, if you’re in a couple I think you should be grateful and if you’re not in a relationship, enjoy doing exactly what you want to with your time until that special person comes along. You can spend it with your friends, family or simply indulging yourself for the evening.
Valentine’s Day definitely doesn’t need to be exclusive to couples, my mum has always bought us all a little gift on Valentine’s Day, like heart-shaped chocolates or something which is a nice tradition among us all now. We’ll buy Poppy a little something – I’m thinking an LOL Surprise Doll maybe, as exasperated as I am with finding them all over the house, they are easily the most ethnically diverse toys out there in my opinion, but that’s another blog post. I’ll buy something from her to Daddy and get him a card from her too.
I actually hadn’t heard of Galentine’s Day before this year, but its an alternative to Valentine’s Day or an additional day in my eyes, it’s celebrated on 13th February and is to celebrate female friendships. My friends and I have always celebrated Valentine’s Day together when we’ve been single. They were some of the most fun Valentine’s I’ve had – not remotely romantic – but definitely hilarious!
My husband and I usually go out a cocktail or two on Valentine’s Day, either on the day or the nearest weekend to Valentine’s Day and we exchange gifts (I’ll take a candle or Pjs please darling 😉 ). I have no idea what I want to buy him this year, I’m still looking for inspiration (if you have any ideas or gift idea posts, please leave them in the comments or tweet me – bloggers have the best gift guides ever).
This year we’ve actually decided to do a ‘family date night’ and go for dinner on Valentine’s Day this year – Valentine’s Day is mid-week and half term so Poppy doesn’t need to get up for school in the morning so she can have a little bit of a later night, we’ll book at table at around our usual dinner time and exchange our gifts at dinner. My husband and I will do our own thing and go out on a weekend – when it’s easier to get a babysitter!
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Here are some ideas of what to wear on Valentines Day this year:
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Along with my favourite places to visit in Paris, I want to give you guys the background. I’ve visited Paris lots of times and I’ve been fortunate enough to visit with friends who are either real Parisians or who have lived/worked/studied in Paris to give me the inside scoop. I usually visit France every year – I’m a bit of a Francophile actually!
I wanted to write this post for you all to share my experience of Paris and so that you can have a bit of an authentic experience of the city. Hopefully you can take some of what’s included in this post, along with visiting the usual tourist attractions when you next visit.
Paris is an amazing getaway for a weekend, there is always something to see. I think it’s great for when you don’t have much annual leave left but want to get away.
Season-wise, I prefer city breaks in the colder months, but I’d say that April/May is probably my favourite time, Paris is nice and sunny and not too hot.
This time around, I visited in January (my birthday is on the 19th – remember that). Unfortunately for me it decided to rain for 3 days straight when I arrived this year. We managed to get a 1 hour window on Sunday to shoot rain-free which was a Godsend!
Urban, Effortless, Chic.
Whilst I consider London to be the fashion capital of the world (I have to say that as a Londoner) Paris really has the effortless chic style down. Nobody does this better than Parisians.
I absolutely love the pavement cafés and the fact that Parisians will sit and eat outside even when it’s pouring down with rain and take it all in totally nonchalantly. I’m quite sure that the only people sitting inside are tourists.
I love French womens’ style and their laissez-faire attitude to make-up and beauty. It’s refreshing.
If my French was better (God knows it should be having had lessons since I was 4, sorry Mum) I’d have totally loved to spend some time working in Paris. Who knows, I still might!
Related posts: The Best French Slogan Tops Out Right Now
Paris is a remarkable city of memories for me.
The important stuff. Food. In no particular order my favourite places in Paris to visit to eat:
A casual, no reservations restaurant, serving traditional bistro fare. Constant is an understated but authentic French place to eat. Great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Try the grilled sea bream with pesto and button mushroom risotto, absolutely divine!
This is a speciality coffee shop in Montemarte serves amazing coffee and is also totally Instagrammable with its huge greenery wall. It totally helps that their coffee is also amazing. There’s lots of space to get ‘that shot’ before you sip your coffee. If the weather is warm, they open the floor to ceiling shop front too.
When rich French cuisine gets too much, this Japanese tea house on Rue Saint-Honoré is an oasis – calm and soothing. Try the miso soup and onigiri combo or if you’re just stopping for something to drink, they make authentic matcha lattes and I can highly recommend the matcha madeleines that come with!
