My Twitter profile reads, “Finance geek by day, fashion blogger by night.” Two very different worlds, and I generally prefer to keep them from colliding, sartorially speaking. I leave the leather, fur and sky-high platform stilettos at home when I’m headed to the office, but that’s not to say I don’t like to have a little fun with my work ensembles. When FLARE’s Ryan M. Cheung asked me, Kimberly Lyn of The Souls of My Shoes and Nelia Belkova of Style Blog to document a week’s worth of office-ready outfits for FLARE.com, I was up for the challenge.
The feature, ‘Blogger Style Challenge: Back to Work’, went live this week and I’m thrilled with how it turned out. Nelia, Kim and I each have very different personal styles, but I love how they shine through despite strict office dress codes. We may be sitting in cubicles all day drafting memos and pulling together Excel spreadsheets, but we’re going to look good doing it, damn it. Anya dubbed me “the most stylish accountant” she knows, and I’m going to go ahead and assume she knows plenty of finance folks and wear that title with pride.
Thanks Ryan and FLARE for giving us working girls some love! Outfit photos and details are below, including my office style tips and commentary on my favourite work-appropriate pieces. Check out the full feature over on FLARE.com.
MONDAY: BACK-TO-BACK MEETINGS
The Look: On busy, meeting-filled days, I reach for an outfit that looks polished and won’t distract from what I have to say. This green blouse and abstract print skirt pairing is a go-to ensemble for such days because it’s interesting without being too loud. My Balenciaga motorcycle bag used to be reserved for evenings and weekends, but I’ve recently started carrying it to the office as well. It adds just the right touch of edge to what are otherwise usually very classic work ensembles.
Style Tip: Nothing adds polish to a work outfit quite like a strand of pearls. My Chanel double-wrap pearl necklace is one of my most prized accessories and the easiest to wear.
TUESDAY: DAY AT THE DESK
The Look: When I know I’ll be spending most of the day at my desk rather than in meetings, I can have a little more fun with the sartorial choices I make that morning. Those are the days when I pick the brightest colours and boldest accessories, like I have with this J.Crew yellow blouse and Giambattista Valli purple skirt combination.
Style Tip: Don’t be afraid to wear colour to the office! Polished and professional work attire doesn’t have to be black, white and grey. If you’re feeling shy, start with one pop of colour.
WEDNESDAY: MAJOR PRESENTATION
The Look: When I have a major presentation on the day’s schedule, there’s no other option for me than a sharp suit and chic shoes. I feel my most confident when I’m sporting a well-fitting skirt suit and my beloved Valentino bow booties. My navy tweed suit by Nanette Lepore is my absolute favourite. It fits like a glove and has ladylike details like a pleated back on the skirt and rounded collar and pockets on the jacket.
Style Tip: A crisp white shirt is a must in any office-ready wardrobe, but plain isn’t in the requirements. My Valentino Red blouse has a ruffle-trim placket, but I’m also a big fan of epaulets, cute buttons and well-placed pockets.
THURSDAY: DESK TO DINNER
The Look: An ensemble that I’ll pull together for both the workday and dinner plans will usually be on the more adventurous side. This bright green pencil skirt paired with my Erdem floral print blouse and matching shoes certainly fits the bill.
Style Tip: My work wardrobe is full of pencil skirt after pencil skirt, and lately I’ve been addicted to J.Crew’s no. 2 pencil skirt. They fit me well, and come in a range of to-die-for colours, prints and fabrics each season. When you find a particular style that you love and flatters your body type, go ahead and stock up! Because my collection of J.Crew pencil skirts includes navy cotton eyelet, pink tweed and green cotton abstract print, no one is the wiser.
FRIDAY: CASUAL COOL
The Look: Four workdays out of five you’ll find me in pencil skirts, but when Friday rolls around or I have a fashion industry event after work, I may just break out some pants. On those days I’ll pull some cheekier pieces out of my closet, as I have here with a peter pan collar blouse by Sandro, a croc-embossed leather banker’s envelope by Object for Danier and, of course, cat shoes. My Charlotte Olympia velvet cat pumps are the most whimsical shoes in my closet that can make the leap to the workplace without looking inappropriate. They put a smile on my face and a spring in my step even on the busiest and most frustrating of workdays.
Style Tip: Who says office footwear needs to be bland and sensible-looking? Pick a pair of not-so-basic pumps in a fun pop of colour, with an eye-catching embellishment, in an interesting material or silhouette…or, better yet, all of the above!