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The Review : My work wardrobe

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Post New Year's resolutions come for most their annual work review. That meeting that looks at your previous achievements within your organisation and asks you to consider where you are headed professionally, framed around that dreaded question ' Where do you see your self in five years time?'

5 years ago I suppose I saw these meetings as incredibly daunting, I was eager to please and significantly less confident - practically scared of my shadow and forever saying 'sorry' professionally when not required. 

So in this post I thought I would try and guide you through things that have improved my confidence, that includes my work wardrobe ;) and also a few hints and tricks for that dreaded review. 

My work wardrobe 

My working wardrobe choices have changed drastically over the years, I like pieces I can reach for easily, that I feel confident in and that fit well. I don't want to be tugging at my hem line as the dress is too short or wearing items that gape and sag. No one feels confident if they feel like a bag of spuds. 

“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.” Coco Chanel 

So these are my key items : 

The Suit Jacket

I have a light and dark suit (Right, Monsoon) which I can mix and match accordingly, this is an item I would invest in and should fit like a glove. I would caution against any kind of jersey flimsy blazer, they rarely look good and give a lumpy silhouette. High street options : Monsoon, LK Bennett, Reiss, Hobbs, Fenn Wright Maison

The tailored dress
Forget frills, now is not the time. A classic pencil dress that is
 feminine but tailored is always my go to item. I don't have the shape for trousers and have always felt more confident in dresses. A classic black dress (left, Next) is always useful and can obviously be dressed up or down but build on this with other shades that will see you through the seasons (below left, Reiss). 

I don't advocate sequins at work but textures can add another dimension like the dress below, professional and simple but with a twist. This dress always makes me feel confident (Right, Next). 
High street options: French Connection, Next, M&S, Reiss 


Thank the heavens, that the platform front shoe is almost over, unless you are static all day you will need a shoe you can actually walk in. Shoes are a functional item that should also be beautiful. In that order. Professional roles require professional shoes so open toe sandals, flip flops and converse are out. My favourite work shoes tend to come from Dune, Kurt Geiger and M&S and due to the amount of running around are typically mid height. I also love a touch of print and always have my Dune leopard print numbers under my desk/or in the car.


This is a tricky one, I get why in magazines they always style work wear with necklaces, bangles and earrings as stylists are paid to make shoots look gorgeous, rich and interesting. Typically what looks great in a magazine would be fine if you work in fashion, PR etc but if you work in many other sectors to be frank you will look OTT.  I don't want colleagues focusing on my style choices but for what I bring to the role. 

So I tend to pick one item, one item I love that works with my outfit, doesn't get in the way and to be honest I avoid bangles ( keyboard clackers) and dangly earrings (just too much).
I shall build on this post next week as there is so much to cover!

Now for that review....

Wear what makes you confident, above is what has got me to that point. 

I have had some excellent mentoring over the years from my last director who would threaten to fine me overtime I said sorry (unnecessarily), to my current boss who believes everyone should have the right to speak on the same level whether a director or office assistant. All of the cogs in an organisation have a part to play and are of value. Remember that. They picked you. You have value. 

I now see a review as a time to reflect and plan, talk openly about my position in the organisation and how we mutually can support the objectives of the organisation but also and ultimately my own aspirations too. 

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