A French “institution” there is only one thing to tell the waitress, how you want your steak cooked. Nothing over medium well be accepted, I tried to order medium-well and was totally dismissed! Expect to queue for at least half an hour (even in the rain!) and don’t ask what is in the sauce that comes with the steak and pomme frites because it’s a secret.
There are lots of places where you can get a plain entrecôte and fries but this place isn’t it! Oh, and your food is served in ‘two halves’, so finish one plate and the next half will automatically served afterwards.
You can take shots from the viewing platform, on the crossing near the carousel at the top or you can head down to Allée des Refuzniks at the foot of the tower way like I did in these shots.
Get a different angle by going to Avenue Silvestre de Say and getting a shot of the Eiffel Tower between buildings. If you want to get pics of the carousel and the Eiffel Tower, head to Promenade Quai Branly.
Insider tip: To our surprise, going early in the morning (“early” being 10am on a Sunday morning) there really weren’t many crowds and we got some great shots. Beware of the cars, we nearly got run over so many times! So worth it though #DoingItForTheGram haha
This much-instagrammed pink restaurant restaurant in Montemarte is so pretty and is another #DoingItForTheGram location. This is one of my favourite places in to visit in Paris.
Insider tip: Again, visit early if you can or even better early evening when the sun is setting at the end of the street.
Fast becoming the most instagrammed street it Paris, this street is so colourful and pretty its a great shot, even prettier in Paris.
This is a great place near the Eiffel Tower to great a spot of lunch and to get the classic French cafe shot. As with all Parisian cafés their are heaters outside so great for any weather. This is where I took my café shots:
Champs Elysees – Come on, this street obviously tops the list. It helps that you can stop for Lauderee Macaron on your way down the street too. there is also a huge Sephore, Louis Vuitton on the corner and every shop you could wish for
Rue Étienne Marcel – I love this area, such cute stores around here. Shinzo Paris for all the cool trainers in the world, around the corner at 64 Rue Tiquetonne, visit Killiwatch for the best vintage ever. On Rue Montemarte you should pay a visit to Comptoir des Cotonniers.
Nose is one of Paris’ prettiest boutiques and is such a cool concept on Rue Montorgueil. Home to perfume houses like Creed, fragrant Diptyque candles, handmade Swedish soaps and shelves filled with gorgeous glass bottles.
I love a hotel. I spend a lot of time researching hotels. Sometimes I like researching hotels more than I do the country! Well not quite, but I can check out the country when I get there, but I need to make a decision about my hotel before I arrive. Here are some of my favourite places in Paris to stay:
I love a hotel that caters to families with all the trimmings without expecting us to accept a lower standard just because we’re travelling with children. We stayed at this hotel in Bordeaux and the Paris equivalent is just as gorgeous and has a great location. Even if you’re not staying, go for brunch.
Is recently opened in Paris. My friend Yod who runs brand agency and concept store, Yod and Co absolutely loves this place and I love the styling. Similar to the Hoxton and Shoreditch equivalents in London, it really works in Paris. Its such a stylish Hotel and they have great space to work in as well.
Is another family-friendly hotel and apartment location which caters to children. The apartments are sleek and have kitchenettes which is great for when you need a break from the bistro-life. They have a great concierge and a great location. I love the minimalist decor too.
I love Paris, and it’s such a great city to travel to with lots of culture – highly recommended and totally Instagrammable!
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French slogan tops are super popular. Before my most recent birthday jaunt to Paris, I went on the hunt for some of the best ones on the internet, I thought it would be a great way to channel my inner French-girl chic.
I’m a self-confessed Francophile. I love French culture and French food. Last year we visited Bordeaux for the first time (highly recommended) and this year I planned to meet my friends in Paris again. You just can’t get enough of Paris.
French slogan tops are a great way to Frenchify your wardrobe, without buying a plane ticket. I’ve always been a fan of French slogan tops, there are some brands that bring them out every season. I love buying them, figuring out what they say and wearing them according to my mood.
New Look Cream J’Adore Print Rolled Sleeve T-Shirt £7.99
No translation required. A Perfect one for Valentine’s Day.
