Ideas really do spring from the most unexpected moments, don’t they?
You might remember I recently gave a presentation on personal style in the workplace at a breakfast event hosted by Blackman Mansfield Recruitment. That presentation was inspired by a conversation over coffee with owners, Jo and Mel. We were discussing workplace dress codes and how much they’ve changed in the last few years.
Gone are the days of the obligatory suit or dress, stockings and closed toe shoes.
I remarked how far we’ve come with dress codes and how different they can be, from industry to industry and also location.
It was this seemingly unassuming comment that sparked an idea and before I knew it, we’d booked ourselves a photoshoot. My challenge? To style three women – in their 20s, 30s and over 40 – in on trend items that are also workplace appropriate.
And so, one fine Thursday morning, I found myself at Mint Boutique with three fabulous women to dress.
Kirsty – our 20-something model – works in a creative industry and so I took the opportunity to capitalise on some of my favourite trends right now.
In her first outfit, I styled her in an on-trend colour and incorporated an unexpected detail in the form of a split sleeve. A neutral heel complements rather than competes with the dress, and a blazer could be popped over the top during the day.
In her second outfit, I put her in a pair of tailored shorts which aren’t too short and added some statement earrings for pop and personality. To dress up the shorts, I paired them with a lovely embroidered white blouse and again opted for a neutral heel.
For Mel, the 30-something, I focused on tailoring in her first outfit, together with colour of the moment – blush pink. I also chose a strappy pair of heels to make the outfit warm weather appropriate. I opted for a beautiful asymmetrical skirt rather than a standard pair of black pants.
For Mel’s second outfit, I chose a gorgeous dress that would be a great Friday option to take you from boardroom to bar. During the day, a white or cream blazer or cape could be added over the top and removed at the end of the day to let the subtle glittery details of the dress shine.
Lastly, Jo – our fabulous 40+ model. Age is no barrier to trends, so I loved putting Jo in this flattering print top and coated black pants – showing off her best assets. For summer, a sleeveless blazer adds shape and I love that the pants are coated, giving them a slight edginess.
Jo’s second outfit would be the perfect Christmas party dress. Navy rather than black makes it a beautiful summer choice and the floaty details give it a lovely feminine edge. This is one of those dresses that will stand the test of time. It’s a classic silhouette and a fabulous go-to piece for any occasion.
When it comes to fashion at work, it really does all come down to styling. Consider how each piece could fit into your workplace. Sometimes all it might need is the addition of a blazer or a different shoe choice.
There’s absolutely no need to save your favourite pieces for the weekend – they should be worn and enjoyed every day of the week.