Whistles Red C’est La Vie Sweatshirt, £79.00
That’s life. On a Jumper.
River Island Black Comme Ci Glitter T-Shirt, £17.99
The oh so French answer to “How are you?” – “So so”.
Chinti & Parker (at Net-a-Porter) Bonjour Bonsoir Intarsia Cashmere Sweater, £275
Bonjour on the front, Bonsoir on the back. Genius.
Whistles Red “Parisien” Sweatshirt, £79.00
Really blend in with the locals.
New Look, Green Jolie Print T-Shirt, £7.99
Meaning “pretty” or “pretty one”. Just make sure you pronounce it properly.
New Look, Red La Femme Slogan Jumper, £19.99
Surely there’s no need to translate this one.
H&M Light Grey Marl Bisous T-shirt, £8.99
Pucker up. Bisous simply means, “kisses”.
New Look Grey Je Ne Sais Quoi Embroidered T-Shirt, £9.99
A certain quality that cannot be named or described easily. So French.
Sezanne Demain T-Shirt, £45
Available to buy on 5th February, order here.
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Here is another ‘5 Work Outfits to Copy from Instagram’ post, because it’s my first full week back at work and I know I’ll definitely need some inspiration for outfits. Plus, if there’s ever a way to get over the January blues, looking and feeling great is a great start.
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New year, new work week, new blog post, new YouTube – here’s to all things being made new in 2018! I have some huge “new” news coming out this week that I cannot wait to share with you but for today Check out new YouTube video in stories and new beauty blog post at link in bio! AND if you follow my @youtube channel before Friday you will be entered to win @toofaced giftset worth over $150! Get my go to #workdress 👉 http://liketk.it/2u5Rz or Shop my daily looks by following me on the LIKEtoKNOW.it app @liketoknow.it • • • • • #liketkit #LTKcurves #LTKitbag #tuesdayshoesday #silverheels #newyoutubevideo #newbeautyblog #LTKshoecrush #LTKunder100 #LTKunder50 @fohrcard @real_simple #realsimple @southernlivingmag @redbookmag @blondesandcookies @louisvuitton_international @louisvuitton.world #li @modestgals @modestlychics_ @churchchicfashionista #ChicWorkChick #stylecollective @workwearofinsta @workwearoutfit @workwear_collective
I love starting the week off strong and this energising electric blue colour is perfect for a Monday morning when everyone needs a little bit of an extra push. I particularly love the neutral bag and the silver shoes – so chic. Add some silver jewellery and some pearls and this is the perfect work outfit to kick off Monday.
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I love this berry colour, its such a flattering colour on any skin tone. I particularly love how Maddy has styled these with a grey cashmere wrap – such a cool look.
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And…..she's outta here until after Christmas! There's a new blog post live with my picks for last minute pressies and stores that are still delivering in time for Christmas. I tweeted last night to say that I'm 2/3 of the way through gift buying….is anyone else like me?! #CorporateStyleStory http://liketk.it/2tWIn #liketkit @liketoknow.it
I got a lot of love for this work outfit on Instagram just before Christmas. I do love to layer pieces and play with different textures. An otherwise off limits leather skirt is wearable in the office with tights and a smart blouse. I also love my Prince of Wales check blazer (similar here from Topshop), it’s an instantly stylish item.
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H a p p y F r i d a y 🙌🏼 What a washout today has been. Here’s to hoping for some sunshine this weekend. In other news, this skirt is now on sale at @thisiswhistles. Pleated midi’s are literally my wardrobe staple. I have so many, in all the colours and wear them winter through to summer, day through to night. I’ve linked this one here and on the blog under my Favourites http://liketk.it/2u2TE #liketkit @liketoknow.it #LTKholidaystyle #LTKunder100 #LTKstyletip #LTKsalealert 📸 @janelookerphotography
I love Lisa’s style, she mixes print and colour into her work outfits so well and has an enviable shoe and accessories collection. I love this pleated skirt with a simple cashmere jumper, whilst the velvet mustard colour is quite tough to get hold of, any pleated skirt will work to create this work outfit – love it!
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These red accents give this look a Parisian inspired look without looking too OTT. If you can’t wear ripped jeans to work (definitely not in a conservative environment) then substitute these for dark smart denim. I love flats shoes and work outfits like this can totally work without heels – these red loafers are a perfect complement. A perfect work outfit to see you through Friday!
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With the New Year fast approaching, lots of people will be thinking about their new year’s resolutions or perhaps they’re just thinking about what to wear out to celebrate on NYE and welcome in 2018?? Whether you want to lose weight, save money, stop smoking or eat more healthily, statistically about 80% of adults will fail to keep their New Years resolutions.
This year, whilst writing this gratitude post, I realised that quite by accident I’ve applied a process to setting my New Years resolutions that I find works really well for me and I’ll explain why in a sec.
When I hear the phrase “New Years resolution”, it sounds a bit gimmicky, like a fictional, weird phrase we just bandy about at this time of year.
When I think of New Years resolutions, I think of things that we may attempt to do in January but have taken zero steps to start at any other time of the year. Usually, we will attempt to make changes that are so drastic that we’re bound to fail, especially as we’re trying to make these changes just because the clock struck midnight on a particular day of the year.
What happened to making these changes when we’re ready?
Once we’ve completed some smaller steps that together will lead us to the bigger drastic change over time?
Often, we’re not emotionally or psychologically ready to make such changes in our lives and if we’re not ready we’re not going to be successful and there’s nothing like an unattained new year’s resolution to make us reluctant to set another one.
So with that being said, I had a think about what I do towards the end of the year that works really well for me and they’re really simple things:
This is a necessary way to begin the year. I recently read Marie Kondo’s, Spark Joy – An Illustrated Guide to the Japanese Art of Tidying, after seeing a friend with the book I wondered what kind of book was describing tidying as an ‘art form’?! Needless to say that I subsequently discovered it wasn’t a humorous novel and it’s honestly is a great read, Kondo’s work is an art form and it really motivated me to de-clutter. I’m not a huge fan of the sterile, “show home” look but I do advocate regular decluttering (zero clue as to how we managed to keep so much stuff in our previous home) and decluttering and clearing out is a great way to start the year – it genuinely makes your home environment feel lighter.
It also makes way for all the great things I’ve no doubt bought in the January sales…
It’s also really important for me to look back over the year and to make a note of all the amazing things that have happened. To be grateful for all of the things I’ve experienced, the challenges I’ve faced and to note the lessons I’ve learned. I take this time to appreciate the person I’ve become in the last year.
My Birthday is in January, so it’s a perfect time to plan a little celebration and to kick off the year. Having a birthday in January isn’t the most welcomed by friends and family after the festive period, so it’s a perfect time for me to make a fuss of myself! I never work on my birthday (which means I’ve never taken cakes into the office) and I like being away from home for at least the whole day. Last year I spent some time at Soho Farmhouse which is gorgeous place to spend the day with yourself and to really relax in the heated outdoor swimming pool (yes in January) and their spa.
You can still totally celebrate the new year without subscribing to NYE countdowns, hangovers or taking time off work. I have found that just the time to reflect and the self-acknowledgment is enough and gives me the confidence that I’ve taken stock of the lessons from the previous year and given myself a pat on the back for my accomplishments.
Reflecting and taking time for yourself can be such a luxury in our busy lifestyles. However you choose to reflect is up to you, but if you only do one thing before the end of the year, it’s this one because you can’t fail to have a better year when you take time to analyse the last one.
Only when armed with the reflections of the year that has passed, do I spend some time deciding what I what I want to do and what I’m ready to do. I think about the next logical thing I want to do instead of creating some sort of ‘major’ thing – I’m not trying to impress anybody.
I use this opportunity to think about the new skills I want to cultivate, the old habits I want to get rid of, new habits I want to form and what I need to do to get organised for the coming year in order to feel more prepared.
This is the real differentiating factor for me. Whatever you do, don’t call them ‘New Years resolutions’, the phrase has such negative connotations associated with it. By replacing it with something more positive by calling them ‘goals’ or ‘decisions’ and making sure you’ve taken time to reflect, you’ll feel a lot more confident about the decisions you’ve made for the year ahead.
Lots of people share their New Years resolutions from an accountability perspective so that they’re committed to achieving the goal, Mark Zuckerberg does this so you’re in good company if you choose to. You can share with your friends or on social media, Twitter would be great for this.
You can follow me on Twitter here.
I’m a huge fan of physically writing down goals that I want to achieve in on of my snazzy notebooks. For me, the process of writing things down almost ‘activates’ something in me. Try it.
Visualise yourself doing the thing you’re trying to achieve in your mind. This one goes hand in hand with making sure you’re ready to do something. If it feels forced or you can’t see yourself achieving it, chances are it won’t happen.
Either way, however you choose to set goals for the year ahead don’t be too harsh on yourself, make sure you have fun and forget the naysayers. Use a new year to set goals to impress nobody but yourself.
If you have any tips for starting off the year well and what works for you, I’d love to hear them, you can leave them below or send them to me via social media.
Image via Observer.com
As we draw near to the end of 2017, I’m sitting at my computer on Saturday 23rd December 2017 and thinking back over the year of so many great things that have happened during 2017.
Gratitude is so important in every day life, I am teaching Poppy how to be grateful and what it means. At the moment she says she is grateful for things that are coming (like Christmas!) which is not exactly what I’m getting at, but we’ll get there.
I am so grateful for Poppy and my husband. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have such an amazing little person in my life. These two make me a better human being. I can’t wait to grow old together.
This time last year December 2016, we had just reserved the house we moved into this year. It was all a bit of a whirlwind at the time, but we’ve been here for 8 months now and it’s starting to come together. As it was new build, there wasn’t much to do inside, except to make it homely and we’re gradually doing that (once the settling in cracks have been plastered over!). This house is perfect for us and we’re all loving life in this place. We’re totally in love with this house and so grateful that we’re here.
I’m so grateful that my family are so bloody amazing. I have a really close relationship with my sisters, brothers, mum, dad, even aunts, uncles and cousins – all of them I’m so grateful for, because I feel like I have a huge team behind me. They are all brilliant in their own right and I know how important family is. I’m also grateful for the family I’ve inherited from my husband, they all add something to my life that I’m grateful for.
I’ve had my close circle of friends since I was in school, we’ve got the old, embarrassing pictures to prove it and I have added a few other friends along the way. My circle is small but it’s perfectly formed. They’re the people who are genuinely happy for me when things go well , regardless of what is happening in their own lives and they are there for me when they’re not going so well.
Since I started blogging I’ve also added lots of formidable and supportive women to my friendship group and they know who they are. They’re the ones commenting on my Instagram posts, reading my blogs and checking in on me if I haven’t posted in a while to see how things are. I’ve met lots of them IRL during 2017 and I will meet more of them this year.
Cheers to good friends, I’m so lucky to have you!
This goes without saying. I am so grateful for my health and that of my family. Truth be told, I rarely get ill. I haven’t had a cold since in forever. However, this isn’t true for everyone of course and I am very grateful for the NHS that looks after everyone if and when they are ill, because it’s amazing, I don’t know what we’d do without it.
I’m going to be brutally honest, I can’t be around “doom and gloom” people for very long, but considering this is a gratitude post, I’m going to say that I’m grateful to them too because they remind me to stay on track! I’m a glass half full girl, I will have a rant when I need to rant, but the majority of the time I focus on what I want rather than what I don’t have.
At the moment my labour of love is my day job and my blog. You know what they say, “do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. I chose a vocation and an environment that I truly enjoy and I’m very lucky that I do what I love everyday.
It’s really important for me to be grateful about my financial stability. I’m so thankful for all of the lessons that I’ve learned and the current financial state that I’m in. It’s important not to take money for granted, especially if you want to make more of it. I am grateful that I can give some to charities to support their work and I currently support the NSPCC and RNIB and their life-changing work.
London has been through a lot in 2017, I’m grateful for the Capital’s resilience during some tough times with terror attacks for example. Politically, there were some difficult discussions around Brexit and we’re yet to see how that will pan out. But just strolling around London and seeing how beautiful it is and how courteous people generally are, I’m confident that things will get better. I’m really proud to say that it’s where I’m from!
I’m grateful that my Christmas is spent how I want to spend it, with our own family traditions which we’re cultivating along the way. Christmas dinner with a few too many of us sat around the table (is Christmas even Christmas without fold-out chairs?!) gorgeous food and fun and loving company. Silly games and gifts exchanged, I’m grateful that this is a great time of year for us all, because I’m aware that it’s not like that for everyone.
This is a different kind of post for me, but I think it’s important to at least round off the year by saying thank you for everything you have. What are you grateful for?
Ah the festive season! I have always loved Christmas. I love all the traditions, I love all of the food and the family gatherings and silliness and I would be lying if I didn’t love the gift giving.
We’re down to the last week of shopping before Christmas, there are still some steals to be found and some great gifts to be purchased as a result. The best things about holiday gift shopping later on in December is that some stores have already launched their sales (hooray!) and not everyone is shopping (these are the people that finished early), so it’s to be expected that you’ll find some great gifts.
Last Minute Christmas Delivery Dates:
One of my favorite times of year and so Christmas parties are looming – I know some of yours are happening this week. I’ve had lots of requests for a post dealing with ‘what to wear to the office Christmas party’, so here goes.
Dressing for the office Christmas party can be tricky, it’s a party but you’re still with your colleagues and so effectively it’s still “business”. You can relax and let loose but remember you still have to see those same co-workers around the boardroom table at your next meeting, so avoid embarrassment of being inappropriately dressed or a wardrobe malfunction and have a read of what I’ve learned over the years about dressing for the office Christmas party. How to deal with the “what to wear to the office Christmas Party” conundrum?
I’ve been to black tie Christmas parties and I’ve been to Christmas parties held at a bar or nightclub. Obviously what i’d wear to the former won’t work for the latter, but their is always a dress code. Find out what it is.
Yes you can loosen up at Christmas but you still want your colleagues to keep their eyes above your neck – if you wouldn’t wear it that low during the office day, I say it’s not one to wear to the office Christmas party. None of those deep v-neck plunge dresses for the office Christmas party, keep those for nights out on the tiles with friends if you must wear them.
I think it’s best to err on the side of caution when it comes to dress/skirt lengths for the Christmas party. I don’t typically prescribe to the “2 inches above the knee” or “Bic Biro length above the knee” kind of rules. If a skirt needs frequent yanking down or adjusting or if it doesn’t cover my bottom when I sit down – its too short, so I stick with that.
Jeans are too casual for the office Christmas party. You definitely don’t need to wear a dress and I’m a huge fan of wearing trousers to special events but jeans just aren’t special enough, it’s not dress down Friday it’s a celebration make an effort.
Just because your outfit may not have a plunging neckline or be super short, doesn’t mean you can’t go to town with the shoes! Heck, go sky high if you want to, sparkles, platforms (which I say to avoid wearing to the office in this post), feathers – go to town!
Check the lighting in daylight and bright light and make sure that it’s not too see-through. There will be lots of pics being taken. You have been warned!
If in doubt, keep it classy and keep it conservative, get to know your colleagues and have fun. Statement earrings, fabulous shoes and a gorgeous bag are great ways to show your personality too. Have fun and keep it professional.
Last weekend, I attended the Urban Lawyers Careers Conference and for the first time in my life it was to be a speaker. I was ecstatic when the organisers invited me by getting touch on Twitter. When I started my blog just over a year ago, my intention was to curate outfit inspiration for dressing for work but I had also hoped that I’d be able to have some interaction with young and aspiring lawyers. I wanted to pass on my experience and knowledge in a conversational and open way.
So last Saturday, I traveled back into the City to Herbert Smith Freehills (with grey skies and rain overhead might I add) to network with some old faces, hear the amazing speakers and to share some of my own nuggets of wisdom with the attendees.
I turned my slides into a blog post as some of the delegates asked for them and I thought these would be more useful and I can keep them updated.
This post is also a good read if you’ve been out of the workplace for quite a while or returning from a lengthy maternity leave.
Buy the best you can afford – you should consider your work wardrobe an investment. My suggestion is to separate your work wear pieces from those you wear on the weekend. If you can keep them in separate sections of your wardrobe – even better – experts say that your suits shouldn’t be touching in your wardrobe. This is not only to keep those work pieces lasting longer but, as heralded by Arianna Huffington in her new book, much like wearing pajamas for bed, your brain gets into a particular mode when you wear specific clothes for a specific purpose. Just like a uniform, you become focused on the thing you’re supposed to be doing in those particular clothes.
People often spend all of their hard earned wages on gorgeous things to wear for the weekend when we get the least amount of time to enjoy in them. There’s a real difference in what I wear on the weekend and the work wear pieces I wear during the week. Not least of all because I’m running around after a small person on the weekend and need to be comfortable, but also because I really can forget about the rules of dressing for the office and wear whatever I want!
REMEMBER: This tip is not an excuse to go out buying extravagant Prada suits to wear to work. Be sensible and stay within your budget, my suggestion is to try to buy one new piece per month if you can.
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Quote from #ZigZiglar this morning. It's unlikely that life will be a catwalk performance everyday but I have just been reminded of this quote as I walk into the office to meet our new CFO that I thank God I didn't let my standards slip this morning! Have a good day all. #CorporateStyleStory
Buy investment pieces – by this I mean that when you do buy ‘the best you can afford’, buy quality work wear that will stand the test of time in natural fabrics and in cuts that are flattering.
Make sure your clothes fit properly – Your clothes shouldn’t be too tight and I would suggest buying a size bigger and having them altered down if necessary. Finding a good tailor is a must for situations like this and some stores have altering services for pieces you buy from them which are usually very good.
Less is more when it comes to jewelry – Jewelry should be classic and discreet. I do think that statement necklaces can be worn if you’re wearing a simple dress and if you’re in a less conservative environment. I think that dress watches are the epitome of elegance, dress watches go perfectly with smart suiting, so if you do wear a watch have a look for a dress watch. But generally speaking, you should err on the side of caution with jewelry.
I get asked this question all the time via email, so here is a list of the staple items that every woman needs in her wardrobe:
Here are the staple items that every man starting out in the corporate world needs in his work wardrobe:
I hope you found this useful, I’ll be writing another post about Dress Down Friday next week, so please subscribe so that you don’t miss it. If you have any suggestions of questions you can let them in the comments below. Check out my Black Friday and Cyber Monday post for the latest discount links so you can get the best prices on some of these work wear pieces.
Thanks for reading!
Each year Black Friday deals get better and better, this year is no exception with deals starting now and stretching into next week. My inbox has been heaving with codes and discount from so many brands.
The discount codes below are live NOW and I’ve added my edit of the best things to buy now – party dresses especially
Now is a great time to start your Christmas shopping if you haven’t already, retailers offer bigger discounts at this time of year as they anticipate more sales being made today and over the course of the week.
Click on the retailer to shop
ASOS – 20% off everything with code WIN20
I’ve linked some of my favourite party dresses for the festive season below:
MANGO – 30% off everything with code Black17
TOPSHOP — Get up to 50% off and free shipping.
J.Crew — Take 30% off everything with code GOSHOP.
GAP – Black Friday offers live now, use code BLKFRIDAY
Nike — Take an extra 25% off sale styles with code EPIC25.
Intermix — Get 40% off select full-priced styles.
SHEIN – Buy one get one 99% off.
FARFETCH — Up to 50% off.
URBAN OUTFITTERS — Buy one, get one 50% off.
BOOHOO — 50% off everything.
LUISAVIAROMA — 20% off with the code BFSUS17.
MACY’S — Take 20% off Black Friday with code HURRY.
MATCHESFASHION.COM —Up to 50% off
MODA OPERANDI — 30% off sale with 30EXTRA
NEIMAN MARCUS — $50 off $200 with code THANKFUL
NET-A-PORTER — Up to 50% off with new styles.
NORDSTROM: Take an extra 20% off select sale items.
OUTNET – Extra 10% off new arrivals with the code FRIYAY.
REVOLVE — Up to 50% off sale styles.
SAKS – Up to 60% off use code BLKFRI17.
SHOPBOP — Up to 75% off sale items and 30% off full-priced styles with code MORE17.
SSENSE — Up to 50% off.
YOOX — Up to an 60% off.
Hawes and Curtis – Up to 50% off online.
I love this polka dot shirt.
(US, CA, DE, IT, PL): up to 40% shop with this link
Image via timeout.com
My round up of the best Chanel Style Jackets on the internet, perfect with a pencil skirt for work or with jeans and boots on the weekend for brunch (my fav!)
I never did like chocolate as a child so I missed the whole advent calendar thing growing up – I popped all the windows open, but I didn’t really care what was inside, I was more interested in the countdown to Christmas Day. So when I first discovered luxury advent calendars for grown-ups, I thought they were a brilliant idea. Last year we bought Poppy this Playdough calendar which she loved and was a good alternative to chocolate each morning! Before you buy yourself a standard chocolate advent calendar this year, check out my shortlist of the best beauty advent calendars for 2017. You’ll have to get in there early because they sell out fast, keep checking back for updates…
I am a huge Diptique fan, I’m waiting to find a place to put the huge 1500g one in our new house. I love the different gift boxes you can buy at Christmas and this advent calendar includes 25 of the gorgeous treasures to discover in the run up to Christmas. Mini candles 25g, hand and body products, eau de toilette and a 70g candle = a gorgeous smelling you and home.
This is the first ever beauty advent calendar from John Lewis including a mixture of both 25 full sized and miniature luxury beauty products. The calendar includes some of my favourites including Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, Bobbi Brown Smokey Mascara, Nars Blush in Orgasm and Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. From what I’ve seen, this is definitely one of my favourites.
I love the Charlotte Tilbury range, I have a few of the pieces that bloggers have raved about when the collection first launched, like the Filmstar Bronze and Glow (which is amazing). This luxury advent calendar includes make-up as well as skincare and is the total package for any make-up lover.
L’Occitane are back for a second year with 25 of their best-selling products making their advent calendar is a great way to discover some new favourites. I love L’Occitane’s almond range, the peony hand cream and their verbena soap, all smell gorgeos.
More gorgeous candles and smellies in a Christmas advent calendar and this time they’re from Jo Malone. This is on a par with the Diptique advent calendar above in terms of the miniature treats inside. I love the Georgian townhouse packaging and receiving Jo Malone goodies every day for a month would be enough to get me out of bed
super early on time every day!
This is available exclusively at Harrods and goes on sale in November.
Last but not least, is this gorgeous advent calendar from OPI. It contains 25 miniatures and features bold reds, standout metallics, purple, charcoal and black hues. There is something for everyone and it’s a pretty complete polish collection. For those of us who love changing our nail colour freqently!
Will you be going for chocolate or beauty treats this Christmas?
Here is another ‘5 Work Outfits to Copy from Instagram’ post this week, with a focus on transitional looks because it’s not bitterly cold out yet and some of our Summer pieces will still work day to day and we should get the most out of them. Weather-wise London certainly is very mild at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start looking at in this year’s coats for when the weather really gets chilly.
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Ah the classic navy suit. A necessary addition to any business woman’s wardrobe (they’re personally my favourite for an interview). I really like how Nessa has styled this with a silk camisole underneath instead of a shirt and this look is a great way to start off the week. I tend to have most meetings and see more people at the beginning of the week so I like to start off strong!
Get the look:
Winter whites! I know we’re not officially into “Winter” yet but I do love white trousers as a transitional wardrobe piece, even in colder weather. You can still grab a pair on sale, I love these ones from Hobbs and you can always wear them next Summer too, so win:win. Pair with a black tuxedo blazer, breton top and nude heels and job done!
Get the look:
This look will totally work for transitional weather, I personally love a pencil skirt and a boucle jacket, it’s such a smart and stylish look! If it’s chilly, I’m a fan of wearing a silk cami under the shirt. Lillian’s vintage Chanel pulls the whole thing together, she looks great. I personally love drooling over vintage Chanel on Vestiare Collective but I haven’t got around to buying vintage designer bags yet. I am still waiting for my mother to gift me her collection! Nudge nudge, if you’re reading mum! 😉
This is such an easy look to copy, pleated skirt, check, patterned shirt, check! Perhaps in London we need to be thinking about court shoes and hanging up the block heel sandals but this is still a gorgeous outfit that you can quite easily copy for work this week. Add block-heeled court shoes or pointed midi flats and you’re good to go.
If Friday means a dressed down day for you, it doesn’t have to mean jeans. I really love a relaxed smart look, like this oversize shirt and cigarette pants worn by Andy. The structured bag adds more of a smart look to an otherwise super casual outfit. I think it’s perfect for a Friday.